Santa Wrapping

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is how every family has its own Christmas traditions especially when it comes to how Santa leaves gifts for the kids. These traditions are often passed down through the generations and are as important to families as the side dishes that go along with their Christmas turkey or the movies that they watch every year on Christmas Eve.

Here’s what Santa does in our house: He leaves stockings full of treats and small gifts, which are all individually wrapped because he sometimes tends to go overboard or gets larger items that spill out of the sock. This causes a bit of controversy for my husband, as Santa kept it simple with an orange, a chocolate, and one small gift when he was growing up, but I fondly remember getting books, rolled up magazines, and handheld games in my stocking and wanted to pass on that same sense of joy to our kids. Of course, some families don’t wrap the gifts and others don’t do stockings at all. And for some, the stockings are all that Santa brings — other gifts are from parents and other family members.

As for the bigger gifts, the ones that the kids ask for in their letters to Santa (or in person if we’re feeling industrious and actually make it out to the mall), Santa brings one present for each child and it is wrapped in special paper (so it doesn’t match any of the presents from mom and dad) that is left under the tree, in front of the other, non-Santa gifts. If the kids ask for something really big like a bike or a wooden train table, they’re usually left around the corner with a big bow on them and brought out after the stockings have been opened.

Again, there are a lot of different traditions when it comes to what Santa does with kids’ “main” gifts. Many families find their gifts unwrapped, either under the tree or under the mantle with the stockings, so that the kids can see what Santa brought them as soon as they make their way downstairs. Other families leave out a special Santa “bag” for each child, eliminating the need for special paper or names written on the gifts that may raise questions for particularly observant children.

What really warms my heart about all of this is that even though different families have different traditions, kids seem to just go with it and don’t seem to question that their friends’ gifts may arrive differently than their own. They’re just thrilled that Santa arrived and revel in whatever happens on Christmas morning.

What are your Santa traditions? Stockings? Wrapped gifts? No wrapping? Let us know in the comments section below.