Christmas has always been a magical time for our family...filled with lots of food, presents, celebrating, laughing, game playing, excitement, family and tradition. But what do you do when people grow up, move away, start their own families, and things start to change? You start new traditions of course!

You see...as we've all gotten older, my immediate family has recently started a newer tradition. Here's a preview:

You see....it starts to get expensive....really expensive actually when you try to buy for everyone in your family (anyone else share this problem?). Most of the time you get them something kind of crappy, because in order to stick to your budget and still get everyone a gift, they're unfortunately not gonna get much. Uh hem.....here's a candy bar, brother....Merry Christmas!

Sooo, we decided to each draw one name, stick to a budget we all agreed to, and stuff stockings! Literally stuff...take a peek at mine this year!

Brimming with goodies!!

All most of us got matching stockings from Pottery Barn. One of these is not like the others!

 Eric wanted to be different. :)

After a few years of experience, we all decided it was more fun for the girls to shop for the girls and guys to shop for the guys. We give each other ideas/lists, and sometimes people just even ask for money. But be careful if you choose this route...you might end up having to go on a scavenger hunt for your money or you may get it all in the form of quarters! (We have to make it interesting somehow!)

And usually we all get one or two things that don't fit in the stockings so we wrap the presents and stick a clever note in the stocking for the person to go and find their other gift(s). You can get really clever with this too...like make the person find their gift under their tree by measuring with the tape measure you just gave them in their stocking along with the note giving the measurements. Ummm, yes, this was the boys.

 We also take this evening to complete our tradition of sugar cookie making.....


and lots...

of sugar cookie making!!

We have to  make sure to have enough for all the different family celebrations we have! And trust me....we definitely have some cookie monsters.

Last but not least, we've decided it is so much easier to get Chinese takeout than to have to make dinner for the whole family (not to mention the messy cleanup afterward!) Sorry--no pictures of my beef lo mein, but it was scrumptious! Tsing Tsao is the only way to go.
(delicious. efficient. cheap). YES.

Oh yeah, it's probably wise not to leave the stocking you're working on stuffing in a little boy's room....otherwise you might come back to this....

Here's a closer look....

Oops! Guess Ollie realized these presents weren't for him...

Needless to say, the evening is always fun and stuffed full with cookies, stockings, food, and fun!

P.S. What traditions does your family have?!


  1. OH what fun we did have!! Love the pictures. I had to laugh all over again about Kevin finding the stocking he had just filled, empty upon his return to Ollie's room. Good memories!! I was so hoping your post this morning was about this! Great pictures. Love you!!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Hannah! What great gift ideas. We may need to go that route to keep things realistic and not too stressful too. Fun photos, miss you! :)