Laura and I enjoyed sharing this morning with the MOPS group that meets at our church about our family's Christmas traditions. One of the things we talked about was our Christmas Stockings. For us as a family, the funnest part of Christmas are the STOCKINGS, and in our home there are three different types of Christmas Stockings.
First, there are Nana's Stockings. My mom (Nana) sends each of us a Christmas stocking every year. Each Christmas Eve we go out for an early dinner as a family. In the past it was at Olive Garden but since there is no Olive Garden in Gaylord, Michigan, we tried a different restaurant last year that we had a gift certificate for. But to be honest, we weren't real impressed. This year Laura has to work so we will most likely move our Christmas Eve meal up to breakfast. Anyway, after our meal we would spend the next several hours at church for our Christmas Eve services. Afterwards, we would come home and watch a Christmas movie (I always lobby for Ernest Saves Christmas). We then would go through Nana's stockings which always is a side-splitting Holiday experience.
Second, there is Laura's Purple Stocking. Laura's favorite color is purple. Several years ago I bought a purple Christmas stocking and filled it with special and sometimes even romantic items just for her. After the kids have gone to bed and we have helped Santa in filling his stockings and putting his presents out for the morning, Laura gets to empty her Purple Stocking.
Third, there are the Santa Stockings. When it comes to emptying stockings, for our family it takes quite some time. Our motto is "quantity over quality." In other words, instead of putting 6 or 7 bigger things in the stockings, we opt to stuff it with 40 or more little and inexpensive items. And when it comes to the these stockings, we don't just dump them out and dive in. We take turns each taking one item out of his or her stocking at a time so everyone can see - then the next person takes one thing out - then the next person takes one thing out - and so on - and so on - and so on. A minimum of 40 items per stocking multiplied by 4 stockings (Yes, Santa fills mom and dad's stocking as well) totals a minimum of 160 turns, so stockings take a while to complete and we enjoy each and every turn.
If our family had to chose between all the presents and their stockings, and they could only have one or the other - not both, I am fully confident that our family would all 100% opt for the stockings. To us, they really are the funnest pat of Christmas.