But Mommm: Wishing

I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the lights on houses. I love having a tree in the living room. I love the parties. I love the school Christmas concerts.
 I love shopping for that ‘perfect’ gift. And, I especially love the excitement on our kids’ faces as their anticipation builds for the big day.
I have to commend Santa this year for his awesome responses to the Christmas letters our kids gave to him during the Parade of Lights. He really personalized it and our oldest was thrilled to hear what an amazing big sister he thought she’d been. Our second daughter had sent a picture along with her letter and Santa wrote to tell her how much he loved her picture and that he had hung it on the wall of the toy shop for the elves to see while they’re working. Our son asked him for a truck and he wrote back talking about how much he loves trucks too. Kudos to Santa and Canada Post for adding an extra sparkle to the holiday season for our kids.
We ventured out shopping a few weeks ago and had the kids in Dartmouth Crossing. As I ran from store to store, my husband and the kids were attracted to a flurry of activity around the amphitheatre. When I came to find them, the kids were riding on a train/trolley with a few elves and were happily sucking on candy canes that other elves were handing out. Santa was sitting in a big sleigh so that kids could come sit with him (and not on him if they didn’t want to) to get pictures taken. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon and a wonderful unexpected surprise for the kids.
We’ve been taking the long way home whenever we go anywhere lately because so many people around the city have done such incredible things with their Christmas lights. The Chronicle Herald puts together a map of all of the incredible light displays around the city and it’s so worth checking it out and taking some hot chocolate pajama drives with your kids. You can find everything you need right here: http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1171725-help-build-our-map-and-go-holiday-light-seeing
It’s also the perfect time of year to teach kids about kindness, being thankful and helping others in your community. Toy drives, the food bank, sponsoring a family – all things that are easy to explain to kids and that they openly wrap their arms (and hearts) around when given the opportunity to give back.
With everything I’ve mentioned plus the Parade of Lights, the Halifax tree lighting and the Dartmouth tree lighting, our incredible city knows how to do the holidays right. You may be wondering why I’m listing all of these things in a parenting blog – it’s sounding more like a December calendar of events for the city.
Truthfully, with the flurry of shopping and mall madness going on as we count down the last few days to Christmas, I thought it would be a great time to remind us all about what makes Christmas such a special time for our kids. Sure they love the gifts – no doubt about that – but I recently asked our oldest what her favourite present was from last year and she truly couldn’t remember. What she could remember though, were her favourite decorated houses in the neighborhood, family friends coming over Christmas afternoon and all the concerts and parties where she got to wear the Christmas dress that she loved.
So let this serve as a reminder to myself and all of you as we all stress out trying to get everything done and bought in the next week. When it comes right down to it and through the eyes of our kids, it has nothing to do with money, stress and planning.
It has everything to do with fun, together-time and just the right amount of magic.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller

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