Welcome Candace Cameron Bure, our newest celebrity guest blogger! The Full House alum is now a wife, mother, actress, and author of Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. She is married to former professional ice hockey player Valeri Bure and mom to Natasha, Lev, and Maksim.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s usually the time when my WHOLE family gets together. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, brother, sisters, mom, dad, and close friends totaling up to anywhere from 30 to 80 people! My mom has hosted our traditional dinner for as many years as I can remember, and while she’s ready to pass the torch on to one of us kids, we always manage to get her to do it another year!
My two nieces, Reese and Kate
We started a new tradition at Thanksgiving dinner with the kids that has proved to be a big hit: decorating gingerbread houses! My mom provides the houses and all us parents bring the candy and icing for decorating. We actually turned it into a contest pairing two kids together—you can group an older child with a small child or stick with their own choice partner. The kids have gotten so detailed planning out their strategy on paper as if they were on a Food Network show! The stakes are high. Would the girls get the win? The boys? Or would the cuteness of the toddlers with Aunt Bridgette’s help win over the judges? This fun craft keeps the kids busy for quite some time (although I can’t say the sugar high is all that fun to deal with after they’ve eaten half the decorations!) And seeing the kids’ smiles and being excited after the houses have been judged is super fun for the rest of the crowd. This year, four gingerbread houses were created, and we couldn’t bear to pick only 1 winner, so we created 4 categories. Most creative, Most Simple (my 2- and 3-year-old niece and nephew were thrilled when they won), Best Use of Color and Best Overall. Of course the older kids (MY kids) thought it was an injustice to have 4 categories because they wanted one true winner. My husband who’s Russian said, “Only in America does every child have to win!” LOL—it’s so true though. I mean, if all the kids were around the same age and over 8, I probably would agree with them. But seeing the smiles of my sisters’ young kids when they won was priceless. Maybe next year, we’ll divide the judging categories into ages. :)
My daughter Natasha with her cousins Reese and Kate showing off the line up of gingerbread houses
I also did something this year I’ve never done before—I went shopping at midnight on Black Friday!! My best friend Dilini decided she was going to brave the stores late at night just to see what it was like and somehow talked me into it. So after I went home with my family and tucked the kids into bed, I hopped back in my car and drove 45 minutes to the Camarillo outlet stores. When we pulled up, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. There were thousands of people walking around, pushing baby strollers, walking hand-in-hand with their toddlers, men sleeping in cars as they waited for their ladies to shop and people standing in long lines just waiting to get into a store. It took us an hour to park and we squealed in anticipation once we were ready to start.
3am- Black Friday after my purchases!
I have to admit, I was disappointed with the actual “sales.” They weren’t that amazing and nothing that wouldn’t last through the weekend or get slashed down even more with the weeks to come. I guess the only advantage was getting first dibs on the stock. I did happen to find two great deals. A leather jacket from Barney’s originally priced at 564.00 and marked down to 133.00 and a 3/4 length Tahari puffy down coat on sale for 120.00 from OFF Saks Fifth Ave that I’ll be sporting at all my boys’ hockey games. All in all, I had a super fun time with my BF and we can always say we did it. But in the future, I think I’ll stick to shopping online and Cyber Monday especially when I know EXACTLY what gifts I’ll be buying.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend. I’d love to hear if you have any great traditions involving your kids for turkey day or if you got any amazing shopping deals on Black Friday!