“Christmas is a stocking stuffed with sugary goodness.” Mo Rocca
Christmas eve we would hang our stockings for Santa to put little surprises in. They weren’t those big fancy stockings they were our own socks, the ones we actually wore. We didn’t have a fireplace mantel so we hung our socks on our bedroom door knobs and when we moved to a bigger house they were hung on the stair rail. I thought I was quite smart the year I hung up one of my knee socks. But Santa was too smart for me and he filled up the extra space with scrunched up newspaper.
Christmas morning we would dig in those socks to see what goodies we would find. There would be a small toy when we were little and some small gadget when we were older. There would be new socks and maybe a comic book. When we were older there was perfume for me and cologne for my brothers. Yes, there was sugary goodness, too. Chocolate and peppermint candy, peanuts and bubble gum. In the toe of the sock there was always an onion. Just to remind us we weren’t that good.
The Christmas stocking is my favorite memory of Christmas morning. It reminds me of my mother’s love and humor. We were often at odds. My temper would flare and she would put on her pea mouth and give me the silent treatment but there was always something like that silly onion in the sock that let me know she loved me in spite of our differences.
Every year the Wish Candle would be brought out the week before Christmas. It was an ordinary big red candle with a bow stuck on it and there was a small notebook beside it. Everyone that came in the house, until New Years Eve, would light the candle, make a wish, blow the candle out, and sign the book. And I mean everyone including the milkman, the mailman, and anyone else who might wander in.
She always made her gift list after she went shopping not before. I don’t know why she didn’t make a list before shopping like most people, but I do know she made a list after so she wouldn’t forget to give the gift or give it to the wrong person.
If she gave a pin or anything sharp as a gift it always had a silver coin with it to dull the edge so it wouldn’t cut into the heart of the relationship.
If she gave a purse or wallet there was always a penny in it so the recipient would never have an empty purse or wallet.
Her gift wrapping skills were legendary. The gift with the wrinkled paper, often not quite enough paper to cover the box, the most tape, and bad bow, was the gift from her.
She also liked to get boxes from expensive stores (I have no idea how she did this because she didn’t shop in them) and wrap things from Penney’s and Kmart in them.
She always forgot to remove price tags–which sort of messed with the expensive box thing she had going.
Bayberry candles were lit at six o’clock Christmas Eve and if they burned out by midnight there would be good fortune in the coming year.
We watched the televised Mass from Rome with the Pope at midnight Christmas eve.
We had the traditional Christmas stockings, but they had to be our own socks no big commercial phony stockings! The usual presents were found, candy, fruit, a toy, and because we were not that good all year, an onion in the toe.