My inlaws are very much into the commercial Christmas deal with lots of presents and a big production about Santa Claus. One of them dress up as the fellow in red and pass out huge gifts to the children and a big deal is made about how that is the best part of Christmas. Now, I'm all for magic and wonder and Santa can be a wonderful thing but I was so tired by Christmas morning of hearing about what Liam wanted and what Santa was going to bring and how we MUST buy him certain things (like it was his honour and privledge to be treated to WHATEVER he wanted....it was REALLY out of hand for a while). I'd even threatened to use my North Pole conections to call off Christmas presents for the year.
This year I decided that while the inlaws were going to do the whole big Santa production I was going to do a little stocking for each of the kids and have it waiting for them under the tree when they got up on Christmas morning. I thought it would be nice to have a little something just for the little family before the inlaws arrived and something that was part of my English tradition as well. So at 7:15 I hear it, "Mommy, mommy, Santa came and he left something for me and it has my name on it." Then, "I think he left one for Morgaine too" (Santa got lazy and only wrapped one of the two gifts). I just loved hearing the amazement in his voice and he had a real twinkle in his eye. He jumped into the bed where I lay lazily nursing Morgaine. So up we get and we call Daddy up to open our stockings together.
Morgaine digging in to her stocking.
Liam sizing up a braclet that was in his stocking.
I am happy to report that out of all the gifts that the kids received they seemed happiest with the simple things that came from their stocking. You don't have to spend a whole ton of money or go all out to make a child's morning bright. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it and that is all that mattered. We'll definitely do stockings again next year. It'll be our own little Christmas morning family tradition.