The holiday tradition of filling up a stocking and leaving by the mantle is one that I love. Hubby’s family always includes an orange in the bottom to wish a fruitful year. An orange also offers a happy and uplifting scent for the season. I’m also convinced that it helps balance the weight of the stocking when filled. But how did it really start?
One Christmas legend tells us that there was a poor father who had three beautiful daughters. As the father, he had no dowry to offer any prospective suitors and was worried about their futures. When Saint Nicholas passed through the village he had learned about this story but also heard that the man refused any charity hand-outs. In the middle of the night Saint Nicholas visited their home and threw three bags of gold coins through the window and they landed in the stockings that were hanging by the fireplace to dry. Some argue that they were actually gold balls. (Hmmm…maybe that’s the reasoning behind the orange today?)
The tradition originated in Europe with kids using an everyday sock but needless to say, they didn’t hold much. But another legend tells us that children use to put their boots near the fireplace filled with food for they flying horse/reindeer. Odin, who is the German/Scandinavian figure would reward the kids for their kindness by replacing the horse’s food with gifts and candy.
Today, filling the Christmas stockings is my “home-stretch” of all the season’s shopping. Here are some of my favourites (and darn cutest!) for this year…and yes, it’s been a “one-for-me-and-one-for-you” kind of shopping season.
MaiLin Jewellery’s Friendship Bracelet is a subtle way to remind someone that you’re thinking of them daily. The line of delicate bracelets are subtle and beautiful. Friendship bracelets come in a variety of meanings expressed through stones and gems placed on a silk. It is meant to be tied on and eventually will wear off through time. I’ve had mine on for 3 months now and there’s no sign of it coming off…nor do I want it to. This is a special gift that would be welcomed in any stocking or as a stand alone gift.
Sketcracha 3″ Dunny is highly sought after this season by Sriracha and Dunny aficionados alike. Designed by LA artist SKET ONE. It comes in a blind box, meaning you’ll either be the lucky owner of a non-edible red version or a clear version. Both come with mini chopsticks. Available through Kidrobot.com and also at Mindzai.com in-store and online in Canada.
MadeGood granola bars and mini granola balls is my most recent obsession. While on travels it was easy enough to pack in my carry-on and sustain me for my flight. Then realizing it was also made with sustainability in mind (supporting organic farmers and local manufacturers) they aim to minimize their impact on the environment. They are also made in a dedicated facility free form 8 of the most common allergens including nut free, wheat, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish. They are also gluten-free, non-GMO project verified and organic. Plus they are yummy!
Awwww-inspiring enamel pins by Queeniecards.com has expanded to include some adorable holiday edition offerings that are cuteness overload. The Toronto-based graphic designer also creates stationary, greeting cards, eco-friendly water bottles and more. She’s often found at local artisan markets this time of year but you can also order online.
Mini Dim Sum Plushies available through DimSumCityShop.com are so adorable and you can even order them in their own steamer baskets. Stinky tofu, har gow, siu mai, and char siu bao available from key chain size right to giant overstuffed. Just the way we love our dim sum!
Nivea Fairy Tale Creme is the scent we grew up with. It was mom’s go-to for soothing and protecting dry winter skin. It’s now available in a limited edition collectible tin (4) series. Enchanting artwork by illustrator Joelle Tourlonias showcases the simple beauty and the nostalgia of a simpler life. Each tin also includes a special URL that leads to four digitally animated stories to read as well as as digital games that can be played. A beautifully illustrated Fairy Tale “Fairy Rescues the Snowman” is included with the 75 mL tin. Beautiful keepsakes! Go to www.tales.NIVEA.com
Papabubble Artisan Candies has several flavourful offerings this holiday season including this fun “Winter Mix”. Candies are all made in-house in their Toronto shop located in the Yonge Lawrence area but can also be found at the Union Station Holiday Market if you’re in the city. Check out papabubbleto.com for
The Face Shop has the ultimate beauty blender in this sculpted sponge trio set for the holidays. This little nifty tool is great for blending in cream, liquid and powder cosmetics for a flawless appearance. Available online or in store.