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.
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!
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.
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?