MommyQ is Loving The Land of Nod

reading-tentI’ve gotta blog about my holiday shopping experience with The Land of Nod because it has been a pleasure. In my recent post, “Moms, what’s under your tree?” I mentioned that I bought the Home Sweet Play Home reading tent for one of my kids. I saw it at a friend’s house many months ago and loved it. My oldest kiddo loved it too and played in it throughout the afternoon. I made a mental note – “Get this for Christmas!” Believe it or not, my brain remembered.

I ordered the Blue Home Sweet Play Home and the cushion online. The website said both items would arrive by the 24th. I was a little bit worried, but the items arrived in plenty of time. When I took the cushion cover out of the box, I noticed the directions said to wash it before use. When I unzipped the cover to find the washing instructions, I was pleasantly surprised. The directions ended, “Do not dry clean. Do not pass go. Sleep tight!” Well, that was such a clever little treat. Making laundry fun – what a novel idea!

Last night, I put the clean cushion cover on the cushion and was so impressed with the fluffiness of it all. This is one luxuriously fluffy cushion! The play tent is beautifully made and it is quite stunning in person. I am so thrilled with this purchase and only hope it is as pleasing to my child on Christmas morning.

Find the tent online at The Land of Nod for $99 and the matching cushion for $49. It also comes in lavender, pink and green.

Retail Slump, Spoiled Kids and Rush Limbaugh

This holiday season was the weakest since at least 1969. A report came out today from the AP Wire stating discount giant Wal-Mart (the world’s largest retailer) reported smaller sales gains than expected in December. Health and wellness items fueled sales while electronics remained solid. Clothing and jewelry aren’t selling. In addition to Wal-Mart’s woes, Macy’s is closing 11 stores which will put about 960 employees out of work. Here’s a list of the store closings.

From the wealthy to the middle class to the lower income, everyone is cutting back. It really sucks because I finally thought this would be the year we’d get to buy our first yacht. And by “yacht” I mean “boat” and by “boat” I mean “rubber ducky for the tub.”

Last month I was quoted in an article, “How do you tell your kids you need to downsize Christmas?” and it got a lot of national attention. Even Rush Limbaugh himself had to discuss it on his show. He read my quote and then made some backhanded comment about it. Shocking, right? You can read the transcripts here.

Anyway, I do think it’s okay to spoil your kids, even if times are tough. But I think the definition of “spoil” means certain things to certain people. I don’t spoil my kids as in letting them run around like crazy maniacs without rules or discipline or manners. That’s not what I’m talking about.

This year we skimped on our Christmas presents to make sure the kiddos got theirs first. And nobody got ridiculous, expensive, anti-functional gifts that would be enjoyable for all of 10 minutes. I found cute toys on sale at Marshall’s and Tuesday Morning. In reality, my children are small so they don’t notice if they got more or less gifts than usual. But they LOVE opening presents – just like most adults – so why not let them have fun? We bought just as many presents, but spent far less money. And before we brought one new toy into the house we donated a lot of toys and clothes to local charities.

I find it funny that everyone wants to chime in about topics like spoiling your children (and Jennifer Aniston v. Angelina). Even people who don’t have children of their own. Unless you have kids, I don’t think you can really understand what what it means to be a parent. How it feels in your heart. How it completely transforms your life, your soul and spirit. Even the most superficial, self-absorbed, shopaholic parent would make sacrifices. That’s what love is all about. Did we learn nothing from the movie Cliffhanger?

My answer to Rush is simple. Yes, it’s important to spoil your kids even if they don’t know they’re being spoiled. And yes, I do know what a real economic downturn is. Thanks for your concern.

Giving to Gre-Dad Makes Christmas Count

First of all, I’d like to preface this post by saying it is not a scam. This is a very real fundraiser for a very real cause.

In honor of a great daddy and equally great granddaddy, friends of mine have started the “Gre-Dad’s Gift” this holiday season.  It stems from a thoughtful idea that always seemed to get lost in the shuffle. This year, that idea was given life.

Thanks to fundable.com, the Perks family can pay tribute and do something wonderful for a family in Blacksburg, VA. Find out how you can help!