Wednesday, November 28, 2012

it's the most wonderful time of the year

Christmas time ... it is once again upon us. And for the first time in my life, I think I might actually have the majority of our shopping completed before the end of November.

It's a miracle.

Or, perhaps a virtue of the fact that I came down with strep throat over the weekend and have been totally out of commission for the past few days, completely flat on my back unable to do anything except surf cyber sales, when I'm not crying for my mother.  At this moment, I'd like to take a quick pause to acknowledge Sir Alexander Fleming, the inventor of antibiotics. Had this infection struck me 100 years ago, before antibiotics were created, I most likely would have died this weekend.

If I didn't die from the pain, I probably would have died from being tossed out a window by my husband who doesn't think I'm pleasant to be around when I'm sick. Apparently, I'm not a very patient patient? The nerve of me!  Alas, a mere 36-hours after beginning my antibiotic regiment, I'm still alive and happily married and nearly complete with my Christmas shopping.

It's the season of miracles indeed!

Now, the purpose of this post is to re-cap that two years ago, I started a discussion on favorite toys and received some very valuable input. For example, for those who recommended Magna Tiles, they really are an awesome product and have become something that we play with almost everyday. We've got a few other toys in our arsenal that we really adore and I'd never (ever) threaten to throw away even if the children repeatedly left them out. My plan, if all goes according to plan, is to write about those toys over the next few days (weeks?) because:

1. I want to chronicle them.

2. Someone out there might be struck with the notion that they, too, need to add a few of these great toys to their own personal arsenal.

3. Someone out there might be compelled to share a few toys that they have discovered, that I've never even heard of (i.e., Magna Tiles) that could transform our world!

What is life, if not an opportunity to share great ideas and finds.  Right?

However, before I embark on those posts, my word of advice / reminder is that if you're doing any online shopping, consider making your purchases through Upromise.  It's free and you can get anywhere from 1 to 25% of your sales price donated by retailers in to your children's (or grandchildren's or nieces, nephews, neighbors, whomever) college fund for purchases that you'd be making anyway.  It may not seem like much, but it's essentially free money and it does add up.

My other word of advice / reminder is to make sure you look up any "Promo Codes" for the retailers that you are considering. Tonight, just before I confirmed my sale with Fat Brain Toys, I did a quick search and found a coupon code for free shipping plus 10% off the total purchase price.  While I was anticipating the free shipping based on the value of the purchase I'd be making, the 10% off was completely unexpected.

See?! Just one more line of concrete evidence ....

'Tis the season of miracles!! 

I'm jumping right in to the festivities (wow, it's so good to still be alive!!) and taking this opportunity to post one of my favorite seasonal photos.  If it's possible to post a picture too many times, my apologies, but this shot is going up every year for as long as I shall blog.  Is it wrong? Is it terrible that I think this picture is so funny? I mean, what kind of person laughs at this? Well, for what it's worth, my children - the subjects of the terror, think it's quite humorous. So that makes me feel a little better.

Santa 2005

The history behind the photo is that I put Elizabeth in Santa's right arm, first, and she was doing just fine. Snacking on a graham cracker and checking out the man in the big red suit with her cute little ponytails. Next came William. He was relatively OK with the situation, since his sister was seemingly OK and although he turned around to survey the scene and didn't want to take his eyes off St. Nick, he didn't sense any immediate harm to himself.  I'd held off on placing Carolyn in to Santa's left arm until the very last possible second because I knew that she would turn inside out.

And wow did she ever. 

And when she did, she set off the DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! alarm that triggered her siblings to turn inside out (the look on William's face just screams, "OMG, IS HE GOING TO EAT US?!" or maybe, "I forgot to enter in the Promo Code for Fat Brain Toys!!") which triggered Santa to turn inside out and SNAP!

A memory preserved forever.


  1. That picture is awesome! I'd use it every year, forever, too.

  2. Please send this to Ellen---or t ell me how to do it. It is a Gem!

  3. You really need to send that photo to The whole world needs to see that photo. It is pure awesomeness and I enjoy it every year.

  4. Thank you for posting that photo again.

    I love the "Danger! Danger! Danger!" alarm, and every time I see this I want to share it with everybody I know but that would be wrong. So I just sit and laugh out loud all by myself. Which is probably wrong too.

  5. I still LOVE that picture after so many years! Miss you!!!

  6. That is the picture that got me hooked on your blog, during a night of insomnia-induced link-clicking that led me to your blog in the first place oh so many years ago. It's like having a favorite tv show, but in reading-form rather than watching-form. And not tragic in the way that reality-tv is, but inspiring (on top of being funny & educational, especially now that I'm a Mama myself). I'd never heard of the Christmas book tradition until you wrote about it a year or two ago, and I'm excited to add it to our family's holiday repertoire. Wishing you a happy & magical holiday season to you & your "Amazing" family! :-)

  7. I am always looking for ideas for quality toys for my nieces. I look forward to your thoughts on your arsenal of adored toys.

    I think Santa's playful expression makes your trios Christmas photo that much better.

    Thank you for sharing the photo (again).

    Amy F.

  8. Magnatiles are my favorite toy EVER!!! They are a go to toy every single day. Free shipping is my next favorite thing! :)

  9. I love that photo, looking forward to seeing it for many years to come.

  10. Thought you'd enjoy this slideshow of funny Santa pics. Interesting to note that there are a number of twins and triplets in these photos. I think #53 is my favorite.