Christmas 2014

This was one I’d like to be done with. The concerns about Santa – would he come, was behavior suitable, does he have what I really want (but didn’t tell a soul about)? – were looming. I have it from good authority that only those who truly believe in the magic of St. Nick receive. Those who have doubt are met without, thus confirming suspicions that he might not be.

The boys tried to eliminate all surprise, snooping through closets and trunks for gift previews. Their actions made hubs and I question the way we do Christmas.

We shared a meager gift exchange. Most received necessities: clothes and shoes. Some received creative gifts, though JD was hardly impressed by his graphic model maker. Ri and Ya seemed to be satisfied with their musical presents. In fact, Ri sampled her drums right after hubs put the set together (and risked rousing the entire household of siblings pretending unsuccessfully to be asleep).

w IMG0084

It took some coaxing to get Ri to tear open her other gift – a terribly chatty Firby that doesn’t like to sleep. Ya immediately dropped his pick in his guitar and spent several complaining minutes shaking it out. Uncle Art tuned it later, and then (after a lengthy sick nap), my boy became a strummer.
w IMG0110

Rico was most obviously disappointed, and spent the day sulking. There was little appeasement for his sour mood. Chi flaunted new boots to Oma’s house, where mom’n’dad served a feast of favorites. I think, though,Chi’s day peaked when each of us opened her carefully selected gifts she’d bought with her own money. She thought about each personality she shopped for and selected well.

It might’ve been nice to extend our gifting, as the unwrapping was akin to a Gone In Sixty Seconds heist. Nevertheless, our Christmas was spent together and both love and illness abounded.

six word Fridays: Reason

It stands to reason this season
there’s a little more to it
than presents, vacation time, and decorations.
Yes, fancy luminations brighten the night
and those odd shaped surprises intrigue
(bet you wonder what’s wrapped there)
But I remember a time when
Christmas included church prayers at midnight – –
When we sat in our jammies
In the soft lit sanctuary together,
an elder thanking God for all
requested, received, and even what’s denied.
I wondered then, ‘Why praise Him ?
You didn’t get what you wanted
And so-and-so got more.’
Now, I see what he had.
What was needed, what was good:
Parents, children together in God’s house,
The family, in whatever form, complete.
I miss those evenings long passed.

** inspired by “reason” for Six Word Fridays at My Memory Art

Thanksgiving aka “Happy Thank You!”

w thanksgiving

I figured I’d skip posting the usual “here is our spread” and “here we are stuffing ourselves” photos and just share the ones from the morning.
w IMG0008

Lucky us!

w IMG0184
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

IMG0122webIMG0136r webIMG 0105web

IMG0180r wIMG0185wIMG0221r w

Review: Portable North Pole

Disclosure: I received complementary Portable North Pole products in exchange for this review. Of course, all thoughts and opinions are all mine.

Sing it with me — “Santa Claus is coming to town…. he’s making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out whose naughty or nice. …”

My sons been preparing his Santa’s gift list for some time. In fact, he dictated the whole thing to me and it was printed in Shining Faces Children’s Magazine. He’s certain of all the fantastic things he wants to get, but somehow he never remembers that receiving Santa’s gift requires good behavior. It’s a tough concept for my five-year-old to grasp. And if ever I inquire about his daily behavior in school, he answers with absolute honesty and assures me “I’m trying, Mom.”

Enter the Portable North Pole, where parents (or family and friends) can purchase gentle reminders to be good in the form of personalized videos and letters from Mr. Claus.

wish profile
I was given a $25 credit to PNP to sample their products. That value included a letter, video, and phone call.

personalizing letterFor each product, prompts lead me through personalization. And they’ve thought of nearly everything with their questions. For the Letter from Santa, a picture can be added and I could select from a variety of comments about my child’s daily activities.
I just placed my order, so I’m hoping shipping is fast enough to get the letter here before Christmas.

book infoI chose a Christmas Eve video for Ya that reminds him of his accomplishments this past year and to continue to work toward specific behavior goals we’ve set. The program allows upload of personal photos and confirms pronunciation of the child’s name (we had to use “my friend”). Santa’s record book – of Ya’s wishes, behaviors, and significant events – is pulled from the shelf where it’s filed with his siblings’ books.

Of course, Ya won’t yet appreciate seeing their names because his reading ability is still developing.

msg load
I was pretty impressed with the mini movie I received. Santa is approachable, his voice is encouraging. And the set is reminiscent of stories of the North Pole. I’m sort of excited to share the video with Ya.

And finally, there’s “Santa’s Call Center”. There, I was prompted to generate a personal phone call from Santa. We don’t usually answer unknown numvers, so I’m not sure how this call will go through. It says, though, I can schedule the time. Like the video, I answered several questions to ensure the call message was one we needed Ya to hear.
I chose a message to play for his next August birthday. It’s a call that comes close enough to the new school year to make an impact when he begins again.

PNP has a pretty nice concept that seems to reinforce my objectives as a parent to raise a productive and polite child. I could certainly see continuing this video and letter tradition for as long as my kids believe there’s magic in Christmas.

And as a bonus? PNP donates 5% of all online sales to a Children’s Hospital close to the buyer’s location. According to PNP, the company collaborates with over 40 regional Children’s Hospitals in the U.S.

If you’re interested, you can check out a sample on YouTube:

Coming to a mail box for YOU

It’s that time of year again – – time to peruse the shelves for Christmas and New Years cards with sweet sentiments some poetic person penned for a major card company.  As with most years, I’ll shuffle through many lovely cards in search of one with a little pizazz – you know, glitter or lace for mom, or something with a little funny for Dad and my brothers.  Grandparents and other close relatives will also get a card, but it’s usually from a boxed set with a generic statement of love and blessings.  And yet, no matter how nice the card looks or how right on; the sentiment, I know these wont be the cards cherished and kept past the season.

Dilemma: do I invest in these temporary tokens, tuck in a loose photo before mailing, and accept that the cards will be tossed with the used wrapping paper? Or should I get ambitious and make my own cards?

I’ve created our holiday cards before – pondered over which family photo (or combination of individual photos) to include, and then picked from a small selection of cards available.  A few adjustments of the text, a color or font swap, and viola! Total possible customizations complete.

This year, I’ve found a new card company; or rather, it found me.  Enter – a fantabulous site with CHOICE.
Mint’s statement says it offers “the best in indie design from a global community of independent designers.” And that’s the truth. I spent a lot of time selecting a card, calling for second (and third) opinion, and then seeing something even more appealing to add to the considerations.


minted2Luckily, Minted keeps a record of recently viewed cards, so I could go back and review my options.minted1

I’m sort of smitten with a card called “Complete Love,” which won a design award on the site. Honestly, I was in love with the basic card. But there were options to customize it! Shapes for the card. Card stock (hello, pearlescent!). I can even add a custom backer or interior to include more photos and a longer message.

Then there are the mini book cards. Reminiscent of my wedding magazine, these little square multipage cards are the perfect little mailing that doubles as a once a year gift that I think my family will read and display year round. BONUS?

minted4 I’ve not put the finishing touches on my card project just yet, but when I do, I’ll get a digital proof that’s already been reviewed by Minted staff. Breathe and relax, no stupid mistake is going to ruin my perfect Christmas card (like when I forgot to make an adjustment to the YEAR on a previously ordered card from another company).
I think I just might be sold on the Minted customer service model.minted5

Unlike previous years, I’m not spoiling the surprise on this card, but I assure you it’s one you’ll want to keep.

Oh, and if you decide to make your own? You might want to check out yourself. There’s a 15 percent off coupon and free shipping on the site right now.

Or better yet, tell my husband I want him to send foiled card customized for me and our important ladies for Mother’s Day. If you hint about it now, he might just do it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This site is protected by WP-CopyRightPro