a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Dec, 2009

25 days of Christmas: days 7 – 12

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

We had the first the first big snowfall of the winter last week. It finally feels more like Christmas! Snow certainly helps, doesn’t it?

Day 7 (Monday): Did I mention that I’m stuffing the envelopes the night before? I find this works better for me because I’m able to plan it a little more. I kept it simple for Monday. We have swimming lessons after dinner and it’s always a rush. The advent activity was toenail painting, although we elected to do fancy neon colours on fingernails instead. (Later we discovered they glow when exposed the a black light – coooool!)

Day 8 (Tuesday): The activity for Day 8 was “dress for dinner” … “dressing” being a very subjective term. The youngest found something “fancy” in the dress up trunk and the older one wore the dress she wore for picture day. I threw on a dress over my jeans and Mark donned a tie. Dinner itself was “make your own sandwich,” although it was accompanied by bubbly pomegranate drink served in our best crystal stemware.

Day 9 (Wednesday – snow day!): Both girls were home. We had pancakes for breakfast. Since it was declared to be a snow day, the advent was switched at the last minute and became about lolling around in pj’s while watching Christmas movies (thank god for the PVR!).

Day 10 – (Thursday) I actually forgot to put the activity in the envelope the night before. BAD MOM, er, should I say TIRED MOM. Clearly my brain is full and overflowing. At the last minute I decided to go with the good ol’ standby, the candlelit bubble bath (for the kids, not me). It’s so simple, but they love it. I let them eat licorice in the tub AND they got a good scrubbing. A win-win situation if you ask me.

Day 11 – We picked up the tree! We ran into friends, so the girls didn’t actually pick out the tree – they just ran in circles around the lot.

Day 12 (today – Saturday) – will involve lots of family time and some baking (although to what extent, I’m not sure yet.) The girls still miss “the cookie lady” and ask whether or not I’m going to be photographing cookies this year or not.

To make up for my lack of patience and skill with cookies I think we might even do some of Turtlehead’s Peppermint Bark (recipe at the bottom of this post).

3 Responses to "25 days of Christmas: days 7 – 12"

1 | karen at virtually there

December 12th, 2009 at 11:45 am


Hah! I miss the cookie lady too… particularly the part where I got paid to bake!

I expect, should this next baby be easy on me, that I’ll be back in the business next Christmas when we’re back in Ottawa. And back in my baking-friendly kitchen!

2 | Stefania

December 12th, 2009 at 12:05 pm


We’re having lots of fun with this. Every morning The Pea asks if we can open the envelope. I try to remember to check what it is the night before so I can do some re-arranging if necessary.

3 | betsy mae

December 12th, 2009 at 9:39 pm


This is absolutely a family tradition now (two years now), I imagine how it will evolve as the kids grow up don’t you?

We made cookies yesterday and clay ornaments today (both will be given out as gifts from the girls). I don’t enjoy baking and wish I had a cookie lady!!!!

PS-the bubble bath is coming as is the dress up dinner!!!! Also, I stuff the envelopes the night before too, but a few times I’ve forgotten and the girls like to pretend that they haven’t checked yet! cute.

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  • SJM: My father sent epic care packages when I was at Uni - one per term. It included a 6 pack of beer and lots of food. This was when postage was much chea
  • andrea tomkins: I KNOW. It's crazy that we are now the parents of an adult. I can hardly believe it myself most days! :)
  • Allison: What!!??!! How is your daughter in university?!! That just cannot be!!! So glad to hear she is adjusting well and having fun and enjoying her classes
  • andrea tomkins: Great ideas Joy! Especially the POST-its! They're actually an expensive purchase for a student, so they'd make a nice addition to a care package.
  • joy: cute and fun - I would love to receive things like this! How about notebooks, magazines, post-it notes, seasonal treats, lip balms, gift cards for fav
  • andrea tomkins: Ooh! Good one Alison! A good (long!) phone charge cord could be welcome as well.
  • Alison in Ottawa: Another pair of ear phones. My daughter can never keep track of them.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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