2 Christmas Favorites

Last Friday we had the craziest day.  Amon and I ended up at the courthouse at 10am and didn’t get home until almost 5.  The craziest, wildest, emotional kind of day.  That alone knocked out our kindness advent for the day which was shopping for a family for Christmas.  Life happens and you just have to roll along with it.

   Saturday we recouped.  The kids were having friends spend the night so everyone got in on the kindness.  We love Redbox and love to share Redbox movies with others.  You can buy Redbox gift cards or just rental codes on their website which is super fun.  In the past we have done a Redbox bucket/bag with treats and a gift card, but this year we bought several codes, printed them off and then drove around to all our local Redboxes.  Each kiddo got to either tape a code to an empty machine or hand a code to someone waiting in line.  They loved it.  This is the only picture I snagged and Hudson Kelley absolutely perplexes my mind.  I have no clue what he is doing.  Zero, but he is wearing a Santa hat.

Yesterday we handed out Christmas books to kiddos shopping in a store and we also got in our shopping for a family we missed on Friday.  One Target, two birds.  #cornball  The kids are definitely bolder and braver this year with their words.  In the past I have had to do a lot of explaining on their behalf, but this year they are using their words to explain what they are doing and why.  I love it!  We do still have to step in sometimes or yell a Merry Christmas so people aren’t crazy creeped by us, but definitely less than any other year.

Tip for book purchasing:  I’m a huge Scholastic book fan.  They typically have amazing prices and they do so much for teachers.  They also have huge warehouse sales where all books are 50-80% off.  You can check out their website and see if one is near you.  I almost always go to their warehouse sale to snag our Christmas books we give out, but the past two years I’ve ordered from our classroom teachers.  Their teachers get points and free books when kiddos order so I didn’t mind the extra dollars when I know our teachers are benefitting.  The kids still got to choose the books, I did not have to leave our house and all the books came home in Solomon’s backpack 🙂  All I do is win, win, win no matter what! #namethatsong

For our kindness today we are handing out candy canes.  In the past when this has been picked we go to our community center and hand them out there.  This year all the kids decided they wanted to take them to school for their classmates.  I have to say I love how into this they are.  They are taking ownership of their kindness and thinking about it so who am I to argue when they throw a new idea out there.  Plus they adore their classmates and I’m so glad they want to love on them too.

Tomorrow we are leaving a treat for our trash guy.  This is always our most suspenseful one…everyone waits on pins and needles…will it go in the trash or will he see it!?!?!?  For the record, we have done this one every year so we are currently 4 for 4 on him seeing the treat and not dumping it.


In other news I wanted to share two Christmas favorites today:  One being my favorite gift we’re giving and two a favorite gift wrap.

We are Santa believers…not that he’s watching us and sees us when we’re sleeping because that kind of creeps me out, but we love the magic and whimsy and fun of Santa so our kids are still believers at this point.  They also are fully aware lots of kids and families do not do Santa.  We’re really big on “different strokes for different folks” around our house…no family is just like us and that is a-okay.  So they know some kids get presents from their parents/guardians/whoever.

Our family does 3 gifts and some treats in their stockings.  They make their little lists…Sol put his in the mailbox, Hudson put his in his stocking and Harper just kept hers this year.  Picking gifts for them is crazy fun.  We try and keep things super reasonable because A)  There are 4 of them and that can get quite expensive and B)  They just don’t need anything.

I am super excited about one of Harper’s gifts this year…a full on personal mail kit.  This kid writes letters and sends mail like there’s no tomorrow.  I cannot say enough how much I adore this about her and this gift is a bit of a splurge and I am totally cool with it.  Here’s what I ended up with: personalized stationary, address stamp, mini pens, stamps, mini stapler and 2 rolls of washi tape all in a cute box.

Here’s where I got everything.

Folk Florals personalized stationary by Minted (sign up for their email and get a coupon to use)

Self inking address stamp from Amazon seller RubberStampCreation (no ink pad required)

Ink Joy Minis by PaperMate (found these at Walgreens $2.99)

Stamps from our post office 🙂

Mini Swingline Stapler (found at Kroger of all places…on sale for $1.99 but also saw at Target)

Two rolls of washi tape from Joanns.  $3.99 each, but use those coupons party people.  I refuse to pay full price for anything at a craft store with all the coupons available.  And Joanns will accept Hobby Lobby and Michaels coupons.

And a cute little box to hold it all from Hobby Lobby…again, use those coupons!

Harper is going to crazy love this.  She’s almost nine now and her gifts are starting to sway towards older kid which makes me miss her little days, but crazy love her current days.  I mean, you guys, she asked for a cd player…like a boom box.  God love her.  And thank you HHGregg for still carrying “boom boxes” hahahahaha.

And here’s my current favorite Christmas wrapping idea…paper stockings.  So easy.  So cute.  So festive.  I love to use these for teacher gifts and gift cards, etc.

I usually use all brown craft paper, but this year I made one side craft paper and the other side wrapping paper.  I drew out a stocking design big enough to hold our goodies, traced, cut, sewed the two pieces together, decorated and sewed them shut.  Harper and I did these together while the boys were mountain biking Sunday afternoon.

Hope your Monday is off to a great start.  Here’s to another grand week.

Happy Monday.


  1. All I Do Is Win” song by DJ KHALED! Love everything about this post. Your family is incredible.

  2. Onna Withrow says:

    Oh Laura Kelley you always amaze me! LOVE the gift for Harper, she is such a lucky little girl!! Seriously though, the stocking wrap, I must try that! Do you suggest a different setting on the machine than normal? I have a pretty basic machine and a pretty basic knowledge of said machine!
    Thanks for always inspiring me! I love your blog!!

    • Oh Onna!!! You always make me feel loved 🙂 for realz!!! And yes ma’am…I use the regular setting and sometimes I fancy it up with my zigzag 🙂

  3. That is the cutest idea for wrapping presents! I just might have to try that out this year!

  4. Jill Martin says:

    Hi Laura, I have a great idea for you and the kiddos. My daughter and I do this every year and we use to do it with a group of her friends or Girl Scouts but she is now 17 years old and we still do it but the last 4 years it has just been she and I. We take used christmas cards, construction paper, glue sticks, ribbon, glitter and cut them to make brand new cards. We cut the sweet pictures and sayings and glue and glitter them into a new card. We make about 100-120 each year and deliver them by hand one by one to the people at the nursing home. We do the one in Goodlettsville and Madison every year. This is so well received and the workers there say that we will never know how much it means to them. When my daughter was younger she would also sing a Christmas Carol to them. Now that she is 17 she will not do it 🙂 Well, we would just love to see more people doing this kind of thing. They are mostly forgotten at this time of year.

  5. Love it all!!! Those paper stockings are so cute 🙂

  6. I would love to hear more about your shopping trip for another family for Christmas. How do you choose a family? Do you shop for the children and adults?

    • Amy…we actually go through our kid’s school. A little before Thanksgiving I always tell our school guidance counselor if she hears about a family who might need some assistance this Christmas to let us know. This year we shopped for just one little kiddo, but last year a whole family. I always love how our school takes the lead in this. We do not tell our children his/her name and we do not tell them they are from their school. They help shop, but I do the drop off, etc.

  7. Jen McGowan says:

    That mail kit is adorable & I am totally sewing some paper stockings…like tonight!;) Keep being awesome!!

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