Some say I may go just a little overboard during the Holidays. I might, but I will continue to do so even when my children are all grown up! The excitement, memories and smiles I get from these special traditions make it all worth it. Here are some I would love to share with you!

1.  Frosty was here! Every Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door right around bedtime. The door is opened to find a present and snow tracks. (Coconut flakes and round footprints) The gift is from Frosty the Snowman and he left Christmas Pajamas to keep them all snug in bed for Santa! For me... it means Christmas pictures in the morning are ready to go!

2.  Santa always seems to leave his glasses and a white glove next to the empty cookie plate, evidence that he really came! The kids love sending his lost items back with a thank you letter for their gifts.

3.  Elf on a Shelf! Where is “Shelden” today? In the kitchen in a bowl with a wooden spoon and a mess of flour everywhere! This is our newest tradition that we are really enjoying! Check out Elf on a Shelf here. Anything to help keep my kids in check is a plus in my book! 

4.  Christmas Pickle~ a tradition of trying to find a small pickle ornament on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle first receives an extra gift from Santa or gets to open a gift first. Also teaches children to appreciate the Christmas tree before tearing into gifts.

5.  Wrapping paper unrolled down the hallway. It’s my secret alarm that alerts me to tiny feet trying to sneak out to see the presents!

6.  Make tinsel magical. When Santa comes he leaves tiny Christmas Trees in the children’s rooms with new slippers under the tree. He is also a very messy Santa ~ he leaves tinsel on the bedroom doorknobs, in the slippers and on all of the Christmas Trees.

7.  The guess a gift. The guess a gift is so much fun! I love trying to stoop my husband every year because he is excellent at this game! Everyone receives a gift three days before Christmas. You have to try and “guess” what the gift is. If you can not guess the gift, you have to wait until Christmas to open it. Last year my husband had a ball of rubber bands and it took him three guesses...rrrrr! I will get him this year! 

8.  Reindeer snacks. We ALWAYS leave carrots, celery and a big pot of water for the Reindeer outside. Those Reindeer are messy too! They leave chewed up carrots and celery everywhere! What’s really fun is watching those Reindeer (my husband and I) chew it and leave it!

9.  Dollar Store. I take my son and daughter to the Dollar Store (at different times) to pick out their gifts for the other family members. It is so adorable to see what they pick out. It only cost a dollar, but to me is priceless.

10.  Christmas Ornaments.  Every year my husband and I pick out the kids Christmas Ornaments. We Initial and date each one. They love remembering and seeing their ornaments on the tree each year. Someday when they are all grown up, I will give them their ornaments to enjoy with their own families.

11.  The Magic Key. At our house, we do not have a chimney for Santa to come down, so we have a magic key! It’s a HUGE glittery key that we hang on the outside of the front door. Only Santa has the special magic to use the key!

12.  Spiked Eggnog. Ok...I worked hard, presents are opened, kids are playing, the movie Christmas Story is on, phone calls have been made, and Christmas Dinner is started. It’s time to relax. It’s time to enjoy a pretty glass filled with yummy eggnog, topped fresh nutmeg ~ and just a smidgen of spiced rum. Ho Ho Ho!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season! 
Charlotte Linde

Gift ideas
Infants & Toddlers (newborn - age 3)
Riding Toys, Activity Centers & Gyms, Puzzles, Soft Blocks & Toys, Educational Toys

Younger Children (age 4 - age 6)
Train Sets, Dolls & Accessories, Blocks, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tonka Trucks, Diggers, Front Loaders, Lite Brights, MagnaDoodles, AquaDoodles, Dress-Up Clothes, Food & Kitchen Play, Educational Toys

Older Children (age 7 - age 12)
Sports Equipment, Craft Kits, Puzzles, Remote Control Cars & Trucks, Action Figures, Barbies,          Monster High Dolls, Educational Toys

Stocking Stuffers:
G-Rated Movies, Hair Accessories, Matchbox Cars, Books, Bracelets, Candy, Small Games

Gift Certificates:
Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Orange Leaf, Hy-Vee, McDonald’s, Burger King, Movie Theater, AirFX, Bowling Alley, Playstation, Bus Passes Personal Products.

Other Holiday Needs:
Batteries for toys (AA, AAA, C, D)
Wrapping Paper, & Bows

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