Yesterday, we got a chance to act like a kid again at a Target playdate-party in New York City. Target Mommy Ambassador Soleil Moon Frye showed off the must-have toys of the season, while kids (and okay, us too) played with gadgets and games way cooler than the ones we had growing up.
Between sipping hot cocoa and munching on s’mores, we had a chance to chat more with Soleil about toys, traveling and the holidays.
What was your favorite toy when you were younger?
SMF: I have the most nostalgic memories about my childhood toys. I loved my pogo stick. I did not leave home without my pogo stick. We would always be jumping off furniture on the set of “Punky” with them. I used to rock it!
How do you think toys have evolved over the years?
SMF: First of all, I don’t know how to get the toys out of their boxes! I’m always thinking, was it this hard when we were kids? We played board games but now there are so many battery-operated games that light up and do all these different things. But I do love that there are still old-school games like Twister, Operation and Chutes and Ladders.
What are you excited about this holiday season?
SMF: I just love being with my family and spending quality time together. Christmas is all about family time. My youngest daughter loves to go to the flower market with me, and my oldest cooks with me. So we cook, we bake and the house smells like love and family – it’s happy chaos.
Do you have tips for traveling with kids during the holidays?
SMF: I always go to Target first and fill up on all sorts of goodies the kids can have fun with. I make packages to keep them busy. I get flavored lip-glosses – my girls love playing dress up – so they can mess around with “makeup” on the plane. I also put in stickers, notebooks and drawing supplies – a whole bunch of little things.
Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions?
SMF: We have an annual Christmas Eve gathering for our family and friends. We sing the “Twelve Nights of Christmas” and everyone has to sing along together – it’s hysterical!
What do the holidays mean to you?
SMF: For me, I grew up in a single-parent household and we didn’t have a ton of money. It was never about how many presents we had; it was always about the time we had together. My mother would cook this incredible feast. She always made it a celebration – we even roasted chestnuts on the front lawn. So for me, the holidays are the time to reflect and be present in the moment with your loved ones. Now, we [Soleil and her husband] use the holidays to teach our kids to give back to people in need. We really encourage them to be aware of our blessings, to be grateful and give thanks during the holidays.
The holidays can be hectic. How do you stay relaxed through it all?
SMF: My girlfriend since I was two-years old and I celebrate the holidays together every year on Christmas Eve with our families. We try to keep each other in check. Are you good? I got the potatoes! What do you have? I’m going to get ready. You’ve got the kids? Okay. Great. We do checks on each other and that keeps us both sane.
2012 is quickly approaching. Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
SMF: To continue being present with my kids and put down the technology a little more. I also want to continue giving back – this past year has been amazing. I’ve gone to Haiti twice and done a lot of work in the community. I feel very grateful to be in a place where I can do random acts of kindness.
A lot of people are wondering… do you have any plans to write another book?
SMF: I would love to write another book! I’m having so much fun with Happy Chaos right now – but I would definitely write another one.
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