Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Traditions: 14

Stockings, and the stuff therein.

We would open the stockings first, while we waited for my grandmother and godmother to get to our house, for opening the gifts and eating breakfast.

Growing up in Buffalo, NY meant your lips were always dry and flaky and splitting to the point of resembling pink sandpaper. Hence, there was a always a Chapstick in your stocking. Trautman Family Holiday Protocol dictated you dug around for that Chapstick (generally it ended up in the toe section), found it, held it aloft in triumph (and no small amount of relief) said "OOOOOOOOoooh, CHAPSTICK!" and proceeded to slather it on your face, be you male or female and grinned a cherry-scented, wax-coated grin. Invariably within a week and in complete accordance with the rest of the tradition--you lost the Chapstick.

There was always a teeny "Whitman's Sampler" box of Candy (four pieces). In the classic yellow "needlepoint" box. When I was very little, the box was still actually a tin. I kept a bunch of those tins, due to some primordial hoarding urge or at the very least a bauxite fetish. To this day, I still adore anything that comes in tins (peppermint bark, Altoids, Dean and Deluca Licorice).

There was always a couple of McDonald's gift certificates, too.

My parents usually did not have stockings, but when my brother and I were in our early teens, we began to insist that the 'rents have stockings, too. Most of the time, we didn't put anything in them. However, one year, my brother and I managed to buy cigarrettes, despite being underage (back when you could still pull that off by saying "It's for my parents" ) and filled my parents stockings with those. I remember being suprised at how expensive a carton of cigarettes actually was. My parents, both smokers back then, were seriously thrilled.

1 comment:

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