Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Good King Wenceslas

I was trying to do a post every day until Christmas but travels and other things have kept me a little bit busy and I have only just now had a chance to do another post.  I'm sharing another Christmas favorite of mine! I love the song Good King Wenceslas and I'm surprised at how many people haven't heard it.




Good King Wenceslas looked out

On the feast of Stephen

When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gift Wrapping Mishaps

Have you ever wrapped up the wrong gift? Or have you wrapped up a gift forgotten what it was or who it was for? Today's blog is about two such gift wrapping mishaps.

We started Christmas shopping pretty early this year.  So, my husband and I agreed that we would store all of our Christmas presents in the spare bedroom together so we wouldn't lose track of anyone's present.  When it came time to wrap them.  I took them all out in the living room, wrapped them up, and put a post-it note on the outside of what it was.  I couldn't remember who some of the presents were for, but I knew my husband would be able to tell me when he got home. 


So, after I wrapped up all of the gifts, I asked him who they were for.  One such gift was a navigation system.  I asked him, "Who is the GPS for?"  "Me." Since it was already wrapped I wrote, "To: Lee From: Lee" on it.  I'm not sure why it was with all of the other gifts.  But he just now had to unwrap it so that we could make our way up to North Carolina with an updated GPS.


Another story goes back about 12 years to when I was in high school.  I went over to my friend's house to exchange Christmas gifts.  Her family had not labeled all of their presents.  So she picked up a box and handed it to me.  We simultaneously unwrapped each of our gifts.  The box was a clothing box and I was excited about what I might find inside.  Until I uncovered an...


I thought to myself...hmmm..."I'm not sure why she got me an oven mitt, but oh well.  My mom said you should always be thankful."  After opening her present, she looked up to see me staring at my oven mitt.  "Thank you," I said as enthusiastically as I could manage.  "Oh my goodness!! That is the wrong gift," she replied.  Yes, a shirt that was meant for me got mixed up with an oven mitt that I think was for her aunt. I'm not a very good faker, but I tried my hardest to be thankful for that oven mitt at first!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day


Have you ever wondered how bells became associated with Christmas? There's "Carol of the Bells" "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" "Jingle Bells" etc.  But what exactly do bells have to do with Christmas? How did we end up associating the two?
Starting sometime when I was in middle school, a friend of my father's who is a Greek Orthodox Christian told him that they practiced handing out two jingle bells attached to a safety pin.  This was to serve as a reminder of the bells that were on the donkey's neck as Mary and Joseph made the journey to Bethlehem.  I liked this tradition and I started practicing it up until I graduated.

However, in doing some more digging to find out what exactly bells have to do with Christmas, I discovered they are linked back to the early Catholic church.  Christmas was the only time when mass was allowed to be held at midnight.  So on the stroke of midnight, a mass would be held and the bells would ring out to notify the people.  Then a tradition picked up from there of the church people bringing their own bells and ringing them on the stroke of midnight after the church bell rang.

Another way in which bells became connected to Christmas was with caroling.  Often carolers would play handbells in addition to singing as they were a light and easy "instrument" to bring along.  For certain songs, they would sometimes just play the bells without singing.  

Just in case anyone else was curious like I was, there is a little history lesson for us all!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Excitement

In my blog about a robot or what I perceived to be one, I explained that my mother is creative.  There is a another story along the same lines.  I do not recall if this happened the same year as the other story or if it was a year before or after.  Either way, both stories were from Christmases close together.


My mother was exceedingly happy about gifts that she had gotten for both my sister and me.  She explained that we were getting the same thing, but that they looked a little different.  What she was most excited about was that this was something she had growing up and she just LOVED it! 


I, again, asked if the gift was colorful.  She said, "Yes, it is very colorful." Clearly, again, this had to be a good thing.  I'm not sure why I decided that colorful meant exciting; however, that was just how I thought.


There isn't as much build-up to this story (sorry) other than the fact that she was really excited about it.  I thought I was getting some cool sort of toy again.  Of course, it wasn't.  Instead, it was a robe....I won't lie.  I was pretty let down.  Granted, I did end up using it for a while.  And, yes, it was colorful.  She sent me some pictures so I can give proof this time.  You know you are jealous of that hair.  


I may have been SLIGHTLY more excited about my American Girl doll than that robe. ;) 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Here Comes Santa Claus


Gordon Lee met Santa Claus today and had a blast! That's an authentic beard. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rudolph

Today has been a busy day and I'm tired.  So, there isn't much to this blog.  I just figured I'd share something I learned on the History channel.  I'm not sure of the credibility of this story, but apparently Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a Christian analogy.  The idea is that this reindeer who was criticized and excluded ended up being the leader and "went down in history." You can be the judge.



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say,
Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You'll go down in history.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.,
But do you recall?
The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say,
Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You'll go down in history.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bourbon Balls Take 2

I tried the bourbon ball recipe making the changes to it that I mentioned in the bourbon ball blog, and they turned out really good this time! Not only did I refrigerate the mixture before rolling into balls in the confectioners sugar, but I also added 4 cups of crushed pecans. 


This made the whole mixture more malleable, and the sugar adhered to it much better.  Last time, the bourbon balls ended up turning into something more like bourbon pancakes in the refrigerator.  This time, they have remained in the shape of the ball.  They haven't finished their 3 day vacation in the fridge, but I tasted one just to see how they were and they were MUCH better than last time.
Here's my updated recipe (of course keeping most of the first one)

24 ounces crushed vanilla wafers in a powdery consistency.  I used the food processor this time; it was much easier!

1 and 1/2 cups of honey

4 heaping tablespoons of Hershey's powdered cocoa

4 cups crushed pecans

Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate mixture for about 1 hour.  Roll refrigerated mixture into balls in confectioners sugar.  

I can't wait to share these with my family...that is if we can be disciplined enough to to eat them all first. :)

about 1/3 cup of bourbon

Monday, December 12, 2011

Winter Wonderland


Whenever I hear the song "Winter Wonderland," I feel as though I have been thrown into a snow globe and shaken up.  Ultimately, I feel like it was a pleasant experience but then part of me is saying, "What just happened?" This song always has me thinking certain things and asking questions.  So below are the lyrics with my personal commentary.  WARNING: If you feel my commentary will ruin the song for you, do not feel the need to read any further.

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
What lane? Are we on a road?
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
Random factoid about bird migration.  I like it!
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
 He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
Oooo what are you conspiring about? 
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
What plans have you made that you need to face them without fear? Are you planning on eloping? Hmmm?
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he's a circus clown
I thought he was Parson Brown...do you think Parson Brown is on the same level as a circus clown?
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.
Okay, wait a minute, I thought you were pretending to get married and then planning on eloping? Are you adults or kids? 

When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
What exactly is the Eskimo way? I'm not sure I know of the way Eskimos frolic and play. Are you building an igloo?
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent


Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent.  Some people don't practice Advent, and I really haven't been this year.  But I like Advent and what it stands for.  I found some information about each Sunday that I thought was interesting and figured I'd share it.


In the liturgy prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962 Missal, Extraordinary Form), the Gospel texts for the Four Sundays were fixed with the following readings:
  1. First Sunday of Advent: Second Coming of Christ (Luke 21:25-33)
  2. Second Sunday of Advent: Saint John the Baptist "Shall we look for another?" (Mt 11:2-10)
  3. Third Sunday of Advent: Saint John the Baptist "Whose sandal I'm unworthy to untie" (John 1:19-28)
  4. Fourth Sunday of Advent: Saint John the Bapist "‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight His paths" (Luke 3:1-6)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bourbon Balls

For those of you who like a little (or maybe even a lot) of alcohol in your  Christmas confections, I have a delightful bourbon ball recipe to share!


Every year at Christmas time, a lady who lives in my parents' neighborhood has made them/us bourbon balls.  Her bourbon balls are delicious, and we always look forward to them! This year, since I am so far away and was not sure if I'd get to taste them, I asked my mom to get the recipe from her so I could try my hand at making them.  I got the recipe, and I made some myself.  I'll share what I did here and some changes I found that I'll need to make.


First of all, here's the recipe.

Bourbon Balls Recipe:

24 oz. of vanilla wafers- finely crushed till it is a powder consistency.
2 c. finely chopped pecans
4 heaping Tablespoons of Hershey’s cocoa
1 ½ cups honey
2/3 cup bourbon

Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls. Roll each ball in confectioner’s  sugar
Place in a covered container for 3 days in the refrigerator. Then enjoy!!

I chose to use Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon
This was actually one of the milder bourgeons.  I may be trying another kind the next time I make these.




1.)  24 oz. of vanilla wafers crushed to a powdery consistency.  I debated getting the food processor out for this, but decided against it as I really didn't feel like cleaning up my food processor just to get crushed vanilla wafers.  Instead, I got out a plastic Ziploc bag and manually crushed them.

I think I am going to use my food processor next time.  It probably took me just as long to do this as it would have been to get out the food processor and clean it out later.  I finished crushing them in the bowl.








2.) 2 cups finely chopped pecans...I just bought these already crushed up.  They were cheaper that way and the bag itself was exactly 2 cups!





3.) 4 heaping tablespoons of Hershey's cocoa.  I actually bought both kinds of cocoa but used the dark chocolate kind in this recipe because I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate.





4.) 1 and 1/2 cups of honey.  I didn't take a picture of this.  This was a messy step. :) You need a big jar of honey for this! I'll be buying from Sam's Club next time.

5.) 2/3 cups of bourbon.  Next time I am scaling back on the bourbon.  I think I will try 1/3 cup instead of 2/3.  

Mix all ingredients together and it looks kind of like molasses with cookie crumbles and nuts in it.  It is a VERY sticky and messy substance.  So be prepared to get very messy when making it.  Thankfully, the little man was taking a nice long nap when I made these.
Then you roll them in confectioners sugar. I put it out on some parchment paper.  This also gets quite messy.  And, personally, I'd recommend rolling them into balls and refrigerating for a few hours.  Then, I'd get them back out and roll them in the confectioner's sugar.  It didn't hold well to them at first, but after being refrigerated, I tried it again and the sugar stuck better.

This is what mine looked like! I ended up making them big because I started out small and there was so much mixture I felt like it was taking way too long.  I layered them in a tin with parchment paper.

They turned out pretty good, but even after well over 3 days in the refrigerator, they were strong! I don't remember the ones I tried being this strong.  I followed the recipe closely. So,  even though I've mentioned things I'm going to try differently next time, here's a list of all of the things I'd rethink or try differently the next time I make them.
-When crushing wafers, use a food processor.
-Try a lighter bourbon or scale back
-The dark chocolate was good, but I want to see if it is much different with the other kind of cocoa
-Refrigerate balls and THEN roll them in the sugar
-Cut this recipe in half! It makes A LOT.  I'd only follow this recipe as is if I wanted to make bourbon balls for a lot of people (which may be why she had it that way as she made them for the neighborhood).
- Buy a very large jar of honey.  I had to use every last bit of my honey and then even use a little bit of a honey substitute.

All in all, though, they were good! 



Friday, December 9, 2011

One Small Child

Another favorite Christmas song of mine is "One Small Child." And that is all I have to say :)

One small child in a land of a thousand 
One small dream of a Savior tonight 
One small hand reaching out to the starlight 
One small Savior of life 
Ooooh.
One king bringing his gold and his riches 
One king ruling an army of might 
One king kneeling with incense and candlelight 
One King bringing us life 
Ooooh.
See him lying, a cradle beneath Him 
See Him smiling in the stall 
See His mother praising His Father 
See His tiny eyelids fall.
See the shepherds kneeling before Him 
See the kings on bended knee 
See the mother praising the Father 
See the Blessed Infant sleep
One small child in a land of a thousand 
One small dream of a Savior tonight 
One small hand reaching out to the starlight 
One small Savior of life 
Ooooh.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Robot for Christmas??

My mother is a very creative person.  Anyone who knows her is probably well aware of this.  Intermingled with her creativity (part of what I think drives it) is her perpetual optimism.  She is a glass-half-full kind of person.  It's not surprising that her favorite color is yellow.  Anyway, these are all just pieces of background information for one memorable Christmas.


One year, there was one present in particular that I recall my mom getting very excited about.  She was itching to tell me what it was but wanted to wait until Christmas.  With her eyes gleaming, I could tell she was just bursting at the seems.  She said she couldn't tell me what the present was, but if I asked questions, she would answer them.


Me: Is it big?
Mama: Yes! It is too big to wrap.
Me: (getting pretty excited here) hmmm...is it colorful?
Mama: Oh yes, it is very colorful
My 10 year old brain thought...colorful=good! Hmmm...what could it be? It HAS to be exciting because she is excited about it and it is really big and colorful.
Me: (thinking it must be some cool toy) Does it move?
Mama: Yes, it moves
Me: (Yes! Even better! A moving toy!) Does it move on its own?
Mama: It can!
Me: (Wow! My brain is headed in the direction of the COOLEST toy) Can it carry things?
Mama: Yes! It can carry whatever you want it to!


I was very excited after this! I couldn't think of ANY other thing that I could be getting other than some really cool robot! This would be awesome! I'd have a robot to carry things to me and a colorful one too!
Now, I have no idea how my brain came up with this vision.  I hadn't seen any robots anywhere.  But I was convinced after our little Q&A that the only possible thing it could be was a robot.

I couldn't wait! I went bounding down the stairs ready to meet my robot....HALT....all I see is a lumpy looking thing covered in black trash bags.  Hmmm...it didn't look anything like a robot.  

When it was finally my turn to open my present, I quickly removed the black trash bag to uncover a.....

suitcase! (Pictured suitcase is not the one..that's just the suitcase I have now but it was a purple one at the time)  A suitcase? Bbbut..but...It HAD to be a robot?
Hmmm..
-Is it colorful? Well..yes, it is....
-It's definitely too big to wrap
-Does it move? Okay, yes, yes, it does!
-Does it move on its own? She said "it can" Yes, yes..small sigh..it can if I push it and let it roll
-And can it carry things? Yeah yeah it sure can

Oh Mama, you got me! I don't think I've ever seen anyone get so excited about a suitcase! And my mom's excitement in her description of this thing made it seem like something out of this world.  

She is a creative one..she is..and I think a suitcase was probably a much more useful Christmas present than some imaginary robot ever would have been.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

LEAST favorite Christmas Song!

I'm not sure if everyone has a least favorite Christmas song, but I know I have one.  My dad and sister each have one as well.  My sister's least favorite song is Silver Bells.  I think she just doesn't like all the words that start or end with the letter S in it.  I actually like that song, though.  My dad's least favorite is Away in a Manger because he feels it downplays the birth of Christ.


My least favorite song is actually a tie between two.  I can't decide which song is more annoying or depressing to me.  I get just as annoyed with both of them and can't sit through either one.  Sadly, both songs get lodged in my brain after only a few seconds of hearing them.


First one is...
Blue Christmas

I like Elvis Presley, but I do not like this song at all.  It is so depressing to me! 
"I'll have a blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you"
That's enough to divert my attention from Christmas altogether to somebody's heartache, which really isn't what Christmas is about at all.

The second one is...
Last Christmas
I think this one might be SLIGHTLY more annoying to me than Blue Christmas because  I can't stand the way they say "SPECIAL." 


"Last Christmas I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away" - OUCH!
"This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special." -Okay, so why are we still fixated on this obvious jerk from last year?

Anyway, I think what it is is that both songs require the actions of one other person in order for Christmas to be a happy time! And this is why both of these songs are my least favorite!  I thought about not sharing the videos...but what the hey..just in case anyone was wondering, I figured I'd share them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

To Tree or Not To Tree?

Initially, I had no intentions of putting up a tree this year.  We are scheduled to move on February 1st, and there is A LOT that needs to be done before we move.  So, we basically have to start packing up to move as soon as we get back here in January from visiting relatives.  I was really pretty fine with this as the tree is pretty cumbersome, and I'd rather just let it be in the garage this year.


I didn't want to go totally without decorating, so I put some things up that would be easy to put back away.  This is the extent of my Christmas decorating.
A church and a school atop fake snow.  Behind this is a string of musical Christmas lights strung over the window.
Little Man's stocking held up by a JOY sign my mother sent me.  I didn't want to put  a nail in the mantle.

I was PERFECTLY fine with just these decorations! They felt festive enough to me! Until...

My husband brought his toy train in and set it up.
Now, it is staring me in the face saying, "I need a tree in the middle to go around!" Every time I walk past it all I can think is, "I should go out and get the tree and put it up." The poor train looks like a lost little child without a tree to me.  

Even though I can hardly resist the urge to get that tree and place it in the sad-looking empty space, I also know what all I have to do between now and February.  So, that stops me.

But I'm considering my options.  I could....
1.) Just put the tree up without extra decorations.  It is pre lit. 
2.) Put the tree up and a FEW decorations.  It would probably be nice to put a star on top.
3.) Go all in! It is Christmas after all! Plus, a good friend of mine just sent us a box of Christmas ornaments! 
4.) Just keep the decorations I have knowing I don't really want to create a lot of work for myself in January.

Oh decisions decisions :) Ha! What would YOU do?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Favorite Christmas Song 1

I plan on sharing my favorite Christmas songs under a variety of genres.  I have too many favorites to narrow it down to one.  However, my first favorite Christmas song that I never tire of hearing is "Do You Hear What I Hear?"



Said the night wind to the little lamb

Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see
A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
(Do You Hear What I Hear)
Ringing through the sky shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
(Do hear What i hear)
A song, a song
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepard boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
(Do You Know What I Know)
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
(Do You Know What I Know)
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
( Listen to what I say)
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
(Listen to what I Say)
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light
 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Christmas "Candy"

Today, I am going to share yet another Christmas memory.  I had become accustomed to my dad bringing home interesting gifts for us any time he went on a business trip.  He had just returned from a business trip when I entered the kitchen and eyed a delicious-looking Christmas candy sitting on the countertop!


It looked like a big, soft peppermint with little chocolate streaks in it.  I picked it up and it smelled so delicious! The peppermint filled my senses and I was ready to partake of this new deliciousness! I wasn't sure if he brought it home for me or not, but I didn't care at that point.  I was so fixated on trying this new candy that I had never seen before!



I excitedly unwrapped it, disposed of the outer plastic wrap without looking, and took a nice BIG bite right into it! BLECH!  This is nasty! It tastes like wax! Simultanesouly, my mother enters the kitchen only to see me standing there with my mouth stuffed with a giant peppermint.  "WHAT are you doing?" She asks in complete shock. "Mama," I respond, "this candy tastes disgusting!" "That is not a candy! That is a candle!" I took it out of my mouth and turned it over to discover a wick on the other side.  Oh the humiliation!



"Well, I guess we have to burn it now," my mother said.  So, she placed it in a bowl with some water as it was a floating candle made to look like a peppermint candy.  My teeth marks remained in it as it melted away.


Moral of the story? Do NOT make candles disguised as candy...especially disguised as candy with chocolate in it! That's just a mean trick!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cats+Christmas?

The other day, my husband turned on the Christmas music channel on our satellite while we worked around the house.  The baby was down for a nap, and I was in the kitchen cleaning up dishes.  I heard what sounded to me like the baby crying.  Except, this was a different high-pitched cry that I had never heard before.  Somewhat concerned by the sound of this cry, I started going to his room when I realized it wasn't the baby crying at all!


No, it was the weirdest version of a Christmas carol I had ever heard.  Cats were meowing to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  I wondered what would drive a person to do this and came out with only a few answers.
1.) Somebody just loves cats THAT much
2.) Somebody is bored
3.) Somebody knows there must be a market somewhere for cats meowing Christmas carols.


And while I am a cat person myself, I prefer my Christmas carols sung by humans. 


If you are at all curious as to how this sounds, you can check out the clip below "Jingle Bells" apparently meowed by the Jingle Cats.



Somebody reading this may be very familiar with this concept.  It's not surprising that I hadn't heard of it.  But I can say this is by far the WEIRDEST Christmas music I have heard (if you can even call it music).  Anybody else heard anything weirder?

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Stocking

Starting yesterday, I decided I am going to write a blog every day.  I was originally going to try to follow a pattern.  For example, I'd share a Christmas memory on Mondays, recipe on Tuesdays, favorite song on Wednesdays, etc.  But I am just not that organized and I don't like locking myself into a "blogging schedule" where I have to write about a certain thing on a certain day even if I am more inspired to write about something else.  So, instead, I will share all of these things...recipes, favorite/least favorite songs, memories and anecdotes, etc.  I'll just write them as they come to me. 


Yesterday, I was excited to share a memory, and today I am going to share another one.  This one is pertaining to my Christmas stocking.  As a family, we never did have uniform stockings.  Each of us simply had stockings from wherever or whenever we got them.  My mom had made my sister's stocking, my parents' stockings had been ordered out of a magazine.  And mine? Well...
I had a red and white knit snoopy stocking (the exact same as the one pictured above).  I liked my stocking.  I liked snoopy.  There was just ONE problem! Every Christmas morning, when I'd wake up and go downstairs, everyone ELSE's stocking looked like cute little boots stuffed with goodies.
And mine was a stretched-out, misshapen sack almost touching the ground.  I didn't get why my stocking looked so strange when stuffed full of goodies while all the others were so cute! I'd love to provide a visual of the stark contrast in the stockings, but I don't have the stocking here and can't seem to find a picture online.  Who would take a picture of such an odd-looking thing anyway?

So, one Christmas, I decided it was time to ask for a new stocking.  I think I was about 7 or 8 years old and I'd just had enough Christmases of seeing my weird stocking in comparison to all the other cute ones.  My mom didn't seem to understand why I wanted a new stocking.  And I suppose that I must have been having trouble communicating my reasoning to her at the time.  I think I said something along the lines of "My stocking is weird." And she probably thought I felt I had outgrown snoopy.

So, we went to the mall to get a new stocking.  We found a kiosk where I picked out a purple and pink one with an ornament on it.  They even embroidered my name at the top.  I was SO excited! I had my own new stocking that SURELY would look BEAUTIFUL stuffed with goodies on Christmas morning.

I woke up excited the next morning and ran down the stairs only to find all of the other stockings still looked like stuffed boots and mine was sagging AGAIN! It's like a tube almost reaching the floor.  WHAT? HOW? Clearly, at this age, I did not understand that it was the knit fabric of the stocking that made it lose its shape.  And so I was pretty disappointed.  This is why I don't think I communicated clearly to my mother why I wanted a new stocking.  Because if she really knew why, I doubt she would have let me get the same kind of stocking all over again in a different color!

I don't remember when this was, but at some age I was finally able to explain to her my issue with my stocking--how I hated it that mine looked like a misshapen tube while everyone else's held their shape.  We discovered the way she stuffed it was what made most of the difference.  She was putting the heavy things like a bag of M&Ms at the bottom and the light things on top.  My dad pointed out that my stocking was likely to hold its shape if she put the light things on the bottom and the heavy ones at top! What a breakthrough! That helped for the most part.

When I was in college, I decided to go buy myself a classic Christmas stocking.  Because I guess I just liked uniformity, and my stocking never did completely hold its shape no matter how she stuffed it.
From then on, I have had this kind of stocking.  I just find it funny it took us so long to communicate or figure out the reason my stocking seemed to have so much more trouble holding goodies than the rest did.