a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Dec, 2011

Christmas 2011 is officially a wrap

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

This is a bit late in the game, I know, but for personal scrapbooky reasons I do like to write about our yearly Christmas adventures.

This year, more than ever, we decided to pare it down. Looking ahead to our renovation we realized we needed (a) to save some money and (b) bring fewer things into the house. And I think we did ok on both counts.

Which brings us to Christmas morning.

Amazingly, the girls were paying attention when I (half-jokingly) asked them to not wake us before 7:00 a.m.

Here they are, waiting for us to get up, at 7:02 a.m.:


Our routine always goes like this:

1) Kids get up first, and wake us up.
2) They wait until we’re ready to go downstairs. (This takes a very LONG two or three minutes.)
3) Stockings are opened.
4) Mark and I make coffee.
5) Gift opening commences.

I didn’t get a good shot of the stockings, but they were full of great stuff. (I think they are my favourite part of Christmas morning.) The girls got nesting dolls, windup toys, gum, tic-tacs and other candy, nail polish and nail stickers, lip gloss and bubble bath, earrings (Emma) and a bracelet (Sarah), comic books and magazines, plush Angry birds, gift cards (Sarah got one for Naked Fish Sushi), and Lego figurines. Mark and I only exchanged stockings. I got wool socks, a hat:

new hat

… chocolate, a milk frother, and a case for my iPhone. Mark got some magazines, a tiny Meccano set, a scarf, smart-phone gloves, a book, and lots of chocolate and candy.

The girls made our gift this year. It’s made out of white chocolate and red icing. :)


Sarah bought Emma some Playmobil, and Emma bought Sarah a pretty scarf… and she hasn’t taken it off since:

Emma's gift to Sarah

We bought Sarah a fun ear warmer. It still cracks me up:

My favourite gift

… and a Perplexus, which is driving me crazy:


Emma finally got a lava lamp:

lava lamp!

… and a board game (Cranium, and it’s VERY fun):


What else? Pjs, Wii games, hats and slippers, and books. Even Piper got something. I think she’s proud of her new collar:

new collar for Piper

After Part One was over we hustled over to Mark’s parents for breakfast:

Cinnamon buns!

And then, with coffees in hand, we settled under the tree for more unwrapping. Mark’s parents bought each girl an iPod touch (!). Here they are at the moment of recognition:


Lucky girls eh? There were other things too: games, canvasses and paints, crafty stuff, more books, and fuzzy blankets… oh, I’ve lost track already.

We sat around, played with our toys and snacked until it was time for dinner. The dogs happily fought over huge candy cane-shaped rawhides and played in the snow:

A frozen hot dog

Soon it was turkey time:

Waiting for dinner

And later we waddled home with full tummies and an equally full trunk. What a joyous Christmas. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas too!

6 Responses to "Christmas 2011 is officially a wrap"

1 | Cora Brady

December 30th, 2011 at 10:29 am


Sounds like a perfect Christmas for you and your family! Glad to hear it and enjoyed the great pics of your beautiful family.
Wishing you a Happy New Year.


2 | Cora Brady

December 30th, 2011 at 10:29 am


ps – am i missing something on the “2010″ vs. “2011″ ?

3 | andrea

December 30th, 2011 at 10:37 am


Haha! Fixed. :)

4 | Joy

December 30th, 2011 at 1:16 pm


Love the ear warmer! Are you able to reveal where you found that ?

5 | Ginger

December 30th, 2011 at 11:10 pm


I like your iPhone case! I need to find one…my mom and dad got me an iPhone4 for Christmas which was a HUGE surprise!

6 | andrea

December 31st, 2011 at 10:14 am


Joy – The ear warmer is from Clare’s at Bayshore.
Ginger – Exciting! My case is a Kate Spade case and Mark bought it at the Apple store. You can buy them online here. :)

comment form:


NAC Ottawa culture days

Fall fun at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Joan of Arc Academy in Ottawa

OMS Ottawa Montessori schools

terra20 Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • lynn clayton: the mazes my son would love it
  • rachel: My son loves mazes. We would love to do the corn maze. Although the haunted hayride looks pretty fun too!
  • ashton: The giant pillows look really cool. Great for kids to let out their energy.
  • Heather Thom: Ooo hay barns and mazes are fun at Saunders ! Thanks for the chance.
  • Heather: We love Saunders Farm! It's a tradition and we go every year with extended family. My daughters favorite thing is the playhouses.
  • Nicole B: I would take the kids during the day and my kids love the bouncy pillows but would also love the ghost town stage
  • Karla Butt: My 3 children have never been to Saunders Farm in the fall! It would be a great way to spend a day. We would love to see the barn of terror!

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 (16) and Sarah (14). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. 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!


My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

The #dailylunches project – 1000 lunches and counting

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's the latest:

Created with flickr badge.

Click the photo for details: what it is, where I ate it (if it's worth a mention!) and how to cook it (if there happens to be a recipe). You can also read more about this project right here.


On the nightstand

... check out past nightstand reads right here.

All hail the mighty Twitter