{ Connected Christmas } Mama Quinn

Hello JOYCREW,

Today we share our second last Mama Interview! We feature Mama Quinn….

Tell us a little about yourself and family
Hello. My name is Quinn and I live with my strong minded, fireball five-year-old Ivee. We live in a new sub division in a little town called St Thomas, ON.

This year will be a year of new traditions and maybe a new twist on old traditions that we cherish. Baking has always been a strong tradition in my family, I remember baking with my mom and my grandma, many of the recipes we still make today originated from them. Most importantly my mom’s butter tart recipe, my most favourite of all Christmas baking and I think little miss Ivee shares in my sweet tooth. We can hardly wait for them to cool so that we can do the taste test.
Another tradition that we will be carrying out is the annual trip down to Port Stanley with hot chocolate to check out the amazing display of lights.

Tell us about your traditions

One tradition that I started with Ivee last year as her birthday and Christmas fall close together and naturally she is very spoiled in the month’s time. I wanted to start something so she can realize that not everyone is as lucky as her. I started the giving back before you receive tradition. So before her birthday at the end of November Ivee does acts of kindness for how old she is turning, so this year she completed five acts of kindness. They don’t need to be extravagant but I ensure they all hold a life lesson within them, some of these are tougher then others. For example, we hid toys in the park for other children to enjoy, filled shoeboxes with toys for the less fortunate, bought someone coffee and my most favourite was we went and visited five elderly ladies at an old age home and delivered a bouquet of flowers to each one of them. I love to watch the joy on these ladies faces when they see Ivee and the smile on Ivees face as she realizes she is making them smile. Sometimes there is a lot of questions and even some tears as she understands the reason we are doing things. She found it hard to give up the toys in the park, but when I explained that sometimes kids don’t have any toys at all she was shocked and wanted to give some more.Of course there is decorating our Christmas tree. I have finally given up my perfection on this and let Ivee decorate it. She is so proud of herself. This year we decorated it on a lazy Sunday and danced to Christmas carols and then cuddled on the couch and watched a Christmas movie after and adored our beautiful Christmas tree.

What is your favorite Holiday Memory

My Favourite holiday memory was when we started to celebrate Christmas holidays at our family cottage. We would head out on the last day of school and on the way out we would stop to get a Christmas tree. Sometimes this wasn’t till December 23, you can imagine what the Christmas tree lots looked like at this point…pretty slim pickings. This is one of my favourite memories, my dad trying his hardest to pick out the perfect tree and then all the giggles from my mom and I when we went to setup this tree inside. We had some serious Charlie brown trees. The tree was always perfect in my eyes and once Christmas was over it became decoration on the skating rink out on the creek.
Another favourite holiday memory that my brother and I carry on with our little’s is the advent calendar my mom made us. I have the original one and she made another one for my brother and his little girl. When my brother and I were little it was always a race to see who could get the ornament on the tree first. This tradition has been around since my brother was a baby. I still get excited if Ivee is away for a night and I get to put one up. Although this year she is getting to smart and notices that I have put on up.

What is your favourite gift given or recieved?
One of my favourite gifts I have ever given was one to my parents the Christmas after I was done mat leave. Ivee and I were so luck to be able to travel and spend lots of time with my parents both at their winter and summer homes. I made them a photobook that captured all the amazing moments we got to share in that year. They loved showing it off to all of their friends. Ivee has an amazing bond with my parents even though they live so far away.

What do you struggle with over the holidays?

I struggle being away from my family and friends at Christmas time. With my job I can’t get enough time off over the holiday season to fly home to spend it with them. Last year was the first time in ten years I could make it home for Christmas and spend it with my family. It was amazing and makes me miss being home for Christmas and all the traditions that come along with being home.

What advice or tips do you have for other Mama’s this holidays?
Less is more. This is my moto this year. Ivee doesn’t need a mountain of Christmas gifts under the tree to get excited, it’s the thoughtful gifts she will remember. I don’t need to bake 15 different dainties and cookies. Along with this is learning to and accepting the fact that it is ok to say no. I always feel the need to say yes to every get together, gift and cookie exchange. Although these are a ton of fun they also come with a lot of extra work and take quality time away from the people who mean the most. So my goal this year is to just do a little less of the extra’s and a whole lot more of the good stuff like spending quality time with my little.

With my family living so far away we have a tradition on Christmas morning. We all connect via FaceTime and just leave them on in the background. We still all enjoy our own little Christmas’s but have each other in the background. My parents get to experience the magic of Christmas morning and Ivee loves to share her excitement. We have also started celebrating “Christmas” at a time when we all get together. Usually this is in the summer or fall, when I come to Winnipeg to visit we all have a nice dinner together and call it our Christmas.

Thanks Quinn! We love seeing your pics and all your JOY!

JOYCREW also dont forget we have a giveaway on the go for you to share your JOY and tradtions just like Quinn did. All you have to do is post a pic of some kinds of holiday joy or tradition and tag us on Instagram (@thejoyfullifeco) and use #joyfultradtions and #connectedchristmas. Post away until Thursday Dec. 21/2017.

We have one more MAMA interview for ya coming this Thursday.

XO Missy + Mel

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