Making a List, Checking Twice...Christmas Bucket List

Is it the decorations, the music, the parties, the chill in the air???  I don't know what it is but the Christmas season is the most magical time of the year.  I try to slow down at work this time of year so that I can soak in all the fun with my girls.  I'm sharing our Christmas Bucket List and would love to hear what you look forward to this time of year:

1. Visit Santa

We're so lucky to have Santa HQ here in Fresno sponsored by HGTV.  Your little ones don't just get to visit Santa but an entire interactive experience.  The first stop in Santa HQ is the the Naughty or Nice O'Meter.  Your children put in their names and then step on the meter to see where they fall this year.  Based on their results their name goes on a list which is great for a photo-op.  The next stop is the first room where your family or little ones can Elf Yourself.  You can also download Elf Ray Vision in the app store to use your phone to spot hidden elves.  The next room is where we spotted the most elves and the kids got to command Santa's sleigh.  There are two professional photo opportunities the first being a backdrop with props.  The last stop of course is the man himself, Santa who was extremely warm and welcoming with the kids.  He spent a lot of time talking with my girls and hearing ALL of their wishes.  We were so IMPRESSED with Santa HQ at Fashion Fair Mall and I highly recommend this is where you visit Santa this year.  

Here are events coming up at Santa HQ that you don't want to miss:

Pet Photo Nights
Nov. 28th 6-8 PM

Santa, Can You Hear Me?
Mrs. Claus will be interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing
Dec. 5, 12, 19th 6-8 PM

2. Write a Letter to Santa

We never miss writing a letter to Santa at Macy's because they donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every letter received.  Believers of all ages can write down all their wishes and send to Santa via the Believe mailbox.  The set up is whimsical and gets my girls excited every year.  Be sure to stop by your local Macy's to write and mail your letter.

3. North Pole Breakfast

It's our tradition to have a North Pole Breakfast to kick off the Christmas season.  It's also when our pesky elf, Jingle returns.  The girls are VERY aware of the elf and his magic and have been talking about him for days.  Emily just knew that he would be arriving soon and her squeals and screams when she saw the breakfast set up were contagious and magical.  I work very hard every year to make this set up special for my girls.  I love coming up with new ideas for the set up and food each year.  This year I used tableware from Re-Play. The color options were perfect for our breakfast and I love the pieces that come with each set.  A bonus is that all their products are made in America, sustainable, affordable, functional, durable and safe (made from recycled plastic and free from BPA, BPS, PVC, lead, phthalates and melamine).  I made snowmen from bananas, strawberries, m &m's, black frosting and mini marshmallows.  The Christmas tree pancakes were green pancakes decreasing in size covered with powdered sugar, red sprinkles and topped with a raspberry.  A tip on the pancakes- set your griddle temperature a little lower than normal so the pancakes don't brown and maintain the green color.  To finish things off the girls had a side of snowballs (marshmallows) and hot chocolate in a snowman bottle.  Jingle brought some fun toys for the girls and new pj's and holiday outfits.


See our North Pole Breakfast from other years:

Moving the Elf on the Shelf always seems to be a chore.  I can't tell you how many times I've finally settled into bed only to realize the d**m elf didn't move.  Or worse I wake up and scramble to move him before the girls spot me!  To prevent that for you, I've tried to take the guess work out.  Here is a calendar to help you with what your elf will be doing the next day.

4. Decorate

It's always been my tradition to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.  I don't want to forget/jump over Thanksgiving but I want to get the most enjoyment out of the decorations so the day after Thanksgiving it is!  I do a little Black Friday shopping and then come home and decorate the house.  I love the girls pitching in a little bit in hopes that one year they remember these moments with love.  Emily's absolute favorite part is putting the star on the tree.  Both girls pitched in on daddy's shoulder to complete the most important task of decorating.  I will share our decor with you soon.

These items are still on our list and give us lots to look forward to this season:

5. Listen to Christmas music around the clock
6. Make a Gingerbread House
7. Watch Christmas Movies
8. Pajama Polar Express Night
9. Decorate Cookies
10. Donate

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are completely honest and my own.

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