Thursday, 23 December 2010
Today my husband and I will be making the final round of Christmas purchases - stocking stuffers. You know, all those little goodies that kind of float free and aren't really wrappable, but can be contained in a sock-like structure large enough for a very strangely shaped giant foot.
So I thought a little documentation of stocking stuffer guidelines, as it pertains to our particular family (meaning me), were in order. Just so we're all on the same page - me, myself and I...Oh! AND my husband, lest he start suggesting things that just waste everyone's time.
First off, I should tell you about our family stocking tradition. The stocking is special, in that, it is the only "gift" that can be opened without all family members present. It is the cornerstone on which the need to rush down the stairs to the Christmas tree at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning is preserved.
All other gifts must be left intact until mom and dad, finally, and with much coersion, get their lazy asses out of bed and painfully amble down the stairs all the while complaining about aching joints and stiff backs.
In effect, this encourages Christmas excitement and just enough suspense to build on this excitement so that Christmas morning maintains its magical and wide-eye inducing joy. I should temper this with the fact that, at this point in my kids' snooping teenage lives, most presents have already been discovered, unwrapped, in their hiding places in closets, under beds and other various "secret" spots. The mystery is essentially a thing of the past.
This leaves the tradition of the stocking as the sole remaining true surprise. All the more reason why strategic stuffing is so important.
Efficiency is the name of the game here, but not at the expense of practicality or forgetting to take into account personality. So here are 10 of the "musts" for stocking stuffing (according to me):
- The stocking must look fat, bulky and have things oozing out of the top.
- The tip of the sock must not be empty. Something soft, but properly sized, must be purchased to adequately fill that space.
- There must be a proper balance of practical and impractical.
- There must also be a proper balance of edible and non-edible.
- Christmasy candy is a must! If there is no red or green wrapping or candy color, the effort is a bust!
- At least one candy of personal preference for each child must be included so they understand that Santa really knows them.
- Practical items such as scotch tape, scissors, brushes and nail clippers must be included so that there is no excuse for these items to be borrowed from mom or dad throughout the year.
- Somewhat healthy items should also be included, such as honey roasted peanuts, so the kids have a slight protein intake with all the sugar.
- At least one impractical, inedible, but personal item must be included.
- Stockings must be stuffed at the very last minute and after children are proven asleep so there is no chance that the legend of Santa can be questioned as it pertains to the stocking. Even though children claim NOT to believe in Santa anymore, appearances must be maintained!
And there you have it! Rules I live by when purchasing stocking stuffers and carrying out this critical mission!
How do you stuff your stockings? What unwritten (or written) rules do you have for stuffing them?