There truly is something magical about the holidays. I wish I could put my finger on it, but I do know that for a while there it seemed to be missing from my life. As you might expect, it happened right after leaving my marriage and moving into a bare-bones apartment that I spent months trying to furnish well enough to make a newish home for my children. The eldest, Mallory, was away at college at the time and my sons were still in junior and senior high school. It took me a while to realize that what we needed, desperately, was to create new traditions that would make their way into our newly fractured family. It was Mallory, of course, who led the charge. “We need to go pick out our own freshly cut Christmas tree!” she declared on day. That weekend, she found a farm less than 20 miles away, whipped up a batch of hot chocolate and coffees for the four of us, and we picked out our first real Christmas tree ever. Before that, we had always used the fake one left by my ex-inlaws that I truly detested.
I can tell you from experience that this was the best medicine for the dowdy state I’d been in due to everything changing rapidly for me. Just last week, I commented to a friend who is going through similar circumstances that it was crucial that she come up with new traditions with her children that are apart from what they used to do. I don’t always listen to everything Mallory tells me, but on this, she really was wise beyond her years.
She was so right. It perked me up and gave me something new to look forward to every December. She’s a smart cookie, that one.
Since that time, we’ve spent the last few years coming up with other new traditions as a family. Buying a well in Africa for a village instead of getting a new family game (we had plenty) was the first one. Another year, we picked out presents from the Angel Tree at our church. Last year, we had our first Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Mallory’s house when Mason came home from Seattle for a surprise visit since he had been living there. Due to the Hurricane that swept in and over the East Coast, we’ve decided to pick out the gifts we got from Target and donate them to a family who might have small children without any toys left.
And now, I get to add to those traditions once again thanks to the generosity of Target. Today, you could win a Bop It! Smash just like this. Out of all the toys I got to review for Target, this was my favorite because my children are older and could appreciate it. But, Target has a ton more age-appropriate gifts for families like mine. (Well, the HALO 4 Warthog vehicle wasn’t my first pick, but Morgan loved that thing and has actually begged for it for Christmas. Dude is almost 18 years old, but if it has HALO written anywhere on it, he wants it.)
Our family also liked Parcheesi (remember that game?!) and Catch Phrase! as well as the newest version of Apples to Apples called Sour Apples to Apples. We take that on trips and family vacations because it’s easy to pack and everyone loves playing it. For some reason, I just giggle when we pull it out because I know how much family fun we’re going to have with it. (Also, we play Gin Rummy as a family tradition and that one has been going on for years.)
Want this toy? You’re in luck! Every single day leading up to the holidays a blogger will be giving away a toy! Simply comment below for your chance to win a Bop It! Smash.
Do you know a deserving family, school, or charity this holiday season? We’re giving away one grand set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To nominate, simply comment and tell us why you’ve selected them!
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