Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Welcome Back!

   Well here we are, our third year of celebrating our holiday, our values, and our city throughout the Dingman 25 Days of Christmas!  I cannot believe it’s already our third year, Marshall’s fourth holiday season. 

This year we got a bit of a jump on Christmas fun- the cooler weather last year seemed to have scared some KC event planners into moving up holiday joy.  So here’s a quick photobomb of what we’ve done so far:

Decorating gingerbread cut outs at Christmas on the River’s children’s village


He loves doing arts and crafts- especially
when it comes to ornaments
We love walking around the historic downtown. Marshall and I have come a long ways since our first Christmas on the River
The beautiful fireworks over the river


Marshall (whose silhouette is to the right) and I watched the firework show from his bedroom window.


Donating canned food to Harvesters (food shelf) for skating with Santa!


Marshall absolutely loves ice skating!


Marshall’s mouth dropped when he saw
Santa skate up.  He was thrilled.


After skate ‘coffee’ a Dingman tradition.
As soon as we were off the ice, Mads
was chirping “coffee, coffee!”
We won a Golden Ticket to the tree lighting! Gift card, VIP parking, and goodie bag- yay!!


Marshall checking out the little library
at the Zona Rosa Tree Lighting/ Orange Wednesday


Some Kansas City favorites: The Grinch, Santa, and the Fairy Princess
We always love the lights and crowns of Zona at Christmas time
Marshall and Brad watching the tree light up for the
first time of the season


Marshall is excited about taking a chip break
from shopping
As we were leaving Zona, Brad received a phone call from the
customer service desk that he won an orange Wednesday
prize package!





We aren’t letting the cold of December freeze us out, we still have a full calendar of events lined up.  We are also incorporating something new this year!  With Marshall being a bit older and now understanding more about the world around him, we have decided to use the 25 days for not only fun but also learning.

It is important to Brad and I that Marshall learns that different doesn’t mean bad; that we as a collective people have more in common than differences.  I often hear and see people complaining about being greeted with “Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas”.  I want Marshall to understand that there are more holidays celebrated in the winter season than Christmas and that the heart of those holidays have a lot in common with the values talked about during Christmas: family, thankfulness, charity, religion.

Don’t get me wrong, we are Catholic and are very active in our Christian faith-  Marshall was baptized at the same church I was and my dad before me.  The heart of the season for us is Jesus Christ, but let’s occasionally explore the world and what others are celebrating.  What better way to find out what these holidays are about?  While the vast majority of our days will be traditional American, Kansas City, Christian Christmas celebrations, we will also ‘travel’ the world.  Celebrating Christmas a little differently in other nations and sometimes celebrating other religion’s/ culture’s winter holidays.  It is our hope that Marshall will learn new things and most of all learn that there is nothing to fear when wished a ‘happy holiday’; his Chrismas can be just as in tact still as another’s Hanukkah.  Of course food from around the world is involved, so if nothing else I hope that draws you in for more!

    Furthermore, we are also excited to be adding a few more days dedicated to charity!  Every year of Marshall getting older marks more opportunities for our family to give back.  We are so excited to be raising Mads to have a giving, loving heart.  This year our charity of focus is Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA)- though we will be donating to/ volunteering with other charities throughout the season as well.  We invite everyone to use Amazon Smile and choose CASANA as the charity for Amazon to donate to, or donate directly to CASANA.  Send a screenshot of your Amazon smile purchase- or donation to CASANA- to with your mailing address and receive a handmade thank you card (or digital copy to your email if you choose) from our resident artist “Marshall Angelo”.  We will talk more about the importance of CASANA in future posts.

We are overwhelmed every year by the response we get from friends, family, and readers.  We hope you are entertained by our daily excitement and maybe even tuck some ideas away for your own family or community.

    So for now, get loaded up in that big red sleigh and grab your cocoa- the Dingman 25 is ready to go!  And I have a feeling the forecast is snow…




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