Stocking Stuffers: 3 Copies “The Reluctant Entertainer” Giveaway!

Traditions can be started any time, and any place, with any person.

Thirteen years ago, the night before Christmas Eve, a knock came at my door. There stood our friend, Paula, with a beautifully wrapped silver Nordstrom box. Inside was a hand-knit Christmas stocking for our new baby girl, Abigail Ellen Rose.

“Here’s the sock! I worked all night to get it finished so you’d have it for Abigail’s first Christmas,” Paula told us, as she handed us the box.

My two other kids already had their own knit “sock,” as Paula called them. Paula felt the pressure to get Abby’s finished for her first Christmas. (By the way, these socks are about 2 1/2 feet long!)

What we didn’t know was, only a few short months later, Paula would be gone from our lives, as she died suddenly after a heart procedure.

Walt and Paula were dear friends of mine for many years. I had met Walter when he started on dialysis at my longtime workplace, and our friendship grew outside of a professional relationship. In fact, he and Paula were “designated grandparents” in my wedding almost 20 years ago, as my husband and I didn’t have any living grandparents.

My story today is about the tradition of our family’s Christmas Stockings.

It started with Elliot.
And then Garrett came along.
And then our little girl, Abby.

Their names are on the front side of the socks.

And the year they were born on the back.

Over the years, I’ve filled these large socks with toys, socks, underwear and toiletry items, cologne, lip gloss, video games, gift cards and music. Now my kids are teens, and we’re feeling the crunch of the economy just like everyone else. A sock this size can cost a lot to fill!

I want to be more creative this year, so this is where I need your help!

How should I fill up these stockings?

What to WIN:
3 winners will each win ONE copy of The Reluctant Entertainer.

Answer at least ONE of these questions to WIN:
What items do you fill Christmas stockings with?
Do you ever feel wasteful?
Do you fill the socks with useful items or “fun” items?
Do you have any happy memories of Christmas stockings from when you were young?

Tweet, Facebook, or sign up for NEW RSS Feed:
Do one of the above for an extra entry or two, and come back and tell me.

WINNER ANNOUNCED:
The 3 winners will be announced on Wednesday, December 22nd.

Thank you friends for the great “stocking stuffing” advice! I can’t wait to read all of your comments. And there’s still time to order from Amazon, your own copy of The RE. (However, it is too late to get a “signed” copy from me, in time for Christmas.)

139 comments on “Stocking Stuffers: 3 Copies “The Reluctant Entertainer” Giveaway!”

  1. I stuff all the kids socks with pretty tissue paper, all sorts of pretty colors, and in the middle of it all, there is a $10.00 Starbucks card for each of them along with a note that we will spend an afternoon together at the Pike Place Market. So on December 26th we all jump into the car and head on down to the Market and turn in our cards for a hot beverage of choice at the Original Starbucks at the market and walk around and enjoy all the sites, sounds and smells of the Market, together. We grab a cup of hot chowder here, a doughnut there and have a good time together. My youngest are the 21 year old twins and I must say we have a treasure chest full of wonderful memories over the years. This year we were talking and laughing about how the cards use to be traded in for Hot Cocoa and now that they are older they order they can now order the adult drinks. We now have boy friends and girl friends of my children that join in with us for this fun event. Fun times and traditions have a way of over flowing and splashing onto all those around us. I also think that the stockings look so full and fluffy stuffed with the pretty tissue paper too.

  2. I gasped out loud when I saw your stockings. My family has the same ones! My grandmother made them for my dad & his siblings, then for their spouses as they married, then for us grandchildren as we came along. My mother has continued the tradition by having them made for my husband & sister-in-law and even for my niece & nephew. I’ve never seen them anywhere else! I know I’m late for the contest, but I just had to share. :-) Merry Day-after-Christmas!

  3. I usually fill the stockings half with fun stuff and half with useful stuff. Always a new toothbrush and floss, some chocolate, gift card or cash. Toiletries for the big people and small toy for the kids.

  4. I usually fill the stockings half with fun stuff and half with useful stuff. Always a new toothbrush and floss, some chocolate, gift card or cash. Toiletries for the big people and small toy for the kids.

  5. We always spend Christmas Eve writing letters to each person in our family and placing them in their stockings. We have three boys who are currently ages 11, 8 and 3. We have done this all our married life and even when they were babies. We have all the letters saved and each year the letters all go back in the stockings along with all the goodies I get them. I am faithful to purchase items all year long and use my coupons to get good deals so I don;t overspend. This year I was very practical. I refused to buy dollar store toys or one spot toys that just break and take up space but instead bought things they needed and woudl use like mouth guards for sports, socks, toothbrushes, chapstick, baseball cards for their collections that they really cherish. I was very specific this year and found it very freeing! I would rather them have less in the stocking than have stuff they don;t need or want or will just fall a part.

  6. This year my girls are lucky as I got carried away with their stockings. They are getting mostly practical things, but the most fun thing is a Michael Jackson cirque de soleil ticket!

  7. Growing up, every year we would get a bit of candy(chocolate covered nuts and raisins, peppermint taffy and York Mints), along with an orange and one gift from Santa. Usually it was something useful – camping gear, warm weather wear, outdoor gear, that type of thing.

  8. And, I’m subscribed to your RSS feed!

  9. How do we fill the stockings?
    I try to do a mix of simple, fun things and useful things. Always a clementine, a couple little toys (I have 3 & 5 year old boys, so this year it is plastic dinosaurs and hot wheels), and always a new toothbrush. Also, always chapstick – so needed this time of year! In the past I’ve given my husband Sharpies and pens and his favorite candy.

  10. Happy memories… every year I would plead with the parents to let us open a present on Christmas Eve, open something before they woke up on Christmas Day, anything to get my presents early! They never did let my brother and I do that, but we were allowed to open our stockings before they woke up. Thus, my brother would come bounce on my bed to wake me up, and we’d run out to the living room and open our stockings, amusing ourselves with the contents until my parents woke up. Oh, and our stockings are also hand-knit – Mom made them and each is ornately decorated with a different Christmas scene.

  11. I fill with both… of course toiletries and some candy and little toys.

  12. I try to avoid junky things as that does seem wasteful. One thing I do for the guys (teen and older) is a good pair of socks, like SmartWool. They are pricey, but they take up a lot of space LOL and they are loved and well used.

  13. I loved opening my stocking. I would open it last because I would forget I had one with all of the excitement. Have a blessed Christmas.

  14. I’m 24 and have to travel to come home for Christmas and I wish my mom still filled my stocking! When I was little I would be so exited about presents that I would completely forget about my stocking and when I remembered it was Christmas morning rush all over again. Now I’m a broke grad student and I would kill for a bag full of makeup and toiletries.

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