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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Pin It One of the greatest things about melding two families together in marriage is that each side brings different customs and traditions to the table. This is especially true for us when it comes to Christmas.

What is even more awesome is being able to weed out the traditions that you didn't much care for growing up - like each person taking their turn opening one gift at a time while everyone sits around watching. That one's from my family and it only lasted one year as a passed-along tradition with our kids. Now we open gifts wild banshee style and it's much more exciting and messy - the way Christmas morning should be.

Christmas traditions in Allen's family included delivering homemade treats to neighbors and friends while Christmas caroling. In my family Christmas cookies have always been a big deal (snickerdoodles made with green and red colored sprinkles and chocolate crinkles were the two you could always count on) but there was never any singing involved. We have carried on a blend of these two traditions throughout our marriage - but this year it's going to change just a bit.

And here's why:

I was amazed by the number of people who were making disparaging comments on Facebook a few weeks ago regarding the delivery of homemade treats at Christmas time. One person even said something to the extent of: If you bring my family a plate of Christmas treats they come in my front door and straight out the back door and into the garbage can. Ouch! Others mentioned that it's the sugar overload all at one time that's hard to handle. So this year we've decided to save ourselves the time and effort of making homemade treats and go with store bought for our neighbors and friends instead - something they can enjoy right away or put in the pantry for a month or two down the road.

I've actually been keeping a list over the years of fun (and almost always cheesily-clever) little sayings to pair with store-bought Christmas goodies. Lest you think I am the Chuck Norris of puns and cheesy sayings, I must confess that these were all either given to us at some point or something I've seen somewhere.

In case you're interested, here are a few ideas:

Wishing you a souper holiday season! (with a bag of soup mix)

Hope this adds a little spice to your holidays. (tied to a jar of salsa & bag of chips)

Just popping by with a holiday 'hi'! (microwave popcorn)

Have a FANTAstic holiday. (attached to a bottle of Fanta soda)

We wish you a Merry SwissMiss! (box or can of Swiss Miss brand hot chocolate)

My personal favorites, which I would probably not have the guts to actually give to anyone because it would reveal too much of my sick sense of humor and possibly reflect negatively on the rest of my family are:

You've been bad, so here's the scoop; all you get is snowman poop. (A cellophane bag filled with yogurt covered peanuts or anything round dipped in white chocolate)

Or, the same poem but with 'reindeer poop'. (Small box of Whoppers candy or any chocolate covered morsels in a cellophane bag would work)

So for this year, these are the gifts we've decided to give as we share a Christmas song or two:

We WHISK you a merry KISSmas and a happy ROOT BEER! (Wire whisk filled with chocolate kisses attached to a bottle of A&W)


You're gettin' MUFFIN for Christmas! (muffin mix tied to a muffin pan)

If you're one of my neighbors, please pretend to be surprised when we bring you these clever gifts of the season.

If you have the time, I would love to hear what your favorite neighbor gifts have been over the years. Do you like getting a plate filled with homemade goodness or do your prefer the store bought variety? Maybe you prefer non-food items (my favorite in this category is a kitchen towel and washcloth with a tag that declares: A new washer and dryer!) or nothing at all.

Talk to me.

(I'm hoping someone will have a fabulous idea for me to use next year.)

By the way, if the title of this post make you start singing a song from Fiddler on the Roof at the top of your lungs, you're my kind of person.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Very smart and creative ideas u have... As far as baking, I use to do it years ago, cuz I had kids and we would give a variety of cookies to a lot of people... My neighbor got smart and decided to not do the variety plate.. she would designate one type of cookie to a household,and so on... I agree its easier... And nothing is worse than the person who bakes w/margarine... Sorry, chocolate chip cookies taste nasty baked w/fake butter...

Emily said...

This year, I'm giving Glow Sticks from the dollar spot, with a tag that reads "May your Christmas GLOW with Magic this Year". The kids will love them and no one will have to try and guess if I sneezed on their food!

My favorite one I did was a few years ago. I canned lots of apple pie filling in the fall, so I shared a jar with my surroundings neighbors, and included a bag of tortillas w/ a recipe for "Apple Enchiladas". Look it up really good! It was a lot of effort, so the glow sticks will have to do this year!!

Abby said...

Personally, I love homemade treats and can't fathom just throwing out something someone else kindly made for me/us. But that's me.

I admit I don't get the whisk and root beer connection. Is there something out where you live that I don't know about here on the East Coast ?

Abby said...

OH, something a good friend just gave us was fantastic: a bag of tortilla scoops, plus two small container of dips: a spicy 7-layer dip (naughty) and a sweet veggie dip (nice). It was cute.

Richard & Natalie said...

Woo HOO! I am Gerb's type of person! The song popped into my head the minute I read your title! Then I got a great laugh when I read your note about the title and song at the bottom. I think that just made my day. :)

I love goodies, so do my kids, so most anything delivered to our door gets eaten, but I do appreciate gifts like your root beer and muffin mixes that can be used even after the sugar high of Christmas wears off. We've gotten Christmas wrapping paper and tape in the past and I thought it was such a wonderful and practical gift. It had some saying about helping 'wrap' up some of your loose ends or last minute gifts. Brillant!

Gerb said...

KBF- Butter for me too, please. But I wouldn't turn away a cookie made with fake butter, either - it's more the thought that counts, I think.

Emily- I think I need an apple enchilada right about now.

Abby- There's really no whisk/root beer connection that you're missing out on. It's just a cheesy way of saying something that sounds like "We WISH you a merry CHRISTMAS and a happy NEW YEAR". And I agree completely - I was taken back by the comment that they'd just throw it away. If we get overwhelmed with goodies we just freeze some for later!

Natalie- I love the wrapping paper idea. Especially since we are known to wrap things in Christmas paper all year long around here! And I love that you're my kind of person. ;)

mistyc0x said...

my two favorite ones i have done:

jalapeno cheese corn bread loaves (mini loaves)

another year we did mini calendars (temples) i got for a dollar each. i bought 100. we were throwing those things around like nobody's business. it was so fun!

this was so fun to read!

Kristi said...

When I was teaching school I used to get snowman poop and reindeer poop all the time! I enjoyed every bit of poop!

Sarah said...

Maybe it's because we NEVER get goodies from anyone at Christmas, but I LOVE getting a plate of home-made yumminess around the holiday.

Of course, if I were to get such a thoughtful store-bought gift, I wouldn't object either. Plus I can use it whenever I want!

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