They dangle from the fireplace, a motley collection of Christmas stockings collected over the years. Waiting…waiting…waiting for Santa Mom to fill them.

What if I don’t stuff them this year? Will my four grown children notice?

 ACK! Filling stockings means more stuff to shop for and buy. And because they’re older, the “stuffing” has gotten progressively more expensive.

 Ah!  I member the good ol’ days when I was young and thin and wrinkle free–back then, the children were content with cheap plastic toys. Now, ho-ho-ho, they  think a plethora of Visa gift cards, Starbucks, or iTunescards will be inside. As if!

 Christmas has changed over the years.

1.  No assembly anything. They do it themselves. Their eyes can decipher the 2-pt font directions better, after all.

2. No hiding gifts in crazy locations only to forget where I put them.

3. The smaller the gift the more expensive it is. Technology costs $$$$.

4. They (mostly) wait patiently to unwrap gifts. It was a joyous Christmas morn when we arose before the teens did.

5. Girl stuff costs more. Perfume, cosmetics, and lotions aren’t cheap.

6. My daughters always have a longer—much longer—list. Hubby says they take after their mom.

7. Links to gifts with size & color options are sent via email or text. “Just making it easy for you, Mom.”

8. They no longer total tally  presents. Although, I suspect they might do a cost analysis.

9. Unwrapping is prolonged. We joke, laugh, and tease… and the present unwrapping moment is stretched out….”Open it, already!!”

10. My sons are OK with clothes—but only if picked out by a stylish sister

11. Socks— “The good ones”—are appreciated.  The older my children get, the pickier they become about socks.

12. They comment on the wrapping, because now they know wrapping costs money too!

13. There is genuine interest in their siblings’ presents.

14. Nothing is broken in the first 10 minutes. Hallelujah! Do you hear a chorus of angels?!

15. They buy each other presents without my reminding, cajoling, lending them money, or driving them to the store.

16. They understand the cost & value of gifts.

17. They help prepare, cook, serve, clean-up dinner.

18. They are appreciative.

19. They will decorate the tree! 

20. Even better, they will undecorate the tree and haul it to the curb after Christmas

21. They take home all the goodies so I will not be tempted.

22. They bring wine, champagne, and beer with them!

So…what shall I stuff their Christmas stockings with this year?  A signed copy of my novel? ( I can hear their laughter now) A favorite treat? A gift card? Random do-dads? Mmmm. Since they all read my blog, I can’t say.

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