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The Alternative Advent Calendar

  • Posted on December 16, 2018 at 8:39 am

Alternative Advent calendar 16Merry Midwinter’s countdown to Christmas with a difference!


Give someone the unexpected pleasure of a Christmas stocking.

As children, many of us – if we were lucky – have known the excitement of finding a bulging, knobbly stocking at the bottom of our bed on Christmas morning. The joy of lying in the dark, tentatively prodding, poking and investigating all the tantalisingly anonymous shapes and anticipating just what they might be could be almost more satisfying than unpacking it all!

Why not bring a measure of that same excitement and – in this case – unlooked-for pleasure and anticipation into the life of an adult this year? Perhaps an elderly relative or neighbour… or as an alternative Christmas gift for a work colleague or friend… or the harassed lass working flat out on the checkout at your local shop or supermarket… or the homeless person sitting in the street? If you wish to avoid possible embarrassment you may wish to contrive to give your stocking anonymously.

Yes, it does take just a little time and thought but no, it doesn’t have to involve much financial outlay – in fact it is better if doesn’t because your actual gift is surprise, anticipation and a return to uncomplicated childhood rather than one of adult expense and glitz.

Start off by buying a pair of socks – ordinary socks or slipper socks – one of which will be used to hold everything else and the other one which you can roll up and stuff into the toe of your ‘Christmas stocking’ so that the pair may be worn normally after Christmas. Of course, the rest of the contents may be as varied as you could possibly wish, but try and stick to useful and inexpensive with a dash of indulgence, so you might include things like a pen and notebook, a comb, nice soap, a bar of chocolate or a little bag of sweets… just simple, useful, everyday sort of items. Wrap each individual item and of course, don’t forget to add the traditional absolute prerequisites of an apple, clementine or orange and a few chocolate (or real) coins into the foot of the stocking along with its rolled up mate.

This form of presentation, (and consequent constriction on size), can be adapted to form a very special gift for someone close to you – perhaps the significant ‘other’ in your life. Then you can allow your imagination to take flight and be as imaginative and lavish as you you want!

But for now, just stick to cheap and cheerful… and that all important element of surprise at being given what is , ostensibly, a child’s gift, but with an adult interpretation. After all, why should children haveĀ all the fun?

Having said that, planning a Christmas stocking for some unsuspecting grown-up can provide just as much pleasure for the giver as the recipient.

Happy days to all you would-be Father Christmases!