Posted tagged ‘stockings’

“We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

December 22, 2017

Just two days days until Santa starts his rounds. I’m figuring lots of elves are busy at the North Pole, probably no cocoa breaks. I was told Santa leaves filled toy bags all over the world as his sleigh can carry only so much. That makes perfect sense though I wondered if magic was involved so the bags were always hidden.

We didn’t have a fireplace. Our stockings were hung on the stair rail in the living room.  They were small red stockings with a white cuff. Each name was written on the cuff and the letters were covered in gold glitter. My sister Moe is the only one of us who has her stocking. I can’t imagine what happened to mine. I’d never throw away anything of Christmas. Anyway, back to no fireplace. My mother told us Santa would find a way, maybe the door or maybe the window. We had nothing to worry about: he’d come just as expected. She was right.

Around this time before Christmas, my mother put presents under the tree, ones from her and my father. My sister Moe was an expert at making holes indiscernible to any human eye. It didn’t matter if the present was for her or not. She just wanted to know what was in the wrapped paper. This peeking led to another skill developed over time. Moe can shake just about any box and tell you what’s inside. One Christmas, she and Rod, her husband, were headed to a Christmas party. Moe wanted something new to wear so the shaking of presents from my mother and father began. She found a new blouse then decided she needed to accessorize. She shook a few more boxes and found new earrings. Moe has given up the small holes, but she still shakes.

I put presents under my tree yesterday. They are from Moe and Rod. One is a book. Wrapping didn’t hide its feel, its shape. It was an easy guess; however, I will go a step further and guess the book is a new James Patterson.

I have lots to do today and tomorrow. I still need to do some baking, and I need to do the wash I couldn’t do the other day as I was out of laundry detergent. I thought that was wonderful but I gave in and bought some yesterday. I didn’t want to, but I did anyway.

Today is cloudy, dark. Rain is expected though most of the rest of the state will have snow. It is really warm, in the 40’s, though it will get cold tonight. The long range temperature is a snowy Christmas. I love that.

 

 

“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused— in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened— by the recurrence of

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I woke up to a dark, rainy day yet again, but I remembered right away it was Christmas, and the day got brighter. Both trees are lit and both look beautiful. The one in the living room, the real tree, is still surrounded by presents I haven’t yet opened. That will come next, when I finish here. I find my restraint remarkable.

Christmas Eve was great fun. We drank egg nog and ate appetizers but mostly we worked on our gingerbread houses. We each had a kit with house parts and some candies for decoration. Clare added different candies and off we went. The frosting was sticky and my fingers were covered. Some bits fell on the floor as the frosting hardened quickly. This year, while the walls of the houses were drying, we decorated. We laughed when colored round candies hit the floor, bounced and then rolled, and there were several. Gum drops, we found out, needed lots of frosting. We landscaped. The last step was for us to attach the roof parts. We each had two pieces. Mine caused the walls to collapse, a construction set back, but I added icing and reconnected the house. It dried, and I gingerly added the roof, and it stuck. The three of us created masterpieces. They are the best houses yet.

When I was a kid, the first look at the tree on Christmas morning was jaw dropping. It was lit and surrounded by presents. It always looked brighter and taller on Christmas morning. I had to stand just a second on the stairs to marvel then I went to my spot, my special present spot under the tree. We each had one, and it never changed over all the years.

We’d take turns opening up a gift so could watch each other open. The stockings were the only exception. There we were on our own though neat stuff was held up for everybody to see. Stockings always had neat stuff. My mother was a stocking maven.

We’d play a while then go to church for Christmas mass. Because my parents went at midnight, my brother and I walked and went together. Mostly we went to early masses which were quick and had no sermon. It was just the old ladies and us.

Dinner was always a roast of some kind, usually roast beef, which we didn’t have often. Mashed potatoes and gravy were a necessity. Only the vegetables could change from year to year. After dinner we did whatever. Mostly we played near the tree. Sometimes I’d start a new book. For supper we had hot roast beef sandwiches covered in gravy. My mother always toasted the bread first.

We went to bed early on Christmas, exhausted by the festivities of the day. It was always a special day filled with surprises.

I love Christmas still and take joy out of finding neat stuff, the kind you hold up to show, for bags and stockings. Speaking of bags and stockings, I’m done here. Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

December 15, 2014

Today is much the same weather as we’ve had for days. The temperature is in the 40’s. The sun is gone and probably enjoying warmer climes so we are stuck with perpetually gray skies. On my to do list is the tree. I still need to move a few small pieces of furniture to open the corner where the tree fits beautifully. I also need to do a bit more hunting downstairs as I haven’t found the Christmas stockings yet. The tree ornament boxes are already up from the cellar. The tree stand is stored in its box and will be easy to find. I hope to finish decorating tonight.

When I was a kid, once December came around, my house always felt like Christmas. My mother didn’t put up tons of decorations, but the lights in the windows, the huge tree in the corner, the stockings hanging on the bannister and a few Santa knickknacks were more than enough. I remember the Santa cups. There were four of them and the handles spelled Noel when the Santas were beside each other. I don’t know what happened to the original cups, but I found the same set and bought it. I also bought a few other ceramic Santas from the 50’s and some plastic ones which light up with a single white bulb. Of all the holidays, it is Christmas which brings back my childhood and fills me with joyful memories.

My mother gave us the gift of Christmas. My dad came from a socks and underwear family. My mother put whimsy in Christmas and found the best stocking stuffers. Decorating the tree was a full family affair, and my mother was the director. As we’d get closer to Christmas she’d tease us about what we were getting and did that the whole of her life. She’d call and say, “You’ll love what I bought for you today.” She was always right. The other night my brother-in-law called. He said listen to this and I heard paper being crumbled. He told me that was the wrapping paper he was putting on my gift, the perfect of all gifts. My mother would have loved that phone call!

“Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.”

December 24, 2012

When I was a kid, I knew today was the longest day of the year. It had everything to do with anticipation. Clock watching never helped. The clock’s hands took forever to move from one tick to the next, and every tick seemed to echo. Usually it was too cold to go outside and play so there was little to do to while away the hours. We’d watch television, and we’d watch Santa Claus, who had been on TV every afternoon for a few weeks from a station in New Hampshire. He’d be winding up his TV career, loading his sleigh and saying good-bye to all of us. As soon as it got dark, we pretended to be tired, but my mother knew. We just wanted to go to bed early hoping we’d fall asleep so the night would pass quickly. Supper was light. My mother always had the big dinner to prepare the next day so mostly we had sandwiches and sugar cookies for dessert. The tree looked especially beautiful on Christmas Eve. It was lit the whole day.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve my mother sent me to buy some ingredient she’d forgotten. I rode my bike to the red store. I couldn’t believe my mother had me doing an errand on such an important day. It just wasn’t right. Christmas Eve was too special for a simple errand.

If we were lucky, A Christmas Carol, the perfect movie for Christmas Eve, was on TV in the late afternoon or before dinner. I have never tired of watching Scrooge and his redemption. This year I have seen two different versions, both excellent: George C. Scott and Alastair Sim.

Just before bed, it was time to hang the stockings. They were red with white cuffs. Our names were on the cuffs and had gold glitter on them. The bannister was a small one but we managed to fit all four stockings. Though we didn’t have a fireplace, we never worried. Santa would find a way.

We’d lie in bed and talk from room to room until finally we’d drift off to sleep.