A Merry Christmas with the “Presence” of Family

When I asked my daughter what she enjoyed most about Christmas yesterday, she said that she loved getting presents, but it made her feel good to give presents too because she loves seeing how happy people are as they open gifts. But she also said getting to spend time with family was something she really enjoyed.

Last year, we were stayed at home for Christmas as Covid restrictions were in full swing, there was limited vaccines and it was highly recommended that people limit their interactions to just their immediate family. With the Omicron variant on the rise, we may find ourselves back under restrictions as it continues to make its way to more people.

It’s times like this that I’m glad we have a relatively small family and that we’re all taking precautions to remain safe. While no one knows for sure what will happen in the days or months to come, just like Quinn, I’m so glad I got to enjoy the presence of my family for Christmas.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… Excitement Counting Down the Days Til Christmas

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… Excitement Counting Down the Days Til Christmas! I remember being so excited for Christmas to come and marking down the days on my little calendar that seemed to go by so slowly, especially leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas 2017

When Quinn was a toddler, I got her a Christmas Countdown tree, and still loves using it today. Just two more days until Christmas Eve, she told me!

That phrase took me right back to when I was eight years old anticipating the magic of Christmas Day.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… A Reminder That It’s Fun to Be Festive

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… A Reminder That It’s Fun to Be Festive. Something Quinn and I both love are decorations. We especially love decorating ourselves for the holidays.

When she put on Christmas tree glasses, headband boppers snd held up the “I’ve been nice” sign, I couldn’t resist taking her picture. That look with her standing in front of our photo collage of past Christmas memories just puts a huge smile on my face and reminds me to let loose and have a little fun!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

Even though my husband’s pajama size was all sold out, which he didn’t mind since he’s not into wearing funny pajamas, my daughter puppy and I absolutely love it! Well, our puppy tolerates it.

Here’s to having a fun-filled Christmas Eve, watching “A Christmas Story,” eating cookies, playing games and just getting ready and excited for Christmas Day!

All the bes,

Tanya

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My iPhone Gave to Me…Beautiful Pictures With My Family

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My iPhone Gave to Me…Beautiful Pictures With My Family

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love taking and editing pictures, especially around the holidays. Though there will be no photographs of our annual holiday party nor any with our extended family on Christmas Day this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, I’m so happy that my husband, daughter, puppy son and I could all take pictures together and that we all still have each other as we miss spending time with our friends and relatives this year. Thank goodness for my wonderful family and for my iPhone 11 Pro and photo editing skills this year!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me a Willingness to Accept and Love Me Just as I am!

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a willingness to accept and love me…just as I am! I’ve always loved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, especially his story, and we’ve had him as a Christmas decoration for years now. But this year we had some new editions: the land of misfit toys characters.

Interestingly, my daughter didn’t recall most of these characters, so we rewatched the movie together in hopes that she would like it just as much as I do. I revealed to my seven year old that I identified with Rudolph, Hermey and the Land of Misfits toys because there’s been times, especially when I was younger, that I didn’t feel like I belonged and that I was nothing more than a Misfit.

She came towards me and put her hand on my shoulder to give me a hug and then told me, “Mommy, you’re not a misfit. Even if you felt that way when you were younger, you never were a misfit because you’re perfect just the way you are!” Hearing my seven year old say that melted my heart. I felt like a little girl again yet this time, I felt a healing from her words rather than a brokenness from my own inner thoughts as a child.

Now, when I look at the Land of Misfits characters all lit up in our yard, I think of hope and the benefits of being different and special all thanks to my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… Terrific Teamwork Decorating Our Christmas Tree

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me…terrific teamwork decorating our Christmas tree. After selecting and bringing home our Christmas tree, the excitement to decorate it with my daughter quickly builds. We stuck with our theme of pink, purple and blue this year since blue is my favorite color, and pink and purple are Quinn’s top two.

For the first time, we actually filmed hanging decorations from start to finish as part of her YouTube video, but as I reviewed and edited the footage, I found myself in awe at how we worked together as a team. We asked for advice on what should go where. I made sure to not hang certain ornaments I know she loves so that she’d have the opportunity to hang them herself. And we managed to get the tree decorated from top to bottom with the lights, ornaments, tulle and start within less than an hour.

We both love looking at our lovely tree all decorated for Christmas. It most certainly puts smiles on both of our faces.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree…

“Fluffy already looks good, but she’s going to look fabulous once she’s all decorated,” my six year old informed me. Fluffy is not our pet cat or dog but our Christmas tree who got its inspired, allegorical name from my daughter. Every few years, we change the theme or color scheme of our ornaments, but this year, we both decided to keep purple, pink and blue (well more of a turquoise) because it reflects both of our favorite colors.

Though we already had plenty of ornaments we purchased last year, we went to Michael’s and got a few more for our tall tree to make it even better. Once the day came to decorate, I took care of putting in the lights, and Quinn did a good amount of hanging the ornaments with my assistance. She made it clear that she wanted to hang the ones that looked like sweet treats, such as donuts, lollipops and popsicles and that she wanted to hang the different birds and “special” ornaments too. I remember being excited to hang ornaments when I was younger, and I still am because I get to do it with my daughter and create special memories with her.

We’re both pleased with our tree that not only provides happiness but a feeling of accomplishments we admire its gorgeous ornaments.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Her Inspired Theme for Our Christmas Tree

On the second day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…her inspired theme for our Christmas tree. A major part of getting a Christmas tree is decorating it. It’s an opportunity to express creativity, to create a theme and to simply display your favorite colors or items. For the past three years, we’ve had a rainbow theme tree, but this year my five year old wanted to do something different.

Back in October, she said, “Mommy, how about a tree with our favorite colors? Pink and purple for me and blue for you?” I loved this idea but knew it was going to require us to go shopping for some new ornaments to really make our tree theme perfect. This was just fine with me because shopping for ornaments together is all a part of the fun process.

We started our search at Michaels in early November checking out their beautiful ornaments at 50 percent off, of course. Quinn then said, “How about a treat tree theme with different candies and cupcakes?” While I loved that idea too, I knew it would not only require a more in-depth search but more money too. So we put our heads together and came up with a theme: a pink, purple and turquoise tree with a few treats here and there to make our tree extra sweet.

Decorating our tree was a real treat! We had our Jackson Five Christmas music playing to set the mood, a step stool so that Quinn could easily reach some of the higher branches, and a strategy to make sure it was a nice balance or pink, purple and turquoise ornaments. I then made sure Quinn was still okay with naming our tree Gerald since it would be pink, purple and turquoise. She then reassured me that boys can wear pink and purple if they want and that it’s not just for girls. My response was, “No problem!”

The decorating process took a few hours. There’s beautiful ballerinas in turquoise and purple, a pink flamingo, pink elephants, a purple hot air balloon, purple, pink and turquoise birds and butterflies, a purple poodle, pink frosted donuts, pink and purple popsicles, cupcakes a roller skate, a unicorn, of course, and even Ralphie from the Christmas Story in his pink bunny suit.

We finished off our tree, Gerald, with purple, pink and turquoise tulle is wrapped around it from top to bottom with GlowBalls beautiful lights set in pastel hues to cascade off of the ornaments. I’m so happy Quinn asked about doing a new theme this year and am happy with the finished product.

Not only is the tree beautiful, but the experience of decorating it with my little girl is too.

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