Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Our quirky, stockingless, junkin’, candy dish ways – a Christmas tradition with a twist

on December 26 | in Decor, Friends & Family, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Interior Decorating, Lifestyle | by | with 33 Comments

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

I hope I’ll still remain your friend after you read this next statement. I have never used a Christmas stocking for it’s intended purpose before. Are you shocked?!

Here I am, a blogger and decorator, watching everyone else on earth hang their stockings, and fill them with gifts, candy, and toys. Yet at my house, there isn’t a stocking in sight this year.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore the look and premise behind them. But I never fully understood it.

I attempted one year. I laid a stocking down on the floor, then started filling it with candy and small, wrapped toys. Hanging it up again, it resembled a frumpy sock loaded with a bunch of oranges. Hmm…  So I placed it under the tree, only to resemble something having died.

Oh! Maybe it was too full! So I emptied most of the contents and tried again. Better, but still not eye catching by a long shot. Which resulted the need to wrap everything that wouldn’t fit anyway.

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

So where did we put our candy and trinkets you ask? On DINNER PLATES.

Now hear me out! It makes perfect sense!

Growing up, every Christmas Eve after the kiddos were off to bed, all the presents would get stuffed underneath the big family tree. Then my Mom would place dinner plates on the floor, around the entire perimeter of the tree, creating an impressive circle. Each plate would receive the prerequisite apple and orange, then topped with a super thick layer of candy, nearly toppling over the sides. Yum!

(Later in life when I’d help fill the plates, I may or may not have snuck in a goofy drawn facial expression on some of the oranges.. you know how it is when you’re dealing with brotherly / sisterly ‘love’)

Imagine this image… you approach the tree Christmas morning, and while your eye indeed takes in the tall, heavily tinseled tree and the glorious lights complete with vintage metal reflectors, your eyes dance towards the bottom of the tree. You see this expansion of an ever growing Christmas area as the candy toppled plates pull you in. Oh my, trust me, it was quite an impressive eye grab. It’s like the tree area never ended.

I was curious. I figured my mom must have maybe grown up with this tradition herself, so I did a little online investigative work. Seems that there is loads of info on how stockings derived, but I came up nil on plates. Did this mean my mom invented it? Well, I came across one German inspired website that explained they chose plates because ‘there was more room on them.’ Makes perfect sense to me!

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

So plates it is in our home! Except, I hope my Mom forgives me, because I’ve adapted my own twist on the traditional Christmas plate.

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Our quirky, stockingless candy dish ways - a Christmas tradition via Funky Junk Interiors, featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Mom understood I was a junker, and needed my junkin’ ways in order to survive. I’m sure she’d still be proud regardless.

I still may hang a stocking or two to capture a great photo. Love the look! But in our home, the junk is really where it’s at.

 How about you? Stockings or no stockings? Or do you use something even more unique?

Donna via Funky Junk Interiors' profile

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33 Responses to Our quirky, stockingless, junkin’, candy dish ways – a Christmas tradition with a twist

  1. Lynn says:

    Very sweet post. We do stockings but the plates do sound fun.

  2. Goedele says:

    Hi Donna

    I totally understand what you mean!!! I live in Belgium and we don’t have stockings (as Santa doesn’t visit us). We have St. Nicholas on Dec 6. Same problem here: the kids put a shoe in front of the chimney, but no way the candy fits in a children’s shoe (+ the candy/chocolates would melt because of the heat of the fire or stove). So that’s why St. Nicholas ;-) uses plates. He puts them on the coffee table, surrounded by toys.

    Sweet post :-)

  3. Lori says:

    It’s stockings for us ~ with animals in the house any chocolate that we have is as high up as possible! Love the muffin tins though ~ what a great idea for even a candy dish.

  4. Love this idea! Brings to mind what my family (all the aunts, uncles, and cousins journeyed from Texas and Michigan (us) to the grandparents’ in Arkansas) would do. When the kiids were bedded down they would fill the “socks” as they called them. Every family brought fruit, nuts, and candy to contribute. Then each person had a shoebox or medium-sized paper sack rolled down to serve as their stocking, or sock. Oh yes, Christmas morning was amazing. Four families (9 grandkids) and 10 adults and SO. MUCH. NOISE! Pure, utter, lovely chaos (the Adams family is NOT quiet by any means!) And we munched from those “socks” for days!
    Now to find some vintage muffin tins…IF you have left me any! Thanks for this post. :)

  5. Jenn says:

    Homes with dogs and cats might find plates problematical.

    LOVE the imagery of the never-ending tree… beauty.

  6. Roxanne Tart says:

    I LOVE the muffin tin idea !!! We were very poor growing up, but my mother always provided us a BIG and beautiful Christmas…..with the help of family and friends, plus she was very creative. We didn’t have stockings until we were older and she made them from old clothing and salvaged beads. She used cardboard boxes that she wrapped in gift wrap, then filled to overflowing with fruit,nuts,candy and small toys. I remember that my brother and I always went for our boxes first. There was always special candies in them that we only recieved at Christmas due to the cost. Store bought candy was a big treat for us. Like you, I love the look of stockings hanging, but they aren’t very practical. As I’m already thinking about future Christmas’, I know that there will be vintage metal sand pails in our future, that we will use as “stockings” as I want to have a nautical themed Christmas either next year or the next. ;) Thanks for the post and Merry Christmas.

    ~~ Roxanne

  7. vicky fenton says:

    We were never that great about stockings. We have them but didn’t hang them. I like old long socks:) Anyway, when our children came down on Christmas Morning, we had them stand on the stairs while we made sure that Santa actually came,we sort of tortured them:)in a good way. They would squeal and giggle and make lots of noise! LOVED THAT:). SOOOOO they had stockings hanging in their rooms for decorating and they started saving toys from cereal boxes and made little things for each other. So while we were having them wait, they would share their stockings with each other:) I just loved that, it was totally their idea! They did that until they were in college, then the gifts got a little better than the toys from cereal, but to me those little things are what I remember most and hope they carry those little traditions to their own families:)!

  8. Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

    Love this post, Donna! I love hearing about your Christmas traditions and you have such creative and inspiring ideas!

  9. Lucy says:

    What a great tradition!! I love the idea, but I love my stockings more!! We have big ones and that’s where most of our surprises come from. They are full and bulky, but that’s the image I want, so I love it! I love your muffin tins full of candy and surprises. A beautiful tradition!!

  10. I love this idea! Found you through a fellow blogger and am looking forward to future posts! Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

  11. Kim says:

    I use what my family refers to as “Redneck stockings” aka: Ziplock baggies. Since I never seem to get the stockings hung before Christmas (or even down from the attic), I’ve learned to improvise by using gallon size Ziplock bags. My family loves to call them our Redneck stockings. Works for us. But I did manage to use stockings this year. Just didn’t get them hung. I filled them and then placed them on the couch.

  12. Hi Donna!
    I have to say I REALLY ADORE Your mother’s and your tradition. Very clever and just plain makes sense.
    The touch of those sweet old muffin pans adds some fun interest as well.

    Next year.., I’m TOSSING the stocking!!!

    take care,

  13. Sj says:

    That’s so sweet. Last year we did small Ikea bins, but this year we did stockings.

  14. Stephanie says:

    I love the idea of using something else, actually it never would have accrued to me to use anything but a stocking, why? Tradition and that’s what mom always did. I think your idea so stinkin’ cute,using something you love and making it into a Christmas tradition for your family. I may have to rethink our own stockings and change it up a bit, we will see what next year brings! thanks ;0)

  15. Karen says:

    We always have stockings for our kids and my husband could pack a stocking like nobody’s business! The kids were allowed to get their stockings and bring it to our bedroom and they opened them in our bed (while we trying to wake up after being up half the night getting everything put together, wrapped, etc.). But once they were able to get the candy and small toys and games out of the stocking – they would never fit back in – their Dad had the magic stocking touch. When they were younger, they thought it was Santa magic! Now they are all married and do their own stockings at their homes but I miss filling their stockings for them!

  16. Marsha says:

    We use stockings at our home. I have had the same stocking all my life( I’m 50 something). My grandmother knitted it for me.

  17. Janice says:

    Stockings! The lumpier the better :) I like to fill them early in the week and let that lumpiness torture the kids for a few days while they try desparately to figure out whats in them :)

  18. nancy d says:

    I have a special hand knitted stocking. We, my brother and sister and I, all had hand knit ones. I had always assumed my mother knit them, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe it was my grandmother. My stocking has a Santa face on it with his beard done in a angora yarn. I remember my mother telling me the beard was magic and it grew a little bit every year. To this day I cant resist giving that old beard a couple of pets:) I recently have found the vintage pattern for my stocking on line! I would love to make one for my grand-daughter. I will have to use a fuzzy angora yarn for Santa’s beard. Maybe she will believe that beard is magic too! Oh, I love the use of vintage tins to hold Christmas goodies. There is something so comforting seeing displays like that. I’m going to have to start collecting them through the year!

  19. Brenda W says:

    Every year I have done stockings, but this year I just could not get it together. My 11 year old granddaughter ask and I said “well we are skipping that this year”. She did not like that replay. When her cousin who is 8 got here he ask the same thing. Well she did not want to disappoint him so she went in the bedroom, got his stocking and found some things to fill it up.
    Guess I won’t overlook them next year – LOL

  20. Jean says:

    When I was young, we had stockings, but they never, ever got filled. I have my stocking from childhood and it’s as flat as a pancake…always was…always will be. Maybe it’s because it was made of felt. My children’s stocking were given to us by a lovely woman who knitted for us…names and all. They always got filled and my 20 something children tell me that they always considered it the best part of Christmas. I’m sure, had we used plates or muffin tins, they would have felt the same! :-)

  21. Patty Soriano says:

    Donna, how can I get to your blog “I Love That Junk?” I have never seen a mention of this before and cannot locate a button or link anywhere. Would love to see your other one !!

    P.S. I wore my Hat by Peach yesterday and had lovely comments on it everywhere I went !

  22. Laura says:

    I was watching a tv sitcom recently and they hung santa type hats upside down.
    So, a big velvet cone and then on another show I saw a much larger long white/cream cone in the same manor.

    Have you ever seen nylon stockings used? Kind of creepy, looking like an old leg with vericose veins and lumps and bumps.

    Some things that are too small to fit under a tree also get tied to the tree.
    But, as stated above, last minute so the pets do not get too curious.

    • cheryl rodda says:

      Oh wow nylons… that brings back memories… my grandpa use to do that for my parents… one side was my moms and one side was my dads…he would stick oranges in them and candy with funny little notes… it was such a sight to see…and very funny! Especially if you knew my grandpa…

  23. Kate Hartley says:

    Absolutely love this idea…can’t wait to do it next year! Just have to keep it away from the pups, who will think that there really is a Santa if treats like this are available:0 Always an inspiration!

  24. Well you know I hung antique stocking stretchers this year – so no way to stuff anything in those flat babies! I’m all for anything that gets me more candy – plates, muffin tins, giant buckets … hey, a girl needs her candy!

    Love that your mom was thinking out of the stocking – like mom like daughter!

  25. Love this Donna! :) I am so with you on the “junk”…… Junk is never JUNK! ;) And I love using things for other than their intended purpose! Beautiful post …..

  26. Mary Ruth says:

    I am from Nova Scotia, and our family didn’t put up stockings, we put out plates!
    On the dining table, we put a plate for everyone (comes from older times when fruit and candy were not easy items to get). Then Christmas morning each person had a plate with fresh fruit, high end chocolate, mixed nuts, and all sorts of treats. Then small gifts would be added next to the plates, (stocking stuffers they call them now). We could eat out of that plate as much as we wanted and when. So, mom didn’t have to make snacks all day and just make dinner. We knew enough to save some for later. WE had tins (didn’t use plastic containers) to each hold our treasures in (not the fruit, but candy and chocolate). The ribbon candy would sort of melt and make some of the nut shells sticky… when we came to the states, I grew up mostly here and always made ‘the Christmas plate’ for my kids. As they grew, I made ‘one’ plate for each household.

    The hard part was… hiding the fruit from them when shopping for it Christmas Eve! I had to be up half the night washing and picking the best out of the fruit for the plates. If I had put the fruit on the counter beforehand it would not have been as ‘magical’ the next morning nor felt like they were special.

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