|Stocking pillow tapestry|
sentimentalized picture of privilege
Where is the pillow I made?
When I was a child, I don't think I ever received a "stocking stuffer" in a stocking. Maybe others did and those things were not called "stocking stuffers" back then. Even small or cheap things were NOTin the stockings.
Miniatures, kisses, mixed nuts
We got candy, chocolates, fruits, and nuts--that's it!
I remember Christmas from before I entered school. I was born in 1946. The haul was identical each year:
A horrid candy I never ate
If what we got varied, I have absolutely no recollection. I asked my mother when I was an adult with children why we got what we did. She said little bars were best for little children. They look at the number of items and prefer getting lots of tiny items. Plus, she said she could get variety in the Miniatures in just one bag, good thing when she had little money. Mama said she liked all the different candy she got us and sort of laughed.
Back then and for many years, the wrappers on Hershey's kisses were silver for the plain and gold for the ones with nuts. Now, they are festive in green, silver, and red. We always got silver only, what we all preferred, even Mama.
The Miniatures had the same plain wrapper all year. Now, there are four colors--silver, gold, red, green. Silver wrappers are for "Hershey milk chocolate." Green is "Hershey's Special Dark chocolate, mildly sweet chocolate." Gold is for "Mr. Goodbar made with chocolate and peanuts," my least favorite of the four bars. Red is for "krackel, made with chocolate and crisped rice." Yes, they do label them that way.
Right now, I am eating miniatures and kisses. I rotate around the pieces so nothing with disappear with a glut of the other candies left.
We broke out our several little silver hand nutcrackers during the day. We all had our favorites of the mixed nuts, so we traded some away if we could. Even though we lived with 10 acres and pecan trees, we children still were excited by the nuts.
Candy canes were not favored by me, but I would have been disappointed not to receive them.
You may not have seen my Candy Cane post since it disappeared and never went back in a way to be seen. Okay, it showed up.
The oranges and apples were the largest we ever saw all during the year. Size made them awesome and special. You just know Santa had a part in their size. We had oranges and apples during the year, but never lots just for us to hold and carry around, even in our bedrooms.
The horrid candy was a huge, round mound of sugar covered by chocolate. (What is the name? Chocolate Drops?) As much as I love chocolate, I could not bear the sugary, white inside. I could trade those for all the Hershey's Dark Chocolate Miniatures that I wanted because my four younger siblings hated dark chocolate as much as I hated the chocolate mounds with sugar inside. .
My children never got stocking stuffers. I have no tolerance for people who think they must get extra things for stocking stuffers even though their children have hundreds of dollars in other items. Of course, I never say anything, just force a smile and an appropriate cheerful comment. Cheap junk bought just for a stocking stuffers is not my style either. Hmmm, I suppose I think everything should be edible. When I was a child oranges and apples were eaten almost as eagerly as the candy. My children were impressed by the fruit sizes and ate them along with the candy. They had apple every day year round yet, they devoured an apple that had to be held with both hand! You would think we were "Little House on the Prarie" folk, living slim.
I realize that earlier in 4th Europe, candy, fruit. and small gifts were put in stockings, but their was not a pile of huge or expensive toys under a tree. I am not a Scrooge, but when I hear parents who have overspent agonizing about not being able to afford stocking stuffers, I am troubled. When I hear adults who need to spend more on something, anything, for a stocking stuffer for another adult whenever there a wrapped presents or a present waiting, I feel that the "stocking stuffer madness" is overcoming people.
This post was not meant as a Scroogish rant. I started out to recount my stocking items, those of my children and the stocking tradition in our family. The post started to sound like an anti-consumerist rant. It was not in that vein at all.
The stocking I received, full of nuts, fruit, and candy was such a special memory for me. I recreated it for my children with a minor omission and one addition, of course. The core of Hershey, mixed nuts, and fruit remained.
What is your opinion of stockings and stocking stuffers? Do you have fond memories of stocking contents? Maybe you think stocking stuffers are mandatory? Do you stress over having stuffers and gifts under the tree?