One of our family traditions when it comes to Christmas gifts is the small everyday type things that are wrapped. Bret's family considers these things "stocking" gifts and my in family it's just one more thing to open.

Believe it or not but these are my favorite things to buy. Purchasing these gifts always fell to my mom and MIL and I too now purchase these for my family. I also usually pick up a few of these things for mom and MIL since they usually had to buy a few themselves. If I see something that I really want that falls into this category I will pick up a few for myself to wrap or write a few ideas down for Bret. It's really fun to see what he comes up with himself though. It's almost like these little everyday things sometimes takes more thought than any of the other gifts.

For the kids these things usually consist of a new fun toothbrush or paste, bubble bath, candy, fun socks or underwear, a pair of earrings or new hair ties for Emily, gloves or hat for Palmer. They are inexpensive (usually found on Black Friday), practical, and fun. For the adults (Bret, I, or parents) they are things like socks, hand warmers for hunting, chocolate, small things for the kitchen (like a fun pot scrubber), good tea or hot cocoa, and other favorite things (Bret's mom loves a certain cereal that is hard to find). It's not about the number of gifts but it is really fun to have a few extra small things to open and get.

My mom works at a large department store and is infamous at getting amazing discounts. Last year she got my sister and I 800 thread count pillow cases. They were in some interesting colors but they were wonderful (and she got them for less than a dollar after her discount). Who doesn't need a few extra pillow cases every now and then especially when you have guests (we don't have a guest bedroom so there is no matching set of sheets to worry about). She also got us some random table cloths that are always nice to have. Of course she works in the men's department so she always has dress socks, ties, undershirts, etc that she picks up through out the year when she sees them marked down.

I will be the first to tell you that while gifts are not the point of the holidays they are still fun and I love it. Even the little things.

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