On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark!

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a wonderful time at one of the sweetest places on earth: Hersheypark! Though we’ve been there before, this was our first time going during the Christmas season. My sister and niece joined us, and we all had a wonderful time. It wasn’t overly crowded, it was unseasonably warm, and we got to see Santa’s reindeer, including Rudolph, caught a Christmas show, enjoyed some treats, hot cocoa and the beautiful lights everywhere.

Based on the fun we had, this just might become a new tradition for us each year. Today, I’ll have to keep it short so that my daughter and I can have some Christmas Eve fun! 😉

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Time, Energy and Wisdom Building a Gingerbread Castle

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Time, Energy and Wisdom Building a Gingerbread Castle.

My daughter and I love building gingerbread houses for the holiday, but last year she was very ill, so we didn’t get the chance. As we sat down to get started this year with the Super Mario Brothers Castle she selected, I realized that I forgot one major step. As Quinn read the instructions, she paused and then said, “Mommy, after applying the icing and putting the sides together, it has to sit for two to three hours.”

At first, I thought she was going to be discouraged and become disinterested, but my six year old didn’t mind waiting. In fact, she wisely said, “We want the structure to be strong so it doesn’t fall apart when we’re decorating it. We can find something else to do while we’re waiting.”

After time passed, she consulted the picture on the box and determined how she wanted her castle to look. At first, she copied it as it was on the box, but then she said, “You know what, I can use certain ideas from the picture and do other decorations the way I want.” I told her that was a great idea.

My job was to add gumdrops around the door, but I quickly noticed that the amount included in the package was far less than what was displayed in the picture. Quinn reassured me, “You know sometimes they make it seem like it’s more just to get you to buy it. They do that on menus and commercials too when they make food look really good, but when you order it, it doesn’t look as good. We can still make our gingerbread castle look nice with the gumdrops we have!”

Once we completed the castle and took a few pictures, Quinn smiled and said, “I sure would like to see how it tastes!” We both thought it was a great treat.

Who would have thought there would be so many teachable moments from building a gingerbread house for the holidays? Who would have thought my daughter would be the one sharing lessons with me?!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Perfect Family Fun at Sesame Place

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Perfect Family Fun at Sesame Place.

For the past few years, one of our outings for fun during the holiday season is going to Sesame Place. Usually, my husband and I’d take my daughter alone, but this year, I thought it would be even more fun if Quinn went with her cousins, and boy was I right!

Though it was a cold day and we were all bundled up trying to keep warm, it was a wonderful time. We had brunch with the Sesame Place characters indoors at the Dine with Elmo and Friends event and got to meet and take a pictures with them as well as Santa. We also saw a few Christmas shows featuring the Sesame Place characters, like Elmo, Abby, Grover and Cookie Monster.

A nice bonus was an area transformed from one of the summertime water attractions, was the “Land of Misfits” where we met Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Clarice, Sam the Snowman and even Bumble, the abominable snow monster.

On the car ride home, when I asked Quinn what she enjoyed about the very furry Christmas at Sesame Place, she quickly responded, “Being with Skye and Ellie,” her cousins. I agree! Our time together was perfect!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable, Merry Mommy’s Girl Moment

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable Mommy’s Girl Moment!

Since day one, my daughter’s been a daddy’s girl. Yes, she loves us both, but I admire the closeness and special bond she has with her father. Those two are inseparable. So when the opportunity presents itself for us to strengthen our mother/daughter bond, I’m all in!

Dressing alike or with similar color schemes is something we both enjoy, so my six year old was so excited when her Elf on the Shelf gifted us matching pajamas.

“Let’s both come out of our bedrooms at the same time with our pajamas on,” Quinn suggested. With a big smile on her face, she actually asked if we could take pictures together when I’m usually the one asking to take pictures . This truly was a memorable, merry mommy’s girl moment that I will cherish for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun & Creativity with Elf on the Shelf

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun & Creativity with Elf on the Shelf.

“I didn’t see her anywhere!” my six year old said. “You Don’t,” I inquired from the kitchen as Quinn sat at the dining room table eating her breakfast. Each day, our elf friend from the North Pole checks in only daughter and even leaves occasional messages leading up to Christmas Day. This time, she wanted to dress up as Santa, so she hopped in his jacket hanging on the clothesline garland. With a little coaching, my daughter eventually found her.

For the past few years, she’s just been in different places throughout the house, but this year, with the help of Target, she has a few outfits, a chair, suction boots, a candy cane hook and red and white string for dangling from special locations. These accessories have really helped me to have more fun and to get even more creative. There’s signs to use for counting down the days to Christmas, one for a scavenger hunt and one encouraging Quinn to perform good deeds, which she was eager to do at school.

I wish I had an elf to visit me when I was younger. Quinn has already told me that she’ll miss seeing her elf when it’s time for her to go back to the North Pole. I’ll miss her too. But until that day comes, I’m having a lot of fun with her…and Quinn too 😉

All the best,

Tanya

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…The Gift of L.O.L’s and Surprises

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…The Gift of L.O.L’s and Surprises!

Just about every little girl and some little boys too, can tell you all about L.O.L surprises. They know all of their names, different characters and accessories, and what they can do, you name it! My daughter is no exception. She is an avid collector, and can’t get enough of them.

So when I came across an L.O.L. Surprise advent calendar, I had to get it for her. What made this kit so special was instead of it containing twelve pieces of candy, it has twelve different L.O.L. Surprises ranging from a hair brush to a scrunchie to a key chain, a necklace and even a slap bracelet. Each morning, Quinn excitedly opens up a new window and is delighted by the surprise.

This is such a great way to count down the days to Christmas. I wish there was one for charm bracelets or the Care Bear characters when I was younger. Can’t believe we have less than a week to go.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Reminder that Writing & Receiving Letters is Still Meaningful

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Reminder that Writing & Receiving Letters is Still Meaningful…

“Should I ask Santa how he’s doing first,” my daughter asked as she was poised with her pen in her hand ready to share her Christmas wishes. “Definitely! You don’t want to just say what you want. It’s good to ask Santa how he’s doing” I reassured her. When we went to Strasburg railroad for our ride with Santa, one of the activities was a meet and greet with Mrs. Claus and then writing a letter to Santa and mailing it to the North Pole.

My first grader knew the importance of including a greeting and printed nice and neat to make sure Santa oils read her letter with no problem. I was very impressed that she didn’t end the assistance of her father nor me to spell any words like she did last year, and she even decided, without me suggesting, that she would just include her top three items that she wants for Christmas.

I can vividly recall writing a letter to Santa, but I actually never received a letter back, but after Quinn dropped her sealed letter in the special red mailbox, she received back a letter in just a couple of weeks. When In came in the mail, she was so excited and could read it all by herself. What really impressed me was that the letter was personalized and contained her name.

I then thought to myself, writing a letter to Santa and then receiving one back to read is a wonderful way to encourage a child to read and write. Knowing that my six year old eagerly participated in this activity was a proud moment for me.

All the best,

Tanya