The magic of Santa Claus comes to an end

In 2012, I wrote about the magic of Santa Claus and wondering when my kids would stop believing. At that time they were 7 and 4 and were firm believers.

Image result for santa claus not believingNow, in 2019, they are 11 and 14 and both no longer are believers. For Lexie, this is her first year. I don’t know what made her stop believing. In the past, other kids have told her Santa wasn’t real but she refused to listen to them.

I had always worried she would be upset that we had lied to her. But it all turned out fine. She just declared she knew and then asked us how we had known what she wanted when she only told Santa and who ate the cookies.

I don’t recall when Jase found out. I don’t think he said anything. Maybe he didn’t want confirmation or perhaps he didn’t want his sister to find out. It just seemed that he knew – just as he knew about the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny (who isn’t me as I have never bought an Easter basket. That is all on my mom or EB as she signs her emails asking what I think the kids want in their baskets.)

Since both kids now know the truth, you would think that stockings or Santa gifts would be over. But Lexie being the smart, negotiator has declared it is now tradition to get those things so she expect “Santa” to deliver this Christmas too.

I had always planned to keep up the stockings filled with small gifts and candy. Now “Santa” at our house never brought more than one gift and it was never a big or expensive gift so having “Santa” drop off two small gifts is no big deal.

Now with her new knowledge about Santa, she also has figured out there is no tooth fairy and didn’t put her last tooth she lost last week under her pillow. And yes, she still wants money for it. I’ve given Jase money even after he stopped believing – though again he never said he didn’t believe.

So now I guess these “magical” parts of childhood are over. A part of me is sad about that but I understand it is part of growing up. Now they don’t have younger siblings or cousins to protect the secret from but I will make sure Lexie knows to keep this information to herself when out in public as other kids may not know.

And while this part of the magic is over, it has not decreased their excitement or joy in the season. They know that Christmas is more than just “Santa.” It is a time of giving, happiness and family.

 

And so it begins…My daughter’s first serious crush

I knew it was coming at some point. She is 11 years old after all. Yep, that is right, my daughter has her first serious crush.

Last year , when Lexie was in fifth grade, she liked a boy, Jacob, and even gave him a note telling him that she liked him. (A brave move that I wouldn’t have done at her age.) But sadly, Jacob didn’t respond…at least at the time.

This school year, the two moved onto the much larger middle school. And now, Lexie has found out that Jacob likes her too. He wanted to respond when they were in fifth grade but for whatever reason didn’t. They exchanged phone numbers. And now they have been texting back and forth – finding out that they have lot in common.

Lexie is so excited. And nervous. I don’t think she knows what to do now. Are they “dating”? What happens if he wants to hold her hand? Will this relationship last? What if he breaks her heart?

So many questions and so far she is turning to Mom to discuss this. Actually, I got text messages from her when she first realized he liked her back and then again when she gave him her number. I’ve told her to slow down and enjoy just getting to know him. Don’t worry so much about the future. She can’t imagine going out to the movies with him. Did kids do that still? Or is their form of dating at this age just texting and possibly hanging out. Do kids hang out anymore? Maybe nowadays most of their relationships happen online. (And yes, we periodically check both kids’ text messages.)

Ugh. I am so not ready for this. Jase is fourteen and besides having a “girlfriend” in the fourth grade, I have yet to hear about any crushes. I do remember the girl who flirted with him outrageously while we were on the Orchestra sixth grade field trip but while Jase liked the attention, I’m not sure he knew this girl was crushing on him. Of course, we have yet to come out and ask him if he is interested in anyone – and I am not sure he would give us an honest answer. He is the type to be embarrassed by liking a girl.

But before I know it, both of them will be dating. Yikes. I hope I am able to answer any questions they have – assuming they still come to me with them by that time. I don’t have a lot of experience with dating. I only went out with a handful of people in high school or college before I met and began dating the young man who would become my husband. (That was just twenty-seven years ago. So much has changed in the dating world since then.)

Ok, I know I shouldn’t jump ahead of myself. Let’s just keep the focus on Lexie and Jacob and deal with her questions as they come up. I can panic about dating later.

Presents for the furry members of our family

Christmas is a time of giving. We give gifts to family, friends, strangers and…of course, our pets. Most of us after all consider our furry (or not so furry) pets part of our family.

Numerous surveys show that people love to go over board buying snacks, toys and beds for their fur babies. Survey results in the U.S. show up to 89 percent of dog and cat owners buy their pets gifts. In fact, one survey showed 56% spend more on their pets than their own family members. And just because I found it interesting, people spend more on dogs than cats. Poor kitties.

The pet industry of course knows our love for our pets and offer a plethora of gifts to choose from whether it is toys, clothing, collars, beds, chew toys, treats, scratching posts, blankets, bowls, grooming kits, carriers, GPS trackers or even pet heating pads.

And it isn’t just dogs and cats that get gifts. People buy for their fish, bunnies, mini pigs, snakes, hamsters, ferrets, horses, goats and any other animal they consider part of their family.

My family is no different. We love our pets as members of our family, and of course, buy them presents.

Dogs

We have 2 Cocker Spaniels – Sadie Rose and Gypsy.

Now Sadie Rose is all about food but we don’t buy her treats as she could stand to lose about 5 lbs. But that doesn’t stop us from buying her a new chew toy or bone.

Gypsy is still so much a puppy as she turns 2 this coming February. She loves anything that anything soft that squeaks.

Typically, I buy one of those stockings full of toys from the pet store and then some sort of rawhide or bone for Christmas evening. They also get gifts from both my parents and the in-laws.

Cats

We have 3 cats – Nikki, Tails and Spooky.

The kitties are all older so not as spry as kittens. And with the dogs always stealing and destroying their toys, we have to be careful where and when the cats have their toys. Being cats, they love things that are soft and full of catnip.

And yes, they get presents from my parents and in-laws too.

Hamster

We have one hamster – Poptart.

Last year was her first Christmas so my daughter wanted to get her something. We ended up getting her a treat (hamster frosted donuts) and then a chew toy (pizza shaped). Poptart liked the treats but not sure the chew toy was worth it as she hasn’t really gone after any of the chew items we have purchased for her.

Sadly, only our family bought Poptart a gift last year.

Now, I don’t spend large amounts on our pets (and certainly not more on them than the humans in my life.) On one survey, 48% of people spent $10-$25 on their pets while 26% spent $26-$50. Only 3% spent over $100.

I don’t think it matters how much you spend, just as I don’t think it matters whether our pets understand what all the fuss is about. It is about showering our pets with a little extra attention. And who doesn’t enjoy a new toy or a treat.

Recipe of the Month – Snow Flake Cocoa

I love white chocolate so when I saw this recipe from AllRecipes.com, I had to try it. Yummy! It reminds me of the white chocolate cocoa that I use to buy at the Spurs Basketball games. It is great for a cold night. And you can replace the white chocolate chips with other flavor chips. This makes 10 servings in a crock pot so this is great for a gathering.

Ingredients 

2 cups whipping cream

6 cups milk

1 t. vanilla

1 12-oz package of white chocolate chips

Directions

Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and white chocolate chips in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes, as desired.

Serves 10 (433 calories per serving)