Hickory Farms, Family Traditions, Last Minute Holiday Shopping, and Charitable Giving

Family traditions are important to me. Holiday traditions are imperative because these are the only times we tune out and focus on what really matters…our family!
You might remember a month or so ago, I reminded you that Hickory Farms can make any day a fun day. We had an amazing time enjoying our goodies from the Taste of the Trade Toolbag we received. Hickory Farms makes football games and family time seem somewhat nostalgic to me and that makes me incredibly happy!
But when I hear about people scrambling for “last minute” Christmas gift ideas, I always giggle. Last minute? Hardly! This is when I start every year. True story. 
So what to do. What to do? You’ve got distant relatives or friends left on your list? I’ve got the answer. Give them the gift of holiday traditions that brings back fond memories from their childhood and that will brighten their holiday spirit. There’s still time and Hickory Farms can help with a wide variety of gift baskets that will suit any family and any budget. Quality, freshness, and value are key traits of Hickory Farms. For more than 60 years, Hickory Farms has been providing holiday shoppers with options for tasty gift giving. In fact, their Signature Summer Sausage was rated #1 in America winning the Masters of Taste Gold Medal for Superior Taste in 2011.
Family Favorites from Hickory Farms (photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

But wait! There’s more! Hickory Farms is totally in to charitable giving so by gifting to your family and friends, you’ll be helping others in need. They have partnered with Share Our Strength which is a leading non-profit organization that works to stamp out childhood hunger. For each Party Planner gift box sold this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to SOS’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Through this program, Hickory Farms and its customers have already donated $1.9 million to this cause. How cool is that? Jump on the band wagon and put a smile on the face of your friend while helping a child in need!

Hickory Farms Party Planner Gift Box (Photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

And as if that weren’t enough, Hickory Farms also has a partnership with Operation Gratitude. This is a national non-profit that creates care packages for military families. They offer 8 products with free shipping to military APO and FPO addresses, including the Home for the Holidays gift basket. 

Home for the Holidays Military Gift Packs (photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

You should really consider this if you are a last minute shopper like me or completely forgot to pick up something special for someone on your list. Remember sitting around the table eating Hickory Farms sausage and cheese during the holidays with your family waiting for Santa to come as a child? Yea, me too. 

Bring that magic in to the house of a family on your list this year. It’s quick, convenient, and you never have to leave the comfort of your home! Spread the love, enjoy the season, and happy holidays to each and every one of you! Or as we say in my house…Merry Christmas!
Disclosure: Compensation and products for review were provided to me by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own, and not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.

Elf in the Tree and Bullying

What do these 2 things have in common? Nothing really unless you were in my house tonight. You see, the world can be a cruel place no matter how much magic we try to surround ourselves with and tonight, this hit home.
Our elf has been magically moving around our home all month and the babies have remained in awe of his prowess. They believe. But tonight was a different story. It had a happy ending but I’m sad because tomorrow might bring a new day of sparkles being dulled. 
We woke up and our elf was sitting in the lamp. The lamp you say? How did he get there? It was magic of course! But even with him smiling down on us, Bug fought me getting ready for school. She didn’t want to go…again. This “green” every day kid did not want to go to this place where the stepford world rules. I convinced her that the elf was watching and Santa would be kinder if she did as she was told, so she got dressed and off we went. 
It was cold so she wore a hat. No bow. Oh heaven forbid in stepford-world…you must wear a bow in your hair lest you be shunned by the stepford children. She didn’t want a bow. She wanted to wear a hat so of course I let her.
Later in the day, as always, Bubby and I walked to school to pick her up and my baby seemed deflated…again. This has been going on for some time. I asked what was wrong. She explained, hesitantly, that some of the girls had laughed at her because her hair was a mess when she took off her hat (ummm hello…stactic?)…and heaven forbid…she had no bow (I kid you not). It didn’t matter, I assured her of this (knowing in my head that they were just jealous of her natural beauty and non Vaseline-induced, natural smile)
The night went on. Dinner, clean up, bed time ready and all of a sudden, the babies noticed the elf on the entertainment center and started talking
Bubby: Oh Ky-ee how did the elf get over there?
Bug: Mommy put him there.
Bubby: No, it’s magic!
Bug: Nope, Mommy put him there Bubby. 
He looked so sad but as he looked up again, he said with joy, “No Ky-ee…LOOK. He’s in the tree now!”    
And her face changed, lit up, and for that moment, the magic was alive again. 
For the record, I didn’t move the elf. He scurried from the entertainment center to the tree all by himself…just for my Bug…to prove that magic is real as long as you believe!
I’ll always believe, and I’ll always attempt to make my children believe, that there is magic all around us…despite the mean people
Tonight Bug believed again and she was happy and went to bed early. I hope she wakes up with the belief that the world is a magical place because she is in it. That’s what she deserves. 
Today’s life lesson: Mean people suck, bows don‘t matter in the real world, and life is full of magic. Just embrace it and enjoy!  

Year 2 of Letting Go of OCD at the Holidays

Our tree is up and decorated. I know. It’s not pretty. It’s not symmetrical. It’s not what I want. But this is year 2 of letting go of my OCD tendencies for the holidays and I didn’t twitch nearly as much as I did last year. 
I twitched, of course, but the twitching was lessened by the smiles on the babies’ faces. They are proud of “their” tree with the green with the green and the pink with the pink, oh and don’t forget the purple on purple action going on. 
I’m fine-ish, and they’re happy. Their happiness is what matters most in life. The elf is on the shelf watching their every move and I’m thankful they believe even if our tree is a hot mess. 
Tonight we put up the tree, read Dora, Spiderman, another Spiderman, Elf on the Shelf, and all the while they admired their “beautiful” tree. They are happy so I am happy. 
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to organize my desk again or something. Seriously, something has to be in place around here. Happy OCD-free holidays to you and yours. We’ll take out the rest of the decorations this weekend and I can’t wait to see what they want to do with those. 
At least it still sparkles. There’s still hope!