Stocking Stuffers Start the Year


Santa always packs some cashews in my husband Mark’s stocking, and Santa’s helper, who collects most of the stuffing for our large Christmas socks (guess who), sometimes reconsiders gifts that will entice him to overindulge. Luckily I’ve read that cashews rate very high in the monounsaturated fats that may improve cholesterol and cut heart risk although they’re low in antioxidants. Every rationale has its downside.
Our daughters’ stockings have always been a challenge, thanks to Aunt Marie who hand knit each girl a beautiful, personalized stocking that has stretched to accommodate an unbelievable amount of stuff over the years. I still fill them, although the playthings have gradually become school supplies and personal care items. No way could these great stockings be hung; their lumpy shapes bulging, concealing things that should be wrapped. It’s surprising the toes haven’t broken through from the weight of hair product bottles, cd’s, videos and such.
Lloyd the cat’s stocking, a modest little model compared to the girls’, I picked up at our local Goodwill store. Instead of the usual tin of kitty treats, this year I stuffed his with one of his furry mouse toys that I’d discovered during one of my rare “clean under-and-in-the-corners” sessions. Lloyd loses toy mice so often in his rowdy play, I knew he would be happy to have one back and not be offended that he had met it before.
Still, feeling guilty giving a slightly used mouse, I decided it might absorb a little more interest if it was placed, overnight, in the bag of catnip I have stashed on the pantry shelves. Lloyd hadn’t been around catnip for some time, and he tore into his prey with unusual zest, tossed it wildly, and landed it in his water dish.
The girls and I agreed that there was something extremely distasteful about the blob of wet, gray fur lying in Lloyd’s water. They wouldn’t touch it. I fished it out, squeezed it in an old washcloth, and hung it to dry on the bathroom towel rack. ( Like Mark says, you never know what you might find hanging on our bathroom towel rack.) After its bath, the mouse had little scent left – so much for the catnip.
I’ll put away the socks and the stuffers and leave you with a couple other good tidbits I’ve read recently:

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend; inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Groucho Marx

“It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.”
Sam Levenson


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