Tag Archives: Christmas

The Lucky Pie: A Christmas Tradition

My grandma was a doctor’s daughter, one of seven children from a big brick house in a tiny Canadian prairie town.  When we were kids my brother and I cross-country skied across the frozen barley field from our farm to hers. As we neared her yard, we saw her silhouetted through the picture window in the living room. She dropped everything to come and watch for us. Sometimes she even did a little dance and my grandpa chuckled from his brown armchair in the corner. When we walked in that door, we were all that mattered. Eaton's catalogue

When my grandma was a little girl in the 1920s, her family got the Eaton’s catalogue in the mail. One year her own grandma, “Namma”, ordered a box called a Lucky Pie from the catalogue. Little did she know she would set in motion a Christmas tradition that has spanned almost 90 years in our family.

(A Lucky Pie is a big wrapped box with ribbons sticking out of the top. Each ribbon connects to a small wrapped gift inside, one for each person attending Christmas dinner. Each person’s name is on a card taped to the end of their ribbon. There is often an extra ribbon or two, just in case an unexpected guest shows up.)

When I was a little girl, everyone gathered in a tight circle around the Lucky Pie and grasped a ribbon, right before dinner was served.  All eyes turned to my grandma and when we were quiet she started the chant: “One for the money. Two for the show. Three to get ready and go man go!” We pulled with all our might, excited to see what treasure was at the end of our ribbon. Sometimes the ribbons would all get tangled up and we’d laugh and laugh as we sorted it all out.

The presents were little toys or knick-knacks my grandma had collected all year and stowed away in her hall closet; mini-flashlights, Nestle rosebud chocolates, tiny Swiss army knives or brightly coloured nail polish. My uncle Andrew always told us we could swap gifts with each other if we didn’t like what we had received. You can imagine the chaos that created between my brother, my cousins and I.

Lucky PieLast year was the first year that both my children were old enough to participate in the Lucky Pie. As their tiny hands held the name tags, I swear I could smell the Yardley lavender soap my grandma always used. I yearn for just one more hug from her but she has been gone for more than four years now.

Some days I’d love to still be that little girl with braids in my hair, cocooned in the safety of my grandma’s house. But it’s my turn now to carry on our traditions. When I think of her example it helps me suck just a little more patience out of a trying day with my own children; to give another hug instead of an admonition.

Whenever we left her house, my grandma would stuff the pockets of our puffy winter jackets with Christmas oranges, never letting us leave empty-handed. She taught me what it means to love unfailingly.

*This post was first published last Christmas at Momma Be Thy Name.

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What Your Toddler Really Wants For Christmas

20121221-061243.jpgWhile roaming the aisles of a big-box toy store the other day, I realized that my 18 month old daughter could care less about 99% of the stuff for sale. I know what she wants for Christmas and it’s not a dolly that sits on the toilet or a pink plastic household appliance. Here’s a list of what every toddler really wants to see under the tree:

  • A Kleenex box. The biggest one you can find, with the cardboard piece already ripped off the top. Free reign to pull the tissues out when she pleases, shred into tiny pieces and fling around the house.
  • A box of Christmas oranges to dump, line up and move in and out of the box to her heart’s content.
  • A toothbrush to chew as much as she wants, swirl in the toilet and poke her big brother with.
  • Her own roll of tape. She can rip the tape out over and over with no one saying, “Give it back to mommy, please. Give it back to mommy” and prying it out of her tiny hands. A roll of wrapping paper from the dollar store will also go over well.
  • A family sized box of rice to spread over every room of the house, just for fun. She already knows how to do this. She learned it last week in Sunday School.
  • A Lego set for her to step on and throw against the wall while laughing with glee.
  • An extra $10 to put towards the water bill so she can play at the kitchen sink and yell, “water! water!” as she pours, stirs and splashes joyfully.
  • An expensive fabric angel decoration to hug and kiss with spaghetti-sauce-stained hands & face.
  • An old plate to take to the cement floor in the garage, lift high over her head, and smash to smithereens.

Ah…the perfect Christmas.

*If you’ve been following me for over a year, you will recognize this post from last Christmas. I can’t resist posting it again this week.

Win With Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas!

Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet

Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet (Photo credit: Klaava.fi)

Today marked the beginning of Momma Be Thy Name’s Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s really only five days this year but who’s counting?

Make sure to check in all week for some fun Christmas posts, including one by yours truly on Thursday, December 19th.

You can comment each day on that day’s post. Just by leaving a comment, you’ll have a chance to win goodies:

  • Kindle Fire HD 7″
  • Hallmark 2013 Keepsake Ornament 
  • Godiva Gold Ballotin  
  • Monsters University on Blu Ray or DVD (Winners’ choice)
  • $25 Target Gift Card
Last year the posts were awesome so go, comment on them, enjoy the 12 5 Days Of Christmas, and keep your fingers and toes crossed that you win!
New this year! You can earn additional entries by donating $1 to each blogger’s chosen charity. (Mine is Love 146. I’ll post more details about it tomorrow.) For now, check out today’s post: Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas Presents I’m An Old Fashioned Kind of Girl: My Bloated Cookie Nostalgia.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

LightsThe minute I saw the subject for this week’s weekly photo challenge I knew I had just taken a perfect picture for it. It’s a little blurry but captures the excitement that’s going on in our house now. Ages 2 and 5, my children are at the ideal age to revel in the magic of Christmas. Our neighbours had their lights up early this year, in mid-November, and my son insisted we follow suit ASAP. Of course one string of lights wasn’t enough; we had to stretch out all the lights we could find all around our family room. My daughter (almost 2.5) was right in on it this year. My son is the perfect teacher, bringing her up to snuff on all that is important about preparing for Christmas.

What Your Toddler Really Wants For Christmas

20121221-061243.jpg

While roaming the aisles of a big-box toy store the other day, I realized that my 18 month old daughter could care less about 99% of the stuff for sale. I know what she wants for Christmas and it’s not a dolly that sits on the toilet or a pink plastic household appliance. Here’s a list of what every toddler really wants to see under the tree:

  • A Kleenex box. The biggest one you can find, with the cardboard piece already ripped off the top. Free reign to pull the tissues out when she pleases, shred into tiny pieces and fling around the house.
  • A box of Christmas oranges to dump, line up and move in and out of the box to her heart’s content.
  • A toothbrush to chew as much as she wants, swirl in the toilet and poke her big brother with.
  • Her own roll of tape. She can rip the tape out over and over with no one saying, “Give it back to mommy, please. Give it back to mommy” and prying it out of her tiny hands. A roll of wrapping paper from the dollar store will also go over well.
  • A family sized box of rice to spread over every room of the house, just for fun. She already knows how to do this. She learned it last week in Sunday School.
  • A Lego set for her to step on and throw against the wall while laughing with glee.
  • An extra $10 to put towards the water bill so she can play at the kitchen sink and yell, “water! water!” as she pours, stirs and splashes joyfully.
  • An expensive fabric angel decoration to hug and kiss with spaghetti-sauce-stained hands & face.
  • An old plate to take to the cement floor in the garage, lift high over her head, and smash to smithereens.

Ah…the perfect Christmas.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

My heart is aching for the families affected by the shooting in Connecticut this week. I find myself slowing down and just loving my children, breathing them in, if you will…taking time to embrace them. My image of “delicate” is this picture of my daughter, her tiny fingers exploring the lights and her tiny face lit up with happiness.

A Toddler’s Christmas

20121216-082158.jpg

A Toddler’s Christmas

Anna

Do you have a toddler in your life? Would you like to remind yourself of what Christmas is really all about? Then jump over to this piece I wrote:

Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas Presents A Toddler’s Christmas by Anna of Murphy Must Have Had Kids.

If you comment over there? You are entered to win an unbelievable Elf Pack of free stuff.

  • Hallmark Keepsake 2012 Snowflake Ornament
  • $25 Macy’s Gift Card
  • Arthur Christmas on DVD
  • $100 MpixGift Certificate
  • iHome Portable Rechargeable Mini Speakers (If you’re extra nice, you will receive Glow Tunes LED Color-Changing speakers!)
  • Godiva Chocolatier Ultimate Dessert Truffles (including Chocolate Lava Cake, Chocolate Éclair, Strawberry Crème Tarte, Red Velvet Cake, Tiramisu, and Crème Brûlée)
  • $15  iTunes Gift Card
  • Yankee Candle Sparkling Snow 14.5 oz. (medium jar) Jar Candle
And if you comment you are also entered to win the Grand Prize:
  • A Keurig Platinum Plus Series Brewer
  • 64 K-Cups (incl 16 Cafe Escapes Hot Chocolate K-cups; 18 Coffee People Donut Shop K-cups; 18 Barista Prima House Blend K-Cups; and a variety pack of 12 K-Cups which includes one each of Nantucket Blend, Breakfast Blend, Gloria Jean’s Hazelnut, Timothy’s Decaf, Van Houtte French Vanilla, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime, Tully’s French Roast, Donut Shop, Newman’s Own Organic Special Blend, Caribou Blend, Barista Prima Italian Roast, and Emeril’s Big Easy Bold)
  • Filter
  • My K-Cup (for any type of ground coffee you’d like)

Comment on all the Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas posts if you want, because you are allowed to enter up to 13 times!

(Thanks to www.mommabethyname.com for featuring my post today!)       

Momma Be Thy Name 

Win Prizes With Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas!

Momma Be Thy Name

Today marked the kick-off of Momma Be Thy Name’s 12 Days of Christmas special…12 days, 12 posts by 12 people with some awesome prizes! I’m pretty stoked because on Friday, December 14th, my first guest post (ever) will be featured.

The best news is that there are prizes involved. Any time you comment on a post during the 12 days, you will be entered to win an Elf Pack and a grand prize. (You can comment once per day.)

Elf Pack:

  • $100 mpix Gift Certificate
  • $25 Macy’s Gift Card
  • $15 iTunes Gift Card
  • Arthur Christmas on DVD
  • iHome Portable Rechargeable Mini Speakers (If you’re extra nice, you could get the Glow Tunes LED Color-Changing speakers!)
  • Godiva Chocolatier Ultimate Dessert Truffles
  • Hallmark Keepsake 2012 Snowflake Ornament
  • Yankee Candle Sparkling Snow 14.5 oz. Jar Candle

Grand Prize:

  • A Keurig Platinum Plus Series Brewer
  • 64 K-Cups variety
  • Filter
  • My K-Cup (for any type of ground coffee you’d like)

So follow the link below and start commenting! Make sure to come and visit me on Friday. 🙂

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Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK)

Lindt chocolate teddy bears

Lindt chocolate teddy bears (Photo credit: foodishfetish)

I saw a wonderful idea on a friend’s Facebook page. During the month of December, she is doing some Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK) with her children. What a great way to teach young children that the Christmas season is about more than Santa and presents.

My son is almost five. He is at such a curious, open-minded age that I knew he would probably be receptive to trying some RACK. Our first try was to buy our Wal-Mart cashier a chocolate bear.  His first reaction when I suggested putting it in the cart was “Why? Why, Mommy? Why can’t I have one too?” I was actually pleasantly surprised when he didn’t argue for very long and realized how happy he could make someone else by giving instead of getting.

When we got to the check-out, B eyed the cashier and asked, “Mommy, is that who we are giving the bear to?” When I said yes he was all excited. I thought he may get shy when it was time to give her the bear, but he stretched out his little arm, gave a big smile and said, “Here! We bought this for you!” She was so surprised and grateful. She said it was a change from what she usually sees happening in the check-out line. We’ve had plenty of days in line where B is asking for things so it was pretty awesome for me to see.

In the car on the way home we had an amazing conversation about thinking of other ways to help other people when they are least expecting it.

My next challenge is to encourage B to spend all of our Shopper’s Drug Mart points to buy toys for children who use the Mustard Seed ministry in our city. We shall see what that brings.

My challenge to you is to try a few RACK with your children. If you don’t have children, do it on your own. Share this post if you’d like to spread more Christmas cheer around!

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