As you may know, I am old! In fact, according to my grandchildren, I’m older than dirt and just one day younger than air! Anyway, while I am old, I did not live through the Depression. My life was, however, affected by it in a number of ways … including what Santee Claus would put in my stocking each year!
You see, while I didn’t live through the Depression, my brothers did. And, what they looked forward to each year on Christmas morning to be in their stockings was an apple, an orange, and a big handful of mixed nuts still in the shell. So there won’t be any confusion, the apple was not a phone nor an iPod, but rather one that you could peel and make a pie out of. And, as sad as it may seem, that was about all that they could look forward to!!!
The tradition of apple, orange, and nuts continued through my childhood, though other goodies were left by Santa. When I got married and had children, Santa continued the tradition to my children. Now, they are married and have children and, yep, Santee is still bringing apples, oranges, and nuts! Now, that isn’t particularly surprising due to the familial relationship. But, what is more than a little surprising, is how many other people seem to be getting Depression Era stocking fillers too!
A week or two ago my oldest daughter, Melissa, was at the gym where she works and somehow the subject of “stocking stuffers” came up. Someone mentioned that theirs always includes, yep – – apples, oranges and nuts! In fact, as the discussion continued, it seems that almost everyone there had the tradition of apples, oranges, and nuts!
Now, if you look at this objectively, this really isn’t as unusual as it might seem at first glance. You see, a whole lot of people went through the Depression. Which means, a whole lot of people had limited items in their stocking each Christmas morning, and those limited items were, undoubtedly, apples, oranges, and nuts. So, in all of those families, it became a tradition and was passed down generation to generation, and is still being practiced today.
Now, if the tradition of apples and oranges and nuts (oh my!) can be passed down, you know what else can? Let me share a few things with you:
- Going to a Christmas Eve Service at your church.
- The reading of the Christmas Story as found in Luke 2.
- The singing of such Christmas Favorites as Joy to the World, Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and so on and so forth.
What I am suggesting is that we always make Jesus the center of our Christmas Traditions. The GOOD NEWS in that is – even if all we have in our stockings are apples, oranges and nuts – – a Depression Era Stocking – – we will never be Depressed!!!