‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there’……
Such a well-known poem that is still read today in many a house on Christmas Eve. I wonder if ‘Clement Clarke Moore’ had any idea how famous his poem would become when he penned it in 1822 nearly 200 years ago, It’s amazing just how long the tradition of hanging a stocking up on Christmas Eve has been around. It seems that the reasons behind this tradition are more mythical than factual, but I’m going to leave you to look into that one for yourself as I share my own Christmas stocking story.
I love Christma I love the childlike expectation that still fills my heart and mind as I hang a stocking by the fire, and I love the traditions that my family and I have forged together year on year. I love watching and listening as my now grown up children start to think about what they will give each other and their mum, and I love the thought that they put, not just into what to buy, but in the careful wrapping of each individual present. Oh and I love Christmas Stockings.
As a new family, my husband and I continued his family’s Christmas tradition with our own children. On Christmas eve we would sneak into their rooms, play Santa and fill their stockings with small unexpected token gifts which always included a bag of gold covered milk chocolate coins, and a satsuma tucked deep in the stocking toe. The other day I sent a text to my children on our family ‘whats app’ group asking them what had stayed in their minds about their stocking. Two of them came back with the memory of that satsuma, with one complaint as to how difficult it was to open the presents quietly in the middle of the night, as each one was wrapped individually. Kevin you were supposed to wait until the morning!… and I always knew! Once over the excitement of what Santa had left they always had one main present each from their mum and dad after a hearty Christmas breakfast.
I’ve kept the same tradition going every Christmas and I have so many lovely memories of those four stockings which became little sacks with initials on, eagerly waiting to be placed at the end of the bed each year, well past childhood.
Even though as an adult I clearly knew the truth about Santa (just), in my years as a single mum having crept into their rooms and completed my Santa duty, I always went to bed with a tiny remnant of childish hope that there might be a surprise on my bed in the morning…… then one Christmas morning there it was! On waking up I saw a red velvet stocking laying at the foot of my bed and Santa had definitely been, or at least he had sent his elves. All those years of filling stockings for the ones I loved the most had come full circle, and together they had filled one for me with a whole host of little things that they knew their mum would enjoy. That one moment on that one Christmas morning made everything that had gone before worthwhile, and is one of those precious moments that I will always cherish.
Having just shed a tear at my own post and the memory’s it invoked, I would like to encourage you all to keep the tradition of the Christmas Stocking going, if it’s lasted for all those years however it started its got to be a good one, and who knows maybe Santa or even his little elves will fill yours one day too.
Love Alison x