Christmas Ramblings

Christmas is in full swing at the Kelley house.  Our tree is up.  Our stockings are hung.  Our Christmas books are out.  Advent envelopes are ready.  And I am a mad present buying fool.  Packages have started arriving…I heart the FedEx and UPS dudes. I’m checking things off my list left and right.  It’s good times I tell you…good times.

Harper had ornament day yesterday at school and it was too fun.  They made all sorts of ornaments and started decorating their classroom tree with them.  I love Harper’s teacher.  I could easily bring her home with us and keep her for forever.  Not stalkerish sounding at all.  Harper would like that.  God bless good teachers.

Our tree goes up seriously the day after Thanksgiving.  Josh Kelley is a Christmas tree lover and he is usually itching around Halloween to put it up.  I do my best to keep him at bay until after Thanksgiving.  This year it went up a week before Thanksgiving.

I need another stocking hanger.  I bought ours over several years from Hobby Lobby and now I need just one more, but Hobby Lobby doesn’t have them anymore.  Can anyone help a sister out?  Josh’s poor stocking is just hanging out on our stool below all of our nicely hung stockings.

We do believe in Santa.  We don’t do the “he sees you when you’re sleeping” Santa, but only because I find it a bit creepers.  We leave cookies and milk out and also do the reindeer food in the yard.  The wee Kelleys know that Christmas is about Jesus, not all about Santa.  But I like the wonder and imagination in it…just like their wonder and imagination with Princesses and Star Wars and Superheros.  Why has this become a matter of the heart and up for serious spiritual debate over the years?  Can’t we all just be cool with whatever works for your family…different strokes, for different folks.  One of my nieces told Harper Santa wasn’t real and I just told her the truth, “Well then Santa isn’t real to her.”  When she asks if Santa is real, I simply ask back, “What do you think?”  I want her to be true to herself and not to worry about what other kiddos say and do and think.  So yep, we dig Santa, but we dig the Savior of the world more.

We do three presents per kiddo and then some small treats in their stockings.  This is just our choice because Jesus received three gifts and it works best for our budget with 4 wee Kelleys.  I’ve seen on Pinterest the 4 gifts…1 want, 1 need, 1 wear and 1 read.  I thought that was pretty neat, but I just like giving the fun wants.  Ha.  And some parents go all out with presents and some do none…kudos to you too.  Virtual high 5s all around.

We like our Kindness Advent to further help us keep the main focus on what Christmas is all about.  I also saw this pin on Pinterest about doing Advent with The Jesus Storybook Bible.  It is hands down my most favorite little kid Bible.  I tear up sometimes reading it to them.  You must check it out.  I’m going to do this with the kids this year too.

I’ve always wanted a tree skirt, but those things are pretty darn expensive.  This year Land of Nod has a super cute one that I loved, but again, way too pricey.  What’s a crafty girl to do…make my own.  So 2 yards of natural burlap, some felt snowflakes and fabric pens later and voila…my own tree skirt that cost me just a few bucks.

I love all the Elf On The Shelf ideas I am seeing all over Pinterest.  We don’t have an elf, but I think all the ideas are way funny and cute and I bet my kids would love it.  I’m thinking I may just buy a cheap little creeper elf from Etsy and let him serve as our Elf On The Shelf.  My niece Campbell loves the whole elf thing too.  I have consistently bought her additional old creepy elves to add to her magical collection.  #auntoftheyearaward

And lastly what are your favorite Christmas movies?  Right now our favorites are Elf and Arthur Christmas.  My Uncle Tom got Arthur on Netflix for the kids while we were in Florida.  My Aunt Linda and I cried like babies.  It is such a funny and sweet movie.  I’m going to get it for the kids eventually.  Uncle Tom sent us home with a copy of Elf.  The wee Kelleys belly laugh at several parts.  Mainly the burping part and when he asks the rabid raccoon if he needs a hug….the boys enjoy acting that one out.  It’s quite hilariously funny.

So what are your Christmas traditions?  Any favorites?  I like that Christmas can look so different depending on the family.  Different is good…if we were all the same, the world would be quite boring.

Happy Friday!

Oh and I almost forgot.  Tomorrow is the first day of our Kindness Advent.  I changed things around with our deeds this year a bit, but decided to keep our first kind deed the same as last year…a little tradition within a tradition, if you will.  Have a great weekend.


  1. We’ve always just “bought” however many things our girls (now 12 & 15) would like/need/use for Christmas. A friend told me a few weeks ago that she’s only ever done three for her kids… she said, “Jesus received just three gifts. Why do my kids need more than the Saviour?!” LOVE IT! My girls now know this philosophy and don’t take any exception. Makes my heart smile. Thanks for being your rockin’-awesome little self. 🙂 You make a groovy mama in AZ happy each day.

  2. Laura, I love your blog and am constantly stealing… er, borrowing… ideas from you 🙂 I read how you guys do 3 gifts per kid a couple years ago and we started that in our family last year. We wanted to keep the Santa tradition too though so we explained to our kids (ages 4 and 1 1/2 this year) that Santa loves Jesus and brings 3 gifts to represent the 3 gifts that were brought by the wise men. This year while talking to my 4 year old about what he wanted most for Christmas he told me, “I wish the wise men had brought FOUR gifts for Jesus, because I really want 4 presents.” Haha, at least the Christmas story is sinking in! 🙂

  3. My parents/”Santa” usually got us one “big” gift and a couple small ones, plus sticking stuffers. We are just now getting into Santa with my daughter (she’ll be 3 in March), and we are going with one big gift, a kitchen and accessories for it (an apron set, dishes set and play food set) and some stocking stuffers (coloring books, hair clips, play jewelry, bath crayons). She gets
    tons from grandparents and aunts/uncles (only niece on both sides only grandchild and only great grand on both sides). As for the favorite Christmas movie we are currently stuck on The Polar Express, in addition to all the classic Christmas shorts like the Grinch, Frosty, Charlie Brown and Rudolph.

  4. Elf is our favorite movie for sure. Our daughter’s name is Jovie! We have 3 birthdays and our anniversary in December so we definitely love this time of year. We are trying to come up with a few good traditions to stick with as our kids get older. Right now, we just try to keep the buying and decorating simple and enjoy all of the family time and special activities.

    I love your tree skirt! you rock!

  5. Kelly tuttle says:

    The “three gift” idea is sweet. However, Christmas is HUGE for my son (almost 18!) I have never been one to buy “something” every single time we go to Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. Big items have always been something he saved for himself or waited for Birthday or Christmas. Even candy, movies, small toys…save your money or wait. That’s just me. It eliminates impulse and Christmas is highly anticipated. For the last two years, I’ve done a fun Twelve Days of Christmas. One small gift (literally priced from $1 and up) for the twelve days leading up to Christmas. The Stocking is not as full as it once was, but it has become a fun tradition. Items may include candy, and ink pen, batteries, a pair of socks, a goofy cheap dollar store game, and there is usually one really cool item in the mix. The twelve gifts are under the tree, and he chooses which one each day.
    We also celebrate this as Jesus’ birthday, and rejoice in His birth.

  6. I love the fact that you believe in Santa in your home. We grew up with Santa. It was so magical. When we did find out the truth, I never felt like my parents lied to me or decieved me in any way. It was just plain fun and magical. We knew the true reason for Christmas and never lost sight of that. My husband, on the other hand, did not grow with Santa and his parents/family are very vocal about it. It makes my heart sad that we won’t be Santa when we have kiddos in the house. But I LOVE the idea of the 3 gifts. My sister was just telling me about this yesterday! Something to think about when we have kids. Thanks for sharing your heart and making me realize that I’m by far not the only Santa lover out there… and that you CAN be a Christian and still believe in Santa! 🙂

  7. love this post so much!!! we do non-creepy santa, too. and i hide ollie, our little elf, around the house. and we do the three gift thing for our kiddos, too. sometimes i cheat though … like buying little suitcases for them and then stuffing them with dress-up clothes and counting it as one thing. :] BUT. they only open three things. and i feel like it’s legit because i KNOW that frankincense for sweet baby Jesus was totally “stuffed” in a bottle! we dig santa. but we totally dig CHRIST more. thanks for sharing and making me feel not so guilty about playin’ santa every year.

  8. I’m with you and all for embracing EVERYONE’S ideas of what makes the holidays special for their family. You are great!

    As for the stocking hangers – they have them at Target. My sister got the exact same ones you have and they were on sale. Worth checking out 🙂

  9. I love Christmastime! It really is the BEST time of the year! We believe in Santa but we know and love Jesus and can’t wait to celebrate His birthday! My girl is already singing “Happy Birthday Jesus”! I did an advent paper garland and on each link, I wrote a different, simple Christmasy “to do” (read a special Christmas book, take goodies to the doctors, watch a special video, etc.). I love ELF but for me and my hubs we have a special post-Thanksgiving-get-into-the-Christmas-spirit movie date with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! I can recite every line and it drives my hubs a little nuts but he indulges me every year! 🙂 My girl was given an elf on the shelf (much to my dismay) last year but he has yet to make his grand arrival at our house yet. I love the idea of 3 gifts but I’m guessing those are in addition to the one big one that Santa brings? My girl is just now “getting” the whole idea of Christmas and celebrating Jesus and giving to others so I’m super excited this year! Christmas is always wonderful but when seen through the eyes of little bitties, it’s even more magical!

  10. i love all your ideas. we do a lot of the same…but slightly different so that they work for our family. so much fun. i love traditions!

    ok. a movie i think your kids would love – eloise at christmas (or something like that). i have 2 girls and 4 boys and they ALL love it! it’s SO funny and cute! check it out!

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