“A Sugar & Spice Holiday”
I grew up celebrating Chanukah with my family but have always loved the appeal of Christmas. When I was younger, it was mostly colored lights and stockings filled with gifts that I was hoping for. Now, I appreciate the Christmas attire more for greeting cards and for music stations that are dedicated to songs that […]

I grew up celebrating Chanukah with my family but have always loved the appeal of Christmas. When I was younger, it was mostly colored lights and stockings filled with gifts that I was hoping for. Now, I appreciate the Christmas attire more for greeting cards and for music stations that are dedicated to songs that only get old when I repeat them for six consecutive weeks. Plus the movies - the movies!

I thank my stars loving the holidays for life It's a wonderful life—Eight weeks of original Christmas movies that make me want to whip out the eggnog, unroll the gingerbread, and decorate my own tree. (This post is in a paid partnership with Lifetime, but the review and opinions are 100% mine.)

A sugar and spice holiday premieres Sunday, December 13 at 8 / 7c on Lifetime

This season's range includes a special addition, A sugar and spice holiday, the network's first Christmas-themed film starring a Chinese-American family. This is the story of Suzy Yung, a promising architect from Los Angeles whose choice of career was inspired by her love for her grandmother, Nema, and the treasured memories she has of their making bread houses. spice together.

From the start, I liked Suzy. She is warm, has a beautiful smile and describes everyone in their life by what type of pastry they are most like. Her boss, well, she's peanut brittle. “Hard and sharp. Sweet and salty. May melt in your mouth but also break your teeth. "

“A Sugar and Spice Holiday” airs on Lifetime on December 13 at 8 p.m. ET. (Lifetime)

The protagonist, Suzie, returns to her small hometown for the holidays

Suzy returns to her small hometown of Maine for the vacation, where her family runs the local lobster bar. His parents are lovely and I immediately adore his father, Pete, who learned English by listening to country music, which is why he speaks with a southern accent. He is played with love by the actor Tzi Ma, who is well known for opening new avenues for Asian Americans in Hollywood and for his roles in big budget films like Mulan and the Peak hour series.

When Suzy arrives, she literally finds herself in the spotlight, thanks to Billy Martin who is a jelly donut, "messy, sweet and full of surprises." He also happens to be the high school crush that she never got over. Billy makes Suzy feel guilty by entering the town's local gingerbread house contest to help save the local community center and honor the memory of his beloved Nema.

Suzy rekindles things with an old flame

With a cast of eccentric teammates, which includes Caitlin ("vanilla cupcake with sprinkles on top ... so pretty, but you're afraid to eat it") and Stavros ("bear claw, puffy and nutty outside, soft and soft on the inside ”), Suzy draws heavily on her family's cultural traditions and Nema's baking secrets to give their team an edge. She and Billy together face stiff competition for win the title of Gingerlicious Baking Champion.

As the championship rounds and their chemistry heat up, we're treated to huge doses of snowball fights, gorgeous Christmas decorations, and tantalizing scenes from a traditional Chinese dinner. There's even a prom moment that made me nostalgic for my own dancing in high school, too, with my own Billy. Plus, I walked away with a new respect for gingerbread houses that stand for over a minute and don't destroy your house in the process of being made.

To top it off, there is the wisdom of Nema bubbling everywhere. Along with delicious cookies, she offers parenting gold like, "You work hard enough, you can be anything." Or “You teach someone to fish and they stink. You teach someone to cook and they will have a good life. "

There is always wise wisdom and a happy ending

She offers my favorite when Suzy admits to being confused about living her life as if following a recipe that she ultimately doesn't want to eat: “Our tastes can change. Sometimes the best meals are those with no recipe at all. Only you know what can fill you up.

I'm not going to spoil the ending here or spoil anything by saying that there is actually a happy ending. Happy endings are a given with the It's A Wonderful Lifetime series movies, which is part of their charm for me. In a year that made it impossible to plan anything, I crave the predictability and certainty of a story that unfolds as smooth as dough and rolls up as neatly as a gift that is supposed to be slipped under the tree on Christmas Eve.

More to read:

"Christmas Ever After": The Most Inspirational Holiday Movie Of A Lifetime

'A Welcome Christmas Home': Lifelong Holiday Movie Honors Veterans

Lifetime Christmas Movies: Grab a Blanket and Your Favorite Ice Cream


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Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

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Don’t try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.

Pick your battles. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter -- that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.

Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don’t worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. That’s the name of the game.

Read books together every day. Get started when he’s a newborn; babies love listening to the sound of their parents’ voices. Cuddling up with your child and a book is a great bonding experience that will set him up for a lifetime of reading.

Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There’s no better way for you to show your love.

Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad -- early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.

Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals -- like bedtimes and game night -- that you do together.

Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

Live a little greener. Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and garde each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.

Always tell the truth. It’s how you want your child to behave, right ? Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it’s your emploi to set a great standard.

Give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, ' You’re great, ' try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, ' Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience. '

Cheer the good stuff. When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It’s a great way to reinforce good behavior so he’s more likely to keep doing it.

Gossip about your kids. Fact : What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child ' catch ' you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.

Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you’re too tired to cook doesn’t make you a bad parent.

Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something’s wrong, chances are you’re right. Just say ' No. ' Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child’s school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.

Don’t accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect. Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child’s life -- your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter -- to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.

Ask your children three ' you ' questions every day. The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, ' Did you have fun at school ? ' ; ' What did you do at the party you went to ? ' ; or ' Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon ? ' Teach kids this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person’s eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.

Acknowledge your kid’s strong emotions. When your child’s meltdown is over, ask him, ' How did that feel ? ' and ' What do you think would make it better ? ' Then listen to him. He’ll recover from a tantrum more easily if you let him talk it out.

Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community. Don’t raise a spoiled kid. Keep this thought in mind : Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.

Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early : When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why. Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer : When you’re kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself.

Set up a ' gratitude circle ' every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good.

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don’t give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it. Avoid food fights. A saine child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won’t starve.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect -- a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop saine eating habits. Let your kids place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what’s for dinner and cook it for them.

Say ' I love you ' whenever you feel it, even if it’s 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible. Keep in mind what grandmoms always say. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people. Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting emploi on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry’s piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now -- it will be over far too fast.

Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can’t talk doesn’t mean there isn’t lots that she’d like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration. Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P. S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often. Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.

Get your kids vaccinated. Outbreaks of measles and other diseases still occur in our country and throughout the world. Protect that smile. Encouraging your kid to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities. Be averti about safety. Babyproof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter. Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your kid’s fever is caused by a virus, don’t push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.

Keep sunblock next to your kid’s toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It’ll become as natural as brushing her teeth. Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line. Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty : He senses the urge to pee and poop ( this is different from knowing that he’s already gone ), and he asks for a diaper change.

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