With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays quickly approaching − and the retail stores doing their best to capture gift-givers by displaying almost every conceivable gift and decoration − this is probably an appropriate time to begin with seasonal verse.
Fair warning before you read Stocking Stuffers: only the title would qualify it as a seasonal poem.
I wrote Stocking Stuffers back in the early 1980s. In those days, I submitted many of my poems for various contests. This particular one I entered in the annual contest of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Manningham Award (a category for children’s poetry). The poem won first place and was printed in the NFSPS 1983 book of prize poems.
Back when I composed this poem, I had four little ones under the age of eight at home. The poetry I wrote then was generally short, simple (geared to young readers) and I usually tried to provide a laugh. Kids enjoy silly! Verses like this one were more easily composed because much of my creative energy was occupied with actually raising my children. And of course, the children’s antics offered a steady stream of ideas for me to fashion into whimsical verse.
Probably the most delightful thing about this poem (for me) is connected to the memories of our family’s night-time routine. Often, as we removed one of the children’s shoes, we’d spy the hole in a sock and launch a recitation of the verse … amidst tickling, hugging and lots of laughter.
Sweet memories indeed.