On the Tenth Day of Christmas Christmas, Santa Gave to Me…A Feeling of Joy Seeing My Daughter Believe

On the Tenth Day of Christmas Christmas, Santa Gave to Me…A Feeling of Joy Seeing My Daughter Believe

“I know the world and the way we are living right now looks a little different. Don’t you worry, things are moving right along here at the North Pole. Ho ho ho!” This is how Santa started off his heartfelt letter to Quinn. She was absolutely tickled when she saw her elf on the shelf waiting patiently in the morning for Quinn to open her red box from the North Pole. I was too, especially considering that Santa informed me that it was shipped two day priority mail nearly a month ago.

“May I open it before breakfast,” my seven year old asked? “Sure,” I replied as I got my phone ready to take pictures. The joy in her voice as she read the letter from Santa put a huge smile on my face. He explained how he, Mrs. Claus and the elves are doing their part to stop the spread of Covid 19 and how they’re still happy and on schedule for Christmas. The special red box also contained a nice certificate, a letter from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, a cookie from Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa from Santa, a snowman marshmallow, Rudolph’s special bell, reindeer food and a decal for Santa to stop by our house.

I really wish I received one of these packages from Santa when I was a kid. I’m so happy that Quinn still is in the Christmas spirit and that she was so excited to get something special from Santa before Christmas Day.

Al the best,

Tanya

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List.

We all know Santa’s making a list and checking it twice. He knows who’s naughty and nice. My seven year old may not be perfect, but she really is a sweet little girl who listens, never talks back, tries her best, does well in school, tends to our puppy Zack, helps out around the house (even though I occasionally have to give a gentle nudge) and was even willing to help me shovel snow when I told her she could just play.

Though most children are resilient, we mustn’t forget how tough this year must be for them with not seeing family and friends and possibly not doing traditional Christmas activities. I am so grateful for my daughter. She definitely deserves to be on Santa’s nice list!

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 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 Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Nostalgia Taking a Photo with 🎅

36A47DAD-54A8-4C33-89A3-7900A352743BOn the sixth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…nostalgia taking a photo with Santa. Even though my daughter and I were able to see Santa on the Paradise train ride and even at Sesame Place, our main location for taking the annual picture with Santa since she was a baby has been Willow Grove Mall. I love the tradition because I get to see her face light up with excitement. She even gets a little nervous as I did as a child and will ask me if I can join her when it’s her turn to meet Santa. Little does she know, I look forward to seeing him and am glad when she wants me to join her. This year, Mrs. Claus joined him and was such a special treat.

When we started decorating for Christmas and put out photos over the years with Santa, Quinn, herself, reminisced. “This is when I was a baby meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus,” she remarked. I’ve always had a soft spot for Santa, and not just because he brought gifts but because he cared about me and was always so jolly.

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

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me a Meet and Greet with Santa, Her and Me (and Grover too)!

Santa and Quinn 2017 3On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me a Meet and Greet with Santa, Her and Me (and Grover too)! When it was time for Quinn to talk with Santa and take a picture, she signaled for me to come too. I sat on “What’s your name?” With a nervous smile, she quietly said, “Quinn.” He then asked, “What would you like for Christmas, Quinn?” She paused and drew a blank reminiscent of the scene from “A Christmas Story” with Ralphie when Santa coached him into getting a football. My four year old, still drawing a blank, blurted out, “A cat!” “A cat,” Santa replied and smiled. “A cat, I thought to myself with a puzzled look.” I then asked, “Do you mean the robot cat, Quinn?” “Yes, that’s the one!” She confirmed.

When it was time to take the picture, Santa said, “Quinn, do you want to make sure Grover is facing the camera? I can tell he is well-loved.” I thought that was so nice and will be something she will remember.

Later on, she told me she was nervous and just couldn’t remember what she wanted. She even wanted to go back and talk to Santa some more and ask him how Mrs. Claus was doing. There’s something special about seeing Santa. Even as an adult it’s a nostalgic experience for me. I sense Quinn’s innocence and willingness to hope and believe, and I love the magical feeling that Santa gives. As you can see, I look even more excited to sit next to Santa than Quinn.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Little Girl Gave to Me…A Memorable Moment with Santa & Mrs. Claus

2016-11-28-18-49-56On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Little Girl Gave to Me…A Memorable Moment with Santa & Mrs. Claus.

Seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus can be an all day adventure, especially as Christmas day gets closer and closer. So when I received an invitation from my local mall for a special welcome event for Santa and Mrs. Claus on November 18th, I quickly RSVP’d for my daughter, mom and me. To avoid the massive crowds, I smartly took advantage of the Santa speed pass, and boy am I glad I did because though it was not even Thanksgiving, the line was wrapped all the way around the corner.

Though I was proud of myself for planning ahead, I did, however, have a misstep. I decided to not tell my three year old that we were going to see Santa and Mrs. Claus as a special surprise. So when we arrived and the Claus’ were within sight, Quinn’s initial excitement of being at the special event turned into nervousness and feeling overwhelmed. It took a little time to get her relaxed as we waited in line, but luckily she was fine by the time she and her best friend Grover got to sit and speak with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Next year, I’ll be sure to let her know ahead of time so that she’ll be prepped and less nervous, but I’m glad it was still a memorable moment for her and for me too.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Fifth Day of Christmas My Toddler Gave to Me…Christmas Fun with My Little One

Quinn and Santa

Quinn and Santa

This Christmas season has been full of fun. We selected a tree, decorated the house, had fun with decorations and partied with family.  An activity that my daughter definitely enjoyed was paying a visit to the one and only: Santa Claus. Last year, she was just becoming familiar with the jolly, old elf and feared him. It took three separate attempts at different locations to get her to sit next to him for a picture with me sitting with her, of course. But this year, she knows exactly who he is, and loves looking at picture books with Santa or watching a show involving Santa.

Surprisingly, when we went to greet him last week, there was no line, so we just walked right up, and my little two and a half year old was able to converse with Santa for about five minutes. She was so personable and said, “Happy holidays, Santa!” She eagerly answered his questions about whether or not she’s been a good girl and told him that she wants Lambie, Doc McStuffin’s friend for Christmas. Watching her interact with Santa and witnessing her eyes light up put a smile on my face. Quinn is such a big girl, and it is such a gift to her her in my life and to give her some great childhood Christmas memories.

All the best,

Tanya