Things are different now than when my Mom was young. She will be 95 years young on Christmas Eve and has a good quality of life. Her stories of Christmas past can give all of us in our material driven society pause. Born in 1916, she was a girl in the Roaring Twenties, but her family was never prosperous. When Christmas came, there wasn’t a huge Christmas tree and presents piled around it. Still, she speaks of it fondly.
What do you suppose our kids would say today if the only thing in their stockings was an orange. Well, that is what Mom tells me. The orange was like candy is to us today. It was a rare and special treat. But what really struck me as she told her story was that the biggest thing stuffed in the stocking was love.
Dad and Mom married in 1938 during the great depression. They had $25 between them. They took their honeymoon in Sioux City, Iowa, and on an old post card they wrote to their folks, they moved from the Martin Hotel to the Jackson because the $2.47 a night was too rich for their blood.
When they got home from their trip, the old car they had used broke down in O’Neill and they spent the last night of their trip at the Golden Hotel. The next morning, Dad’s parents came and got them.
Every Christmas, the main stocking stuffer he bought Mom was silk stockings. He always acted like that was all he bought her. “What?” he would say and his nose would wrinkle in the way it did when he told a fib. Mom would pretend to be hurt and he would bring out the season’s gift of love.
What will you put in your kids stockings with this year?o into debt to give their families gifts they don’t need and toys that lay idle. Somewhere along the way we have lost the joy of sharing. So this Christmas, instead of loading the tree with gifts, let’s make hot chocolate or hot apple cider and play games. Let’s get the grandparents to tell stories about when they were little and what they did at Christmastime. Let’s make a memory instead of a pile of debt. Stuff their little stockings with love.
What will you put in your children’s Christmas stockings this year?