Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Well Stuffed Stocking

I love an old school Christmas stocking. Not one with an orange and some penny candy from the general store. That's a little too old school for me. I really feel Santa and the elves were at the top their stocking stuffing game in the 1970s. During that decade, my older brothers and I were always sure to find a candy cane, a Matchbox car (pink for me), an interesting coin like a silver or half dollar, a ChapStick, probably some Silly Putty or a bouncy ball, and various other small fun items in our stockings. That is exactly the kind of stocking I hope my kids will receive this year on Christmas morning, fat with hands on fun, and thin on electronic gadgetry. I imagine Santa might round out their state quarter collections with Hawaii. We'll see. They'll probably also each get a book or two. That's how Santa has been doing it for the 2000s. There have board books, easy readers, and first chapter books. One year, Dan Gutman's Miss Holly is Too Jolly was quite popular. His entire My Weird School series is terrific for first and second graders. If Santa wants to go old school, he might throw in a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys for the older kids. For my kindergartner there are several Christmas and wintry Geronimo Stilton and Jigsaw Jones books he could choose. New in paperback this year is Megan McDonald's holiday offering from the Judy Moody and Stink collection, The Holly Joliday. Santa has so many paperback books to choose from, but if he asked my advice, I would suggest Bart King's The Pocket Guide to Mischief. It is the perfect size to fit in the toe of a stocking, it is full of fun, and has a retro look and feel that make it seem like it belongs in one of those 1970s stockings that thrilled me so.

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