Monday, December 24, 2018

The Stockings Were Hung

To the banquet of real presents which was waiting downstairs...the stocking toys...were only an aperitif; but they had a special and exciting quality of their own. Perhaps it was the atmosphere in which they were opened--the chill, the black windowpanes, the unfamiliar hour.
Jan Struther in Mrs Minerva

It always surprised me to see how our children loved exploring the contents of their stockings, considering that all the real loot was waiting for them under the Christmas tree.

One of my treasured memories that I pull out with sloppy sentimentality is of the Christmas when our firstborn had recently turned three. He brought his red felt stocking that his great-aunt Etta had made him to our bed while it was still dark outside, his little sister still asleep at a year and a half. He was trembling with excitement.

Ever so seriously he said, "San-Santa brought me a re-red truck." To this day I still see his flushed little face and his thick dark eyelashes fluttering as he held out the cheap plastic red truck in his chubby little hand. He held it up as if it was the Koh-i-noor diamond.

Mercy! At that moment I understood exactly how the Grinch felt after his transformation because I felt as if my heart was going to burst with joy.

Perhaps it was this memory that used to motivate me to put as much thought into guiding Santa with his stocking stuffers as with the "important" gifts under the tree.

As Mrs. Minerva understood, Christmas is "one of the moments...which paid off at a single stroke, all the accumulations on the debit side of parenthood."

When I was a high school senior, I told my mother that I wanted to help her and my father "play Santa" to my younger sisters. Mama turned a deaf ear to me and did not let me stay up to help on Christmas Eve.

When RH and I had our own children, I understood why Mama hadn't let me help her and Daddy. I was attempting to poach on staked and claimed rights, private property. 

Because on Christmas morning, after twelve months of parenting, comes one of the most rewarding times of the year, seeing the joy in your children's faces as they find what Santa Claus has left them. 

It's been quite a few years since RH and I helped Santa stuff stockings on Christmas Eve. 

But we have all those wonderful memories, beginning with when a little blonde haired boy in his yellow flannel Dr. Denton-footed pajamas climbed into bed with us and said:

"San-Santa brought me a re-red truck."

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Merry Christmas to you and RH and your sweet family including the fur babies.

  2. It is a magical time for children and their parents! This was the first year I didn’t hang out stocking since I simply ran out of time! Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

  3. Enjoyed this post! You have a wonderful day my friend!

  4. Merry Christmas, Dewena...with my boys it was Hot Wheels----that sent them into high heaven on Christmas morning! Have a Merry Christmas, and thanks for the memory trigger. King-sized bed, 4am or earlier, cat, dog, 2 boys and 6 stockings, (yes, the animals got stockings) in our bed!

  5. I enjoyed the memories you've shared with us, dear Dewena. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day.

  6. Merry Christmas, Dewena and RH!

    So enjoyed seeing pics of Christmas Past. I am struck at how much Christy resembles you, in that photo when you were a beautiful, young mother of two - uncanny!!

    Enjoy these special moments with your children, grands and visiting guests; they are precious.

    Wishing you and RH, and all your family a joyful, healthy and peaceful New Year!


  7. I love this story, Dewena! You are such a gifted writer. There is nothing more special than seeing the delight on children's faces on Christmas morning. I can still see my boys in their footed pajamas and with bedhead, too. Such precious memories...

    I hope you and your husband had a wonderful Christmas! xoxo

  8. What a sweet story, Dewena!! My girls love their stockings, of course good things come in small packages you know!! They always get skin care, makeup, gift cards, and other various goodies in there...and once again they had a very happy Christmas morning!

  9. Fabulous post.
    Hope your Christmas was wonderful. We enjoyed a lovely family day.

    My good wishes for the coming New Year.

    All the best Jan

  10. Dewena, I loved your story of the stocking and little boy. I remember my sweet days with my daughters too. I love your new photos with the pups. I want to wish you and your family a great new year of happiness and good health. xoxo, blessings, Susie

  11. That was a delightful story, Dewena, and I totally understand your son's excitement as a three year old when he saw goodies from Santa. I feel the same joy, and to this day, I try to fill the stockings with at least a few things. Jess gives the best stocking stuffers, almost as good as the presents haha. These are treasured family pictures with so many memories for you. I loved seeing the Raggedy Ann doll. How special of great-aunt Etta to make the red felt stocking for him. I remember those well.

    Wishing you a new year filled with so much goodness, Dewena.

    love, ~Sheri


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