(I've posted about this tradition of ours in years past, but wanted to include it again for those who missed it.)
We stopped filling stockings as a family a few years ago because they typically are filled with unnecessary small items that drive me crazy. We came up with a use for one of those stockings and labeled it “The Jesus Stocking”. The idea is that anyone in the family can slip bills or change into the stocking during advent and it will remain a mystery how much is inside until we empty it on Jesus birthday. Christmas Eve we discuss and decide what He would want us to do with it. Weeks before Christmas my children pour over the Gospel For Asia Gift Catalog, imagining what they can buy for the poor. It truly takes their eyes off of what they want for Christmas. All they think about is how they could earn more money to give away! We could buy a sewing machine to give a woman a trade in India, buy a missionary a bicycle, chicks or goats for a starving family...the possibilities are endless. This year we will be focused on helping those we know who have been unemployed as well as missions projects. This has become our favorite tradition at Christmas and what our celebration is centered around…giving Jesus something for His birthday. Give it a try!