Two years ago we expected the little one to join us before Christmas, but she didn’t. Last year was her first Christmas with us but we were travelling to visit family. This year will be our first Christmas at home with our little girl.

Joe and I have developed our own traditions over the years we’ve been together, though two Christmases have never been the same. We always watch Muppet Family Christmas while we decorate the tree, we have adopted my family’s tradition of having Chinese food on Christmas Eve, and now we’ll have to figure out what to do with this kid who has joined our family.

We decorated the tree this weekend and she was fascinated by it. My Mom made her an advent calendar that gives her a velcro ornament to stick to a tree every day, complete with cross-stitch ornaments of her favourite characters and things she relates to (Elmo, Ernie and Bert, hockey sticks, a monkey, etc).

This weekend we did something else that we plan on doing every year, we took her to pick out a toy and then had her donate it to Toy Mountain. Toy Mountain is a program that has been around for years. Several pyramids are places around the city so people can drop off toys for kids who might not otherwise get anything for Christmas. Maggie helped us pick out a Leapfrog magnetic alphabet – something that she loves playing with at home and I highly recommend for other parents of toddler – and I lifted her up to put it on the mountain.

I have always been proud that when we’re in a store and she picks something up if I tell her to put it back, she puts it back. Now I can beĀ  more proud that she picked out and donated a toy without any fuss at all, and it’s something we can keep doing and explaining every year so she’ll know what it means to give.

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