The Christmas Toolbox and The Breakfast Stocking

Several years ago, when my first child was still a toddler, I realized that Christmas morning wasn’t exactly going the way that I had always envisioned it. I wanted sparkles and merriment and holiday cheer. I wanted my daughter to be able to have wonderful memories of her childhood Christmases, full of togetherness and comfort and joy and excitement. Instead, I was constantly looking for the scissors to open ridiculous adult-proof packaging, for the screwdriver to open those little battery housings for the electronics and baby dolls that talk, and for the camera, realizing at the last possible moment it was dead, and hunting around for the batteries…

{Enter Scene}:  Wait…where are the batteries?? No, really…I just had them…Everyone, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!! Where are the batteries?!

Yeah. Let’s just say it wasn’t totally sparkles and merriment.

In a determination to put an end to the Christmas morning stress, I started gathering all these things together in a tote (ok, so this year it’s a pencil box) a week beforehand…oh who am I kidding? More like the night before.  Either way, it cuts the stress out of what is supposed to be a day of family, fun, and reflecting on our Lord and Saviour’s birth. And not freaking out about batteries and such. Ahem. Throw in a trash bag and you’ve got it made, sister. NO ONE will be as prepared for this Christmasing thing as you. (It’s totally okay to pat yourself on the back right now and feel all sorts of smug).

So into the tote went those items and all went more smoothly.

Except breakfast.

A couple of years later, it occurred to me that no one wants to eat breakfast in the morning, no matter how wonderful or special the Christmas morning breakfast spread was. Especially when there was a tree full of gifts below just waiting for the children to open. If there are presents involved, they don’t care about food, no matter how hungry their little bellies are.

I finally gave in and decided, why worry about it? I’ve waited this long to be the Mama and to make the rules. I may as well have some fun rules once in awhile, right? So I eliminated the Christmas morning breakfast that everyone was always too excited to eat anyway. Instead, I began packing a healthy-ish breakfast for them in their stocking.  I knew they would most likely have a day  week of unregulated sweets and goodies (yes, mom, I’m pointing at you!). I wanted to start the day in a somewhat nutritious fashion and pack things that they can munch on while they open their gifts that won’t create too much of a mess.  Better than filling up first thing on a certain unnamed peanut butter chocolate tree type goodie anyway…

And this is how the Breakfast Stocking was born. Their breakfast stockings included a juice box, a breakfast bar, and a squeezable yogurt that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I also included a couple of other snacky things that really aren’t considered breakfast items, like trail mix and animal crackers, but eh, so what. I separate their breakfast items from the rest of their stocking stuffers by placing their breakfast food in a cloth cinch bag and putting it in the top of the stocking.

It just occurred to me that the cloth cinch bags would look so cute in a fun Christmas print or even in burlap with a red ribbon and monogrammed with a sharpie on the front. I didn’t do that though, I just went with what I had. “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” right? Right. There’s always next year. And since I don’t pack stockings until after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve (too risky to pack them any earlier) I needed somewhere to store them together so they don’t get lost. Isn’t this basket perfect?

Christmas Toolbox and Breakfast Stocking 12-22-2015
Tell me, what tips or tricks have you found that make the holidays go more smoothly?

#, #, #, #, #, #