It’s my favorite time of the year when I get to tout my favorite cards! There are certain products that I love to rave about each year: First, the people and products of Fair Trade USA (I love and support their mission, and I make it a point to buy as many holiday gifts that are Fair Trade as possible) and Tiny Prints (who I’ve been a customer of since my kids were born and I used Tiny Prints for the birth announcements).
I don’t understand people who skip out on sending Holiday Cards. I truly find it to be one of the more enjoyable activities during the holidays. The whole process of looking through cards, discussing favorites with the family, getting dolled up for pictures and picking just the right one. Some years we go funny (when we only had one child we did a hear no evil/speak no evil/see no evil card) and other years we get the opportunity to show off a new family portrait (like the ones we did with TM Fotography a few years ago). Mental note: need to get family pictures taken again!
The image above (Tiny Prints Iconic Year Theme) is the card we’ve chosen this year (HEY! You might be getting one!). I love this card because I always *sigh* at the fact that I never have a chance to do a “year in review” holiday newsletter.
Just. No. Time.
But this card makes it easy and gives me an opportunity to share a little bit of what my family has been up to with our loved ones.
Are you ready to order your holiday cards? Better get on it! Here’s a good place to start:
1) Enter my giveaway below. This is the world’s quickest giveaway, to help one lucky winner get a coupon code for $50 off their total Tiny Prints order.
Quick like a bunny! We need you to leave a comment by 5PM PT Monday, November 19 telling me which Tiny Prints holiday card YOU love! Giveaway prize: $50 off your total Tiny Prints order (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions). Winner was #2, Lisa. Thanks to all who commented!
Please note: I am totally sincere in my love for Tiny Prints. But I am also being sponsored for this post, and will get a discount on my holiday cards! Which makes me happy.
This post is sponsored by Pony Royale. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
A bit of background, here…when I was a wee little grammar school girl, I vividly remember my insecurity over the fact that I didn’t really care for horses. Or ponies. I didn’t get it. Instead of just allowing that realization to be a passing thought, I tried to over-exaggerate the fact that I really did like ponies. Really!
One day I remember we had to pass in our Scholastic book order form. I was forced to lie to my mom the night before, when I insisted she let me order this 250 page book about a horse. She threw out plenty of valid reasons why I should not get this book, but she probably assumed, in the end, that I was merely going through a pony phase. Little did she know I was plotting to assure that no one would ever know my true apathy for the subject. When the book arrived at school, I made sure to pass it around and at least ensure that every child saw me with the book. I would hold it against my stomach for the rest of the day, with my hands folded strategically around it, so as not to cover the picture of the horse.
Flash forward 30ish years and I have a daughter who is WILD about horses. So wild, in fact that she has had a favorite horse (Black Horsie) since she was two. For over a year she would arrive at daycare each morning, pick Black Horsie off of the entry table and proceed to carry him around with her the entire day. At lunch, when he was not allowed at the table, she would set him on the counter and stare at him the entire time she ate. At the end of the day, she would walk over to the entry table, place Black Horsie in the same spot she finds him in each morning, and together we would leave. After a year, her daycare provider let her take Black Horsie home, and for the six months she has slept with that 6 inch, hard plastic horse each night, never forsaking him for a cuddlier replacement. Her dedication is amazing.
Who could help but to develop an appreciation for horses, when faced with such an example of pure love and adoration? And so 30ish years after I first feigned interest, I can now say I have developed a full-fledged pony habit! So, when I had the opportunity to be able to throw a PONY PARTY, how could I refuse? I am merely human after all!
The very first thing I did was call my friend Val, who has three little girls, one who in particular has a love for horses. Could she help me plan a pony party? BUT OF COURSE! She was just as excited as I was. We discussed the guest list, our friend Mari, who blogs for Gemini Crickets, also had pony loving girls, so of course she would be invited. Val offered up her pony cookie cutters. The girls could decorate them. How fun.
As the week of the pony party approached, it was all the buzz with the little girls on our block. And once the packages of ponies arrived on my doorstep, well, it was ON. The girls practically punked me into opening the boxes. I did. A few saw the ponies early! I admit it! You should have heard the squeals and the oohing and aaahing, one after another. My son quickly pulled out a map of Pony Royale World and announced that Sky and Brooke were certainly the most important ponies because Sky has her own Star Observatory and Brooke has a brook (but of course). My daughter kept asking me repeatedly if she could have a pink pony and a purple pony (see picture at top!) which goes to show you the difference between boys and girls. Boys want powerful ponies, girls want cute ponies.
I quickly stuffed them all back into the box and we waited for a few more days and many more friends to join us for a grand pony celebration!
When the day arrived it was not as chaotic as I expected…at first. The girls filed in, most of them had been briefed, and they were surprisingly well behaved for girls who were about to get ponies! Mari’s girls had just been at Toys R Us that day, in fact, and had no idea what kind of toy they were getting at the party later in the afternoon. But they saw the Pony Royale ponies at the store and had gone gaga (all the while, Mari secretly delighting in knowing what was to come later!). When they saw the ponies they actually let out a gasp! We had a Pony Royale video up and ready to share, to tell them the story of the ponies they were about the see. They waited quietly as we played the video – which they loved.
Here’s a the 1 minute video that was all the rage at our party:
And here are the girls watching the video intently:
Intently learning about Pony Royale
After we watched the intro, we let each girl walk into the pony room, in groups (by age, of course). I was so impressed with how good the girls were with picking their ponies. No tears. No drama. Just excitement. The real drama came in trying to release the ponies from their packaging. Oh my. Why oh why must packaging be so complex? We all complain about it, but I admit if we saw ponies sitting on the shelves, all disheveled from being shipped to the store, picked up and dropped by little hands…we probably wouldn’t want them. But still…packaging. Oy vey.
Eventually the ponies were released and the girls spent the rest of the day playing, dressing up and comparing each pony. I even had one mommy ask me on the way out if I had an extra Rosie…because that was her favorite.
After everything had died down, the guests had left, my daughter lined her two ponies up, went into her room, grabbed her faithful black horsie, and introduced him to the new ponies in town. I feel like I can finally, honestly, say that I’ve officially gone through my pony phase. And my daughter and I are enjoying every moment of it.
Visit the Pony Royale website for more information. The Pony Royale collection will be available at Toys R Us in late July and in select Target stores in August. Meanwhile, be sure to check out Pony Royale’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter!
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