Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Christmas Calendar-Christmas Stockings

We have always had stockings hanging at Christmas. Some were lucky enough to be hung over fireplaces, some tacked on walls, some hung off of entertainment centers and others were nailed in the door moldings. Large, small, fuzzy, glittered, favorite characters or paper stockings made at school. They all had a place in our holiday traditions.

I remember many great stocking stories by my very favorite was my stocking the year I was in fourth grade. We had moved to Fort Collins, Colorado into an older red and white brick home with a fireplace. I thought it was one of the nicest houses we had ever rented, especially since I had never lived in a house with a fireplace. As was the case in most years, finances were really tight and my parents had already explained that we might not have any gifts to exchange. I took the practical approach, I put my hopes in Santa to save the day.

The one thing I wanted most was to trade up from my 64 Crayola set to a beautiful round tin of short colored pencils. I had seen them in Woolworth's and the tin was just as colorful as the pencils. It was sky blue cardboard with bright colored pictures of the pencils lined up around the edges. The bottom and top were made of silver tin and it pulled apart in the middle to display the pencils neatly spiraling around in their rows. I knew it would not be as expensive as a doll or other toy and, at that time, I loved to design imaginary dresses and outfits and color them in, that was of course when I wasn't drawing hot rod's and Rat Finks. When I hung my stocking (one of the red mesh kind that oranges came in) over the fireplace and wrote my letter to Santa, the pencils were all I asked for.

On Christmas morning, I ran to my stocking and it looked full, and it was! There was an orange and an apple and a note from a small note pad. I couldn't believe that Santa forgot the pencils. I was just about to cry when I looked at the small note, it read;

"My Dear Mary Ellen, Santa ran a little short and wasn't able to get the colored pencils you wanted. If you will leave your stocking up, I will bring them next week."

I was thrilled and more than happy to leave my stocking proudly hanging up and, sure enough, Santa delivered the pencils the next Saturday morning. Fortunately for the rest of the family as well, my dad had resolved his shortage problem as well as he had gotten his paycheck on Friday night. He had lovingly placed a few small gifts under our tree. It turned out that we had a wonderful belated and memorable celebration that year.

I love and miss my "daddy" very much and I'm thankful that by his example, he taught me that Christmas is about the more important things than gifts, the love of the Savior and the love of our family.

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