My children will be traveling to Texas to spend the holidays with their dad, so in our house we are rearranging life to accommodate. So, we’ve decided to celebrate Christmas tomorrow!

Our wrapped gifts for each other have all been placed carefully underneath the tree. We have planned a big ham dinner for tomorrow afternoon and we will not be leaving the house all day. (So we can play with our new gifts.)

Tonight, we are also putting out cookies and milk for Santa, carrots for his reindeer and will be sprinkling reindeer food outside on the lawn. Then, we plan on getting up very early (like on the real Christmas Day) and tippy-toe down stairs to see if Santa came!

Sounds crazy, but if you are part of a divorced, separated or blended family, you know the feeling of wanting to offer joy and traditions which will bless the moments you are together…

What do you out of the norm for your blended family?


What Is Your Most Memorable Childhood Christmas?

We can all probably remember our favorite Christmas; where received a gift we really wanted or where we may have traveled somewhere with our family to see a relative.

I hope that after I share my most memorable childhood Christmas memory, you will too.

My grandmother is gone now… she passed away in June.  She was like a mother to me and I spent a lot of time at her house,

that is probably why most of my Christmas memories are of when I was with her.When I was about eight years old, on Christmas night, it was time for bed. But, I had gotten these tiny, plastic, pink babies. They were so small that I think they could be considered more than stick figures today. The babies arrived under the tree as a set. I recall that the babies came with a tub, accessories and a scale to weigh them on. No bigger than my pinky today, I played with them for hours and cried because I had to put them away and get ready for bed.I remember how my grandmother loved how happy I was and so she allowed me to stay up very late to play with them. They were so fun, so mine and so sweet. I wanted to take care of them forever and ever (or at least until morning). I know that my Nanny really wanted me to go to sleep, but she could not resist allowing me the time to stay up and play with my new family.

The babies weren’t expensive and I don’t even think that I asked for them, but they were wonderful. I think they might have even been my first indication about wanting to be a mother. I so appreciated being the one in charge, the one to give love; the one to protect and nurture.

I took those babies to bed that night, washing them and caring for them until my eyelids were heavy and my Nanny put them on the nightstand next to me and pulled the covers up to my chin and tucked me in.

To my surprise, when I woke, it wasn’t a dream…my babies were still right there where I had put them; right next to me, tucked in.

What’s your most memorable childhood Christmas?
Oh, by the way, here are those pink babies… I think.


Fun Friday: Christmas Movie Review

‘Tis the season to watch Christmas shows!
And as tradition has it, we begin with the classics:
It’s a Wonderful Life (I hadn’t seen this movie until I was 24 yrs. old)
A  Christmas Carol older version
And the other classics: Rudolph and Frosty.
But, as the kids get older, it’s more of a challenge to find holiday movies they like and aren’t bored with.
(Not boring, tacky, poorly done, corny or full of horrible language and innuendos. There were a few places where the language might have implied things or slightly insulted by way of sarcasm or humor/teasing, but in my opinion it was safe for my 8 year old.)


Kids Don’t Read Directions

For Christmas, my son received a cool car drawing kit. It came with a small light box, colored pencils and some really great car templates. The templates are made of clear plastic and when he places them on the light box, he can trace them onto a piece of paper and viola- he has an amazing vehicle to color.

He also received a booklet of coupons. (All of my kids do at Christmas-it’s become sort of a tradition.) Inside the coupon book (which is hand made) they get a bunch of free passes for stuff (mostly ‘time doing something’ and some have ‘time with a grown-up’). The coupon’s are a way for the kids to land a parent, on the spot, and sit down and play…It forces the parent to say yes, and drop everything, instead of a half-reply of ‘maybe’, ‘not now’ or ‘later’.

This weekend, I was couponed.

And he wanted us to use his new drawing set.

As we began to create our cars, I used the templates in the way I saw they were meant to be used. He on the other hand, stayed with his own rendition of how it was supposed to be used. His little pictures were adorable, and all so much cooler than mine (he’d clearly been practicing), but as I inspected the car templates closely, I noticed he had not yet use the template in a variety of other ways that were offered.

Sad, I thought.

So, I brought it to his attention.

He was puzzled at first, then all at once he became flabbergasted!
He was stunned when he realized he now had about twenty five more ways to create these cars!

This was funny, but then again, it wasn’t funny at all.

It reminded me, that just because a child gets an age appropriate gift, doesn’t mean he knows how to use it to it’s fullest potential.

It reminded me also, that this was the exact reason why I gave him the ‘time coupons’.

I’m a busy parent, and as much as I know my kids need me to sit down with them, I don’t always do it as often as I should. (I know better… but time gets away from me and good intentions are sometimes lost.)

Since our play-date this afternoon, he and his older sister have been tracing new cars and coloring them for hours using the newly introduced ideas.

That right there proved to me that those coupons were so worth it…

Because Mommy stopped what she was doing, sat down, and played…and it was a good thing…. because kids don’t always read directions.

What little things do you do to help you to stop, sit and play with your kids?

A Quick Follow Up to My Recent Post ‘A Twist on Christmas Giving’

The other day I posted about some friends of mine who were going through a tough time with their teen. who is very lost, and sad, and had attempted to harm herself.

I mentioned that my children and I felt terrible that she was feeling this way and we wanted to send her something to help her feel better.

And although it was Christmas, we chose to send a different type of gift and we hoped that it would be enough to help lift her spirits.

I am pleased to report that not only did  our gift on Christmas Eve cheer her up, but it’s been reported to me by her parents, that she is more energetic, bubbly and talkative, since receiving it.

This made my family very happy.

It’s not abnormal for kids to feel alone. Parents are busy, siblings can be less than compassionate and the child who’s hurting can become ultra critical of themselves (teens especially).

Its at the holidays when kids can feel even less special, because regardless of how many gifts they get, the busyness of the season can leave them feeling passed over attention and time wise.

Take some time to reach out to a child this week….it could be all they need to help turn their hopelessness into happiness.