One of my favorite Christmas memories as a child was when my family would visit the home of the Metz's. Every year it was their family tradition to sit down together and fill what seemed to be hundreds of walnuts with treasures and hang them on the Christmas tree. When their family and friends would visit during the holiday season, each person would choose a nut from the tree, crack it and see what they got. Is that fun or what? I don't even have to tell you how magical it was and how much we looked forward to our visit at their home. Their walnuts were simple with looped red yarn hanging from each. I have since embraced this tradition. Some years I keep them simple and others I spray paint them in silver or gold. This year I decided on plain walnuts with natural twine and finished with a little red and white gingham knot. Inside they are filled with gold coins, fifty-cent pieces, a few pretty postage stamps, tootsie rolls and even some folded money. The winning walnut has a ten dollar bill! You could fill them with sweet holiday messages. It doesn't have to be money and you don't necessarily have to hang them from a Christmas tree either. You can hang them from a wintery branch that you use as a centerpiece on your table. You can really get creative with this. For many years I would decorate a tiny little topiary and use it as the centerpiece at our annual holiday party at the office. It was fun to have a nice lunch together and then pass the nutcracker around the table and see who got the treasured walnut. So on behalf of the wonderful Metz family, I give you their fun tradtion which I have enjoyed for many many years.