You are not hearing things and no, you do not need glasses. This time of year you often hear about a certain bird in said tree, but it is time to make some room up in the branches for Troy Townsin’s newest book, “A Moose In A Maple Tree.” This engaging story is the “original all Canadian 12 Days of Christmas” and you will love it! Troy, who is himself originally from down under ( aka Australia ) is now a proud Canadian and he shows it well in this delightful children’s book. Canucks all over this whole wide world will relate well to the hockey sticks, totem poles and mounties. I am in love with the winsome illustrations by Jennifer Harrington. They leap off the page in an unobtrusive way and only add depth to the renewed song of Christmases past.
Christmas is probably the time of year kids look forward to most. There are the lists to make, the trees to trim, the cookies to bake (and eat) and all that shopping. The next thing you know, it’s over. As a parent every year I find myself wishing there was a way I could slow the holidays down a little bit so I could savor every moment with my family. This year I have found the answer. MapleMouseMama was given the opportunity to check out the 25 Days of Christmas activity from Simply Fun Families, a lovely eStore founded by mompreneur Karen.
Whether you have children or not, attending your town’s Santa Claus Parade is a must. The parade officially kicks off the Christmas season for us and we like to make an event of it! The City of Brampton hosts their parade at night, which is just a little bit better then a day time one. Trust me.
There are a few things you need to do when preparing for an evening Santa Claus Parade. Well, actually the preparations are the same as a daytime event, but there is something exciting about heading to the streets at night. My daughter says it is like getting to do something forbidden. So this past weekend I packed up the family and we were off to see Santa! We have been attending this nighttime spectacular for many years now so I thought it was time to share my parade prowess. This is what my checklist includes:
- Bring hot chocolate. A full thermos is ideal complete with insulated cups to sip from. It just sets the mood (and keeps your hands warm), but don’t pack too much unless you love to hang out in a Port A Potty. Don’t forget marshmallows for the hot chocolate. The mini ones will keep the kids entertained if nothing else and let’s face it, they just make hot chocolate taste better.
- Snacks, and a variety at that. We always have a peanut/tree nut free snack bag with us, but bring extras for the wait before the parade starts. See #1 re keeping the kids entertained. Our parade always has vendors selling hot popcorn and cotton candy and while I support local entrepreneurs, $5 for not-so-hot popcorn is a bit of a reach. Then multiply it by the number of kids you have.
- Camp chairs, the kind that fold up into a bag. I think these were the greatest invention ever and we use them for everything from the beach to the backyard, from soccer practice to parade viewing. Smart, easy to carry and they really help you keep the coveted spot on the curb you staked out for two hours before the parade starts.
- Blankets! You can add in hats, mitts and even snow pants for the kids if it keeps them warm. We have watched many a nighttime parade in both rain and snow and I never regret the extra baggage those items feel like at first. We were even able to do a good deed this year by sharing an extra blanket with a freezing young newcomer to town. That’s what Christmas is all about.
- Your camera, some Santa hats and a cheerful disposition. The first two are obvious and trust me, the last one will come in handy after the first ten people try to get in front of your prized place on the curb.
- An honorary mention goes to Letters to Santa, if your parade volunteers collect them and some canned goods for the local food bank.
Attending the annual Santa Claus Parade, with the beautiful lights, creative floats, wonderful music (at what other time can you just enjoy listening to bagpipes) and excited children is a magical way to start the holiday season. This Christmas tradition will afford you many wonderful memories for years to come. It also means you can officially start to wish people, “Merry Christmas!“
Do you attend your local Santa Claus Parade? Is it the traditional daytime delight or more moonlit merriment version?
Author’s Note: this post can also be viewed on the Parent Tested Parent Approved website..