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Posts Tagged: "Christmas"

33 Awesome & Thoughtful Stocking Stuffers

- - $20 or Less, Christmas

Not all stocking stuffers are created equal. Just because something is small enough to fit inside a stocking doesn’t mean it should find itself there Christmas morning.

Don’t bother with trinkets. Instead, fill your loved ones’ Christmas stockings with some of these thoughtful treasures!

33-awesome-thoughtful-stocking-stuffers

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    1. favorite chocolates, candy or snacks (include their childhood favorites!)
    2. digital-tire-pressure-gaugedigital tire pressure gauge with the correct pressure written on it (the one my husband gave me has the tire pressure written on a small piece of tape)
    3. gas gift card
    4. car wash/detailing service gift card
    5. favorite restaurant gift card
    6. personalized stationery
    7. candle of their favorite scent
    8. framed photo of the gift recipient as a child at Christmas time
    9. thank you cards
    10. Forever Stamps Continue Reading

    A Letter to Your Child | Christmas Tradition

    - - Birthday, Christmas

    I started a new Christmas tradition in my family by writing a letter to my child.

    Life moves at lightning speed, and each year I want to take the time to stop, reflect and remember all of my child’s happy moments full of fun, love and laughter by writing about them in a letter.

    write-letter-to-child-christmas-tradition

    This Christmas gift idea will be cherished far more than any wrapped present under the tree.

    I must admit, the whole process intimidated me at first.

    How am I supposed to cram a whole year’s worth of stuff into a single letter? I don’t have time to write pages and pages! What should I focus on if I can’t write about everything?

    I stopped freaking out when I thought – KISS. Keep It Super Simple.

    Focus on the cake and worry about the frosting and sprinkles later. If all I end up with is cake, it will still be awesome and better than nothing. (That just popped into my head. I’ve never thought of comparing a letter to a cake before… It must be because I haven’t eaten dinner yet… even though it’s almost 8:30 p.m.!)

    So I came up with the basic ingredients for a letter to a child:

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    Fun Themes for Christmas Gift Exchanges

    - - Christmas, Family

    Have you ever thought of having a theme for your family’s Christmas gift exchange? It takes some of the guessing out of what to get Aunt Bev, Uncle Bob and Cousin Larry.

    My friend, Elise, and her family plan a fun theme idea every year for their Dirty Santa gift exchange. They have a very large family – with many aunts, uncles, first, university-of-oklahoma-ball-cap-thoughtful-gift-ideassecond and third cousins along with grandparents and grandchildren. One year they had an All Things University of Oklahoma theme for Christmas. It was a hit because they are huge OU fans. Elise says it’s one of the few things they all agree on! Continue Reading

    Santa Sack | Gift Your Child Can’t Know is From You

    - - Christmas, Kids

    Now that I have my son Aiden, it’s so much fun to start our own family traditions – especially Christmas traditions! Growing up, I remember reading stories about Santa Claus pulling gifts made by his elves out of his toy sack and leaving them for children under their Christmas trees. The presents were always unwrapped.

    I wanted Aiden’s experience on Christmas morning to be similar to those stories so I got him a personalized Santa Sack. It’s a large burlap sack that says on the front:

    Santa Sack Family Tradition Gift Idea SPECIAL DELIVERY
    FROM THE NORTH POLE FOR
    AIDEN JAEGER
    DELIVERY DATE 25th DECEMBER
    FROM SANTA CLAUS

    My hope is that the Santa Sack will make Christmas mornings even more magical and memorable for my son by making the story of Santa Claus come alive!

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    The Gift of Song | Family Recording Studio Session

    When Judy, a co-worker of mine, had her grandchildren visit her, she planned all sorts of events for them to do. One of them was a private recording studio session at my oldest son Dustin’s recording studio. He had just started his home recording studio business at the time.

    Gift of Song Family Recording Studio Session Gift Idea

    Dustin hangs out in his recording studio.

    Judy’s granddaughters had the time of their life recording in the studio, singing into a mike with headsets on, and making a real CD. They thought it was the coolest experience ever! What a story to tell their friends and family back home. They gave a copy of their newly released CD to their parents who cherished such a unique gift!

    The idea of recording a CD led another co-worker, Tiffany, and her family to record Jingle Bells for their grandmother who lived in a different city. Practice began at the studio because there were lots of starts and stops, goofs and giggles, and funny family fodder during the recording session.

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    Jesus Candy Cane Poem | Great Gift for the Elderly

    Several years ago, my brother-in-law’s mother was living in an assisted living center. It was during the Christmas holidays that I stopped by for a visit. I brought with me a basket full of Red & White Peppermint Candy Canes.

    Attached to each one was the Jesus Candy Cane Poem. Orean, who was in her 90s, read the poem and said she thought she had heard every Christmas story told but this was a new one. See… you’re never too old to learn something new!

    Candy Cane Poem Gift Idea for the ElderlyShe asked me, “Why so many?” I told her they were to share with all of her friends at the assisted living center. Her eyes opened wide and a smile came across her face. She immediately started handing out the candy canes to the residents and staff who passed by her door.

    “Merry Christmas!” Orean would say to each person, hand them a candy cane, and instruct them to read the poem. For someone who read her Bible every day, it made Orean light up with joy to share a Christmas treat and the Lord’s message with all of her friends and neighbors.

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    Socks and Underwear for Christmas | Family Traditions

    My grandparents never forgot the Great Depression. Granddaddy talked about not having “one red cent!” Everything was bartered. They traded farm-raised pigs, cattle, chickens and what they grew in their garden for sugar, flour and other necessities. Necessities were all they thought about. There was never any money leftover for extras.

    Christmas Socks Gift IdeaEven as their lives improved after the Great Depression ended, my grandparents never stopped being frugal with their money. It was a way of life. They purchased a home and paid it off in five years. (Unheard of these days!)

    They purchased new cars every three to five years with a note to pay them off in a year. Everything else was paid in cash and what they did buy was always very modest. Like I said, no extras. Not even for their grandchildren.

    You always knew what they were getting you for your birthday and Christmas – socks and underwear. What kid looks forward to that?? At the time, we just didn’t understand where they were coming from.

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    Santa’s Naughty or Nice List – Add Names of Family

    - - Christmas, Family

    In 1996, I purchased a print of Santa Claus holding his Naughty or Nice List. The artist was there to write the names of who you wanted on either list.

    On the Nice list, I had the artist write my husband’s side of the family – his dad and mom, his sister and her children, his brother, and my husband and our two sons – the lineage of the Drew family. On the Naughty list was my brother-in-law David and me since we were the “out-laws” of the family.

    I framed the print and gave it to my in-laws as a Christmas gift. They thought it was a hoot!

    Santa's Naught or Nice List Gift IdeaYears later when my in-laws decided to downsize and move into a retirement home, they had the “kids” go through their items and keep what we wanted. I chose the print and and it has been sitting in a box at the bottom of my closet for more than 10 years.

    As luck would have it, I recently rediscovered the print of Santa. After looking at it, I realized my husband’s brother has since married and his wife and son were missing from the list. This gave me a Christmas gift idea!

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    Refillable Advent Calendar | Christmas Family Tradition

    - - Christmas, Experiences, Kids

    Something I’ve learned about myself. I enjoy starting family traditions. Years before my husband Kevin and I even started our family, I already had several family traditions on stand-by.

    One of them was a refillable advent calendar. I wanted to be able to customize the treats inside for my family each year. Plus, advent calendars started as a German tradition and since Kevin’s side of the family (their last name is Jaeger) is from Germany, it seemed like a perfect fit! It’s also a fun way for the entire family to count down the days until Christmas Day.

    Refillable Advent Calendar GiftI bought a wooden advent calendar with larger compartments so I had more flexibility with the size of my treats. I specifically picked this one though because it shows the Nativity Scene – a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be about.

    For treats, I like to include a variety of edible treats, small gifts, quotes and family activities. The activities I write down on cute paper.

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    Nostalgia of Owning a Volkswagen Bug

    My boss Dennis and I have compared many stories of our Volkswagen Bugs we drove during our college years. There was no better car for poor college kids. They were inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to maintain, and inexpensive to fill up with gas. The key word here is inexpensive! And when other fancier vehicles were stuck in the snow, the Bug could travel on by.

    Volkswagen Bug rental car gift

    My boss Dennis gets ready to drive down memory lane in his Volkswagen Bug rental car my co-workers and I bought him as a Christmas present.

    The nostalgia of owning a VW Bug is a strong and wonderful feeling. Imagine giving someone the gift of reliving such a feeling!

    We did just that for Dennis. Last year for Christmas, my co-workers and I gave our boss a VW Bug rental car for the weekend. After locating a rental car service that had a VW Bug, we had to be flexible with the timing.

    You can rent a car anytime, anyplace but asking for a particular vehicle, you may have to wait for availability. Thankfully, a couple of weeks before Christmas, the rental car service called that a VW Bug had become available.  Perfect!

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