It’s Christmas Eve Eve! It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! It’s finally here!
Christmas is one big buildup and when it fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally gets here, all of the efforts you’ve put in for the past four to six weeks come to a head. The day before Christmas Eve is difficult because for most people, it’s the last day of work when you actually have to show up and still be quasi productive. For children, it’s still not Christmas and there’s yet one more night of sleep before it’s THE night to go to bed and dream of all the presents Santa will be leaving under the tree. I was so one of those kids who woke up at 5 or 6am to creep down to the tree and look at all the presents.
I don’t precisely remember when I realized that my parents were the ones playing Santa but before I came to that realization, I believed in everything about the whole Santa Claus myth and mystery: the flying reindeer and sleigh, that Santa can actually go to each house in the world in one night, that there is a workshop in the North Pole, that Rudolph leads the team, that elves make toys 364 a year – the whole bit.
Aside from the reigning champion of Christmas symbols, the Christmas tree, there is one aspect to the whole Christmas tradition that I absolutely adore. It is the Christmas stocking. I don’t know what it is about this Germanic ritual but it is as important to me to have goodies in stockings as it is to have presents under the tree. In particular, I love going to bed with empty stockings hanging and waking up to their being stuffed full.
Now that I “know how things really work” and am an adult and all that, I understand that it’s not super realistic to have that particular fantasy take place every year. There have been lean stocking years and that’s okay. (Oh, and check out that link above for the history of the Christmas stocking; it even delves into why we get oranges. Something about Santa and gold balls.)
But there is just something about waking up and having a fat stocking full of little goodies that gives me that Christmas feeling. Some might call the stocking the foreplay of Christmas morning. (Yeah, I know, I went there.) Perhaps it’s just the mystery of the whole thing. “What could be in there?!” It’s like kids who are more concerned with playing with the box the gift came in, rather than the present itself. I just get so excited!
Conversely, I also love finding fun things that are small enough to put into someone else’s stocking. This year I had a blast coming up with what I placed in my boyfriend’s. Obviously I can’t disclose here what went in there but it was a lot of fun. There are just so many ways to be creative with them, especially because there is a size parameter to contend with.
My mom made homemade (gorgeous) stockings for me and my brother that still hang on the mantel to this day. One day, I shall inherit mine and it will be THE Zoe stocking. For now, I have a pretty pink Hello Kitty stocking that will serve me well. It will be very interesting to see what Santa/Boyfriend leaves me this year! I can’t wait!
I leave you with one of my all-time favorite holiday songs, sung by Mr. Christmas himself (Bing): A Marshmallow World. This user on YouTube added his own creative take by driving through a lot of snow to capture the song perfectly.
Enjoy your holidays–and stockings–everyone!