Love, Family, Blessings, Traditions

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

We recently took a mid-week getaway to Mammoth with some friends, and as we were heading to play in the snow, my friend's three-year-old daughter yelled, "This is more fun than Target." I gave her a fist bump and said, "My kind of gal!" Target really is the pinnacle of fun for a lot of people, including me, but I did agree with her, a visit to Mammoth does win in comparison!

When my kids were younger, I spent hours walking through Target pushing them in the cart. I have some really great memories spent shopping, but also some not-so-great times. On one trip, my two boys tipped over a completely full cart onto the ground with groceries spilling all over the floor. Sometimes they cried for toys that I didn't want to buy, but most of the time we negotiated a "treat" for their good behavior. During an especially tear-filled visit, an older lady told me I would miss these days when they got older. And, she was right; I really do miss pushing them in a cart, tantrums and all. Nowadays, we hardly ever even go to Target together. Usually, I run in for an item or two or I send one of them in to grab it for me. Or, since the pandemic, I have heavily relied on curbside pick-up or an Instacart delivery.

I also miss perusing the toy aisle with them as they excitedly talked about all their favorite characters and games, especially at Christmas time, when they would write their "wish" list. I loved buying the Lego's, Barbie's, Polly Pockets, Hot Wheels, and Marvel characters because I knew how much they would love opening them on Christmas morning. Shopping with teenagers is easier because they really only want money or electronics, but it for sure isn't as fun.

One family Christmas tradition that we still get to enjoy is singing around the piano. We are lucky that my husband and youngest son play the piano for us to enjoy the Holiday Carols in our home. Make sure to check out the annual Holiday Fun & Games Book from KCFM starting on page 12. This is the perfect place to find your favorite songs of the season, complete with fun and games!

In this month's Hello, Happy (Creative) Mama, Local Author Allison Crotzer Kimmel on childhood daydreams coming true, Callie Collins interviews Allison Crotzer Kimmel on page 24. An English teacher at Centennial High School, Allison is also a well-known author with five books already published and more on the way. Although her books are found in the children's section of booksellers, she says the information inside can be enjoyed by all ages.

Julie Willis shares her unique perspective of teaching via Zoom in her Humor at Home article, Working from Home with Kids (…and a Scorpion?) on page 23. She writes about an unexpected guest that her daughter found while she was teaching her class. With a mix of fear and humor, Julie kept her calm and made it a teaching moment. We have all learned about changes in our

lives, especially these past 18 months, including how to adapt to new situations.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is here again, but oh how much I love this time of year. I love everything about it – forest-scented candles, peppermint hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows, bright sparkly lights and decorations, and most of all, spending time with my family. Hopefully this Holiday Season, you will enjoy all things Target, and maybe even find something that is more fun than that.

Have a Happy, Happy Christmas!

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