by Kathleen Chaney

Ribbon-wrapped packages
Green, red, and blue
Hold allure under the tree
Sitting patiently
As the others pop up day by day
All shapes, sizes, weight
They can be shaken
With some success when a guess
Is suggested

Yet the stocking
A true mystery
Filling but never willing
To show how much it holds
Hanging resists an accurate feel
The mix within irreversible
Like a cake
Ingredients not anticipated
Reaching in is a special rush
One after another
Like a magician’s best trick

Its contents coat the floor
Like snow on Christmas morning
Those little toys
Little treats
Grabbed in fists, often first
Items to be tested
The best morning distractions
The best memories


AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This is me, approximately six years old, at my grandparents’ house. I am trying to look cute in my Christmas dress, but I am always cheesy in photos!

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My family has repeatedly agreed that stockings are the best part of Christmas morning, so this was the first idea that popped up when I thought of my own Christmas memories. I tried to visualize Christmastime and write about it through the wonder-filled eyes of myself as a child.

kathleen chaney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Chaney is a lifelong Hoosier who has possessed a lifelong love of writing. Roleplaying, novel attempts, short stories, and periods of journaling have all been a part of her past. In college Kathleen found herself caught up in writing poetry, a habit that continues to this day. She was featured several times in her university’s literary arts magazine, and she continues to post poetry on her blog ( When not writing, Kathleen is busy working at a local nursing home or hammering out papers for her master’s in social work program. When more free time arises, Kathleen enjoys binge watching nerdy shows, geeking out at comic conventions, and enjoying time with friends.