Hello! Spied this on our front porch yesterday morning:
The note on top of the stocking had been inside; I pulled it out to take its picture as well:
The stocking is meant to be a round-robin neighborly gift - once filled with gifts of one's choice (goodies such as cookies or jam, or gifts of time such as a dinner invitation or offer to shovel snow), the stocking is passed on to another neighbor. An enclosed greeting card showed where the stocking had started and where it had been, as people left messages for the neighbors they were gifting.
Our gifts(from some super-nice new neighbors) were beautifully-decorated cookies and a hot chocolate mix. I'd already planned to give some goodies to a particular neighbor, so I filled the stocking with homemade versions of Chex Mix, chocolate-mint fudge and cappuccino mix.
This close to Christmas, I had a couple of concerns: filling the stocking and passing it on might be thought of one more task to complete at a time when to-do lists seem to multiply! (I'm hoping the neighbor I delivered it to this morning doesn't think so. I don't know what date the stocking began circulating). Also, if the neighbors you gave the stocking to had already left town for the holidays and you weren't aware of this, the stocking would languish there until they return. (I'm mindful of this, having traveled recently - met people who were heading east for the holidays and would be gone two weeks.)
The card's instructions did indicate to return the stocking to the family who'd begun the round-robin after the New Year, so it appears people have until then to circulate it.
But these are minor concerns, really. It's the spirit that counts, of course, and I was delighted that the family who started the round-robin had thought of it. I don't even know them, as they live around the block. They had a lovely idea, and one that spread to my block as well.
I realize that this post is too late for others to do the same thing in their own neighborhoods, but who knows - maybe next holiday season someone will remember this idea and replicate it.