DISCLOSURE: The following post is part of a sponsored partnership between Americana at Brand, Seedling and The Fab Mom. All experiences, opinions and holiday memories are mine… and all fabulous crafting messes proudly belong to myself, my friends and our families. Find more fun on Twitter or Instagram at #FabMomAAB (December 2015 only).
Holiday memories: If we don’t make ’em, no else will. Let’s face it, moms pretty much take charge of the scheduling, activities, family time and all things holiday (at least, that’s how it happens at my house). Some of my favorite memories over the past years involved parties I threw together at the last minute, trips we weren’t supposed to take and cakes I decided to make even though I felt like I didn’t have time. So even though we’re overextended beyond usual this season, the memories must be made. Because if we don’t make ’em… they won’t happen.
This year, we also crafted. (Huh?!?!? Yes, I know I’m not an avid crafter… but make no mistake, I can get my glitter on.) We crafted in the name of making memories and shopping and sitting on Santa’s lap again. Because these are the things that holiday memories are made of…
Now that I’m in my fifth official year of being a mom (gasp! what what? already?!?) I’m realizing that the annoying cliche about how ‘the days are long but the years are short’ really IS true. I look at my girls every day now and think, Why are they so big? I still think it’s funny that my 3 year old LilMiss talks with real words and has actual conversations… in my mind I still consider her a baby. (She’s not.)
So in the name of making the most of another year gone, pausing, spending more mindful time with our tots and giving back to something that’s bigger than all of us… I gathered a group of my most TV-famous & Digital-legendary Mom Friends to get our creativity on and donate toys to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. (Wendy Burch of KTLA News knows how to bring on the biggest baby dolls ever…)
Because making holiday memories is an urgent order of business.
Not to be an alarmist, but time with our small kids is limited… and we’re all moving really fast these days. If we don’t cart our babes to Santa (regardless of the hassle and chaos and possible crying & complaining involved… I’m talking to you, my precious 2 year old friends) — no one else will. If we don’t chuck our work deadlines out the window sometimes (guilty here) in exchange for working on something with our kids together – no one else will. If we don’t make the effort to buy markers and coloring books for other families who are stuck in the hospital during the holiday season (and involve our kids in the process so they learn empathy & kindness first hand) — no one else will.
Stopping, thinking, doing, smiling, laughing, learning… it all adds up. But it doesn’t add up if we don’t make an effort to do the math. And holidays are the optimal time to do the math, no? Turns out, Seedling feels the same way. Their new pop-up store at Americana at Brand (open only through the 2015 holiday season!) has shelves upon shelves (floor to ceiling!) packed with hundreds of items for toddlers through tweens.
There are simple crafts, extensive DIY projects, party-decorating kits, crowns and wands, colorful foam ice-cream cones that go ‘POP!’ at the push of a button (ask either one of my daughters about those) and all sorts of cool games and trinkets that scream ‘awesome stocking stuffer.’ No joke. My TV-famous & Digital-legendary Mom Friends also agreed… check the video —->
Seedling’s philosophy is all about thinking and doing — in your own way, between parents & kids. They supply the materials, you supply the big ideas. The products are of the highest quality, made in New Zealand and truly do keep my girls entertained and happy.
But the best part of our big group afternoon of play? Watching how all of us busy, working women stopped, thought, did, smiled, laughed, learned… and had a freakin’ blast with glue and glitter all over our hands. I even bought a kit for my 5 year old… and then we crafted a wickedly-sparkly crown together the next day. What memories. Hey, it’s what the holidays are all about…
The Seedling pop-up shop is temporarily open at Americana at Brand through the holiday season (closing January 2016). The Santa House at Americana at Brand is open through December 24th, 2015. 5% of the proceeds from picture sales are graciously donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Instagram video clip (above) created by the talented Diane Mizota.