Zip Code 971XX is the prefix for zipcodes in the Portland Oregon area.
Zip Code 971XX is the prefix for zipcodes in the Portland Oregon area.
As the Christmas draws near, I really get into the holiday spirit right after Thanksgiving. You can call me old-fashioned, but this is my favorite part of the year. The thing is, I like picking out presents for my family and friends and I always like to be very personal doing it. Generic gifts and all that: really not my style. In there lies a problem. My older daughter is just so picky when it comes to the things she wants. And the thing is, I can’t say no to her. Not because she is spoiled or anything, but because she is the only one that takes Christmas more seriously than me. As it turns out, much more.
I asked my kids to write to Santa this year and here is what I did: we sat down, I explained the rules and made it very clear that Santa likes kids who obey them:
So check this out:
All three of my kids (I got 2 daughters and a son) asked for this in the letter to Santa. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but it wasn’t. Then I asked my wife should I be worried that my 11-year-old wants a make-up doll? She then told me the most remarkable story I have ever heard.
So we got three kids: David (11), Meg (6), and Brook (3).
Meg is the mastermind behind this entire operation. She really wants this toy and she proposed a deal to the other kids. Meg told Brook that she will practice on the doll and then put make-up on her if they get this gift. So naturally, Brook was on board. And then she promised David all of her next year’s candy from trick-or-treating if he writes to Santa for this toy as well. I mean how the hell did she come up with this idea? Do I have the cunningest kid in the world or what?
The moral of the story is that my kid really wants this toy. And from what I heard from other parents, this is a really popular toy amongst little girls. If you follow the link I posted, you will easily notice a 4.5-star rating that only confirms the fact that kids love this thing.
So I made Meg a deal: She would have to fulfill all the promises she made to Brook and David, and she would have to make her bed every morning until Christmas, and I would write to Santa for this doll as well. She told me: DEAL, and squeezed my hand as hard as she could with the widest smile in the world. Man, kids these days are really something!
Getting presents for the kids was always my wife’s job. It’s not that I don’t like it, she is just better at it. Well, I watched television with my kids this entire weekend and learned something that will benefit you all (actually just those looking to buy presents for kids). Gifting is easy when you pay attention.
This is a bean plush toy for kids ages 3 and up. It is around 8″ tall and although it cannot really stand on its own, it can sit and lie very well. The build quality is excellent and it’s quite soft to touch. The thing about this toy is that kids simply adore it. And there is a simple reason behind it
There is a Disney show called The Lion Guard. I watched it through the entire weekend with my kids and to be quite frank, the show is good. It is one of the better programs for kids on television these days. There a couple of characters and each of them has its own toy. Now, I noticed that my kids love most of them, but as soon as Ono showed up on the screen (or rather I should not say as soon but EVERY time) my kids were quite excited and cheerful. And from what I hear, this show is really popular all over the world. If you don’t believe it, check out the average rating for this toy and read a couple of comments.
Yesterday, I thought of an idea to buy an entire set of The Lion Guard toys and give them out to my kids by Christmas as a reward for doing the chores like making the bed and cleaning out their room. The amazing thing about these toys is that in a show, each of them has a special ability. Ono, for example, has high-level intellect. So, I will challenge my kids to finish up their homework (not all of them go to school, but all of them got homework) and reward them with this toy. That way, I can teach them valuable lessons and they will have no trouble accepting it. And if it all goes well, I’ll proceed as planned.
For a simple toy (ok there is the show as well), I’d say that it is quite an effective gift. When you got kids, you learn something every day and that’s the real beauty of it.
Due to a situation that came up this weekend, I was forced to make a realization. What I discovered or perhaps rediscovered is that anger and negative emotions are the enemy of all people. Nothing is solved well through negative emotions. It may feel particularly difficult to respond with kindness when someone has wronged you or caused you harm, but it is the only response that can create positive outcomes. Responding with anger just doesn’t work well and sometimes not at all. It will be a challenge and require constant vigilance to respond to others with kindness, even when wronged by them. But I am convinced that my growth is limited by allowing such negative things to dominate my reactions to others. I hope that I will do better in the future.
A couple of my fondest childhood memories date way back to my preschool years. I used to love Christmas (which child didn’t) but for a very different reason you all might think. The memories I cherish have nothing to do with presents and treats, nothing to do with family dinners or eating cakes, and to be completely honest, nothing to do with family. It is the feeling that I remember most accurately, the feeling of Christmas and gratitude.
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and although my sister and I never lacked any of the essentials, presents were just not that rich and lavish. It was the small things, not toys, but the things we needed, pajamas, socks, stuff like that. But the presents themselves were irrelevant, at least to me. It was the anticipation the night before.
It was always snowing during Christmas and the house we grew up in had one really amazing feature. The living room, where the Christmas tree was, had a great balcony with glass doors overlooking the yard. And there was a street lamp right across the street which was the only working one in the entire neighborhood. When there was snow on the balcony ledge and the three branches above, the light was literally sparkling into the room at night. I used to stay up waiting to see the Santa as he comes to our house. For hours, I would stare at those lights on the walls and ceiling and believe it or not, those are my fondest childhood memories. During those nights, anything was possible and a massive sense of gratitude would overtake me. Sitting and waiting, wrapped up in my blanket and listening to the 8-bit sound of the carols coming from a small thingy under the tree, that was my Christmas, or at least my favorite part of it.
The snow is not at all a probability at my house these days, but there is something I found that can at least, in some sense, replicate the setting from my childhood.
I bought this yesterday and I will have it installed this Christmas. I would like for my kids to know the feeling I felt during the Christmas night. Although the kids these days are much more mature than I was at their age, there is still some magic to it, and that feeling of gratitude is something they need to feel for themselves, just like I did.
The thing is, I do still believe in Christmas magic and if my kids can experience at least a smidgen of that feeling, my heart would be full. Nothing in the entire world would make me happier.