Thirteen days ago, I explained how my son, George, doesn’t believe in Santa, but his 3-year-old little sister, Olivia, is determined to believe. Well, since they’re preschoolers and have opinions as wishy-washy as a stiff autumn breeze, I’m less certain of their current views.
Their preschool held Cookies with Santa yesterday, so Olivia had her second chance to interact with the Man in Red. He had scared her at a church event a few days ago, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. After George gave him a high-five, she slowly crept toward him, beckoned by the promise of a candy cane. She posed for a picture while half-perched on his knee. She also gave a weird half-smile, but I think she was generally enjoying herself?
I’m also not certain where George lands. I think he’s still testing the Santa-magic waters, as he looked very, very excited when Santa strolled into the gymnasium and took his seat in front of a large photo backdrop of a Christmas tree. Honestly, I’m fine with the kids believing or not. I’m mostly concerned George’s probing questions of St. Nick’s existence will reach his little friends’ ears, and we’ll be blacklisted as the family with the kid who made other kids cry.
Well, who knows the inter-workings of the preschooler’s mind? Not I, said the fly.
Now, onto things that Mama likes.
While we need to continually prioritize Jesus during the Christmas season (and all the time), there’s something special about all the extra stuff that floods in. Everything is a little sparklier, a little brighter this time of year.
I thought I’d pull together one last Favorite Things list for ya. I make these lists so, hopefully, you can get a few life hacks or find a new idea of something to enjoy. Please let me know if you try anything!
- The Office Ladies podcast
When I was in high school and college, I used to watch The Office every week with my family or friends. I wish this show was still around, as we could use some honest, raw commentary on how insane our society has grown. In this podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (who played Pam and Angela, respectively) discuss one episode per week, and they’re only a few episodes in. The two women are best friends in real life, so their banter is relatively natural. It’s the perfect thing to play while I’m getting ready. Episodes air on Wednesdays.
- The Original Little Hands Card Holder
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends visited (hi, Ber!), and we discovered that George loves to play Uno. Both George and Olivia struggled to hold even seven playing cards, and my friend mentioned I should find card holders for their little hands. Walmart had these Little Hands Card Holders, and they’re perfect! Though, I now have to struggle to peek at their cards when deciding if I should toss down a draw four wild card…
- The Masked Singer
Please tell me you’ve at least heard of this show. It’s on Fox (or Hulu, in our case), and I think it’s awesome. Celebrities of different talents and notoriety don full masks and costumes before singing in front of an audience. The audience votes on best performances, and the celebrity with the least votes has to take off his or her mask. The judges try to guess who it is in this “who-sung-it” mystery show. I really enjoy it. However, it’s a bit eye-rolly when I realized we’re just building the self-esteem of celebrities. Like, “Oh, poor little celebrity who was never recognized for his/her singing prowess! My heart bleeds for you!” OK, snark complete.
- Tea lattes
“Fun” fact about Mama! I don’t really like hot drinks. The exception? When I’m cold or happen to be standing in the cold. But generally, I prefer cold drinks. I also dislike coffee, so hot beverages have limited accessibility anyhow. However, I’ve recently discovered iced tea lattes. I buy Masala Chai tea on Amazon, boil some water, add some tea, then put it in the fridge. When I want a cup, I mix 50/50 whole milk and tea. No sugar. It’s got this creamy, bitter thing going on that I love. Plus, buying my own loose leaf tea costs $10 per bag, which makes about…3-4 Fiestaware pitchers of tea. I then add milk, so instead of paying $5 per chai latte from a coffee shop, I must be saving money, right? Even my English-major brain can do that math. (I do try to frequent local coffee shops to support local economy, however, but my budget…and my husband…appreciate the homemade route.)
- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
So, I see your pumpkin spice and raise you peppermint. Peppermint is so, so much better and screams holidays! to me. If you haven’t tried one of these beauties, they’re worth the buy. White chocolate kisses stuffed with crunchy candy cane pieces. Yum-o.
- Flipz Candy Cane Covered Pretzels
Every October, I allow myself to buy one bag of candy corn, and in December, I let myself carry one bag of Flipz Candy Cane Pretzels to the register. Again, Christmas should taste like candy canes and gingerbread, make no mistake. Salty pretzels coated in white chocolate and candy cane bits? Forgetaboutit.
- Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
One year ago, I whined about this new, animated version of The Grinch. I mean, Jim Carey perfected the Grinch in 2000 with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, am I right? However, as I excitedly started that movie with hopes of sharing magical Christmas tradition with my small children, I realized it may not be the most kid-friendly movie out there. We got about a third in before both kids were asking to turn it off because “the green guy” was “scary”. I couldn’t completely disagree. Last night, we tried the 2018 version, and they both loved it. The Grinch (voiced in Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent) is a bit fluffier and less menacing this time around. There are also hilarious tidbits for the parents (he gets chased by determined carolers). Thoroughly enjoyable.
In case I don’t talk to you before Christmas, Merry Christmas, dear reader!
Eragon by Christopher Paolini – I’m a little bummed that my kids are on Christmas break so I won’t have any alone time to listen to my audiobook! They insist on listening to the Frozen 2 soundtrack, and I generally love belting out some Elsa. Hopefully, I can squeeze in some audiobook while making Christmas brunch…