Christmas Traditions - Stockings or no? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-05-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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Zoebird, thanks for the background info, it's always interesting to learn the history behind traditions.
 

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Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

We have stockings that I made, but I don't think we'll fill them.  I'll probably put mostly edible treats in them with maybe one or two little small things, and maybe something like crayons or markers or other art supplies.   Stuff that can be used up.  My boyfriend and I agreed we want to keep things simple, but it's hard not to go overboard with wanting to give her stuff!



So true cyclamen, I want to be more minimal this Christmas, but it is really hard to resist that urge to go overboard! But just as Kristen said, "Clutter is just part of my world that I am continually fighting against", so I want to give careful thought to what I do put into the stockings. 


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Old 12-05-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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I never heard that oranges were related to the St. Nicholas story...  We always do them, but more because it's a tradition/holdover from earlier times.  A couple of generations ago an orange at Christmas would have been a huge treat (at least where my grandparents lived). 

 

We always put at least some things in stockings that we need anyway (DD has already requested new underwear for hers!).  Socks, underwear, and toothbrushes are standard.  We also always add some candy and some reading material.

 

My mom and dad used to put in books, magazines, and puzzle books to keep us busy for a while so that they could sleep a little later on Christmas morning smile.gif

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Old 12-05-2010, 02:38 AM
 
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Oh--and we also always include thank you cards, so the kids are all set to write their thank you notes after Christmas.

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Old 12-05-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

...otherwise I can kiss them eating breakfast (gluten-free cinnamon rolls) goodbye)...



Oh, I *need* your GF cinnamon rolls recipe!  We have cinnamon rolls as our Xmas am tradition, but have had poor success since going GF several years ago.  Please post or PM me!


- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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magazines, and puzzle books to keep us busy for a while so that they could sleep a little later on Christmas morning smile.gif


Good one! thumb.gif


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Old 12-05-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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Toothbrushes? headscratch.gif

 

I have to admit I have never heard of giving toothbrushes at Christmas, it seems that many of you do....it must be an American thing?



Nope!  lol  We never got them (I grew up in the states)  but my kids get new toothbrushes every year in theirs... we do battery powered ones to make them fun :)  Some spiffy ideas here... totally stealing a few!
 


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Old 12-05-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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So I am not the only one who always puts in orange in the toe of the stockings.  My kids think it is the funniest thing but my mother always did it so I always do it.


Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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haha my kids love getting toothbrushes because they get to pick whichever one they want instead of the "not fun ones" I usually get them during the year. Its the only time they get to pick out their own, otherwise I pick them out for them (its easier and quicker that way).


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Old 12-06-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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This thread has been very enlightening and amusing for me to read.....I am fascinated by the things people put in their stockings.

 

I have to admit I don't really 'get' it about putting everyday things in like toothbrushes, and even oranges, as those are always just available for people to eat in the house.

 

But this thread has given me lots of ideas for what to put in mine this year, and also I have decided to make a change this year and not wrap things that go in the stockings.

 

The orange goes back in time as a tradition in my family. Once upon a time citrus fruit in the middle of winter in the middle of the country was an unheard of luxury.

 


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Old 12-06-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

This thread has been very enlightening and amusing for me to read.....I am fascinated by the things people put in their stockings.

 

I have to admit I don't really 'get' it about putting everyday things in like toothbrushes, and even oranges, as those are always just available for people to eat in the house.

 

But this thread has given me lots of ideas for what to put in mine this year, and also I have decided to make a change this year and not wrap things that go in the stockings.

 

The orange goes back in time as a tradition in my family. Once upon a time citrus fruit in the middle of winter in the middle of the country was an unheard of luxury.

 



I'm thinking I will put an orange in their stockings this year just for a laugh...can't wait to see their bewildered faces!

 

I might even chuck a toothbrush in too...that will really confuse them...


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Old 12-07-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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hahah Clutter, my husband's family didn't do the whole special soaps, toothbrushes etc either.. You should have seen his face our first Christmas together when I put a toothbrush and some nice soap (we buy cheap stuff usually) in his stocking.. It was like "What the heck is this for??"


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Old 12-07-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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We continue the tradition that my parents had when I was a child. 

 

We hang the stockings early and they are filled by St. Nicholas on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, which is December 6.  I think traditionally shoes are used, but we always did stockings as a kid, so that is what we do for our kids.

 

This year (St. Nicholas day was yesterday), we put some small candy (rolos - which are my boys' favorite, fruit, and a Christmas themed Pez.  They also each got a sweatshirt, which I had to wrap around the stocking.  The result was not enough to fill up the stockings, but enough to just "plump" it out. 

 

We do not do stocking for Christmas morning, but we do leave the stockings up the entire season. 

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by delphine View Post

We continue the tradition that my parents had when I was a child. 

 

We hang the stockings early and they are filled by St. Nicholas on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, which is December 6.  I think traditionally shoes are used, but we always did stockings as a kid, so that is what we do for our kids.

 

This year (St. Nicholas day was yesterday), we put some small candy (rolos - which are my boys' favorite, fruit, and a Christmas themed Pez.  They also each got a sweatshirt, which I had to wrap around the stocking.  The result was not enough to fill up the stockings, but enough to just "plump" it out. 

 

We do not do stocking for Christmas morning, but we do leave the stockings up the entire season. 


We do the same, and I love St. Nick's. :) Where I grew up, everyone celebrated this way, but where we live now, we are the only family I know who does. It is a tad confusing for the kids, but they love it so don't ask too many questions so far. We always do an orange, and apple, fancy mixed nuts, a little candy and a couple small toys. If they need new slippers or new jammies, I'll put those in, too.
 

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Old 12-07-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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here is some information about the history of using oranges in the toes is based on the "Three Sisters" story related to St Nicholas. It is said that the old bishop heard of a poor family where the girls were to be sold into slavery because the family could not produce dowry's to marry them. St Nicholas wanted to help the family, but did not want anyone to know. Over three nights, he climbed to the chimney, and dropped money down into each girl's stocking, where they were hung to dry. On the first night, the first daughter's stocking was filled. On the second, the second daughter's stocking was filled. The father watned to know who was doing this, how it was happening, and so he stayed up all night guarding the house. He caught St Nicholas on the chimney, and the old bishop asked him not to tell anyone. Of course, the man--grateful for the bishop's help--told everyone, and so the story of the stocking filling (and the traditions surrounding) began. 

 

Gold coins (often chocolate coins) are often put into the toes of stockings to honor this story. but, oranges and yellow apples are also used. 

 

another story i heard about it is that children were given three medicinals by St Nicholas: oranges to boost the immune system; peppermint as a folk cold remedy that not only works like menthol to aid in relieving congestion, but also in syrups to manage cough; and ginger bread cookies (instead of the more modern chocolate) in a depiction of the Saint (or in objects related to the child such as a tennis racket or animal the child loves or what have you). The ginger bread settles the stomach, aids in decreasing nausea, etc. So, all of these medicinals would be great for children during the cold months, when cold and flu season moves through a household.

 

i like these "health" aspects/elements. unfortunately, i'm actually unable to find a source for where i "learned" this particular material. :) I like to honor this as well.

 

it might also be noted that the candy-cane is the shape of the bishop's hook, that the gingerbread is often in the shape of the bishop-- again, to honor the saint's contribution and gift giving.

 

So while it might be "common" to have oranges around at all times, it wasn't always so--in northern europe, oranges were rare in the deep winter, and difficult to get, and so it would be a true gift to get an orange! 



Neat post.

 

I heard a story on the radio a couple years ago that a 19th Century Norwegian boy got and orange at Christmas and was amazed that somewhere there was not snow on the ground and it was warm and sunny enough to grow such a wonder.

 

Heck even when my dad (he's 72) was a kid citrus was serious treat.

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Old 12-09-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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I love stockings! Some years I've done them on St. Nicholas Day, most of the time though, we do them on Christmas morning.

 

I usually do practical, yet fun items - socks, fancy ones that I wouldn't normally get. Consumables, holiday candy and fruit. Card game or coloring book. Accessories to the "main" gift...such as the book that goes along with a video game.

 

Have fun!

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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We stick to the traditions my family had so that includes stockings. As a kid we opened one present on Christmas Eve and it was always the pjs. Stockings had the orange or apple and little goodies like candy and notepads with crayons and such. We didn't do a ton in the way of gifts either. There was one from each other kid (3 of us) and then a couple things from Santa. Now we're all older (sis is 20 and brother is 17) and I'm the only one with family our Christmas has been all together on Christmas Eve. Mom gets us each the traditional pjs including dh and my kids get the pjs from me & dh and a toy from Nana. We also all exchange gifts for each other. We eat a simple dinner like spaghetti or gumbo and usually watch a Christmas movie together. Christmas morning my kids get stockings like I had has a kid and then the few gifts before we load up for the hr drive to my Grandma's. My mom and I are working on a new plan for the holidays though. We're thinking about doing homemade Christmas's from now on and I'm wanting to redo the gifts/stocking stuff at our house too. We've never been as overboard as some families I know but it still seem like too much and a lot of stuff we just don't need.


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Old 12-09-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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On filling up the stocking, my mother always put in a big orange _and_ a big apple _and_ a handful of nuts in the shell. That took care of a lot of space. :) I seem to recall that once in a while there was also a tangerine in there. 

 

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Hmm... maybe i'll do toothbrush this year, too. I like the tape idea for dh. Last year I found flashing Rudolph noses that the kids had a *blast* with, but were broken by the end of the day. I may do those again if I can find them. I don't wrap stocking gifts anymore. Not worth it and the kids have a hard time unwrapping them when they're so young anyway.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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We typically do toiletries, candy, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and little stuff like that in stockings.

 

As my kids are only 3 months this Christmas, their stockings will be left empty, but next year they will probably get toothbrushes, socks, maybe a small cardboard book, car toys, etc...


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Old 12-09-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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I love stockings:)

We fill them with apples, oranges, a chocolate bar, a small toy or a trinket that represents who they are. We don't go overboard, but the kids love to have those few extra surprises.


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Old 12-14-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I love these ideas... but the only idea we do that I have not seen here, is that the baby Jesus from the creche goes into the youngest child's stocking. BC baby Jesus did not arrive until Christmas day (uh, his birthday, right?) So the youngest gets into his/her stocking first and puts the baby in the manger. This tradition has been a great blessing to us; enjoy!

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Old 12-16-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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We LOVE stockings at our house. Even the grown ups get their own filled stocking. For our son and my husband I usually get the old mom standby gift of a package of socks. I put half in each stocking, so that takes up a lot of the space. Then I try to find something completely off the wall. One year it was the little individual room service size bottles of condiments. People freakin' loved that for some reason. For the rest of the space in the stocking I do the M&M's candy cane things, gum, brushes/combs, my teenager likes Axe body wash and I usually put a bottle in his because heaven knows I'm not going to buy it the rest of the year. I also try to make some kind of homemade treat and use fillable ornaments to put them in (also a good space filler). If they have some item that requires any kind of refill (razors, my husband's fancy mechanical pencil, replacement heads for electric toothbrush, etc) that is a good place for them. The rest is ALL candy I don't buy candy any other time to have in the house, except Halloween, so personally I have no issue with the splurge that one day. Also, peripheral items to other gifts they are getting. (One year my husband wanted a fancy paint set that I got for him, so new brushes went in the stocking) 

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Old 12-16-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I always put a magazine in the stockings: partially rolled up, it makes the stocking look full. My Mom (um, I mean Santa) did this, too: the deal was that we kids could look at our stockings and read the magazine until our parents were awake. I remember getting Archie comic books, word search magazines, "GAMES" magazine, and when I was older Seventeen and maybe even Glamour.

 

Other popular stocking stuffers for my son (some from when he was littler): character band-aids, fancy pencils and pens, candy, beef jerky, tape. One year he pulled out the roll of tape and said to us, "That Santa really knew what I wanted!"

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Old 12-16-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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I love the baby Jesus idea! My girls would love it too. I have a small nativity I could easily put baby Jesus in DD2's stocking. I do worry though she might break him by accident. Shes a little rough with things at time. I like the magazine idea as well, the girls both enjoy magazines and Im looking for a few more ideas for their stocking since for some reason they are a little empty (can't be because Im saving part of the stuff I got for them for their stockings for the plane ride we are going on.. nope, not this mom, Im not that meanBolt.gif)


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Old 12-16-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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we've always placed one item in the stocking to represent each of the 5 senses, such as:

 

taste - enough said, like orange or chocolate

smell - something with a distinctive scent, like perfume

touch - something soft

sight - something brilliant or colorful

hear - something that makes noise


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Old 12-16-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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I give my children a small orange and a small apple. They get also get a peppermint stick and some candy. We also put nuts in the stockings since my children enjoying cracking them open. This year we found some dollar deals at the craft store for kids; we got them plaster ornaments they can paint and put up on the tree.

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Old 12-16-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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We also do our stockings on St. Nicholas' Feast Day. I love stockings and we do them for our children and each other. Each kid gets:

- an ornament
-a book
- a dvd (normally veggie tales.)

Then, I normally throw in some art supplies, special ediable treats, hat/smitterns (My 2 yr loves winter wear) or practical things when they are little little like pacifiers and bibs.

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Old 12-22-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I think stockings are the kid,s favorite part of Christmas.  Ours are made out of vintage quilts, and not too large, so it's pretty easy to have them look like they're really filled.  I have in the past put boxes of band-aids in fun, neon colors, as well as tubes of natural lip balm, or plain old chapstick.  This year I'll include the small packages of hand/feet warmers for cold weather sports, and some new wool socks.  There is a local store that sells fair trade ornaments and nativity scenes, which are really lovely, so I include those.  We hang stockings at the end of the kid's beds, and they pile in with us Christmas morning to open their stockings in bed (preteen and elem aged child-yes, they still love to open stockings in bed!). 

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Old 12-23-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Stockings for us, as many other's have suggested, are a great way to keep the kids busy until you drag yourself out of bed at 5am and get some coffee biglaugh.gifIn our case I have to go out and feed animals before any presents are opened.  So DH makes breakfast and the kids have something to keep them occupied.

 

We do a lot of the same kinds of things.  Underwear, cool toothbrushes, socks, little lego set to keep them busy, limited candy since I know my little one will eat it all before I make it out of bed, coloring book, set of markers.  They could easily become a bag of clutter but I think you can really get creative and there are some wonderful ideas on here.  I do wrap items really well, once again as a slow the kids down tactic.  

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