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Day 6

September 21, 2010

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  The meaning, the sights, smells, sounds, traditions…I love it all.

The house I grew up in didn’t have a fireplace, so there was no chimney for our stockings to adorn.  Instead, my parents always taped the hanging loop to our bedroom doors.  That was the one night our doors were closed.  The rest of the year we slept with our bedroom doors open, but in expectation and consideration of Santa, they were closed on Christmas Eve.

There were a few things we always knew would be in our stockings.  An orange or tangerine, a handful of nuts still in the shell, sometimes an apple, and sometimes a bit of candy–often Lifesavers.  It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that those were the sorts of things my parents would get in their stockings during the years of the Great Depression, and they were really treats at that time.  Fresh fruit in winter, sweets…those weren’t things you could just pick up at the grocery store.  Putting those nostalgic treats in our stockings was tradition for them.

Of course, that’s not all we’d get.  There would be a few small gifts.  Trinkets and tokens, little fun things, mostly.  It was always fun to see what would end up in there.

There is one year in particular that I remember, though.  I think I would have been about Jr. High age, or maybe even early high school (Santa came for us until we were young adults and moved away from home permanently).  Spoon rings were just becoming popular, but I had never really fancied one for myself.  But in the few days before Christmas, I found myself wanting one.  Really, really wanting one.  But I knew I wouldn’t get one.  I never asked for one, never mentioned wanting one.  It would be a totally random thing for Santa to give me one.  But as I laid in bed in that Christmas Eve, I found myself regretting not having campaigned for a spoon ring.  Why hadn’t I decided I wanted one weeks earlier when it would have been a cinch to acquire one?  Oh well.  I tried to put it out of my mind, and I finally went to sleep.

In the morning we got up and headed to the tree.  We read the Christmas Story and opened gifts.  I then remembered my stocking.  I went back to my door and pulled it down and sat down on my bed to unpack it.  It had the usual fruit and nuts in it, as well as some trinkets.  But there was also a small box.  And in that box was not only a spoon ring, but a spoon ring totally unlike every other design I’d ever seen up to that point.  I liked it far better than the rings my friends wore.  I remember being amazed not only by the ring, but by the fact that something I wanted but never asked for ended up in my stocking.

Christmas isn’t about the stuff.  I knew that then and I know that now.  But hey…thoughtful gifts are always fun, and when someone is thinking ahead of you?  Double fun!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. laura permalink
    September 21, 2010 10:01 pm

    What a sweet story. Sweet memory. This has brought back some memories of my own.

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