Since my brain went on vacation while the head was under fire, I will catch up today someway.
Christmas stockings we have always used. Our normal sock, our Dad's sock so it was bigger, that was the key when we were younger. The normal entry to the sock was a walnut or two, a candy cane and apple and orange.
Now years later the Xmas stocking means such a different thing. Our Christmas events put people seriously in debt and spoil our children more. Fruit in the late 40 or 50s was expensive in the winter it was generally shipped in from Florida or Arizona or southern CA. We had a winter pear tree which was awesome for us to share with others.
We sometimes got a roll of Lifesaver's in the sock if we had been good. I suspect it really had to do with the afford to purchase than our being good.
As our world commercialized Christmas more, people bought little things to toss in the stocking as surprise gifts; if you were to put a lump of coal or fruit and nuts in the stocking children would have no idea of what it implies. Today people put large expensive items in the socks. It does not make it a better Christmas just shows how things have changed.
As a parent I used to always put a new toothbrush in the sock each year. I also put walnuts, apples and oranges and a favorite candy.
Generally we made fudge and divinity and did not mess with boughten unless it was Ribbon Candy which my husband loves. We also made Peanut Brittle when all the children were older and it was okay for them to eat.
The children helped roll out cookies and decorate them. We exchanged cookies with neighbors and friends.
We did not use an Advent calender as such at home a neighbor from Germany had one and we shared what they said about it. The Church always kept us appraised of various events.
I used a Advent calender one year because husband was due home right after Xmas and it helped to keep the children focused on when he would arrive. Alas I think he was extended and still did not arrive until mid winter. We talked about it but it never sparked us to get overly into the calender. I guess marking our calender and coloring off the days until Xmas arrived was much the same thing.