24 Dec Parenting: A Christmas Tradition
When my two children were much younger, there came a time when they realized that my Christmas stocking would not fill itself.
They knew that it was Mama and sometimes Nana who slipped the goods into their stockings, one thing here and a couple of chocolates there.
And when they realized that mine would sit empty unless I filled my own, I quickly started hearing,
“Mama! You can’t fill your OWN stocking!”
“WE want to put presents into yours.”
“Can we pick your presents and buy them??”
“Come on, let’s go to the store! Can we have some money so we can buy you the best stocking stuffers?”
So, what was I supposed to do, tell them, “No kids, you cannot buy me presents…”
As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before we headed out so they could shop. At their young ages, The Dollar Store was a great place to let them choose fun things. It all had to be secret and stealth of course…I could not know what I was going to receive!
Off they went with their $10 to find stocking stuffers for Mama. Trying my best to keep an eye on where they were without spying their items, I’d catch them meeting up between isles -working together and comparing notes and make sure they weren’t duplicating things. This was a serious mission!
Leaving the store, they guarded their bag closely to make sure I didn’t peek and wow, were they proud. Big smiles as they anticipated filling my stocking and me opening mine as they opened theirs, on Christmas morning. And I was excited to see what they had picked out for me!
Now, it has been close to 10 years since the first Christmas that we did this and is has become one of our most favorite traditions of the year. Whether other shopping is done online or not, we always make a specific trip to shop for the stocking stuffers.
What began as buying Mama a few things from the Dollar Store has grown into both kids buying things for my stocking as well as each others. They feel great pride and joy at buying things they believe the other person will love, which is exactly what I love to see them focusing on at Christmastime.