Santa is Satan!

LOL!!!!! Santa = Satan! (Laughing with little tears running down my cheeks!) You simply MUST go read Leni's post on the impending holiday season ...

We don't "do" Halloween in a big way mostly because it dawned on me that I could use that "Halloween" decorating money to boost my "Christmas" decorating budget, since I don't have unlimited resources. Although, when I'm going to be home, we have GREAT treats.

One year, kids went to the end of the driveway, turned their coats inside-out, and came back to get a second round. Yeah, I did SO give them a second round. They showed appreciation and wonderful problem-solving-skills! (Not to mention one tiny boy who blurted out "I remember you! THIS is the house!") Once I realized what a giant handful of candy was costing me per trick-or-treater, I decided to get more impact for my buck. Because it is naive to think that I'm the kind of person who can hand over one small hard piece of butterscotch per child. Know yourself! Accept yourself! Work smarter not harder!

Trick-or-treatering is easier if you have everything in one package. One lump per child and you're done. One year we gave out oreos. Not the "mini" packs where there are two cookies. Spend the extra nickle and get the six-pack of oreos in the snack aisle. Each six-pack is about a quarter. I actually saved money over my free-handing candy days! Or, crayons. I've noticed that Walmart has a 24 pack of Crayola for 20 cents. Kids LOVE new crayons with the sharp points, and you don't gain weight from the leftovers! And then there's the costume-prizes ...

Yes, I've been known to give prizes for costumes. This is why Walgreens has those one-pound-Hershey-bars on sale in October! Make a cute ribbon, certificate, etc. for "Great Costume" or "Extra Polite Trick-or-Treater" or "Fabulously Creative Creation" , then tape it on the candybar with a little curling ribbon and watch small children completely freak out as they wave it at their parents while dancing with glee. Tip: I ususally have about ten awards ready (some of them duplicates, notice none of those suggestions said "most") and never give them to children in groups so no one is left out. Really, they're for very little kids who have a parent lurking at the bottom of the steps.

I've got to admit though, the increasing gore is starting to creep me out. I have LITTLE children. I hate taking them to the store this time of year because dangling fake-bleeding corpses and monster vampire masks aren't images they need in their heads. I don't let them watch horror movies either. It seems each year the gore-n-violence gets weirder. Rotting-corpse brides? What!?!

My family freaked out when we told them that we didn't celebrate "Santa" (and the Toothfairy). We just explained to the children that "Santa" is a game Mommy and Daddy like to play, and that if anyone tells ANYONE else about it then Mommy and Daddy will STOP playing the game. Period.

That works out great for us as parents because we rotate years. One year I shop for "Santa" and the next year I shop for "Mom and Dad". I ALWAYS do the stockings. Just because. Otherwise, my world would stop spinning. My husband is, at best, perplexed by my fascination with the stockings. But when I was little, it was the first thing we got to open. And then we had to stop for breakfast (or at least while my mother had coffee) and then after we realized there was no Santa my brother and I did each other's stockings. Its one of my fondest memories of my brother. He was younger than me and SO excited to overfill my stocking. He spent his own money and did his own shopping and by November my parents had to squash his little purchases because no stocking would hold everything he had already bought! That was back when he loved me :)

Next year, Ron will be 10 at Christmas so I'm going to let him help me with the stockings. Then as each of the children turn 10, I"ll let them help too. Nothing like a rite-of-passage to ensure enthusiastic participation. I want to make sure they learn that gifts don't have to be big and expensive to be thoughtful or great (there's a size AND price limit for stocking stuffers) Stuffing stockings is an art-form, a life-skill even. And they'll be so busy having fun they won't even realize they're learning!

This year though, I'm on my own. Which is ok. I've got mad skillz. (LOL, that must a hold over from my accidental encounter with the Bad Velour Rapper Pants) Anyway, Cassie is getting a Barbie with non-fuzzy hair. She's four. Thats all that matters. Barbie. Good hair. Less than $5 at Walmart. The boys are getting binoculars. Yeah, $10 is more than I usually spend for the stocking-topper but they need them for the farm and $10 isn't bad for the "real" binoculars at Walmart (in the sporting department, NOT in "toys") Plus, a few pencils which they need for school, maybe new crayons, some really "cool" socks (bought on sale during the summer), personal deck of cards, maybe glow-sticks from one of those everythings-a-dollar-stores. Oh. Cassie is getting some WILD costume jewelery from the everythings-a-dollar-store! I forgot about that.

I really need to check my baggie and see whats what. I put my "stocking stuff" in a plastic Walmart bag, loop it over a hanger and put it in my closet. That way, I know where it is and can access it easily. Stockings would be WAY to exspensive to do right if I waited until Christmas-time and paid retail!

Waves

Oh, stockings are my favorites! I was the only child at home, and my parents must have spent at least as much on the stocking as they did on my gifts!

I love doing the stockings, and last year was the first year I let the kids help. They had a ball! Right after Christmas, we exchanged names for Secret Santa, and everyone has been doing nifty things for each other all year, and then they help with that person's stocking.

Good memories...

Leni | 09/27/2006 - 03:50 PM

Love your Trick-or-Treat ideas. Handing out the treats is my favorite part of Halloween, and every year, between 50-80 kids come to our door. That's a LOT of candy. I think I'll look into the Oreos & prizes ideas for this year.

Thanks!

Jennifer | 09/27/2006 - 05:34 PM

SamsClubs also has the box of Oreo packages, if your Walmart is defective. Be warned: the oreo six-packs are NOT with the other cookies, they're in the aisle with the little cracker-packs for lunch boxes.

Lucy | 09/27/2006 - 10:11 PM

Wow! You are a clever stocking stuffer! I like the idea of the 'right of passage' for helping with the stocking stuffers.
Last year I took each of the four children seperately to the everythings-a-dollar store and they each bought one gift for the other three. It was great because they all got three gifts form brother's/sister, and I only spent $12!!!
It was so great to see them looking for what they thought the other sibling would like best. Very good shoppers.

This year, I think they will each get one big gift from mom and dad, and the stockings too, and the rest will be from each other.

Oh, we always tell our children that Nanna and PawPaw are Santa.

Leah | 09/28/2006 - 07:58 PM

The following video demonstrates Santa is Satan:

http://www.blowthetrumpet.org/TheGreatDeceptionVideo.htm

Randy | 12/08/2006 - 08:28 AM
 
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