Living A Simplified Life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's In Your Stocking?

In our family it was always a tradition to have stockings hung to be filled by "Santa" and these were the first thing that one could open on Christmas morning. The stocking would contain an assortmant of wonderous little gifts, all depending on their ages, from little cars and crayons to hard candies and gum. As they got older the contents changed. Little did I know how much my oldest son recalled what was in there!

One year, after he had grown up and moved out on his own, I sent him a Christmas stocking in the mail. I get this phone call "Where's my Whitman's sampler? My mini flashlight?  My toothbrush and little tube of toothpaste? "  Ok, so I substituted Russell Stover, no big deal. As for the flashlight and the toothbrush and toothpaste, well, I figured he would much more appreciate some shaving cream, a razor and a nice bottle of men's cologne. At least I left in the packages of gum and the orange! I learned not to mess with tradtions.

My tree was always adorned with handcrafted decorations that my children made at school. Even though I don't put up a big tree any more, I still have many of those ornaments that I have wrapped lovingly in tissue paper, stored in a box. I probably should give them to my children to put on their own trees.

When my children were little, the Christmas tree always went up on December 1st so that we could enjoy it a long time and then came down on January 2nd. There were challenges when they were toddlers as to how to keep them from "undecorating" the tree, as they were fascinated by all the ornaments and lights. Back then all I could do was put chairs around the tree, with the seats facing the tree, or plunk them into a playpen if they were still of that age to do so.  Nowadays, they have those plastic paneled play yards that you can open up and that is what my daughters use to keep their little ones away from the tree.

Now that I have grandchildren and I have started a new tradition with them. Every Christmas, I give them an ornament to go on the Christmas tree. Some have been purchased and others have been handmade ornaments.

What traditions have you started with you family? Do you go to church on Christmas Eve? Get together to sing Christmas Carols or go caroling through your neighborhood? Have certain decorations that you always put up no matter what?  Do you make cookies and candies special for the holidays?

If you don't have a tradition, start one, you will be surprised on the impact that it has on your family.

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