Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Put My Christmas Goodies in WHAT?


I'm spending the eight days before Christmas thinking about traditions and where they originated. Googling isn't enough information; it's pretty canned. Sure, it will tell you the history of St. Nick, various holiday hypotheses about the origins of the Christmas tree...you'll run into a few debates on whether or not the pagans contributed to it - does it taint the tradition? (Spoiler: No kid thinks that.) 

I ain't about that life.

The meaty bare-bones information that I seek hinges on the rationale behind the initiation of these traditions. When did they really start? What was going on in that moment?

First up: Who decided that it would be cool to get goodies stuffed in your sock? 

Let's examine that holiday favorite.

So, the general public of a bygone age becomes aware of old St. Nick. At some point, he is not just the red attired Bishop Nicholas - he is a saint and Big N has done wonderful things. All over the globe, people know his name. Towns and ports are named after him. Parents tell their children stories about him and the legend grows. 

Good news, children! St. Nicholas will be coming down the chimney tonight and he's bringing you "something" if you're good! Ah...we arrive at our historical catalyst; the great unknown. Let's speculate without facts - like the news channels. 

With wonder and amazement, anticipation and excitement at its peak, what kids said: "Hey, I've got an idea. Let's hang an item of clothing up so St. Nick will stuff it with presents."

I want to know the name of that kid, and you know it had to be a kid. Truthfully, I want to be a fly on the wall at the moment that happened, because no child's conversation is linear. Every kid in the family had to chime in and battle for air time. How did a sock win out?

You know that Rolf or Gretchen had to mention that underwear was much bigger and held more items. Gretchen might remind him of his poor bathroom hygiene and even infer that underwear could never, ever be clean enough to suffice. Of course, long underwear would just be a sign of greediness and mess with your Santa street cred. There's a possibility that the term should be "sled cred," but I don't have the research to back it up.

Jorge and Hans might have suggested tying up the sleeves of shirts, but they would have to be low hanging and a fire hazard. What do you do with the neck hole? Sew it up? Long pants would be the same hazard. 

As one of my brilliant co-workers used to say, "You don't want to wake up dead." 

They promoted her, but I'm not bitter. 

Back to our story...

Surely little Brunhilda might have thought about a bucket or a cup?  What was wrong with suggesting that their nighttime visitor put their gifts on the front porch, thus saving time and avoiding that pesky breaking and entering charge?

Lastly, did these trendsetting Teutonic kids lack parental guidance?

Well, you all know the end of this story...because we're all hanging socks...er, stockings. With ingenuity and holiday spirit, one brilliant child whose name is lost to us led the way as he (or she) nailed their stockings to the fireplace mantel that first time. Foot odor, be darned! It's Christmas! A fat man is on his way.

Then, the children must have gone to bed, blue toed and giddy. You know they didn't have a lot of clothes back then and they just gave up 50% of their foot coverings.

Meanwhile, as Rolf lay in bed - he could have kicked himself in frustration! All that talk of undergarments made him forget he had perfectly good luggage that could have been placed on the hearth and that would have held a motherload of goods.

Too late smart, Rolf. Go check your sock.

________________________________________

Don't forget to join the
MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORY BLOGHOP
DECEMBER 22, 2014
Your ho-ho-hosts: Cherdo and Janie Junebug
It won't be the same without you!  


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18 comments:

  1. I found a brief window while Mrs. Shady is getting dressed, dear Cherdo, so I popped in.

    Thank you for using the name Gretchen in your story. As you recall, I plan to name my newborn baby Gretchen. My due date is in late February.

    What I'd like to know is why some families traditionally open a few presents on Christmas eve. I never heard of that practice until just a few years ago when members of Mrs. Shady's family introduced me to it. I think it renders Christmas morning anticlimactic, don't you? Do you have any idea when that particular tradition started? Does your immediate family exchange a few presents Christmas eve then arise and open the rest Christmas morning?

    I'm off then. I hope you have a splendid day, dear friend. See you tomorrow!

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    1. I know, at least in my family, my parents grew oh-so-tired of kids metaphorically climbing up their butts to open presents. So, they relented a tad and allowed us to open one on Christmas Eve. Just to shut us up. I was always pissed that it was an article of clothing. I wanted to open the Winky Dinks or Stretch Armstrong, instead.

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    2. Shady DK, I am totally with you - and Al!

      I don't ever remember opening a present before Christmas; I do remember getting up at 5 a.m., though... Nothing more fun for a parent than that early morning wake up call.

      Later, I knew of some people that opened up presents on Christmas Eve - sometimes all of the presents! Maybe this needs to be my next Christmas investigation...reminds me of the Blogosaurus, so keep those queries coming! :-)

      Have a great day, be safe, and I hope it is productive! Tomorrow, my friend!

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    3. My family always opened gifts on Christmas Eve. I don't know why. When Favorite Young Man was little, we opened gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. In the morning, we opened gifts from relatives. When the brat was old enough to know what would happen in the morning, he couldn't sleep. He would be in our room, kneeling at the side of the bed, every fifteen minutes, all night. "Is it morning yet? When will it be morning?" It's a miracle that we let him live. Change in policy: We opened gifts from relatives when they arrived in the mail (don't tell my dead mother and my elderly mother-in-law). On Christmas Eve we still opened gifts from each other. Then we went to bed and slept. Of course, church was worked in there somewhere. I think we waited till after church to open gifts, but sometimes we opened them at about five in the afternoon and then went to church during the evening. When the kids were old enough that we could go to the late service at church, we opened the gifts early in the evening. Is that enough information for you? And I'm the one who is pregnant with Gretchen.

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    4. I'm back off the road, dear friend Cherdo, and thank you for your input, Mr. Penwasser! Now I have a musical question for you, sung to the tune of Abraham, Martin and John.

      Anybody here seen my old friend Janie Junebug?
      Can you tell me where she's gone?

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    5. Janie is everywhere simultaneously.

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    6. I'm here right now. I'm in countless places at the same time. I'm everywhere. I don't know if I'm God-like or Santa-like.

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  2. I've always wondered about that sock angle, mostly because of that hygiene thing.
    But, when you consider that underwear was probably in the discussion, socks don't look so bad anymore.

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  3. We were so poor we didn't have socks. We welcomed the gift of a lump of coal placed next to us on the floor as we slept. The coal meant we could have a tiny bit of warmth to cook our non-existent breakfast (we pretended to have food). Mother was always out caring for the neighbors who were ill. Father was away at war. I raised myself. Oi! Life is glorious. I might write a book about my childhood in which I was my own parent. I'll include the tornado that nearly carried us away.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It would be like The Wizard of Oz meets the Waltons who own a War Horse. Intriguing.

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  4. WAIT A MINUTE! HOLD EVERYTHING! I JUST NOTICED I'M ON THE FLIPPIN' NAUGHTY LIST. Thank you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It was just yesterday when I said to myself, "Hmmm...Janie is fine with being on the naughty list...who knew?" BWAHAHAHAHA

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  5. Oh the stockings...as far as i know this one tradition did not come from Germany. I believe it came from England but don't quote me. I like to thinkit originated like the cartoon made it sound...you know..Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". Many kids had to clean their stockings and then place it by the fire to dry so why not put presents inside? As for opening gifts Christmas Eve...that is how my family always celebrated it. My mom is German (My dad, Canadian) and we found it so wonderful to open the gifts in the evening. My dad said this is when Christ was born and when he got gifts...made sense to us. Most of mainland Europe celebrate Christmas Eve from what I know. When we asked my mom why others opened the gifts Christmas Day and why we have presents sooner from Santa she just told us Santa can't deliver all of them over one night so he delivers some earlier and that made perfect sense:) As for underwear....I don't think I would like to get goodies in there-ick

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    1. In the absence of actual information, all countries are on equal footing for the story.

      (You should get something in the mail this week, Birgit!)

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    2. oh yes-I keep forgetting but when I do i will let you know-very sweet of you and Merry Christmas!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo