Hello, everyone! And, welcome to Day #19 of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR! We're really getting down to the wire when it comes to Christmas, and I hope that most of you are prepared. Whether it comes down to buying last minute gifts, mailing out last minute Christmas cards, or picking up last minute groceries for your Christmas feasts, you had better get moving! After all, it is only six days away!
Oh, and the stockings! You must not forget the stockings!
In fact, that's what this blog entry is all about! Stockings and stocking stuffers!
How many of you had a stocking when you were little? I know I did. In fact, I actually had two different stockings during my childhood.
I should probably explain. I don't know where my parents picked up the stockings, but they have probably been in my family for ages. My mom's stocking was really the only normal looking stocking in the bunch. My sisters had twin stockings that looked exactly the same, only one had gold trim, and the other one had silver. Dad's was really unique. I bet he was the only one whose stocking looked like a cowboy boot!
(Seriously, I kid you not. He has a cowboy boot stocking. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I don't have the stocking handy on me.)
My first stocking was kind of unique as well. You know those bright red longjohns that people wore at the turn of the century with the trap door on the caboose? Mine was like that, only toddler sized. And it worked out well for the first seven years of my life or so, as it was child sized, and I was the youngest in the family for fifteen years before my niece was born. But while the stocking was very cute, it was also very impractical, as it could only hold one or two items as opposed to the twelve or thirteen that the stockings of my sisters could hold. Eventually, when my sister got married when I was eight years old, she gave me her old stocking, which allowed for more stocking stuffers.
(Not that I really needed the extra stuff - it was more or less an excuse for my parents to wrap fewer gifts. Truth be told, aside from gifts given to me, I am the designated gift wrapper in my immediate family!)
But it got me thinking about all of the various gifts that I received in my Christmas stocking. Most of them were beautiful and well thought out, but others were sort of duds.
Mind you, the duds weren't too horrible. It wasn't like Santa filled my stocking with Stove Top stuffing like Amelia Bedelia did in one of her books. They were just...interesting.
And, I thought I would make a list of some of the things that I used to get in my stocking when I was a little boy (and...ahem...as a thirty-something adult). Some stuff you might have also gotten, and some stuff you will wonder why I even got them in the first place. But nevertheless, here are my stocking stuffer stories!
Every kid in our family always got at least two pieces of fruit in our stockings every year. My sisters would often get Asian Pears (or "Snow Pears" as they called them), but I was happy with my oversized orange and Red Delicious Apple. I suppose it was Santa's way of trying to offset the amount of sweets that he would leave us.
Speaking of which...
It is really hard to describe an Icy Square to all of you who have never had one, but these things are so addictive, creamy, and good! They are smooth and silky, and melt in your mouth. They aren't quite minty, but they definitely feel cold on the tongue. I suppose that is where they get their name. Anyway, if you haven't tried these things, get them. Absolutely worth it.
ARCHIE COMIC DIGESTS
Okay, when I was a kid, I used to always get at least a couple of these in my stocking. I mean, the cost was quite reasonable at the time, and you used to get 256 pages of Archie goodness in a double digest - well, at least until 1992 when they shrank to 192 pages. At any rate, these compact books fit perfectly in stockings, and to avoid getting bent covers, these books were always placed at the very top of the stocking. What can I say? Santa was clever.
TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE
Well, I suppose to offset the sugar rush that stocking stuffers could bring, Santa would have to have something to prevent cavities. Not the most exciting gift, but I understood why we got them. See also shampoo, conditioner, razor blades, and deodorant.
"DRIZZLE" THE BATHTUB HAND PUPPET
Uh...yeah. This was a stocking stuffer that I got probably sometime in the late 1980's (we will say 1989 for argument's sake), and it looked EXACTLY like this one. I don't know where the name Drizzle came from. Maybe the name was on the package, or maybe I came up with the name myself. But I will admit, Drizzle did make bathtime a lot more fun...well, at least until he disintegrated after a few months of use. And, here I thought that sea dragons loved the water...
R.I.P. Drizzle the Dragon 1989-1990
MAGELLAN - THE DRAGON FROM EUREEKA'S CASTLE
I have no idea how they got this in the first place, as I hated Pizza Hut, and these finger puppets were sold exclusively at Pizza Hut restaurants (what was the obsession with puppets at Christmas about anyway?)
Anyway, as someone who used to watch Eureeka's Castle and loved it, I was happy to get this one. Truth be told, I kind of liked the big green guy.
Yes. I did get these in my stocking. And, yes, I truly do believe that Santa made a mistake, and gave these to me instead of my sister. Or, maybe Santa thought I smelled bad and needed them anyway. Yeah, let's go with that. And that isn't even the worst thing I ever got in a Christmas stocking!
A GEOMETRY SET
Really, Santa? A geometry set? You are giving a geometry set to someone who admittedly hated math class? On second thought, the bath beads don't sound so bad after all.
Okay, so I shared some of my stocking stuffer memories. Now I turn it over to you.
What did your stocking look like? And what were some of the treats that could be found inside of it?