The magic of giving & hottest holiday gift contest!

 magic of giving, christmas 2013, top toys 2013

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. I still remember the excitement of Christmas morning as a child. It didn’t matter what the gift was. It was the anticipation of the surprise. As a mom, I now know what it’s like to see the magic of giving from the other side of it all.

Christmas morning, 1988.

Christmas morning, 1988.

Lilly was only 4 months old on her first Christmas and didn’t really grasp any of the festivities. However, Christmas morning 2011 was a lot of fun. By then, she understood the excitement of it all and really got into it. It was particularly funny to watch her open each gift, get excited to play with it and then realize that there was still more to open.

"OMG! A car seat for my baby!" - Christmas 2011

“OMG! A car seat for my baby!” – Christmas 2011

By last year, she had this Christmas morning thing completely mastered and even put aside her own excitement to hand out gifts to Daddy and I, in between opening her own.

"Hmm. Where to begin..." - Christmas 2012

“Hmm. Where to begin…” – Christmas 2012

There are many holiday traditions that I couldn’t wait to share with my own family. One was the giving of a new tree ornament each year. This was something that my Mom started when I was young and still does to this day. I started this will Lilly on her first Christmas and we haven’t missed a year yet. When she has a home of her own one day, I will give her all of her yearly ornaments to start her first tree.

Another tradition that means more to me that I can express is Christmas day at my Nana’s house. In my 29 Christmases on this planet, I have only missed one at my grandparents house. Even now, living over 2 hours away, we still pack Lilly into the car a little before lunch and head down to the city. It was at one of these Christmas day celebrations that I broke the news that Lilly was on her way – the first of the great-grandchildren. I have so many memories of running around that house and the amazing Portuguese holiday feast that goes with it. Watching Lilly create those same memories melts me more than almost anything.

Lilly with great-Nana on Christmas day, 2011.

Lilly with great-Nana on Christmas day, 2011.

This year, Christmas has gotten very exciting. Lilly is now at the stage where she has been talking about Santa, Christmas morning, the tree, etc, for well over a month. This is the first year where she has started to express what she would like for Christmas and has asked me to please let Santa know for her. She’s started to talk about what she wants to get for Daddy and I. It’s incredible to see her get so wrapped up into the magic of it all.

Some of the things that have made her list this year? More animals for her Little People’s Farm and Zoo, books, a new dress, a dollhouse and basically anything and EVERYTHING to do with My Little Pony. It has been really great to see her ask for books. Lately, she has been interested in Little Critters and Bernstein Bears, both of which were favourites of mine as a child. Reading those stories with her each night brings back memories.

Do you know what your little ones have asked Santa for? Have you gotten a head start on your shopping? Sears has made it really easy this year to shop or explore online, with The Toy Shop. You can browse top toys of the season by age or brand and stay up-to-date with great sales. You can even create an account and set up a Wishlist to help you keep track of your list, plus share it with family and friends.

top toys for Christmas 2013, Sears Canada

CONTEST! WIN TOP TOYS OF THE SEASON!

Want a chance to win some of the hottest toys of the season? Each Friday until December 13th, Sears is posting a Top Toy Face Off post on their Facebook Page. To enter into the weekly draw, all you have to do is visit their page on Friday and leave a comment on that post. It’s truly that simple!

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears Mom Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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