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"What a miracle that a spark lifts each candle out of the dark." - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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"What a miracle that a spark lifts each candle out of the dark." [Dec. 13th, 2009|10:58 am]
Marissa Lingen
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I was going to link to the BNL song "Hanukkah Blessings," because we're in the middle of Hanukkah and it's one of my favorite songs for this time of year, but YouTube has failed me. Ah well. It's a good song anyway; if you're more stubborn than I am, it's worth finding.

We have had lussekatter today, at least two of three of us have, and the third is still in bed. They are as they ought to be. I also took some down to my folks' house last night, where they and Grandma can enjoy them, because Grandma has been let out of the hospital. She's still very weak, resting a lot, so she's staying at Mother and Dad's where they can give her a hand up out of a chair or make dinner or whatever else needs doing. In any case, Grandma getting a night's sleep away from the hospital, nobody waking her up to take her vitals etc., seems like a very good Santa Lucia Day gift to me.

One of my friends made reference in a locked post to her parents' concerns about her reaction when she found out Santa Claus was fake. And I had an immediate emotional knee-jerk to that, one you would expect of a much younger person who had not been wrapping "Santa presents" for family stockings all week: Santa's not fake, said my subconscious. And I think my subconscious is right. When I got to be old enough to figure it out, my parents didn't teach me that Santa was fake or didn't exist, they taught me that Santa is not a person but rather an action. Something we do for each other. Little luxuries, tiny comforts, small joys. I could more easily give up buying anything else for my family than I could stocking stuffers, because I love those moments most, the times when something very small strikes me as likely to brighten someone else's life, the times when I can say, "For half an hour's time investment I can make my dad smile in traffic on his way to work," or, "For $3 I will assure myself that my little old great-auntie will get at least two hot nourishing meals if she can't get to the grocery store conveniently." That is the very best thing. Stocking presents don't even have to be explicable. "Here is a tiny stone wolf," you can say, and the person whose stocking it is in can say, "All right," and you can follow up with, "Santa thought you could use a tiny stone wolf for, um, for being a tiny stone wolf. See how she is tiny? And stone?" And they will say, "Yes, I do see that." And there is never, "Why, exactly...?" or, "Was this, um...?" Because it is a stocking present. It need only be small and delightful. Expensive and sensible are not required.

Of course little delightful things are nice any time of year. But I like having an excuse for them, and I like having a whole sockful.
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Comments:
From: tournevis
2009-12-13 05:08 pm (UTC)
Santa is not fake. Santa is in the eye of the beholder.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2009-12-13 05:21 pm (UTC)
1. You wrap your stocking stuffers?
2. That's what my parents told me!
(3. But Santa Mouse is totally real.)

Edited at 2009-12-13 05:21 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2009-12-13 08:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, we mostly do. Sometimes there are things like pieces of candy that just get flung in the stocking unwrapped, but mostly stocking stuffers get paper like everything else.

The exception to this is timprov's stocking. He doesn't like wrapped gifts--not to the point where he recoils in horror if he receives one, just to the point where I know he doesn't, so I don't wrap his stuff. That's non-stocking as well as stocking presents for him. We have a red cloth bag that's very useful for concealing his presents if they're things like books and DVDs, and otherwise we just keep things in the closet until we're ready to give them to him.
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[User Picture]From: mamapduck
2009-12-13 08:10 pm (UTC)
Wrapped presents in the stocking killed us when we were kids because we had permission to open stockings before the parents got up... but not anything wrapped. :)

Do you mind if I link to this?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2009-12-13 08:37 pm (UTC)
It's very sweet of you to ask, but I never mind links to public posts. Link away.

My father got himself in trouble a few years back, because he opened the wrapped CD that was in his stocking before everybody was present, and not only that, he put it in the CD player and started dancing around the room to it. Mom and I scolded, but it's very hard to be actually annoyed with my dad when he is Pip dancing (as in Gladys Knight and the Pips).
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[User Picture]From: batwrangler
2009-12-14 01:17 am (UTC)
Our stocking gifts were always wrapped, but we were allowed to open them as soon as we woke up so long as we let our parents sleep in. All the other presents were opened after the folks got up. I don't remember when I figured out that "Santa gifts" came from my parents, but since we also got wrapped gifts from our dog, I probably drew my own conclusions early on. :)
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2009-12-13 07:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, well said.
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[User Picture]From: genevra
2009-12-13 07:35 pm (UTC)
Exactly! That's why I don't worry about "lying" to my kids about santa. Because I'm not. Santa is everyone!

Of course, when Santa gave gifts to my kids labeled with my mom's handwriting, like when I was little, I did have to cry just a bit.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2009-12-13 08:04 pm (UTC)
My grandpa always wrote a lot of the labels from them, so that's a thing this year.
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[User Picture]From: mamapduck
2009-12-13 08:12 pm (UTC)
We have maintained the tradition my parents had of special wrapping paper that only Santa used (generally with Santa on it) and practicing fake handwriting. The current child is too old, but with another one coming along, I anticipate much Santa magic fun.
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[User Picture]From: cakmpls
2009-12-13 10:12 pm (UTC)
Santa is not a person but an action--YES!!
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2009-12-14 12:51 pm (UTC)
Exactly.
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[User Picture]From: thorintatge
2009-12-15 01:53 am (UTC)
Your thoughts on stocking stuffers are delightful. I was pondering creating a stocking or two for others this year, something I've only done once before, and I was finding a certain joy in the semi-randomness of the potential gifts. I think I've decided to go with a different presentation, though.
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