On Christmas Day, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Mesmerizing Smile and Eyes that lit up the room like a Christmas Tree!

On Christmas Day, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Mesmerizing Smile and Eyes that lit up the room like a Christmas Tree!

My six year old is her mother’s daughter. By 4am she was up, ready and excited to come downstairs to see what she got for Christmas from Santa, her dad and me. She opened the gifts and excitedly said thanked us. Though she repeatedly said, “I’m so happy,” she didn’t have to say a word because the big smile on her face and the way her eyes lit up said it all. Though I’m on just about four hours sleep and a bit tired, her excitement will carry me throughout the rest of the day.

Merry Christmas To You and Your Family!

All the best,

Tanya

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 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

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Feeling of Gratitude for Having a Healthy, Happy Family!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Feeling of Gratitude for Having a Healthy, Happy Family!

Last year on this exact date, my little girl was very ill, so ill that she was hospitalized through Christmas Eve. It’s an experience I never want to endure again, so when she said, “I hope I don’t get sick like last year,” it made me think about how grateful I am for family and friends.

This year, over thirty close family members and friends came together for our annual holiday party, and we all had such a wonderful time playing games, eating food and tasty treats and simply enjoying each other’s company. My six year old had a blast as she navigated the room giggling and having big fun with her cousins.

Yes, it’s nice to get and give gifts, but the gift of health and happiness of me and my family and friends far surpasses anything I could ever receive. I truly am grateful that my daughter is well this year. Sometimes, we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, so I’m so glad my family and friends all took time to celebrate the holidays with us.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me… A Nostalgic Moment Meeting Santa Claus

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me… A Nostalgic Moment Meeting Santa Claus.

“Look, Mommy! There’s no line. We picked the perfect time to come!” my daughter exclaimed. The lines, oftentimes are wrapped around the corner, so Willow Grove Mall, where we’ve been going since Quinn was a baby, even offers an RSVP fast past feature. To bypass the hectic crowds and the fee for the fast pass, I decided that we’d go when Quinn had off during parent teach conferences. It wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet, but we were both excited to see the one and only: Santa Claus!

First, we took a picture on the sled with a beautiful background, and before seeing Santa, we talked about the importance of not just saying what she wants but actually asking Santa how he’s doing and making small talk if there’s time. After we took our picture and Santa was ready to greet her, she turned to me, “Come on! Aren’t you coming too, Mommy!?” If only she knew how much my heart truly smiled as I happily plopped down next to Santa with her ready to take a picture. I was taken back to when I was a little girl experiencing the magical moments of Christmas.

Since there wasn’t a line, Quinn was able to chat with hi for a bit before we headed on our way. I was impressed with how articulate she was because at her age I would have been absolutely starstruck and might have fumbled for the right words, or like Ralph from “The Christmas Story,” I would have blanked out on what I wanted for Christmas.

Today, I don’t have a big list, but something that’s been on my list since my daughter was born is to see the joy on her face that comes around during this time of the year. When we saw Santa, I got a glimpse of it, and it made my day.

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 First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a Ginormous Christmas Tree!!!

On the First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a Ginormous Christmas Tree!!!

“You two are out of control! Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” my husband said, as my daughter and I went up and down the aisles looking for the perfect tree. He’s right though. When Quinn was a baby, the tree was maybe six feet. This year, it’s eight feet. “But daddy, it needs to be bigger than last year’s tree so that we can have even more ornaments,” she told him.

Upon getting the tree home, for the first time, carrying it in the house was a two person job with Quinn assisting by holding the door open and directing us towards the tree stand. Once we got it in place, my husband shook his head as the top of the tree scraped the ceiling.  My daughter and I both smiled at our new tree eager to decorate it.

Keeping with tradition, we named our tree as a part of our family. We’ve had BG, short for Big Green, BGJ, short for Big Green junior and BG3, short for Big Green the third. Heavenly Brownie! Last year, she picked Gerald. This year, Quinn names our tree Fluffy to fit its appearance.

Here’s to fond memories with our 2019 Christmas tree: Fluffy!

All the best,

Tanya