Illustration: Chelsea Beck/GMG

I no longer have a Christmas stocking because my mother and I respect each other too much, but I did have one for many years. The very best presents I ever received in that stocking were warm socks and clementines.

Warm socks are a practical and kind gift. A pair or two from someone else checks something off your list‚ÄĒyou no longer have to buy yourself warm socks because they have already been given to you‚ÄĒand offers a kind of physical comfort that points to the deeper comfort your loved ones may hope to provide you in this life. (They are socks, but they are also your mother‚Äôs love.)

The joy of a good clementine is instantaneous, material. You may wash the socks first or wait a few days to wear them, but you will eat the clementine right away.

The world is a chaotic place, but we can find peace in small moments and ease where we can. Eat the clementine now. Later, wear the socks.