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Bitty BabyBack in July, I attended the first-ever blogger event at American Girl Place in Chicago. It was a "baby shower" of sorts to celebrate the relaunch of their Bitty Baby line - beautiful dolls for children ages 3+. In August, my oldest daughter Addie, received one for her birthday, and ever since, her Bitty Baby has been one of her most treasured companions. I've heard her carry on full conversations with Bitty Baby, and when we went Trick-or-Treating last month, Bitty Baby was there - riding in the last car of our Step2 wagon, decked-out in her own little Halloween costume. For 2013, I'm including Bitty Baby in my Holiday Gift Guide here on The Rock Father.

mitchellcoverFor 2013, Smithsonian Folkways has issued their first Holiday album in more than a decade with the release of THE SOUNDING JOY, the new album from ELIZABETH MITCHELL AND FRIENDS. The 24-track collection is a spirited set of carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger's 1953 songbook, AMERICAN FOLK SONGS FOR CHRISTMAS, some of which appeared on the 1957 Seeger Sisters album of the same name (originally issued by Scholastic, since reissued by Smithsonian Folkways). To celebrate the season, you can get a FREE DOWNLOAD of "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" via this link (right-click and save).

For the past 4+ years, Melissa & Doug Toys have been a staple here at Rock Father HQ. While we've purchased several for our girls, they've largely been given to us as gifts... quality, timeless toys. Just the other day, Addie had her big Farm Floor Puzzle out again, and the girls have literally worn out one set of Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks, and their Jumbo Cardboard Bricks are used every single day. That said, I can't recommend Melissa & Doug enough. Now, their Terrific 25 Holiday Gifts Giveaway is in-full effect, and it's one giveaway well-worth your entry...

Little PimStudies show that children under six have the best time with learning a foreign language, and my friends at Little Pim aim to make it fun and easy. We've had some selections from their Spanish and French collections here at Rock Father HQ for quite some time now, and I can't recommend them enough... this coming from a guy that took three years of French in High School, and is now using Little Pim to re-learn a little bit for himself. Little Pim's series of books, DVDs, flashcards and music are aimed at kids Birth-6, and are available in a variety of configurations - making them an affordable gift option: Especially when you grab the Little Pim plush panda to go with it! Little Pim is available in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and English, and makes The Rock Father's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, making an encore appearance since first being showcased here in 2012.

125 TFBOTBy now, I'd imagine that many regular readers know that we love TRANSFORMERS here at Rock Father HQ (I even own one of the rarest ever made!), and that I'm always sharing news from around that Cybertronian World. For the Holiday Season, one of the hot items is the TRANSFORMERS CONSTRUCT-BOTS - new building sets that allow kids to build their favorite 'bots, or customize and create their own Transformer using the mix-and-match parts. The possibilities are endless, and encourage imaginative play. In the spirit of giving, my friends at Hasbro and I have teamed up to get one lucky reader hooked up with one of their TRANSFORMERS CONSTRUCT-BOTS Triple Changers. It would make a great gift for the robot-loving girl or boy in your life...

Smucker'sIn October, my friends from The J.M Smucker Company flew me to their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio for their Holiday Traditions Blogger Event. In the weeks ahead, I will be sharing with you some Holiday Tips that I learned while I was there - a collection of helpful information, recipes, and more that will help you Rock Your Holidays, while creating some memorable meals...

When I was visiting the Smucker's crew in Orrville, Ohio last month, I had the opportunity to visit the famous J.M. Smucker Company Store & Cafe. A truly down-home, country store, one of the things that grabbed me was the selection of Gift Baskets and Gift Packs available. While I brought home some tasty treats for my family (enjoyed daily here at Rock Father HQ), the Smucker's online store just might have the unique gift that you're looking for this holiday season. Here's some suggestions, hand-picked by yours truly. They're even doing free shipping with a $50 purchase through December 2, 2013...

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