Posts Tagged ‘santa’

I don’t remember my first time seeing Santa Claus, but I distinctly remember being excited to sit on his lap each year and tell him what I was hoping for for Christmas. My parents weren’t as diligent  about getting a classic picture with old St. Nick every year but it’s something I look forward to doing with my kids every year.

It started with my daughter. She wasn’t ever afraid of the big guy in red. When my son came along he was hesitant for a year or two, but now he’s just as excited to see him as anyone.

I’ve rounded up my favorite Santa photos from the last seven years to show off in this post. We made it the last seven years with just one Santa breakdown. And another close call the year after. But thanks heavens for a rocking horse and sneaky Santa for saving the photo.





2012 (again)









Santa and kids photoshoot gift guide for meaningful gifts



I love how carefree and happy Christmas is for my children. All of the hustle and bustle is worth it as I see their (mostly) smiling faces. Looking back at these photos I can see so much of their personalities that were present as such a young age. My son, the emotionally hesitant one, and my daughter, the whimsical dreamer. And yes, we are going to keep doing these photos until they are begging me to stop. (And probably even for a few more years after that). I hope that my kids grow up to cherish these memories like I do. Even if it looks like I was torturing them a little.

I’m wrapping up my first year working as a #TalkEarly ambassador where I’ve shared my thoughts and ways of talking about alcohol and alcohol responsibility with my kids. I never knew how important it was to talk to our kids about this at an early age, even if we don’t drink in our home. You can find a wealth of knowledge over on the #TalkEarly page and find more information on building a lifetime of conversations with kids around alcohol responsibility. The nonpfofit Responsibility.org sponsored today’s post, however all thoughts, opinions and stories are my own.

Every year I seem to go a little above and beyond when it comes to Christmas gifts for my kids. This year I’ve been debating quantity versus quality and what they want versus what they need. I think I’ve come up with a good way to get a well-rounded selection of gifts that is more than just extra stuff.

1. Something she/he asked Santa for: Growing up Santa brought all of our gifts. As Lil’ J prepares to climb on Santa’s lap and tell him what she wants, she narrows it down. She has been good about asking Santa for just one thing, so going along with that I think we’ll make sure Santa gets what she told him she wanted (yes we met Santa early this year). She asked for matching American Girl Doll clothes to go with her new doll.

My son asked Santa for a Lightning McQueen toy and we’ve already got that covered.

Santa and kids photoshoot gift guide for meaningful gifts

2. Something we can enjoy together: Like a board game, or playing cards. I recently taught Lil’ J how to play go fish and she’s all about it. When we’re waiting at a restaurant or need a simple game to play she grabs the cards. Maybe we’ll get her Uno or Old Maid and add some more games to the list.

Same for little brother. Maybe Hungry Hippo or something they would enjoy playing together. I have a game on my wish list too. I told my husband I’d love Disney Scene It.

3. Something active: My kids love to work out with their dad in our garage gym. He’s forever adding equipment to their lineup. From box jumps to weights. I’ll have to consult with him on this but I think the kids may enjoy some jump ropes, maybe a basketball hoop, or a pogo stick.

4. Something to experience: A trip to a train museum for my son, or private gymnastics lessons for my daughter. I’d love to give a gift that keeps on giving with a joyful experience or talent they develop.

5. Something special: Lastly I love surprising my kids with something I think they’d love. Whether it’s big or small, it’s just something I think they’d enjoy. Big T has a lot of hot wheel cars and I think he’d enjoy a Hot Wheels track, but I’m debating if I have the patience to keep them organized. A simple set shouldn’t be too bad right?

I’m still working on Lil’ J. I’m thinking of getting her a pair of earrings and then surprising her with a trip to get her ears pierced since she’s been asking quite a bit lately.

I’ve barely started my shopping, in fact I’m still finalizing our lists of who we need to shop for, but getting this shopping list going makes me feel like I’m making progress.

This weekend there’s a Sears sale event to get early access to Black Friday deals so you can save big and enjoy their holidays with peace-of- mind knowing your holiday shopping is already done. Check out Sears.com/gifts for more information.

What kinds of kids are you shopping for this year? Leave a comment letting me know and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card to Sears to get a kick start on your holiday shopping.

The Sears Member Private Night sale event is on Sunday, Nov. 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you can’t make it to the store you can still shop the Member Private Night sale online 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., or shop at Sears on Thanksgiving Day, with deals available both in-store and online starting at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving evening to midnight, or on Black Friday with stores opening at 5 a.m.

Making shopping easier is a big bonus to me, which is why I’ve partnered with Sears on this post. All opinions are my own.

Christmas time has been my favorite time of year as long as I can remember. Now seeing the holiday through my children’s eyes brings all the fun I remember as a child back to life. We do Santa in our house.  I’m hoping to take my kids to see him today. I know Miss J will be over the moon excited to chat with him but I’m also just as sure Big T will probably cry the moment he settles on his lap. It’s not personal Santa, Big T is just a big Mama’s boy.

The jolly old fellow is a very loved man with the rest of us though. … And while of course we teach the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate Christ’s birthday, we also enjoy the magic of the season.

I haven’t done a ton of decorating this year, but I hope to score big after Christmas and get a nice stockpile going for next year. I wanted to buy a new tree after Christmas but when we unpacked this one I could only find half of the tree stand, so I bought another. I bought a bunch of extra lights for when I found the other half of the tree stand, so I could make a “white light tree” but turns out I just just re-found the half I already had. *sigh*

At least the lights made for cute photos.

Christmas-Lights_0072-copyIn case you wanted to know the settings of this photo: I used my Canon 5D Mark ii, 100mm 2.8L Lens at f/2.8, ISO 3200, shutter 1/250.

It’s Big T’s first Christmas and Lil’ J is totally into it. All she’s asked for is a play kitchen (with pretend cookies), and a sail boat (what the heck?!). She says she doesn’t want a bike, which I was excited to surprise her with, but I guess we’ll hold off til’ her birthday.

Santa is bringing Big T an awesome walker toy for Christmas.

The gift I’m getting is the chance to spend Christmas with my little family, with all of us off of work for the entire day.

Here’s a peek at the magic and memories we’re making at our house. Promise you’ll love it.

Notice the nativity rearranged? No matter how many times I set it up in order, Lil’ J puts everyone in the manger, and sets Jesus’ little hay bed up where the sheep is suppose to go. Also, Baby Jesus has gone missing after she decided to carry him around for a while. Hopefully he’ll turn up before Christmas.

Do you mix magic and real meaning at your house?

siblings in christmas lightsAs I celebrate the Christmas, I’ll be sharing some of our experiences in a holiday series sponsored by Hallmark. This video features a North Pole Communicator and North Pole Magic Mail, as well as keepsake ornaments I purchased and others I received as gifts.

hallmark life is a special occasion


Holiday recap

I’m not sure I’ve ever just been like “SEE YA!” on my blog before, without the “SEE YA!” notice. I just felt like I needed a tiny break but didn’t feel like making a big deal about it.

Sure, I could have stretched stuff out to make several little posts, but why not just slap it all together in a holiday recap?

via Jackie Willome Photography

First of all, Lil’ J is OBSESSED with Santa. For the second year in a row we did photos with Jackie Willome Photography and Santa, and I just love candid photos we get, and the one-on-one experience she gets with one of her idols. Santa read her a Christmas book and pointed and said “That’s you!!” It was the sweetest thing. She fell in love when she first met him at the mall and just had a chat with him about what she wanted for Christmas. That evening I said he’d bring her presents on Christmas if she was good and the rest was history. She literally saw four different Santa’s five times and had a blast each and every time. Each time she requested “princess shoes” so of course Santa was sure to bring some Christmas morning. Here are some of my favorite photos with Santa(s).

Here are some pics with the classic Mall Santa, the first one she had met. She didn’t mind that he hadn’t fattened up yet. Photos of kids crying with Santa make me laugh so hard, they’re so classic, but hers are almost the exact opposite of those.My father-in-law came to town the days before Christmas and Christmas morning and I’m just now realizing I didn’t take any photos of them together, dangit!

My husband and I were able to get away for a night for our 8th anniversary. I believe it was our first whole night away (together) from our daughter since she was born. It was fabulous and much-needed. I had been craving a nice hot chocolate and got one along with a steak and shrimp dinner plus dessert.

Here was us as a couple of young pups 8 years ago.

I baked and cook more in a few days than I normally do in a month, and I still haven’t cleaned up the mess. Christmas Eve we had ham, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Christmas morning I made what I called a “Pinterest creation” but my father-in-law recognized them as “sticky buns.” I also made french toast, eggs, and bacon. Go me! I’m regretting not buying paper plates as just about every dish in our house needs to be washed and our dishwasher sucks.

Lil’ J was so excited to come out of her room and see what Santa brought, which was too many toys. Among them, dress up dresses, a tea party set, a little people princess castle with extra princesses, a basketball hoop, take apart airplane, and other things I’m probably forgetting. Grandma and Grandpa also got her a LeapPad, so I’m hoping this means I’ll get my iPad back soon.

Leechie did get one baby toy. A giant Melissa and Doug giraffe for his/her room, and Lil’ J has already broken it in.

I got a new camera lens that I’ve been wanting for months. A Canon 100mm 2.8L macro. I wanted something good to capture the pretty newborn features I’ll be soaking in soon, and a nice portrait lens, and this brings both to the table. It’s also my first L-lens, so I’m just enjoying the heck out of it.

Somewhere in the middle of this all, Lil’ J seems to have become potty trained I was too scared to “announce” it and jinx myself. I don’t know when kids officially have it down but for months now she’s been using the potty. At least six months. Then at school she started wearing panties, and stopped having accidents, and the same thing happened at home. Now she only wears a pullup at bed time, but usually wakes up dry. I think when we transition her to a big girl bed and she can get up at night we’ll see if she’s ready for panties at night too. So proud of my big girl! To anyone wondering “how” we did it… I didn’t really do any “training” just offered the potty a lot, and insisted when I knew it had been a while. I did put some of her Halloween candy in a jar and label them “potty prizes” but most of the time she forgot they were around.

Anyway, for the first time in six years, I took Christmas and the surrounding days off so I could enjoy some time with my family. Sadly, my husband has still had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years, but the days we have been able to spend together have been so nice. I’m especially loving spending so much time with my little girl. She cracks me up.

Now that Christmas and the holidays are wrapping up, I think I’ll be going into mega-baby prep mode. I’m already envisioning how I’m going to redo the office/craft room into a nursery, and how I want to change up Lil’ J’s room into a big girl room.

So much to do and so little time. There’s what… 3 months left? Sheesh! I need to get my butt into gear. Including back into blogging. Not that I need to apologize for living more of my life and blogging less of it, but I do miss my little space here. I owe some of you a pregnancy documentation photo tutorial, and I need to continue my 30 things my kids should know about me series.

I hope you all have been enjoying the season as much as we have. Happy Holidays!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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