When growing up, you assume that every household celebrates Christmas in exactly the same way. Even the Jewish ones because as a youngster, I pretty much thought the world was almost exactly like mine.
As I got older I learned that everyone has their own traditions, particularly when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Sometimes Santa leaves the presents unwrapped and sitting out for the kids to discover as soon as their parents wake up which took forever. Presents from my mom and dad were wrapped under the tree. And remarkably, Santa does the same thing in this house.
Other friends would tell me Santa wraps all of their presents. The logistics of the different paper, tags, handwriting, etc. makes it too difficult for this family so we allow Santa to continue on in the same way he did when I was growing up.
Santa also filled our stockings. Like FILLED. The stockings were so full and heavy we could barely move them. Usually we’d find fun little trinkets and candy. Always candy.
A few years ago, I was working at a mortgage company and one of my c0-workers was stressing about what to buy for her family’s stockings. I looked puzzled I’m sure. I’m thinking, make a stop at the drug store, buy some candy, and consider it done.
But in her family, the stockings were a big thing. They would spend upwards of $200 on a stocking. You might find an iPod or gift cards or other big things in there.
In my family, not surprisingly, we do it much like my mom did when we were growing up. There are trinkets and candy but it’s definitely an afterthought for both me and Santa. It’s kind of known in my house that stockings are a joint effort. And, in fact, if I want anything in my own stocking, I have to make sure Santa remembers to pick up a few things for me.
In case you forgot to help Santa out with your stockings, I’ll share a few ideas that can be picked up at the stores right down the street.
1. Mystery figures
It’s kind of like bubble gum trading cards like we had when we were kids. You never knew what you were going to get and you could easily trade with your friends or siblings to get what you wanted. Now, the same concept applies to LEGO mini figures, Imaginext figures, and even little minions from Despicable Me. They’ll all run you about $2.99.
Oh yes. I know this sounds lame but I’m talking designer tissue packs. I picked up a few at Walmart for something like 99 cents. They say things like “Keep Calm and Blow Your Nose.” They’re cheap, lightweight, and even if they’re lame, after a few good blows they’ll be in the trash anyway.
I already said candy was a standard, right? For me, it’s almost exclusively chocolate for the stockings (be careful turning on the fireplace with loaded stockings, though, lest you want chocolate sauce).
Because it’s Christmas, I like to try to find something a little different and personalized. For example, one year, I bought a different Ritter Sport chocolate for everyone based on what I thought they would like. My brother used to live in Germany and actually told me this imported chocolate isn’t anything special over there. (He also told me that Jägermeister is what the bums drink in Germany).
This year, I raised my game by joining the Wild Ophelia Blogger Posse and now I get to sample delicious chocolates every month including flavors like Beef Jerky, Smokehouse BBQ Chips, and Southern Hibuscus Peach. And for Christmas, they sent little ol’ me their Holiday Sampler that included
The clear holiday delight for us was the Peppermint Bark dark chocolate bar.
Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s Christmas Eve AFTERNOON. I don’t have time for fancy chocolate bars!
First of all, relax. It’s only Christmas. Second of all, they’re available at Walgreens and I guarantee they’ll make somebody happy when they see that Santa brought them something a little bit different.
(If you’re a chocolate lover, be sure to check out all my Wild Ophelia reviews because usually the weirder the flavor, the more I love it!)