Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Is That All The Gifts, Mom?"

Is that all the gifts, Mom? or are you still celebrating Christmas?

This family celebrates Christmas thru January 6 which is the Feast of the Three Kings. When my older daughter asked in 1980 after we had opened our presents:"Is that all the gifts, Mom?"; I decided that the following year I would do cheap little stocking stuffers for the 12 days of Christmas plus 1 to keep the celebration going to January 6. I continued this stocking stuffer tradition for over 25 years. What gets overlooked on Christmas Day (socks, pretty panties, hair ribbons, coloring books, new crayons, etc) does not get overlooked on Day 2 and by golly, by Day 6 the girls were downright delighted to tell their friends that they were still opening Christmas presents and would be until January 6! I highly recommend this tradition if you have kids who ask that question after opening all the gifts: "Is that all the gifts, Mom?"

So each morning after Christmas each girl would race to the fireplace to find what I had placed in her stocking that day. I would traditionally wrap the presents in white tissue paper decorated with gift ribbon that I would have fun tying in different ways. Before Christmas the girls would go to the dining room and living room where I displayed these wrapped stocking stuffers and look at them and wonder what could be inside. And when feeling the gifts sometimes they would announce that I think I know what is inside that package. Sometimes they guessed right and sometimes they didn't because Mom learned to make the sock packages feel hard. I would label each gift in this fashion: To: Jennifer, Day 1; To Jeanine, Day 2; etc. And here is the best part--neither girl caught on to the fact that some of the gifts didn't show up until after Christmas. Day 5 might have been something I picked up after Christmas on sale when the merchants were pushing the holiday merchandise with good mark downs.

Looking back I love thinking about how these stocking stuffers progressed from crayons and coloring books to Barbie doll clothes to Cabbage Patch doll clothes to fingernail polish and lipstick to items for their first apartments and first cars. Eventually they reached the age where we could legally give them a nice bottle of wine. When they left for college and to their own apartments they would take the stocking stuffers to their home and promise not to open until the appropriate day.

I did this for over 25 years and it was fun. Last year I finally stopped. Not because of the expense but because they both live in small quarters and don't have space for a lot of stuff and I no longer know their intimate apparel sizes. But because of our family tradition I still do a few stocking stuffers for each girl. I hope they will each be able to start to do this tradition when their oldest child is old enough to ask: "Is that all the gifts,Mom?"

1 comment:

Jenn K said...

I loved your tradition and will keep it going with Jack when he's old enough to understand.