I remember my very first Christmas as a single mom. Faith was 3 years old. I was quite nervous about how I was going to make this all work.

At this point I was working at the Hastings on Georgia as a Guest Service Manager. It was an exciting but scary time of my life. I had a new career and new responsibilities.

All the responsibilities were on me now. Buying and assembling all the toys was really a scary thought for me.

I remember that Hasting's had a very awesome employee discount, so as a single mom I took advantage of that.

I bought these two stuffed animals. One is a reindeer and one is a Christmas bear. It became my tradition that I left those two animals out on the kitchen table and when Santa came his job (among many) was to leave these two friends with Faith before he left.

credit: Melissa Bartlett, TSM

Faith would wake up Christmas morning with these two in her bed. So she knew Santa Claus had come to pay her a visit. She would come running to my room all excited to show me that Santa left her friends again for her.

It's one of those traditions that even to this day I get those two out of storage. They will appear Christmas Eve when Santa comes to visit. I don't care how old my daughter gets. I hope one day she continues this with her own family.