The Formula for a Perfect Christmas Stocking

by - Saturday, December 07, 2013

Last year, The Boy and I started exchanging stockings before we left for Pennsylvania so we could have a little bit of a holiday in our own home. One of the strangest parts of this tradition is that we basically go to a few stores together, then try to avoid each other while we buy the stocking stuffers. There is another thing I have noticed now, 2 years in:

The Boy is really not so good at stockings.

I didn't even realize this was possible, but exchanging stockings has highlighted the disparity between our upbringing. We have very different rules for what constitutes a great stocking. Greenes (or rather Binmores) in general have a knack for just this kind of gift giving- smaller, not too serious little things. Only as an adult do I realize I took these gems in comically large socks for granted. The Boy's family stockings have very traditional elements (they do lifesavers every year, pez dispensers, legos, etc) but they also are more practical (the Boy travels inside a nail clipper only black hole, where clippers are never found again, so he gets new ones every year). This combination of practicality and repetition leaves my husband frightened when he tries to think of new things. He left the store tonight kind of flabberghasted. He said he stood in line and realized he didn't buy one fun thing. This makes me realize just how hard this job can be, and that maybe it would be helpful to talk about how to best fill your sock.

So this is my formula, learned from Pag, for the perfect stocking.

The bottom 1/2 to 1/3 should be filled with candy- There should be so much candy that some smaller items can kind of hide until you are halfway through the candy. This candy has to be small enough to fill up the toe and heel of the stocking.

2-3 magazines or coloring books- You need to curve these around so your stocking will be overflowing.

3-4 actually sort of logical things- whisks, spatulas, nail polish, headphones, socks, etc. Not everything has to be not useful.

1 offbeat gadget- You need something to fidget with while you are waiting your turn opening gifts.

A card game- Important for living. 

3-4 toys- I don't care how grown up you say you are, you should be able to find something FUN in your stocking. I usually give The Boy at least one action figure and one set of legos. I also look for cute toys or usbs  on Think Geek. Those are the big items.

Nail clippers- No, for serious, I don't know where he puts them that they could just disappear. Where are they going?

 Ok! I think this is the bulk of the magic. You haven't mastered it until you buy someone something that no one in the world ever wanted ever. You haven't mastered it until you are buying your som in law my little ponies (like, a lot of them). What do you all think is an essential part of a Christmas stocking?

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