“Mom, can we get Christmas stockings?” my sisters and I begged.
There, in the store, was a woman displaying fuzzy red stockings with white trim. She asked her customers how they wanted their stockings personalized and then she carefully applied a string of glue to form the name. Finally, she sprinkled a mixture of shiny red, green, gold, silver, and blue glitter over the glue, shook off the excess, and displayed the finished stocking.
“Can we… can we?” we asked again, insistent.
Our mother consented.
We proudly carried our stockings home, each one emblazoned with our own name, ready to hang them over the fireplace for Santa to fill with Christmas gifts and goodies.
The only problem, we realized, was that we did not have a fireplace.
“Where do we hang our stockings?” we wondered.
We pondered this quandary for a moment.
“How about the radiator?” I finally offered, nodding towards the hot water radiator in the front hall. The radiator may not be a fireplace, but it was hot like a fireplace. The logic was incontrovertible.
“That’s silly,” my sisters pointed out. “Santa doesn’t come down the radiator.”
And, then, it dawned on us. If Santa came down the chimney, and our chimney connected to the furnace in the basement, did Santa come in through the furnace?
“No,” my mother told us. “He just leaves the presents in a box on the front porch and rings the doorbell. Your father and I get the presents from the front porch and put them under the tree.”
“Ohhhhh!” my sisters and I said in complete understanding. That explained a lot. Who would be foolish enough to think Santa would come in the house through the furnace?
“You may hang your stockings on the front hall radiator,” my mother said.
And so we did.
Come Christmas morning, we didn’t find anything in our stockings. We tried to put something in them ourselves, but the stockings just fell down with the weight. After all, the stockings were just attached to the radiator with scotch tape.
Written for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Day 18.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko