Deal on Kid City (and other gift ideas)

Speaking of experiences vs STUFF when thinking about holiday gifts (and sticking to your budget)… I always pay attention to our local coupon / team buying websites around the holidays for some non-traditional gift ideas – and there are some fun + frugal ‘family activity’ deals on some of them today.

Here’s the big one:

Today’s LivingSocial deal for Winnipeg is a deal on Kid City: buy 2 kids’ admissions for $9. If you’ve visiting with one child, it only saves you a dollar or two… But as soon as there are two kids involved, it’s a GREAT deal.

The vouchers are good until the beginning of April (excluding Christmas Break and Spring Break) on any Monday through Thursday visit. I snagged one that we’ll either use as an advent activity or I’ll throw it in Briony’s stocking and we’ll have a new option for a cold + otherwise boring morning in the new year.

If you’re interested in buying your own, you can visit this link!

There’s also a 50% off deal for a family membership at the Western Canadian Aviation Museum – $25 for the year – on TeamBuy. It’s not really our cup of tea, but I’m sure it’s someone’s! And it would be a neat gift for your family (or another family) this Christmas.

And finally, SwarmJam has a couple of ‘experiential’ gift ideas – a deal on subscriptions to Style at Home magazine and discounted Stained Glass Window Classes.

– Lindsay

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Up For Discussion: Non-Tangible Gifts

My mom and I were talking yesterday about how our “current economic situation” (is anyone else sick of that euphemism for WE SPENT TOO MUCH?) is having a crazy effect on Christmas this year. Advertising and businesses have ramped it up to try and get their budgets balanced, but lots of people are trying to figure out how to cut back on the Christmas insanity. Our group seems to be fairly level-headed about this stuff (and we don’t judge either the Scrooges or the all-out hardcores among us) so when Design Sponge, repository of awesome and beautiful things, posted their first gift guide of the season geared towards non-stuff, I thought it would be nice to share. The upcoming stuff-filled guides will be gorgeous too, but I always appreciate alternative suggestions.

Speaking of non-tangible gifts, Sandy told me at the end of last week that our caregivers loved the MCC Giving Project instead of another Tim Horton’s gift card. There are lots of other options for giving projects that pop up at this time of year too.

Do you give non-tangible gifts? What are your favourites to give or receive?

~Annemarie

Wrap-Up: 2011. Sniff.

Yesterday was a great ending to our completely awesome fall session of MOMS. The food was awesome, the conversation was super, and we had a fun time sharing our Christmas traditions.

Of course, I lost my paper where I wrote down all the Christmas things that were mentioned, so I’ll plug the CMU Christmas Concert this weekend, Saturday night at 7 and Sunday afternoon at 3 on the North Campus. Add yours in the comments, or send me an email so I can put it in a post!

If you missed the session, or didn’t get a chance to share, let us know what traditions you keep in your family that make the holidays special. And keep checking back here for posts all through our Christmas break. Welcome to the Advent season!

~Annemarie

Wrap-Up: Cardmaking

Were you impressed with the cards you made this morning? I was! We made three nifty cards with the help of Pauline, cardmaker extraordinaire and MOMs alumna. Now comes the tricky part… who is special enough in your life to receive your cards?

We also had a chance to talk with each other while we tried to follow instructions involving sharp objects and glue (was that wise?), and also to share with the group at the start of the session. It can be pretty intimidating to voice your struggles in a big group, but I hope you were able to talk to someone today if you needed to. If you didn’t get the chance, please contact someone from our group. The committee members’ email addresses are all accessible under the Contacts tab at the top of the blog. We come to MOMs to support each other, so don’t go home unburdened.

Next week is our holiday brunch (can you believe it?), and while that is the last OFFICIAL morning until January 12, 2012, we’ve booked the lounge for December 22 to have an informal get-together like we did in the summer. I’ll get there at 9:30 and make coffee, and bring your kids & your snacks and we’ll hang out. You can bring friends or dads or leave your kids at home (supervised, of course), and there’s no fee or anything. It’s just a chance to catch up and get away from the craziness of those last few days before Christmas.

~Annemarie

Coming Up: Cardmaking

I’m sure that not all of you are as thrilled about this week’s session as I am, because we’re all different and not everyone is a crafty person. But I am super stoked to make fancy-pants cards this week. I’ll probably glue myself to the table and end up crying in the corner because it’s not perfect (Type A? Again? What?) but I’m looking forward to it anyway. Don’t forget to bring glue tape (cool) or a glue stick (less cool but acceptable) if you can get your hands on one.

This is our SECOND LAST SESSION, which is ridiculous because a. SOB and b. Christmas is approaching. Next week will be our wrap-up potluck brunch. It’s always delicious and lots of fun, complete with fabulous prizes. If you didn’t sign up for a sweet or savoury contribution last week and you’ll be missing this week, could you drop a quick email to bethelmoms AT gmail DOT com? Thanks, and see you on Thursday!

~Annemarie

Wrap-Up: Fire Spinning!

Well that was fun! I don’t know what I was expecting from this morning, but I enjoyed myself a lot more than I anticipated. Erinne’s friend Sam led us in some basic fire dancing moves with tennis balls on strings and I’m pretty sure that it was as entertaining for those of us with babies who were only watching as it was to be the ones hitting ourselves in the face with spinning balls. Sam’s group is called the Fire Pyxies, and you can search for fire spinning on Youtube to see videos of it in action.

Fire Pyxies

Did you have fun this morning?

~Annemarie

Santa Claus is Coming to Town…

The season of holiday activities is upon us (can you believe it?!).

Starting November 12 until January 8, the Children’s Museum is hosting the Eatons holiday display! Here’s the info from their website:

The Children’s Museum is pleased to be the home of the last original Eaton’s Fairytale Vignette Display from the ninth floor annex of the Eaton’s downtown store – fully restored and open to the public for a limited time only.

From mid-November until mid-January, visitors of all ages will be delighted by the fifteen fun, fairytale vignettes that make up this classic favourite including Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Three Blind Mice and more.

Free with museum admission.

Manitoba Hydro’s Festival of Trees and Lights is also kicking off soon with activities including Family Day (December 10), a Craft Sale Weekend (December 3 + 4), and MANY musical performances. Click here for all the information/schedules.

And finally, this weekend is the SANTA CLAUS PARADE on Saturday, November 12 at 5 PM. Their website has full info on the parade route and parking suggestions – just add mittens + hot chocolate!

– Lindsay