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Camel Bags

One of Our Family's Christmas Traditions

If you know our family, you know we have some odd family traditions including limiting our Christmas decorations to a nativity theme (we don’t even have a tree!) and putting off gift giving to New Years. Of all of our traditions though, Camel Bags raise the most eyebrows. “Camel what?” And so we launch into this explanation, which seems to get weirder as we go.

We want to celebrate Christmas without making it about presents, but we love presents too. 🙂 That’s why our gift-giving takes place on New Years Day. Camel bags allow us a way to give each other small, stocking-type gifts in our own unique way.

Unlike a traditional stocking, Camel Bags are not to be filled by Mom and Dad, nor are they stuffed with expensive gifts specific to each child’s tastes. Instead each child buys 2 different gifts for each person. The catch? We purchase 5 of the same gift, wrap them up, and place them in each Camel Bag, including our own!

Each year the contents vary greatly – from secretly-homemade-cookies to electric toothbrushes, immensely practical flashlights, and even coats!

We’ve talked about letting this tradition go, as it is hard to say that any of us really ‘needs’ anything. We just couldn’t do it though – it has become a favorite wacky tradition for us. Greed would ruin the fun though, so one way we guard our hearts is by donating the same amount we spend on gifts to a favorite charity.

This year we’ve decided to scale back a bit, and limit ourselves to $5 or less (approx – giver discretion advised!) gifts, with the idea that any extra funds will be set aside for a family vacation early next year.

We now have directions for making your own Camel Bags here, in case you are curious!  We’d also love to hear your traditions – what does your family do that makes Christmas special for you? Anything you have to explain to new friends every year?

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