Well, if “Back Friday”, whatever Monday, innumerable Christmas movies on Lifetime and carols blaring from every radio weren’t enough to signal the proximity of the Christmas season, I have received absolute proof of how soon it will be upon us.

Christmas Eve is the expiration date on the milk jug I bought yesterday at the store.

Ah, the memories that Christmas Eve conjures up …..

It’s odd the things that people remember best from when they were kids. I’m sure that there were super presents, but nothing really comes to mind when I think back. I was spoiled on some counts when I was a kid. There were always new clothes. My grandmother was an expert seamstress who could turn a couple of yards of bargain bin cloth into a work of art in just hours and Mom knitted all our hats and mittens and most of our sweaters until we were in high school and too cool for such things.

But, it isn’t presents I remember, but our Christmas stockings.

First, we didn’t have the same stocking with our name on it that we dragged out year after year. What was the benefit of two large sized brothers if not to “borrow” their large-sized socks for the evening?

Then, were the goodies that Santa left within – because, of course, Christmas was not Christmas until after he had made his midnight visit.

We were not poor as children – just not wealthy. I was in junior high at least before I learned that some people actually got presents in their stockings as well.

Our stockings were a display of gastronomic excellence. Instead of the normal puny bagged fruit, Christmas stocking were stuffed with the large-sized and succulent versions of apples, oranges, bananas and the rarest of treats – a tangerine. Oh, and nuts … which we quickly dumped into the common bin to be used for baked treats later on. A candy cane finished off the experience.

I don’t know why the stocking, which probably took just a few moments to assemble, sticks more in my memory than the clothing made and the mittens stitched, but it does. Even today, choosing fruit at the grocery store reminds me of Mom and the care she put into the little things even in the toughest of times.

So what are your memories of childhood holidays?

Author: Rose Hughes

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy
"Cold Cash" returned to private sector