Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Advent Memories No. 18: Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it?



While I may have had a stocking when I was very little, I don't remember it. When I was in early elementary school, my parents started having us celebrate the Dutch tradition of putting out our klompen, wooden shoes, on St. Nicholas Eve, December 5th. In the morning, there would be candy and small gifts. I have continued this tradition with my own children. They use my old klompen. St. Nicholas ordered these from the wooden shoe factory in Holland, Michigan, and all of our family got them. We got several pair over the years. Some pair we received were plain, unvarnished ones, and they all have been worn out and discarded, as we would actually use them for walking around in the muddy barnyard. That was the original purpose of wooden shoes; the decorative ones are generally only used for St. Nicholas Day.

One year, St. Nicholas brought my brother and I Raggedy Andy and Ann dolls. He must have been about 18 months old, and I would have been almost 9. I think that a lot of the children's books I have about the Netherlands as well as fiction books by Dutch authors were brought by the good saint, too. When I was a teenager, St. Nicholas brought me a makeup kit, and another time he brought me a favorite aerobic dance album. For years, he brought Mom a delft Christmas plate, always featuring a handpainted Dutch church on it. One year, he brought my family a beautiful chiming wall clock with a delft face and brass hands, complete with weights and pendulum. We always felt so proud of our Dutch heritage on St. Nicholas Day!

This post is a part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" meme created by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Click on their names for the list of topics. To see what others have written, go here.
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