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We always told our girls that Santa Claus brings some of the Christmas presents UNTIL you stop believing in him and then the parents have to bring the presents. That is why some homes have parents bringing the gifts instead of Santa Claus! And when you stop believing, you get underwear (This was told to us by the REAL Santa).
Santa always wraps his presents in paper that mom and dad don't have in the basement. Santa always tracks in snow in and around the fireplace leading to the Christmas tree (baking soda and dad's boots). Daddy always grumbles about the mess the "old man" made! The girls love this and it is always good for the giggles!
Santa always eats some of the cookie and milk we left out and the carrots were always gnawed. He leaves some crumbs scattered around the plate (which Mom would never allow).
Santa often left other indicators that he was at our home. He papered over the door leading into the tree, left sleigh tracks in the front lawn when there was snow one Christmas Eve, writes a note, tapes a crepe paper "web" over the bedroom door so the kids have to "break through" before they can get out of their room, and once he even left his hat behind (we left it out the next year and he left a thank you note).
The Christmas elf also visits our home beginning on the 13th and leaves a small token each of the 12 days of Christmas to help with the suspense leading up to the big day (once he left us tickets to see a play and he always leaves new pjs on the morning of Christmas eve). He also always leaves thank you notes and a new Christmas ornament (theme specific to something meaningful that year) one of the days. He leaves other items like candy treats, socks, and now that the girls are older, makeup, gift certificates, etc. I stock up on these kinds of things right after Christmas at the sales and throughout the year.
We invite the Christmas elf to come when we have finished decorating the Christmas tree by turning off all the lights except the tree and chant Shimbaree-Shimbarah (left over from when our oldest loved Barney!)
We always make sure the girls know the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, by continuing to regularly attend our worship and other church events, we give generously to those in need, support our Angel tree and ring the Salvation Army bell once during the season. We attend other holiday events which keep our focus on the "real' meaning of Christmas - not just Santa Claus and receiving gifts.
Merry Christmas to all!
By Diana from Prospect, KY
My daughter was one of those that wanted to get up at the crack of dawn to open Christmas presents. I got an old Santa hat and, each year, I would leave it on the pillow next to her head. When she woke up and the hat was there, she knew that Santa had been there. If she woke and there was no hat, Santa was not there yet. I always explained that Santa must have lost his hat when he stopped to kiss her good bye. After Christmas, we made a big deal of pretending to mail the hat back to the North Pole for next year. This worked great for years.
One year for Christmas, we chose to put the tree in the family room, which did not have a fireplace in it. The children thought the tree should go in the living room, which did have a fireplace, and therefore closer to where Santa would find it and place presents under it. But my husband and I thought we should put the tree in the room we spent the most time in, the family room.
On Christmas morning, we awoke to find that "Santa" sided with the children and had MOVED the Christmas tree from the family room to the living room next to the fireplace, where the presents for the children were waiting under the tree. That was several years ago and the children are older, but still remind us of that magical Christmas.
When my kids were little, we would try to catch Santa on video every year. We would set our movie camera up and let the kids hit record and send them off to bed. Once they were in bed asleep, we would hit stop without moving the camera and "wait for Santa to come". Once he had arrived the next morning, we would hit record and let the kids come in. They could not wait to watch the video to see if they had caught Santa in the act. To their amazement they never could catch him. The gifts just miraculously arrived somehow without ever seeing Santa.
By Tammy from LA
About seven years ago, while shopping for wrapping paper for Santa's gifts to my children, I was struck by a most frugal thought: do I really need to spend $30 dollars for wrapping paper? I mean, really, buying the gold and silver foil paper to wrap a present that is torn to shreds in one second?
Well, that started a new and great tradition in my family: The Santa Sack. For less than what I would have spent on wrapping paper in one year, I went to the fabric store, and bought red flannel, on sale of course. I made an enormous sack, with white rope, and big bells tied to the rope. I sewed up the flannel like a bag, and just hemmed around the rope.
To start our new tradition, Santa sent a letter to our house, telling our family that he and the elves were concerned about the waste of paper, and the trees. So, he was putting all our gifts in this special sack, and encouraged all of us to reuse, recycle, and reduce our waste. The children were thrilled!
Of course this was "an experimental" project, and not every family was getting a sack. But year after year, the joy of seeing our Santa sack still brings a smile to our faces! And boy, the paper and money we have saved!
When our children were small, I would begin my Christmas cooking and baking on Christmas Eve. I would cook the entire day until 11:00-12:00 p.m. To avoid all the clutter of the boxes that the Christmas toys came in, we took every toy out of the box, put a note from Santa to the child on the toy and placed it under the tree as if Santa had played with the toy and left it for each individual child.
There were Christmas gifts under the tree from my husband and I and our children loved the notes from Santa and was amazed at the sight of the dolls, trucks, games and the fact that Santa had really played with their toys. The toy boxes and other items or the trash from the "Santa" toys were hidden in trash bags in the garage until my husband could dispose of them in a discreet manner.
As far as the note from Santa. I used old Christmas cards to make the card from Santa and I changed my handwriting drastically and it was really dramatic and the children really believed that Santa wrote the note; the notes also were personalized like Santa knew something about each child.
This was a fun-filled night for my husband and I. After "playing Santa", my husband and I would enjoy a snack of some of the finger foods and hot apple cider, hot cocoa or flavored coffee before retiring for bed.
Our children have carried on this tradition with our grandchildren.
By JOSE from Tennessee
A few years ago after watching the TV movie "Mrs. Santa Claus" with Angela Lansbury (GREAT holiday movie!), I realized that Mrs. Claus works just as hard as Santa! Why is she stuck home on Christmas Eve? Why should Santa have all the fun of delivering toys without her? Also, we want to show our kids that a married couple should be united in their goals.
On Christmas Eve, we set out carrots for the reindeer, as well as cookies and milk for Santa AND Mrs. Claus!
On Christmas Morning, when the kids rush in to find what Santa brought, they always check to see if the snack is gone and if Santa brought Mrs. Claus. Sure enough, both mugs are empty and the cookies are gone! How do we know if Mrs. Claus came along for the ride? Why, her lipstick is on the mug AND napkin, of course!
By Marie from Idaho Falls, Idaho
The best holiday stress reliever I found, was engaging the whole family in Christmas for others. I went to local Post Offices and asked for any Dear Santa letters, and they were very happy to let me take some. My kids and I spent a lot of time filling those lists as well as we were able. My boys learned it's not about what you get, it's about what you give.
We are not poor, but we're a long way from wealthy. We hunted thrift stores, flea markets, discount stores, etc. We even asked friends and relatives to help out with gifts. My kids, who often thought they were so deprived, learned that there is always someone who is in a worse place than they are. And with that, they learned to be grateful for what they received.
By Peg from Smithton, PA
Be sure to use a wrapping paper that the kiddos haven't seen when wrapping gifts from Santa! Then they will be sure to know that he is real and has stopped by! I hide a new roll each year and if I don't use it all, I tell the kids that Santa left me the rest for next year! :)
By Christine from Spanaway, WA
1. We never wrapped Santa gifts - just family ones.
2. We always hung stockings with their names.
3. Stockings were stuffed with unwrapped items
4. Usually one large unwrapped gift from Santa under the stocking with their name.
When they were teens and wanted clothes, we would hang them on a new hanger from the stocking. Then the small children still had the wonder.
The eldest was 20 and still wanted this and the youngest was 10 and still thought Santa brought his "Pong" game. The youngest is over 40 now and still remembers the magic of that last year of believing Santa brought all that for him, a magical time.
By Elizabeth from Salinas, CA
Do your children write letters to Santa? You can get a North Pole cancellation on a letter sent back to your children. After your child writes their letter to Santa, you write a letter back to your child from Santa (or have a family member write it if your child will recognize your writing). You place your Santa's response letter in a stamped envelope with your child's name and address. In the return address at the top left corner, write The North Pole, AK. Place this letter into a larger, properly stamped envelope and mail it first class to:
North Pole Christmas Cancellation
5400 Mail Trail
Fairbanks, AK 99709-9998
By Paula from Christmas, MI
Ask a QuestionHere are the Santa Claus Traditions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My husband and I play Santa and Mrs. Clause every year for our community and we have been getting stumped by a child's question of how did Santa get his magic key. We hand made our own painting of it so that we could present it, but we are unsure as to the legend of how Santa got his key.
I have never heard of such a story. Perhaps you could google it. I suspect maybe the kid's family made this up to make a more sensible story than the chimney business since so few houses have big enough chimneys nowadays!