For our family there are two things that mark the beginning of Christmas.
- Santa Train
- Light the Square
Once we’ve enjoyed a ride on the Santa Train courtesy of the Credit Valley Explorer and watched the lighting of the tree at City Hall, we are brimming with the holiday spirit. I’ve been Christmas shopping since the middle of October. I’m not bragging, I promise, I went sprialling into panic mode when one day I randomly searched the top toys of 2017 and when as I checked for the toys online some were already sold out! Last year I almost got burned with the whole Hatchimal craze. I didn’t buy one when I saw them online (I even had one in my shopping cart) and then I was so worried that my daughter would ask for one from Santa. Luckily she didn’t! But this year she did and for a Fingerling! Thank goodness I’d secured the Fingerling! The hunt for the “it” toy reminds me of my mom going to Zellers to secure Cabbage Patch Kids for me and my sisters. This was way before the internet, so it was a lot harder to secure that special item. To this day, I don’t know how she managed to get three! However she managed to get them to the cash without one getting snatched is still a mystery! Keeping the magic alive for the little ones is no easy feat sometimes. But I do it gladly every year just to see the look of joy on their faces.
To help balance out all the wants and must-haves that the season brings I try to give back by buying a gift for children in need from Plan Canada. I let the girls pick out the particular gift. Last year we gave baby chicks. This year I’m thinking of a safe delivery kit. It’s a small thing, but I think it helps teach the girls the importance of giving back! And that’s it not all about getting gifts, that there is so much joy in giving as well. My oldest daughter’s school also does a food drive, the Tree of Hope and Angels on the Tree programs. For the Tree of Hope, students purchase paper ornaments for $1 and decorate them. The money collected is then used to purchase gift certificates for families in need. Another way the school helps families in need is with Angels on the Tree. Students take a tag from the school Christmas tree. And families purchase what is listed on the tag and then donated to families in the community.
Now that our own Christmas tree is up and the house decorated. The only major thing left to do to fully get into the festive spirit means making peanut butter balls, gingerbread cookies and shortbread men.
Let the Christmas festivities begin!