The Santa Interrogation

So, I’ve been off the grid for awhile, dealing with all things holiday…shopping, decorating, waking up in a cold sweat when I realize I forgot to move the darn elf, and oh yeah, dealing with the Santa interrogation.

Up until this point, I’ve been able to play the Santa thing with no problem. No questions. No doubt. My kids just took everything I said about Santa as gospel.

He lives at the mall until Christmas Eve.

He has elves that go to Target while the other elves stay at the North Pole to make the other toys Target doesn’t sell.

He manages to come down the chimney without setting the alarm and yes he eats ALL the cookies ALL the children everywhere leave him. That’s why he’s so big.

But, this year, both of my girls want to know more about this man we call Santa. Anyone who knows me can tell you I don’t have a poker face. So, lying is not my specialty. But, for the sake of Santa and all things Christmas, I do my best. I think it’s working…well sorta.

Cue “The Santa Interrogation”.

My 8-year-old has been asking me about all the other “pop-up” Santas we’ve been seeing at different craft fairs, tree lightings, and other events.

“Those aren’t real, right mom?”

Think fast woman!

At the risk of having her believe that Santa runs around all over and leaves his post at the mall, I answer, “Right, those aren’t real. They just help Santa because they know he’s so busy. They’re kinda like elves, but just a step up.”

Buy it, come on, buy it!

“Yeah mom, that’s what I thought. But the one at the mall is the real one, right?”

Quick answer here.

“Of course, the mall Santa is the real deal.”

Now the trick is to only go to one mall so they don’t see all the other ones. Oh yeah, he sleeps in the food court at night too…no I didn’t say that, but I wanted to.

Whew! Dodged that one.


Now my 6-year-old is getting in on the action.

“Mom, how does Santa make it to all the boys and girls on Christmas Eve?”

Why, why do you want to know? Think fast…

“It’s part of the magic of Christmas. No one really knows.”

Really lame answer, I know. 

Silence. No response. She may be on to me.

“Santa always remembers what I want, that’s cool.”

Yes! Faith restored. We’re good! 

“Mom, what does Santa do when it’s not Christmas?”

Who cares?!?

“He takes a nice vacation because Christmas makes him so tired.”

That was an easy one.

“How does Santa know where we live?”

He googles us.

No, really, “He just knows. Santa knows everything.”


Exit children from the table.

The Santa Interrogation is over…for now.


Although the endless questions can get a bit much I know I’m going to miss this time. When else can I tell my kids that it’s okay to sit on a strange old man’s lap and it’s even more okay to let him break into our house once a year to leave presents without taking one thing? What’s even better is that he knows when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake, so don’t bother sleeping with one eye open because he’ll know that too.

Christmas truly is a magical time, isn’t it?


‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 2015

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a Barbie in the dream house.

The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care, hoping to be filled with anything but silly underwear.

The children were nestled all snug in mommy and daddy’s bed (did you really thing they were going to sleep in their own beds?), while visions of Baby Alives and Barbie campers danced in their heads.

And Mama with her wine, and Daddy snoring fast asleep were so glad to finally not hear one peep.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter, I  didn’t feel like pausing the DVR and getting off the couch to see what was the matter.

So I peaked through the window, not really getting up, but I did see enough that made me actually want to jump.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, it couldn’t be Grandma, so it must be Saint Nick!

Santa is real! Does that mean the Elf on the Shelf is too? Let’s not get crazy, I’ll believe in one, not two.

Before I knew it, he was calling their names! This night was turning into anything but lame.

Now Dasher! Now Dancer!

Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!

Then he said, I brought the Baby Alive so your daughter won’t bawl. She won’t visit it in Target and won’t bug you at all. You can thank me now because I saved you a trip to the mall.

I got that Barbie pop-up camper too. Hopefully your daughter will play with it for hours and not say boo. Yeah, yeah I know…you’re welcome for that one too.

I couldn’t bag up peace and quiet for you and the hubs. You can’t have everything. Maybe next year you’ll ask for some other grub.

It’s been fun, but it’s time for me to go. I have plenty more stops and lots of toys for these reindeers to tow.

Before I dash away, dash away, dash away all, I need to tell you one thing.

If you think that silly Elf on the Shelf comes to see me in the North Pole, then all that sleep deprivation has really taken its toll!



5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Spoil Your Kids This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season of the “I wants” and the “I needs”. I know you know what I’m talking about. Every commercial your kid sees becomes something they think they can’t live without. It becomes downright annoying. While it may be tempting to give in because it is the holiday season, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t. Call me cheap or call me the Grinch, but I really don’t see why we have to give in to every want.

Don’t think that I’m not buying my kids Christmas gifts. I am. I’m just not going to tap the college funds just to put a smile on their faces Christmas morning. After all, Santa does have to buy for all the boys and girls around the globe, right? Unless Santa is working some serious OT, there’s no way he can afford to give in to what all the kids everywhere are dreaming about.

In case you are tempted to spoil your kids this holiday season, I’m here with five reasons why you should not. I repeat SHOULD NOT. Here goes…

 1. Create Experiences Instead of Buying More Stuff: Put aside whatever money you were planning on spending on another toy and use it on something you can do as a family. Whether it is a day trip to a local attraction or maybe even a trip to see their favorite movie, try to create experiences instead of buying more junk. Kids will remember the time you spent and the places you went more than a doll they’ll play with for five minutes.

2. Who needs the clutter?: More things just equal more clutter. Who needs it? Not this mom. There’s no need to buy every board game that Toys R Us sells. One or two will do the job. The truth is kids will play with their new toys for a couple of weeks. Then they’ll just join all the others who are just trying to survive in a toy box or playroom.

3. Teach the Lesson That We Can’t Get Everything We Want: Life is full of disappointments. We don’t always get what we want. As soon as your child realizes this, the better off they’ll be. I know this doesn’t sound like the warm and fuzzy Christmas message you want to be spreading, but it’s the truth Ruth. As parents we never want to see our child sad or disappointed. In order to learn coping skills, they’re going to need to learn what it feels like to not get what you want all the time. Why not start now?

4. Spoiling Them Now & They May Expect it Forever: Maybe I’ll just give in this once to make them happy and keep them quiet. What happens the next time? How are you going to deal with it then? Don’t get caught up in what could become a nasty pattern. Draw the battle lines now but just saying no. You’ll be a lot better off and so will your child even though they may not believe it.

5. Teach Them the Holidays are Not About Presents: This is perhaps the most important lesson of all. The holidays aren’t about the presents. Although this may be disappointing for your kids to hear, they need to know it. Although it may sound cliché, we should be teaching them the real meaning of the holiday season. We should teach them to be thankful for their families and for what they already do have. If they get presents, that’s a bonus. It shouldn’t be expected.

So, the next time you’re thinking about spoiling your kids, think about these reasons why shouldn’t. Your wallet will thank-you and so will your kids even though they may not know it yet.




Why Every Parent Has a Love/Hate Relationship with Their Elf on the Shelf

They say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But, if you’re a parent who has welcomed an Elf on the Shelf into their home it’s anything but wonderful. I know, I know. We do it to ourselves, so we shouldn’t complain. But, we do.

This is the time of year when parents everywhere search for new and interesting places to position their elf so that their kids will really think that this freakish looking doll with a perma-smile actually flew all the way to the North Pole and came all the way back each and every night. This is the time of year when parents lie in bed feeling as if they forgot to do something only to awake in a soaking night sweat when they realize they forget to move the dang elf.

In case you’ve been under a rock, the story is that these elves do Santa’s dirty work. If Santa was the Godfather, the elves on the shelf would be his soldiers. Every day they are Santa’s eyes and ears. They see everything your kids are doing. From the good stuff like setting the table to the downright nasty stuff like when your kids use each other as a tissue. When the kids go to bed, the elf goes back to the North Pole to tell Santa what he saw. Then he flies all the way back and parks it in a new spot in your house.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

For the entire Christmas season.

In my house we start December 1st. The torture lasts 24 days.

God forbid the elf stays in the same place for two days. That would mean he didn’t go back to report to Santa. That would be bad. There’s also a catch. No one can touch the elf. If someone touches the elf, he loses his magic. This means he can’t report back to Santa. This means you have failed as a parent. Just kidding.

I have to give kudos to the creators of this torturous, addictive, but fun little creature. Kids eat this up! When our “Sweet Abigail” arrived this morning it was better than a Peppa Pig marathon on steroids. There was squealing and jumping and clapping. I’m sorry, did Jon Bon Jovi just enter my kitchen? Oh no, silly me. It’s just our elf.

My youngest daughter stared up at her in awe. She tried to have a conversation with her but soon realized it was useless. But, that didn’t stop her from continuing to tell Sweet Abigail what she wanted for Christmas. I quickly told her she had to be good or Sweet Abigail would tell Santa not to bring any presents. She didn’t question one word that came out of my mouth…for once.

My older daughter was just as happy to see our old friend. For her it was better than finding a dollar in a winter jacket. This was Sweet Abigail. This meant the Christmas season has officially begun in our house. Joy to the world!

During dinner time the girls were talking about where they thought they would find Sweet Abigail next. Thank God, because I know I am going to run out of ideas! But then my older daughter asked me if Sweet Abigail got hungry because she doesn’t eat all day. Good grief Charlie Brown! Is the mystery fading? Is she starting to doubt our mythical creature? Not a chance. I quickly told her Santa feeds her very well when she goes back to the North Pole so there was no need to worry.

She ate it up like apple pie on Thanksgiving. Crisis averted.

See what I mean? Kids believe in Elf on the Shelf just as much as Santa Claus. All kidding aside, it is fun to watch their innocence. Why wouldn’t kids believe that there is a jolly old man who brings toys to all the kids once a year? Why wouldn’t kids believe that there millions of elves that take the red eye back and forth to the North Pole every night? The answer is they have no reason not to…unless we mess it up for them…or unless they grow up. Bah humbug! We all know they are going to grow up one day and look back and laugh at their elf on the shelf days. When they do, we’ll all be wishing we could hide that dang elf for one more night.




Christmas Pack Giveaway

Welcome to the Christmas Pack Giveaway

Sponsored by Cinedigm

Hosted by Kathy’s Savings


This Giveaway is for a Christmas package. It comes with the Christmas Trade movie, Christmas Tail movie, a dog bone toy and a teddy bear. You can enter below for your chance to win. The Mommy Rundown is helping to get the word out. It will run from 11/17-12/1. It’s open to the U.S. only. Good luck to everyone.

Disclosure: Kathy’s Savings and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment. The giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn. I received this product in exchange for a review. The opinions are all 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Mommy, Why Doesn’t Our Elf Talk?

‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, candy canes, Santa Claus, and Elf on the Shelf, of course.

Ours just came to visit this week. We try to prolong it as long as we can so that we don’t run out of places to put her and don’t forget to move her every night.

Sweet Abigail, that’s what my kids named her, is the belle of the ball in my house. To say my girls love her would be an understatement. Forget, “Good Morning Mom”. It’s more like “Where is she?”


I don’t even need to ask who they’re talking about because I know they’re looking for Sweet Abigail.

All was sugar and spice, coating with Christmas cookie goodness, until my five-year-old started asking questions. A lot of questions.

“Mommy, is she real?”

About as real as Santa and Tooth Fairy, I wanted to answer. Instead, I went with a simple “Of course she is honey”.

“Mommy, why can’t I touch her?”

“Because you can’t. That’s the rule, remember?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Mommy, if she’s real, why doesn’t she talk back to us?”

For the love of candy canes and gingerbread houses! Are you working undercover for the reindeer network or something little girl?

Trying to think of something quickly, I said, “Santa told her she can’t talk to the kids. She just has to watch and listen to what’s going on so she can go back to tell Santa.”

She’s not buying it.

“Are you sure she’s real?”


Just a little white lie honey, sorry.

Please stop asking questions! Thank God my three-year-old isn’t as inquisitive. She takes more things at face value. A stuffed elf that’s real and flies back and forth to the North Pole every night. Sure Mommy, whatever you say.

But not my little detective in training. She’s not buying the magical story I’m selling. Let the elf be! Leave Sweet Abigail alone!

After my daughter finally stopped giving me the third degree about this little freaky being, I began thinking about the whole thing.

It is kind of crazy that we expect our kids to believe that this little elf flies all the way to the North Pole every night to report to Santa and makes it back inside their homes, finding a new place to park it for the day, only to do the same thing once night falls. Talk about some serious frequent flier miles! Not only does our elf do this, but so does every other elf on the shelf. It’s like they’re part of some crazy gang, minus the spray paint and secret handshakes. The whole thing sounds believable, right?

Then again, we tell our kids that a jolly old man named Santa works in the North Pole where he has more elves that make toys for the boys and girls. He somehow comes down the chimney, or finds another way to force his way into the house without turning on the alarm, just to leave toys. Somehow he makes all the rounds to all the kids….everywhere.

I’m not trying to be a kill joy or anything, but it is kinda funny if you think about it. So, maybe my daughter isn’t too far off asking me so many questions about our precious little Elf on the Shelf. I’ll be curious to see what other questions she comes up with as the season continues. Should be interesting!


Every Ornament Has a Story

I’m a sucker for Christmas. I love everything about it.

I love the feelings of tranquility and happiness of the season.

I love the decorations, the smell of a fresh tree, the shopping, the wrapping, the Christmas cards, the visits to Santa, and all the other special little events that go along with it.  If I could bottle up Christmas and save it all year long, I would.

One of my most favorite Christmas things to do is to decorate the tree. Now that my kids are old enough to help without me yelling (too much), it’s even more special.

As I was taking each ornament out of its box this year, I started to get really nostalgic. Of course we have the generic ball ornaments and candy canes, but while unwrapping the rest of the ornaments, I started to realize that each one has its own story. We don’t just buy ornaments to buy them. There’s always a reason behind them or a reason why someone else decided to buy them for us.


wedding ornamentThere’s the custom-made wedding ornament that my old college roommate and bridesmaid gave to me for my wedding shower. It has our names painted on it with out wedding date. It’s crazy to think that it’s now ten years old.

There’s the Santa in a hula skirt from our Hawaiian honeymoon. I think back and remember how we said we were going to go back on our five year anniversary. Safe to say, that did not happen!

santa ornament

There are the baby’s first Christmas ornaments. The ones with the girls’ pictures and the other ones with their names, dates of birth, and other information painted on. To say these are special would be an understatement.

baby ornament


There’s the “sisters” ornament that my old college friend gave to me. While we were away, we had our own “fake families” and she was my pretend sister.

There’s the “Mommy’s First Christmas” ornament that my friend of thirty years gave to me when my first daughter was born. I remember thinking how I had never seen an ornament like that for moms.

mom ornament

There’s the “Dirty Dancing” ornament that says quotes from the movie. I bought this one for myself because it’s one of my favorite movies and “no one puts baby in the corner”.

dancing ornament

There’s the Clark Griswold ornament that says “Alleluia” when the lights turn on. I bought this one for my husband because his love for Christmas lights reminds me of Clark Griswold.

There’s the sunflower ornament my aunt bought me because sunflowers are my favorite flower.

There are the handmade ornaments my girls made. They help me track their artistic progress each passing year.

There are the Dora and Doc McStuffins ornaments sprinkled about because those were there favorite characters last year. Funny how no “Frozen” ornaments made their way on the tree this year.

There are the countless Elvis ornaments because my husband loves Elvis.

elvis ornament

There’s the salami and deli meat ornaments…they’re a new addition…don’t ask!

salami ornament


Each ornament is not simply “just” a decoration. Each ornament has its own story, its own memory that will forever be engrained in my heart and mind.

Do you have special ornaments that tell a story?



Starbucks Coffee Review

If you know me the least bit, you know I love my coffee. Morning, noon, and night, I rarely say no to a good brew. You could say I’m a bit of an addict, but with two little kids, can you blame me? Add all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and I’m really jolly for java 24/7! Having a nice hot cup of coffee really keeps me going, especially if it’s from Starbucks. Although I love my Hazelnut Macchiatos, I don’t have a barista just waiting to pop out of my cabinet like a jack in the box (what a great idea though!). That’s why brewing a pot of the Starbucks Holiday blend is the next best thing.


Whether it’s a late night wrapping session two nights before Christmas (I know you’re doing it too), or getting goodies together Christmas Eve morning, it’s always great to have a cup of Starbucks Holiday Blend to keep you company while everyone either just fell asleep or hasn’t even woken up yet!



I especially like this blend because of it’s mild taste. I like my coffee, but I don’t like to feel like an elf who’s going to fly off her shelf, if you know what I mean.  That’s why if I’m brewing a pot, it feels okay to go back for seconds…or even seconds and a half!

While I wouldn’t mind keeping the whole pot for myself, it is the season for sharing, so why not raise a mug with a friend!

So, if you want a chance to win a free pound of Holiday Blend to share, leave a comment below until December 30, 2013. I’ll pick a random winner on New Year’s Eve. Good Luck!


Happy Holidays!


*This is a sponsored post



When Girls Want Fire Trucks

“Mommy, I want a fire truck for Christmas.”

I first heard those words about a month ago, and they haven’t stopped yet. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was more than a little surprised to hear my four-year-old daughter tell me and everyone else that this year. I guess I wouldn’t have been so shocked if she said she wanted a Barbie or another doll or some other toy she’s “supposed” to want. Even her teacher was intrigued when the words came out of my daughter’s mouth at the class Christmas party.

I really shouldn’t be all that flabbergasted because this was the same girl who told me she wanted a motorcycle for her birthday six months ago. I really dread what lies ahead when she turns sixteen! But, I digress. My point here is that I find it interesting that everyone, myself included, would find it so odd that a four-year-old girl would want a fire truck for Christmas. If she were a boy, no one would flinch. I think it just goes to show how set we still are when it comes to gender, kids and toys. What I find even most interesting is that my daughter doesn’t see anything strange or intriguing about it at all. It’s just comes naturally. She likes fire trucks, so she wants one. Period. I think that attitude is better than any gift I or Santa could ever give her.

Sometimes I wish I could see things so simply like that. I’m sure a lot of you out there would agree. When my daughter constantly tells me she wants to be a grown up, I constantly tell her being a kid is just the best. That’s because it is.

There are no “boy toys” or “girl toys”, just toys.

There are no white or black people, just people.

There are no ugly colors in the crayon box, just crayons.

There are no cheap or ugly gifts, just gifts.

I think you get what I’m saying here.

I think this year we should all see Christmas through a child’s eyes, where girls can get fire trucks and boys can get Easy Bake ovens, if they want.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. Santa is bringing a fire truck!


The 12 Days of Christmas…2012 Style

   It’s a holiday classic…the 12 days of Christmas. We all know what our true love gave to us according to that song. But really, what modern mom really wants any of those things on that dated list? Okay, maybe we’d still take the five gold rings. I surely don’t need eleven lords a leaping or a partridge in a pear tree, especially if its Danny Bonaduce… talk about useless gifts. French hens, and geese…just more things to clean up after. Twelve drummers drumming? Nope, that just equals more noise.

   Seeing that the old list is completely useless and impractical, I came up with my own little version that my husband and children could give to me this year. Some of these things are probably on your list too. Hope you like it! Feel free to sing it or add in the background track.

On the first day of Christmas, my family gave to me, one day at the spa.

On the second day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the third day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my family gave to me 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 8 maids of cleaning, 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 9 books to read,  8 maids of cleaning, 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 10 empty hampers, 9 books to read,  8 maids of cleaning, 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the eleventh day of Christmas , my family gave to me, 11 Zumba classes, 10 empty hampers, 9 books to read,  8 maids of cleaning, 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my family gave to me, 12 gourmet meals, 11 Zumba classes, 10 empty hampers, 9 books to read,  8 maids of cleaning, 7 movies to watch, 6 long hot showers, 5 nights of sleep, 4 hours of silence, 3 glasses of Pinot, 2 mani pedis, and one day at the spa.

Merry Christmas!