Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Peek Inside Our Stockings

The Robert family stockings last year. Couples share, and Grandma has goodies for one and all!

I looked high and low all over the internet for a brief history of the Christmas stocking, and would you know that the origins of these over-sized socks include a lot of myth and speculation, but there is very little fact surrounding the beginnings of this Christmas tradition. Most sources will recite a lovely little tale about a nobleman whose wife passed away, leaving him completely devastated and on his own to raise three daughters. His grief caused him to squander all of his money away, so much so that he couldn't afford to marry his daughters off.

So one night, as the family slept, good 'ole Saint Nick threw three bags of gold coins down the family's chimney where they landed in the girls' stockings hanging from the mantle. Yada, yada, you get the idea...thus is the beginning of stockings. Hmm...that's fascinating. But I need facts, people, or my curiosity will not be satisfied. So I dug a little deeper for some cold, hard evidence.

The first ever published mention of stockings was in 1809 by Washington Irving in "Knickerbocker History of New York." But it is believed the the stocking really cemented itself into the Christmas tradition when in 1822 our good pal Clement Clarke Moore wrote that famous line, "The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there."

So for those of you who enjoy nerdy history stuff and origins (like me!) just know that in the early 1800's people were warming up to the idea of using stockings in their homes, and they have become a staple in American Christmas tradition ever since. Whew, I'm really glad I got that out of my system. :)

And now for a free confession: The Robert girls almost did not get stockings this year. I know, Mr. Moore, what was I thinking?? Well I'll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that it's impossible to search the sections of stores designated for stocking stuffers and not find complete junk. At least not for a baby and a 18 month old girl. And if you've followed my blog for long you know that I cannot stand junk toys with lots of parts that mommy is left picking up. *Shiver.* I can't even think about it without doing the heebie jeebie shuffle.

I avoid those little meaningless toys as much as possible, and STILL they find their way into our lives one way or another. I was not about to spend money on something I'd rather toss in the trashcan just so my kids' stockings would be full on Christmas morning. So this evening, Eric and I made one last ditch effort to find a few things for the girls that would end up being mostly practical, but still kinda fun for our lovely daughters. And here is what we came up with:

Two girly nite lites, some princess bibs, a microphone (because Evie is a rockstar), some toddler forks (even though Evelyn has been using ours already), extra Weebles to go with their Weebles Treehouse, the zebra jitter friend in the top left of the Garanmials picture, and of course, a little bit of chocolate for Ev, who loves m&m's! It's not a lot, but it's something, and none of it requires a bazillion parts for mommy to pick up or step on. :)

And with that, we have just one more teeny tiny thing to do before we are completely done with Christmas gifts.  And seriously, oh my goodness, I cannot believe I was actually going to skip the stockings this year. Me. Miss Everything- has-to-go-according-to-tradition, me. I guess two unsuccessful dives into the Target dollar bins will do that to a person. Haha. Well, we may have spent more than just a couple of bucks, but at least we'll get some use out of everything. And now, Christmas morning, can you please hurry up?? I am definitely more excited than the girls. :D


Meagan said...

Stocking stuffers can be tricky, especially when you don't want to spend a whole lot of money!! I think you guys did great with getting useful stuff, I like doing the same thing. This year Keegan is getting a new Buzz Lightyear plate, Toy Story fork & spoon set, Toy Story toothpaste, a plastic candy cane full of skittles....I think there is something else but I don't remember!! Oh, and those toddler forks that you got are great, Keegan has those and they are my favorite!

Adrien said...

Glad to hear the forks are good!! Evie has some all plastic ones, but they don't exactly do the job. :)


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