On the Actual Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…So Much Happiness

On the actual day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…so much happiness. She woke up anxious, ready and excited to head downstairs to see what Santa and mommy and daddy got her for Christmas, and it wasn’t simply the smile on her face or joy in her eyes that made me happy, but it was the gratitude in her voice as she asked if her daddy and I could help her write a letter to Santa to thank him for the gifts he gave her. It was her eagerness to leave our home earlier to spend time with her Nana and see her Aunt, Uncle and cousins.

The importance of displaying gratitude and appreciating and spending time with family are so important to me, and it pleases me that they are important to my four year old as well. Here’s to a merry Christmas with my daughter and family!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Christmas Eve Excitement

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…Christmas Eve excitement. “You know what today is, Mommy…Christmas Eve!” my four year old smiled with joy in her voice. Today, we baked cookies for Santa, our Elf on the Shelf, Olivia, went to her last hiding place to report back to Santa, we watched a Trolls holiday special through Netflix and made sure her little snowflake in her window is working and lights up to alert Santa to stop by our house.

She went out to lunch with her daddy while I took care of some Christmas tasks, and upon arriving home she said, “Mommy, can I go to bed now so that when I wake up it’ll be Christmas?” It reminded me of when I was younger and would go to sleep in the afternoon just so that Christmas would come sooner. I then located this great website so that Quinn could see where Santa is on his route, and she was amazed with how many presents he already delivered: nearly three million.

As she goes to bed in her special Christmas night clothes, I’m sure she’ll wake up extra early as I did when I was her age filled with excitement knowing that Christmas is finally here!

All the best,

Tanya

 

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Too Many Nostalgic Moments to Count

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…too many nostalgic moments to count. Friends and family will tell you that I’m a big kid at heart, so having a young child is such a wonderful experience as I not only build new experiences with her but reminisce over some of my favorite Christmas memories.

One nostalgic moment that was simple yet really moved me happened earlier this week when we were wrapping presents. My daughter asked to keep the empty gift wrap roll. “Look, it’s a baton!” Quinn said as she paraded around twirling it. “Now it’s a telescope,” she exclaimed looking through the one end in my direction. She then put it on her nose saying, “Look at me Mommy; I’m an elephant!”

“It can be a megaphone too!” I told her. She then put the roll up to her mouth and started enunciating her words carefully and loudly for that special megaphone effect. It now has a several old extra socks on it from a project we did making sock snowman.

Watching her with the gift wrap roll immediately made me think about how my sister and I used gift wrap rolls to communicate at night as we waited for Santa to arrive. I could close my eyes and envision it like it just happened and feel the same level of excitement I had as a child knowing that Santa was on his way.

I can’t help but smile as I recall those memorable Christmas moments among many others that have yet to happen.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me, A Great Time Making Snowmen with Her Class

On the tenth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me, a great time making snowmen with her class. One of the benefits to teaching on the college level is having a winter break. An advantage to having a winter break is having the time to visit my daughter’s school.  I love crafting, so when I came across this cute sock snowman on Pinterest and saw that I already had most of the supplies, I know it was the perfect project for Quinn and her friends.

To streamline the process, I made sure to already have the snowmen (or snow women) ready for the children by purchasing white socks from the dollar tree and using Quinn’s clean socks that were way to small for her now. I filled the socks with rice down the bottom, tied them off with a rubber band and filled to stop with cotton stuffing. Then, I used sticker dots for the eyes and mouth and pom pom balls for the nose and little hat ball.

It was a quick yet fun project that all of the children enjoyed, as did I. Quinn and I even made some snowmen envelopes for their Christmas cards with snowmen stickers. I quickly printed out the pictures of  the class holding up their finished snow people, and enclosed them in the cards as well. We put them in a snowman bag containing holiday lollipops as a special treat for their hard work. I gave my daughter a bag with the same contents inside too. She and many of her friends were happily surprised thanked me for coming in to make snowmen with them.

Something I love about this time of the year is sharing joy and happiness with others. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children in Quinn’s class and knowing that being there really made my daughter’s day is such an amazing feeling. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun Reading Christmas Books Right Before Sleep

On the ninth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…fun reading Christmas books right before sleep. With the anticipation of Christmas building, Quinn and I decided that we’d check out some books about the holiday to read as her bedtime story everyday this week leading up to Christmas.

So far, we’ve read, Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama which is a wonderful story that demonstrates how a family celebrates both religious traditions. This is perfect because my daughter goes to a Jewish school and learns about Hanukkah. Grace at Christmas is a great story too about a little girl who lived with her mother and nana who was used to a certain Christmas traditions that would change this Christmas as a result of some visitors staying with them. A Very McStuffins Christmas is fun story involving Doc McStuffins from the cartoon, and The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold is a funny reversal tale of Santa not believing that Harold is who he says he is and staking out his house to make sure he’s the one asking for certain gifts.

The books remaining are Santa Claus and the Three BearsAre You Grumpy, Santa? and the classic, The Night Before Christmas. I truly enjoy reading the Christmas stories  to my four year old possibly more than she enjoys hearing them.She even counts down how many books we have remaining knowing that we only have a few more days left until Christmas.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gingerbread House Sweet Treat!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…a gingerbread house sweet treat! “What do you want to make this year?” I asked my four year old. “A Shopkins gingerbread house just like last year!” For the past three years, one of our Christmas traditions and fun activities has been making a gingerbread house together.

This past weekend, we had a fun time working on it, and I was impressed with how much Quinn’s grown in her creativity and dexterity. We made a good team as I squirted on some of the frosting while she held the frame of the house together. Then she came up with her special color pattern of adding the candies after I helped with the design on the rooftop.

Of course, my sweet girl asked if she could have a few of the extra candy treats not used as part of her decoration. Then, it didn’t take long before she wanted to take a little bite to share with her daddy. With a chunk taken out of the rooftop, our Shopkins Gingerbread house is on display adding to our Christmas decorations and memories.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Sweet Smile Seeing the Letter Santa Sent

On the seventh day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…a sweet smile seeing the letter Santa sent. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been eagerly checking the mail looking for a special read envelope that contained a letter from Santa. Yesterday, it finally arrived! When we went on a train ride with Santa on the Strasburg Railroad, and one of the activities was writing and mailing a letter to be delivered to the North Pole for Santa. He would then mail back a response.

Though my four year old is still learning to read, she quickly recognized her name and then saw the name and picture at the bottom. “It’s a letter from Santa, Mommy! Can you read it to me?” As I read the letter to her, and looked at her facial expression, her eyes lit up, and she said, “I can’t wait to show Daddy my letter from Santa when he gets home from work!”

I really love how the letter ended, “Quinn, remember to treat others kindly, and always try to do your best…” As I read this part, she shook her head in agreement and said, “Santa said the same thing you always say, Mommy.” “He sure did,” I responded.

All the best,

Tanya