Holiday Magic Giveaway!

holiday giveaway

I love the holiday season. I love the smells, the sparkle, the chaos, and the sheer energy…but most of all, I love the times of togetherness. The family gatherings, the board games, the baking, and the traditions—both old and new.

One of my favorite traditions is from the Christmas Eves when my three girls were small. They would open one present—always a new nightgown or pajamas— and I would read them The Night Before Christmas before tucking them in for the night. My husband and I would then open our annual bottle of ice wine and spend the evening wrapping the rest of the gifts (because pre-Christmas organization wasn’t my forte). It wasn’t a tradition either of us had grown up with, but rather, one that evolved almost by accident.

My daughters are all grown now, but they still remember their Christmas Eve story…and I still have our tattered and well loved copy of The Night Before Christmas tucked away with other childhood treasures. I’m already planning to give a new copy to each of them as they begin their own families. I think it will make a lovely first-Christmas present, don’t you? 🙂

And now it’s your turn. Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I’d love to hear about one of your family traditions—either one with which you grew up or one you’ve created—in a comment below. Each day for the next 30 days, I’ll be giving away a pair of pewter angel-wing earrings to one random commenter…and on December 20th, one lucky person will win (via the Rafflecopter draw) a $25 gift card to his/her choice of online bookstore (Barnes &  Noble, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, or Kobo).

So…leave me a comment, enter the Rafflecopter draw below, and good luck!

Oh yes…and because it’s the season of giving, be sure to share this giveaway with your friends! 🙂
a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. While you’re here, feel free to have a wander through the site and check out my Books page…maybe you’ll find a hot warrior angel or two that you’d like to take home for the holidays… 😉

Winner’s List

November 20th — Michelle Thomas                 December 5th — Karla Carranza

November 21st  — Bethany C.                              December 6th — Elaine

November 22nd — Rebecca Pack                       December 7th — Sebrina Cassity

November 23rd — Sarah Golden                       December 8th — Aubrey Wynne

November 24th — Roxy                                        December 9th — Carol Pal

November 25th — Cheri Holt                              December 10th — DrkCherry

November 26th — Jennifer Crow                       December 11th — Karen Ryan

November 27th — Crystal Young                       December 12th — MergeKitty

November 28th — Anna                                  December 13th — Kathleen Dowling

November 29th — Lucy D. Briand                     December 14 — Kelsey

November 30th — Lucia Craven                        December 15 — Mihaela

December 1st — Jo K.                                              December 16 — Janie McGaugh

December 2nd — Melissa Webster                     December 17 — Elizabeth Haney

December 3rd — Kathy                                        December 18 — Caribbean Accent

December 4th — Amanda                                   December 19 — Stephanie




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152 responses to “Holiday Magic Giveaway!”

  1. Nurmawati Djuhawan Avatar

    my fave holiday memory when my father still stay with our family..we went for travelling every year together…

    1. Linda Avatar

      Hold tight to those memories, Nurmawati! ((hugs))

  2. miki Avatar

    i love the tradition we have while decorating our christmas tree ( always after saint nicolas which is the 6th december because they are really seperate in my country) we share memories about those who aren’t with us anymore and the ornament we have from them… ity’s a good way to remember without a sad ambiance

    1. Linda Avatar

      What a lovely, lovely tradition, Miki! 🙂

  3. Elaine Avatar

    When I was a kid, my mom was big on celebrating Christmas “in a different country” each year. In January, my sister and I would draw a country’s name out of a box. Whatever country we drew, we would celebrate the upcoming Christmas the way they traditionally did. It’s not something I’ve done with my own kids, but I do remember learning lots of cool traditions from other countries.

    1. Linda Avatar

      That is so cool, Elaine! I looked up the customs with my kids, but we never dived into actually celebrating them. What an awesome mom. 🙂

  4. Lucia craven Avatar
    Lucia craven

    Every Christmas we go to my parents San being Italian there is a lot of us….so we all squeeze in around the table and enjoy my mama s 5 course dinner with traditional Italian food xx my papa nearly always falls asleep afterwords to the racket off us all enjoying time with the loved ones xx love Christmas and my family xx

    1. Linda Avatar

      So much to look forward to, Lucia! 🙂

  5. Jessica Avatar

    I don’t really have a favorite memory. There are too many good memories to choose from, it’s hard to pick one.

  6. Michelle Thomas Avatar
    Michelle Thomas

    Favorite Holiday memory was the first year my daughters were both old enough to get excited about Santa and Christmas and enjoy all the Holiday spirit.

    1. Linda Avatar

      It’s a special time, isn’t it, Michelle? 🙂

  7. Laurie Stewart Avatar

    I remember carefully unwrapping and displaying the old glass ornaments my parents picked up on their honeymoon. After over 60 years I think only one is left.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Oh! I have some of those, too, Laurie! They always get a place of honour on the tree. 🙂

  8. Rebecca Pack Avatar
    Rebecca Pack

    We’ve always been random about how we celebrate the holidays, some years staying home, some years travelling, or going to different houses for dinners. My favorite thing though, that has always been constant, is all the baking we do regardless of us staying or going 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar

      There’s nothing quite like holiday baking, is there? 🙂

  9. Meg L. Avatar

    We had one tradition growing up that I’ve not been able to bring into my family. My mom was a pianist and she taught all four of us kids to play. During December we’d all be given carols to practice and then Christmas eve we’d spend hours around the piano playing and singing.

    1. Linda Avatar

      A tradition I’ve always dreamed of having myself, Meg…straight out of the movies. 🙂

  10. Kelsey Avatar

    On Christmas Eve we always gather with my moms side of the family, and while the kids get gifts from everyone, the adults do a Secret Santa exchange. Then when we get home we all get to open one gift that night, and the rest the next morning. It’s always been fun and we still do it now. 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar

      I love the traditions that carry over into our grown-up years. 🙂

  11. Valerie Rae Millard Avatar
    Valerie Rae Millard

    I love your Books, all your kitten updates on both FB and your blog and your newslettrt and that you & I both know Carol Pal …it’s thru her that I saw a FB post about your books and had to get started on them. Now I’m hooked and the angel wing earring would be a great reminder of the stories and all the fabulous characters 😀

    1. Linda Avatar

      Very glad you found both me and my books, Valerie! Say hi to Carol for me. 🙂

  12. Laura Fernandez Avatar

    When we were little we used to get together my family (mom, dad, sister and me) with my aunt’s (mother’s sister) family (two cousins, my aunt and uncle) then each family will make a delicious food… pork leg (usually, that was the tradition) salad… dessert… my sister and I made a piñata with glue, newspapers and a balloon then waiting for midnight at the 24th (our special time to say Merry Christmas, give kisses and hugs, then we exchange the gifts and open them at 12:01 no a minute late lol XD I love gifts since then). We hide some dollars… yes, dollars!!! That was a special ocassion for us 😀 jiji… we had buy some fireworks so we when to the street and look at the magic nights…oh, I forgot, my grandmother was there too ♥ miss those times a lot, the peace, the magic, the innocence, the happiness… THE GIFTS!!! hahaha but with the giveaway I’ll more than happy ^^ hahahaha hugs and kisses dear!!!

    1. Linda Avatar

      It sounds like you have loads of fun, Laura! 🙂

  13. julie barrett Avatar

    old time bubble lights, when they heat up they bubble. love just sitting watching them.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Ooh…I don’t think I’ve ever seen those. Must go and Google… 😉

  14. Carol Avatar

    I started an annual event years ago when the children were small. A pre-Christmas event where we would go out for breakfast as a family, usually 2 Saturdays before Christmas. After breakfast I would buy the children each an ornament for the tree of their choosing, which has gone into their own Christmas tree ornament box. Although the children are grown, I am delighted to say that they both wish to continue this breakfast. I love that when they decorate their own tree now they will have ornaments that bring back memories and provide a continuing tradition. Something that I did not have.

    1. Linda Avatar

      A whole treeful of memories…beautiful, Carol! 🙂

  15. Bethany C. Avatar

    My whole family makes it a priority to get together every xmas eve. We make more food than is right or reasonable and drink a bunch of wine.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Sounds perfect, Bethany! 🙂

  16. Sarah Golden Avatar

    My favorite holiday memories were the times growing up going to my grandmother’s for Christmas dinner and presents with the extended family. Someone would always get her caramel turtles and cherry cordials, which would get passed around to the whole family. Even now, cherry cordials are my absolute /favorite/ treat. It was always great spending time with the whole gang. Now we don’t do gift exchanges (with part of the family) and my grandmother has been gone for just over 6 years, so thinking back on those times makes me nostalgic for the “Christmas magic”.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Ah, but the memories have magic in them, too, Sarah! ((hugs))

  17. Jennifer Crow Avatar
    Jennifer Crow

    My kids and I bake lots and lots and LOTS of cookies. Then on Christmas eve, the whole family hops in the car and drives around to our friends’ homes, leaving some tasty cheer in our wake.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Any chance you can add me to your “cheer” list? 😀

  18. Karla Carranza Avatar
    Karla Carranza

    Ah Christmas Eve. I always love that day. My entire family gathers at someone’s home (usually a tiny apartment that can barely fit us all). We chat. We laugh. We drink. We’re loud! I still remember the time someone called the cops on us. Lol. And then when midnight comes around that’s when the real excitment starts, for the young ones anyways. One by one, from youngest to oldest we each open our gifts. I remember being a kid and having the anticipation build up so bad that I would get itchy hands! I was always the last to go because I was the oldest. Now I get to see that same excitement and anticipation on the little ones’ faces. And when they open those gifts? Oh the excitement, the joy, the happiness! Family is the one thing I cherish the most because no matter what happens I know that they will be there no matter what. I am truly blessed.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Ack! That would have been sheer torture, lol! But yes, family is the absolute best. 🙂

  19. Leah Thomas Avatar

    This isn’t really “heart warming” but funny – every year I load up the kids (now 17 & 21!) stockings and my husband’s stocking. He is supposed to do mine (Santa fills adult stockings too!) but inevitably he falls asleep before he can do mine. So on Christmas morning I have to remind him to fill my stocking before the kids get up. It’s not so hard now as they sleep in due to their ages – but it was a real challenge to keep 2 young children away from their stockings while my husband filled mine – all the while ensuring they didn’t see “Daddy” filling Mommy’s stocking because then we’d have to answer the “Why didn’t Santa fill Mommy’s stocking?”

    It’s now a family tradition with my kids slowly making their way to the fireplace to get their stockings and asking if “Santa” actually filled mine! “He” always does – however more times than not it’s on Christmas morning 😉

    1. Linda Avatar

      Still heartwarming in its own way, Leah…but yes, definitely funny. 🙂

  20. Elizabeth Haney Avatar

    Favorite holiday memory is going over to my aunt and uncle’s house, playing card and board games, eating Christmas cookies and watching Christmas movies. You don’t think about how awesome the time was until you look back on it. Happy Christmas Linda and thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    1. Linda Avatar

      It’s so very true that we don’t appreciate those times enough AT the time, Elizabeth…good think we have our memories! 🙂

  21. eshtarkolan Avatar

    our tradition was me and my mother using the wrapping paper roles and lol playing who can get the others head. It was fun.

    1. Linda Avatar

      LOL…I remember doing that, too! And having “sword” fights with my siblings. 🙂

  22. aubreywynneauthor Avatar

    Oh, how I love the holidays. My tree goes up next week on Thanksgiving and the season begins. Traditions, old and new, make each year special. I celebrate Christmas Around the World in my classroom. This sounds like great fun. I’m in.

  23. elaing8 Avatar

    My favorite memory is when my niece and nephews were young and they would come over and help do the holiday baking. Then they’d always ask to make stuff for their parents, so we’d make those too. Then go and decorate my tree and eat some of the goodies 🙂

  24. Stephanie F. Avatar
    Stephanie F.

    Every Christmas morning we wake up and have homemade cinnamon rolls. My kids though older still insist on that tradition. We then always head to the grandparents for brunch and presents then its off to the other grandparents for dinner and presents. It’s a long day but one I would never give up.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  25. sally Avatar

    ICE.. it is a yearly thing in Orlando that is 8 degrees in temp and everything inside is carved in ice with a ice slide!

  26. Stephanie Avatar

    Making raviolis from scratch with my family!

  27. April Ritter Avatar
    April Ritter

    We also have the tradition of reading the kids, ’twas the Night Before Christmas. They got to open one present and lay out the cookies and milk for Santa. When they were tucked in bed, Santa would arrive and fill the stockings and leave the gifts.
    The kids are grown now, but they still leave the cookies and milk out and Santa fills the stockings!
    My son and daughter in law have their first baby on the way, and we will continue the tradition!
    Happy Holidays!

  28. Mary Preston Avatar

    Decorating the Christmas tree is always very special. The youngest person puts the Angel on the very top. She watches over us during the holiday period.

  29. Tracie Runge Avatar

    I started a tradition when my boys were young every christmas we would gather a bag of toys and books that the boys had out grown and along with our donation envelope we would take them down to the Salvation Army and donate them to children that could not have christmas at home. Then we would go home share a gift and be thankful for what we have but more importantly my boys were proud they had helped someone else .

  30. Lori johnson Avatar
    Lori johnson

    Christmas’ are always special. The whole family is together

  31. steve weber Avatar
    steve weber

    favorie holiday memory is when my sisters surprised everyone by flying in to be with us for Christmas.

  32. Denise Avatar

    My favorite holiday memories were my dad’s side of the family getting together at my grandma’s house. I miss those years.

  33. blodeuedd Avatar

    Maybe when I got the pink Barbie car..that car was awesome!

  34. winnie Avatar

    When I was young and putting up the Christmas tree with the whole family.

  35. Cheri Holt Avatar
    Cheri Holt

    To me the fun of helping my aunt and grandma cooking , learning the family way of doing the cooking . Then standing at the sink, listen to everyone after as I did the clean up afterwards while my family told jokes and tales of wild youth.

  36. Caroline Avatar

    One of the best Christmases that I ever had was so full of Doctor Who. We got tons of Doctor Who presents and then we got to watch Doctor Who at the Proms and the Christmas special.

  37. All my Book finds Avatar

    When my daughter and I have our traditional turkey tacos out of holiday left overs lol

  38. Dorine @ TBR Mountain Range Avatar

    We have this crazy Adult gift exchange where we draw numbers to pick our presents. When it’s your turn, you get to choose one of the wrapped presents or steal a present from someone who has already opened theirs. If you steal, you choose a wrapped present to give to the person you’re stealing from. Something funny happens yearly like one of the guys ending up with a pink sweatshirt. Of course, we make him model it 🙂 The last person has a choice of stealing any of the presents or taking the last wrapped surprise. We usually laugh until we cry 😀

  39. Crystal Young Avatar
    Crystal Young

    We all get in the cars and drive around and look at the lights then come home and have hot chocolate and cookies. We have been doing it for years.

  40. Lucy D. Briand Avatar

    Holiday tradition…hmmm. I have a holiday memory…We had greenhouses when I was a kid. Christmas morning we would all get up early as a family…(I was the youngest so I woke up the whole household) we would open the gifts under the tree, have breakfast then Dad would have to go open the traps for the fans in the greenhouse. When he would come back about an hour later he would be carrying a large 5 foot stocking full of toys, then dad would then tell me that Santa had dropped it outside. I was the only one gullible enough to believe this every year until the year he past away. I guess you could say it was a tradition. One I miss very much.

  41. Margaret Boling Mullin Avatar

    We also were allowed to open one gift (chosen by my parents) on Christmas Eve. The gift was usually the special dress (or tie/sweater) for the children to wear to the Christmas Eve Midnight Service. I loved that 24 hour extension of the family time.

    As an adult, my tradition is to read The Dark is Rising (Cooper) because the book is set in the 12 days of Christmas – Christmas Eve to Epiphany. I love living vicariously through the Victorian traditions.

  42. Elaine Cougler Avatar

    One of my favorite holiday memories is of the year we took our almost grown two kids skiing and I had a bad accident. After being carted off the mountain in a sled affair, spending Christmas Eve in Emergency listening to someone next door tell why he tried to commit suicide, and falling asleep on the couch back at home that night, I spent Christmas Day being waited on by my family. They stepped right up to do the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, salad, Christmas carrot pudding, and everything while I hobbled about the house on crutches answering all their How Do I questions. The Christmas spirit was flying in our happy house that day.

  43. Debbie Avatar

    My favourite holiday memory was staying with grandmother one of the years my mom kicked me out for a bit(she has a mental illness, I wasn’t a bad kid). Anyway she lived out in middle of nowhere surrounded by trees – I spent a lot of time with my gramma and in the forest – two of my fave things.

  44. erinf1 Avatar

    making cookies with my mom 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  45. DrkCherry Avatar

    Our Christmas tradition is we all have Christmas hats. The last person that gets up, had to get the hats and pass them out. My youngest is always the last to go to sleep, and the last to get up…so guess who always ends up passing them out?

  46. Denise Z Avatar
    Denise Z

    I think it would have to be the first time my son saw a Christmas tree with presents and understood what it meant LOL He was so excited he almost hyperventilated. After that we could never put gifts for anyone under the tree until Christmas Eve after he went to bed; so sweet and so innocent 🙂

  47. Rebecca Avatar

    It’s was 1965 I was 5 sister 7 brother 2 when our dad passed away on Dec 20th of that year. He made our mother promise to give us the best ever Christmas. Opening gifts did not take our sorrow away. We had always wanted a kitty but dad could not be around them. We were sitting by the tree playing with our toys when all of a sudden the tree starts moving and making noise. We all looked up at the same time and there was the cutest kitty climbing in our tree. We named her Daddy. Our spirits were lifted because now our Daddy was always with us. That was the very best for us

  48. Pamela Sims Avatar
    Pamela Sims

    I LOVE Christmas!!!

  49. BookLady Avatar

    Our favorite tradition is trimming the Christmas tree with ornaments we have collected over many years. Wishing you a Very Happy Holiday!

  50. Dii Bylo Avatar

    I’ve always purchased toys for charity, the firefighters, like that, as my kids got older, they did the shopping…wrapping. sometimes they would buy more with their allowance. They are continuing the tradition with their kids, adding working at a soup kitchen some years

  51. Deb Avatar

    I love it when family comes together and make new memories.

  52. Janie McGaugh Avatar
    Janie McGaugh

    I don’t really have a specific memory, but my favorite thing was always watching my children open their presents.

  53. Roxy Avatar

    I loooooove opening new pj’s on Christmas eve! And last year I noticed how much my kids really got into decorating the tree. They were 10 and 7 last year. Every ornament they unwrapped, they’d say something like, “Oh yeah, I remember this one!” or “Did I make this one?” or “This one’s my favourite!” It was really cute! Looking forward to that again this year.

  54. Turquise Avatar

    I guess that my favourite memory would be the only and first holidays spent not with my family, but on the other side of the world in South Korea. I spent the day like any other, but made sure to skype with my parents and to make some Polish food for dinner… It was actually a little bit sad (we had a bigger, international celebration a few days earlier) as my roommates were Chinese and didn’t really celebrate Christmas. However, just two weeks later I came back home and still managed to eat some delicious Christmas food~

  55. Melissa Webster Avatar
    Melissa Webster

    Opening one gift on Christmas Eve, celebrating the holiday with the youth I serve at One Hope United. They have given me. Greater appreciation for the holidays and my family. And they appreciate all they are given and the traditions – Christmas cooking, baking, caroling, decorating and the Christmas story from Luke.

  56. Debbie Carney Avatar
    Debbie Carney

    My favorite holidays were when the whole family got together, now most are passed on. Missing my parents, husband very much

    1. Linda Avatar

      Big, big hugs, Debbie. <3

  57. Suzie Avatar

    I have bought a Hallmark ornament for my sister, brother-in-law and best friend for years. It is always the collectible date stamped. My sister buys me one as well. We also have a huge family breakfast Christmas morning.

  58. Jo K @ Beyond Strange New Words Avatar

    My favourite childhood memory of Christmas is singing Christmas carols with my grandma before going to midnight mass. I don’t yet have my own family but now I still hum to myself while getting everything ready and it fells like she was with me in a way.

  59. catslady Avatar

    At age 11 I was given a wild barn cat from a family that didn’t really want pets – it was my beginning of love of cats!

  60. Deb Thomas Avatar

    I have two favorite holiday memories.

    The first is the last Christmas/Birthday I had with my Mother. We always got her a special gift, separate from her Christmas gift. She was living in care facility at that time. Little did we know that we only had six more months to spend with this wonderful woman. That year we got her a cell phone. I can remember how her eyes just lit up. She was a double amputee and even in a wheelchair she had a hard time getting to the phone in her room. She thought the cell phone was the greatest thing.

    My second is the last Thanksgiving spent with my Father. He had been hospitalized all of Oct into Nov and then went to a care facility and on hospice. We knew that we didn’t have a lot of time left with him. My 3 sisters and I went to the care facility to have Thanksgiving dinner with him. He didn’t eat but he did talk to us and we took pictures. Three days later he was gone. But I will always remember how he smiled and smiled. That was one of the greatest gifts I could have received that year.

  61. Michelle Hollywell Avatar
    Michelle Hollywell

    My favourite Christmas memory was spending the night at my Nana and Papa’s with my parents just after my sister was born. My Nana made her horrible creamed corn and beets, but topped it off with a frozen bar of MacIntosh Toffee that we could smack on the counter and share. 🙂

  62. Deelylah Mullin (@VampBard) Avatar

    With a blended family, it’s always a challenge to get everyone together. One of the traditions we have is simply spending the day – whatever day we celebrate Christmas – watching movies and simply being together. We snuggle on the couch, in piles on the floor, and laugh. The presents don’t matter that much anymore; kids are older (13 yrs & up).

  63. Kate Avatar

    We celebrate both Christmas and the Solstice. On the Solstice we make toast into to cookie cutter shapes and decorate them with peanut butter, honey, and birdseed. We hang them on our “bird berry tree” which is some random tree in our yard that gets berries on it. I don’t think they’re poisonous, but I didn’t want my kids to eat them when they were little so I told them the couldn’t have them because they belonged to the birds. They started referring to it as the bird berry tree!

  64. Anna Avatar

    In the first weeks of December, we always visit a Christmas Market somewhere in the country (Cologne, Dresden, Nuremberg, etc..). But Christmas really begins with the decorating the tree on the 23rd. Living in Germany, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th. We have a nice brunch and a relaxed afternoon. Then my parents start to cook in the early evening. Our family has Silesian/Polish roots, so my mom always makes Mohnklöße (made with poppy seeds, one-day old rolls and milk) for dessert ( ). But she and my dad are the only ones who actually eat it. The door to our living room (with the tree and the presents that have magically appeared) remains locked until we hear the bell ringing (coincidentally, it rings only after my sister and I have cleaned the kitchen. 😉 ).
    Now we can enter the living room and start unwrapping the gifts. We try to prevent an unwrapping mayhem (all presents are opened within five minutes) and enjoy the situation. So everyone has to throw a dice and only is allowed to unwrap a gift when he or she gets six eyes. After unwrapping the gifts we sit together, enjoy ourselves and our gifts before we go to church (midnight mass at 9pm). After church my sister and I meet up with friends at a club. The 25th and 26th are spent with the extended family.

  65. thegreekurn Avatar

    We always try and decorate the tree on december 1st and add one new bauble each year so keeping old traditions and strating new ones.

  66. Amy DesOrmeaux (@AmyDes92) Avatar

    Finding the cat peeking out of the tree will always be one of my favorite memories. She does it at least once every Christmas.

  67. Juanita Blau Avatar
    Juanita Blau

    Picking out the real tree was usually a family affair. Getting into our Bronx apartment up the 3 flights of stairs was an amazing feat each year. Decorating it so it looked just so then turning off the living room lights and only having the tree lights on truly set the Christmas mood.

  68. Shanna Avatar

    A favorite tradition we have is getting together with my Dad’s side to see family, catch up, meet all the new babies, and snack on all of the goodies my Grandma only makes around Christmas.

  69. bookbetch Avatar

    It’s become a tradition for my family to all go Black Friday shopping together. We go all out. We come prepared with cards, coffee, snacks, blankets, and sometimes there are people with their tailgates down selling BBQ or ordering pizza. It’s a really fun, community activity that brings all sorts of people together. Unfortunately, this will be my first year of not being home for Thanksgiving. I blame grad school and it’s terrible.

  70. Caila F. Avatar
    Caila F.

    My favourite holiday memory looking back was the last Christmas I got to spend with my Grandmother before she passed away.
    Thanks for the contest!

  71. Stacy Porter (@stacymporter) Avatar

    I was in Russia last year and, I swear, I met the real Santa Claus! When I was little, my grandma would give me a small gift (glitter pens, stuff like that) that I could open before school. We’d turn the tree lights on and sit together as we waited for my bus 🙂 great times

  72. Kathy Avatar

    My favorite holiday memories are of making goodie baskets filled with holiday treats for all the loved ones my house smells amazing those 10 days b4 Christmas

  73. trinitytwo Avatar

    So many great memories, but something unique would be that after presents but before dinner on Christmas Day, my family gathers around the radio and plays “Name who sings that Christmas Carol/Song first.” Its hysterical and sometimes we can guess who sings a song by the first note. I won so often that my daughter made me a crown to wear. She eventually wrested the title of Queen of the Christmas Carols from me a couple of years ago. Even my brother and husband join in and we laugh and talk in between songs. Good times.

  74. mergekitty Avatar

    My favorite memory is when I was little going to my grandma’s and listening to an Amy Grant x-mas cassette in the back of the car. The roads were just dusted with new snow too. 🙂

  75. Kathleen M Dowling Avatar

    My favorite christmas memory is My mom and I would do a christmas craft together every year. My favorite one was when we made clothes pin ornaments.They were little santas, elves and nutcrakers, ext… I really miss doing that. I’m hoping to start that with my son next year when he is old enough.

  76. SweetMarie83 Avatar

    That is such a sweet story! I think it’s an incredible idea to give your girls a copy of The Night Before Christmas as each of them starts their own family. So touching and fitting.

    My favourite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve. My mum and I host, and we have my brother, sister-in-law, two nephews, and this year my new niece, over. We play games, watch Christmas movies, have a huge feast, then open gifts. It’s so much fun. The kids get so excited, and this year I’m really looking forward to seeing how the baby takes it all in…plus I’m excited to finally buy girl stuff as gifts! 😉

  77. Michelle Willms (@willms_m) Avatar

    Our tradition is very similar to yours. On Christmas Eve, our children can open one gift each, though we didn’t have the good sense to make sure to give them the same thing so they didn’t fight (such as pjs, like you did). They simply selected from the gifts already under the tree. Then, they played for a bit, and we had a calm dinner in preparation for the wildness of the next day. The children put milk and cookies under the tree for Santa, along with a treat for the reindeer and prepare for bed. (Or beer and tortilla chips, with salsa, as a throwback to my childhood when I decided Santa must get tired of all the milk and cookies and want something different.) I then snuggle with the children and read them The Night Before Christmas and they go to bed. My husband and I enjoy an adult beverage prior to the mad all-night wrapping and toy-building venture. (I’m not so great with staying ahead on the wrapping, either.) We put all the toys, presents, and other gifts we were too exhausted to wrap under or around the tree and collapse in relief.

  78. Lisa (@thelisa) Avatar

    When I was a kid, we would go to a movie on Christmas Eve and then open one present each to tide us over until Christmas morning.

  79. Mark Nice Avatar

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood was on Christmas Eve each year, my family would get up early and Mum would cook breakfast, then dad and I would bicycle ride about eight miles out into the countryside to pick up our fresh turkey straight from the farm. Fortunately Dad would carry it home on his bike lol.
    Happy Holidays to all 🙂

  80. Michelle McMichael Avatar

    I commented before but the comp crashed at the time & I can’t see it now…

    We do the same as you, I always read Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve & I make a big box up that the kids open on Christmas Eve when it gets dark. It has new PJ’s, toothbrushes, reindeer food & Santa stop here signs. We have colouring books an a new dvd and treats. They go to bed & when they’re asleep I do last minute wrapping while watching Muppet’s Christmas Carol. I love the idea of giving your daughters their own copy of the book. My Mum gave me the angel off our tree when I left home, she’s sat on the top of my tree every year since my first Christmas 🙂

  81. bluesnowkat Avatar

    My favorite holiday memory is decorating the real tree with my parents, usually around the first of December. Then getting to open one present on Christmas Eve.

  82. Mihaela Avatar

    My fave holiday memories are those when my father was alive 🙂

  83. Melliane Avatar

    thanks for the wonderful giveaway! I think my fave holidays were when I was younger and when for christmas we went to my grandparents house for christmas. We had a big meal in family and after that when it was around midnight we hid in the bedroom, waiting for Santa Claud to put the presents under the tree.

  84. Mags Avatar

    It’s nice to see everyone’s traditions. My kid just turned 2, so between this year and next I’d like to have some established. So far all I’ve decided is she’s getting a toothbrush in her stocking every year. Her teeth were just starting to come in last Dec so I got her first one then. When I was little we got huge oranges in the toes of our stockings every year.

  85. Mindy Avatar

    My favorite holiday tradition that we still do today is that we all open gifts one at a time from youngest to oldest. We meet at my parents and have my mom’s cinnamon roll tea rings, ham, and spend the morning opening gifts. Everyone gets to see what everyone got and we get to cherish the time together. This year the only thing missing will be my dad playing Santa with the kids passing out the gifts into piles where everyone will be sitting. He passed away this summer so Christmas will be bittersweet.

  86. Karla Nodorft Heller Avatar

    Thank you for the Christmas giveaways! It’s so much fun reading everyone’s memories. My favorite memory growing up centers around our Christmas Eve dinner celebration. We would always set an extra place or two at the table for special people my Mom had invited. They were always from our community, church or neighborhood, sometimes already very good friends of our family and others soon to be. My Mom had a soft spot for anyone having to spend the holiday alone, especially if it was their first time doing so. Several Christmases we had our neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Klassy. She was the retired music teacher from school and my sisters and I loved her so. Her husband was such a nice fellow and it was very sad to see him decline year after year from Parkinson’s Disease. After he passed, Mrs. Klassy still graced our table until we moved. Others filled in as we grew up. Our last dear friend Mrs. Ott passed away last year. This year we moved away from our hometown to a different state. My youngest sister was diagnosed with melanoma this past summer. And an empty spot remains from the loss of my middle sister to leukemia when she was 24. This Christmas we will celebrate with our family together around the table, thankful for all the precious kmnodomemories we have made and, as we look to the next generation of grandchildren (my children ages 22 and 19 and my youngest sister’s boys 8, 5 and 2) of the memories yet to be made. Happy Holidays, Everyone!

  87. Readsalot81 Avatar

    My favorite holiday memory keeps repeating itself with little variables here & there. On Christmas Eve, we travel to a rather famous neighborhood in Torrance (Southern California) that does gorgeous things with lights and props(things on the roof, lawn you name it), etc. We gather at my uncle’s house – eat lots of food, drink lots of “witches brew” – walk around the neighborhood looking at lights – we’ll play music or games – and open gifts. It’s a fantastic night with family that I love and only see once a year.

  88. brittany smith Avatar
    brittany smith

    I have so many family traditions … but I must say my absolute favorite tradition occurs on Christmas Eve. Every year my aunts, uncles and cousins come over! We eat and give each other presents. But the best thing is everyone just being together. We have such a good time laughing. . It is such a great feeling being around those you love and beautiful christmas decorations♡♡

  89. Tara Day Avatar
    Tara Day

    Sitting next to my closest family members around the fire and watching all my little cousins and nieces/nephews roasting marshmallows and generally making a mess.

  90. ReadingRenee Avatar

    The best was my first Christmas as a Mom

  91. charlee Avatar

    when i was little, every year me and my brother would alternate putting the angel/ star on the tree. we would put all of the lights and garland on the tree. my mom and dad would put their name ornaments on the tree. then me and my brother would. after that we would put all of our first christmas ornaments on it. So my favorite memory is of putting up the tree.

  92. Valentia Prudence Avatar

    Our tradition? As a family, we don’t really have one, but I do. I sneak presents for my parents right at the back of the tree, and leave my brother his present outside his door. Every year, they forget and are surprised once again. I wonder sometimes if they do that more for my benefit than theirs. 😉

  93. Caribbean Accent Avatar

    We sit around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning and open our presents together. Then we have breakfast, in which baked ham is a must 🙂 Then we chill together at home, good quality family time.

  94. infinitieh Avatar

    Growing up, the only time my parents let us kids stay up was to celebrate the new year and we’d jump up and down and dance around when the clock struck 12AM.

  95. Sebrina Cassity Avatar

    The kids and I decorate the inside of the house, lights everywhere! Hubby does the outside. We always watch Christmas Vacation too, it just gets funnier year after year! Especially since the kids are getting older! Nothing better than listening to kids let loose on the belly laughs!

  96. D. D. Syrdal Avatar

    My favorite memory is of my dad singing “O Tanenbaum” as he helped decorate the tree. It was the only time he ever sang, and I only remember him doing it once.

  97. Para_Urban Review (@ParaUrban_Rev) Avatar

    Our parents used to invent stories about our presents each year in a creative way to either increase excitement and expectation or move us away from any suspicion that we might guess what we were getting. In a family that grew up with very little in the earlier years, this teasing became a major part of building excitement the closer we got to the big day. One year, I was told that we had no money for Christmas and not to expect much, the tale being woven being I would only get a watermelon as my main gift (I loved watermelon!). Being a year older, I didn’t want to believe this but as the story gained momentum even I began to doubt just a little. So on Christmas morning, imagine my shock when all I found under the tree was a roughly wrapped, heavy gift that turned out to be …you guessed it… a watermelon!! I was devastated, but true to Christmas form and understanding that we really didn’t have much, I thanked my parents and turned to open one of the smaller stocking fillers surrounding the tree. My parents, however, had a different idea and decided we had to eat the watermelon as part of the gift giving!! I was told to cut the melon open and share it out – and neatly wrapped inside in waterproof packaging, was the most beautiful, solid silver charm bracelet I’d ever seen!! It was this gift that made me realise that it’s not the gift that counts, but the thought that goes into choosing a gift that means so much to the person you are gifting. The true gift is creating joy and pleasure for others. Hugs, Amanda

  98. Ceri Mountford Avatar
    Ceri Mountford

    Hi Mrs P, when i was a child (i’m one of four kids) our parents always made us line up in age order before letting us into the front room to see the presents under the tree, the excitement &anticipation was tangible! even now we always put the tree & decs up on the 18th as its my sisters birthday, and though we all have our own families now we all still have birthday cake for when the task is done. Christmas eve my son & I always find a christmas film to watch – last year it was the new Snowman animation but usually its the original Snowman 🙂

  99. Janna Shay Avatar
    Janna Shay

    My favorite holiday memory is the same one I get each year. All 7 of my married children, their spouses, and children gather at my house to enjoy the day and each other. With such a big family, we aren’t able to all get together during the year. So getting together the one day each year is so special.

  100. karyn ryan Avatar
    karyn ryan

    after breakfast on christmas day. the kids get clues to find a special christmas present. sometimes it takes them all day

  101. Nicole Avatar

    My step-mother and I started a new tradition a couple of years ago. We get together on christmas eve and make a ginormous batch of cinnamon buns with maple cream cheese frosting. Some of them get delivered to family and friends, but we always keep off a couple of trays unbaked for Christmas morning when we all wake up before diving into the presents. She has also continued some of her traditions from when her kids were small and brought me into them, like still giving us pajamas on christmas eve (normally wrapped like a giant cracker) and last year we all piled on the couch and she read Twas the Night Before Christmas – though theirs has different images than my childhood copy and that was weird for me. 🙂 And to open presents we take turns doning a santa hat and selecting a random gift from under the tree and passing it to its recipient (not necessarily a gift we bought) and then they take the hat and select the next gift to be opened.

  102. thetruebookaddict Avatar

    My favorite holiday memory…the yearly Christmas “pageants” my sister and I used to put on for my parents.

  103. tradermare Avatar

    It was probably my last Christmas at home. Putting the Millennial Falcon from Star Wars together with my youngest brother…

  104. jovialvampyre Avatar

    I have several favorite memories but one that always stands out is the first time I went to Midnight Mass. I think I was around 10 and we had a very small old church that was packed to the gills. We all had candles and we singing carols. I can still remember how good it felt that night. Thank you.

  105. raonaidluckwell Avatar

    The memories I cherish the most was when my belated grandparents were still alive. My brothers and I would wake up, unwrap our gifts, and then walk down to their house to wake them up show off our gifts and pester them to open their gifts. I miss those days…

  106. wanda Avatar

    My most memorable Christmas was when I was 5 at my grandmothers house we had an amazing tree it seemed so huge we made popcorn garland and homemade ornaments ,there was roaring fire in the fire place and my grandmother had her holiday records out we listened to all the classics jingle bells, silent night ,rudolph , frosty and one that became synonymous with her house snoopy and the red baron.It was just such a wonderful holiday spent with my family

  107. Jeanette ( Jeannie) Platt Avatar
    Jeanette ( Jeannie) Platt

    Mine would be when I lived overseas in Italy (my dad (step) was stationed there)… And My Real Dad came from Germany(he was stationed there) to visit for Christmas… I hadn’t seen him in a few years… It is one of my favorite memories of Christmas… I am blessed that my parents get along and my dad’s are friends so it was never weird to me that we did things as a family… However Military life often tends to have loved ones far away from each other so the Christmas when I was 7 stuck in my head as we had just moved to Italy and I hadn’t seen my real day in about 2 years even though I got letters and phone calls. Seeing him was the best present ever.

  108. Robin Riopelle (@Robin_Riopelle) Avatar

    My boyfriend’s dog snuck away in the middle of Christmas dinner and ate the gingerbread house. Then slunk under the bed, moaning, before he threw up extravagantly…all candies and white icing. It was awesome.

  109. donnas1 Avatar

    All the years we all get together are great I know it cant last forever. Although for funny the year the puppy swiped an entire turkey sandwich out of someones hand and swallowed in one bite was one of the funniest.

  110. Shannon Pease Avatar

    My favorite holiday memories are the holidays that I get to share with my husband. Over the last 11 years he has spent the most of them deployed overseas so when we get to spend them together they are the ones to cherish more.

  111. susan harris Avatar
    susan harris

    one of my fav things to do around xmas is that myself and my dad always sit down and watch an old Irish film called Into the West. It’s not a real xmasy film but it is one of those rare moments where the two of us just watch a film together without having to say a word and spend time together without interruptions. It is one of my fondest memories where xmas is concerned.

  112. BARBARA S Avatar

    love spending the time with the grandkids

  113. Stephanie Shaw Avatar
    Stephanie Shaw

    Like you, I also give my kids a new pair of pajamas every year on Christmas Eve. It makes for cute pics on Christmas Day. We also set out milk and cookies for Santa on our special ‘Santa’ plate. Last year they got a special ornament. I’m going to keep up with that one now too.

  114. Janice Freeman Avatar

    This would make any winner have a happy holiday 🙂

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  115. Carrie Flanery Avatar
    Carrie Flanery

    I forgot to put one of our traditions. My entire family gets together on Christmas Eve. The teenagers of the family put together a song or a montage and they sing and play their Cello, Oebo, and clarinet. Its really become something special for them.

  116. Donna Avatar

    Waiting to see who’s secrets got outed at dinner. As soon as someone new showed up, you knew someone would have to play the sacrificial lamb for the sake of everyone else entertainment.

  117. shadowluvs2read Avatar

    My favorite memory is spending my first Christmas with my parents and siblings. About 6 years ago, we had a big falling out with our extended family, over presents no less, they didnt like what we got them. It wasnt good enough. It hurt my parents feelings, especially since money was really hard to come by. We scraped together what we could. My dads side of the family is very materialistic. They ruined the holiday for us. But then we decided to just celebrate the holiday our way. And now its a tradition! Instead of presents, my family cooks a meal together, we go buy movies and games, and we stay up till the wee hours, singing christmas songs, watching christmas themed movies and playing games. There was even one year we spend hours playing monopoly! lol Its was a blast! I love the way we celebrate now. Theres lots of family bonding and tons of fun! I love it!!

  118. Samantha Newbury Avatar
    Samantha Newbury

    I don’t have a favorite moment that sticks out, but every Christmas I’m always with my family opening pressies, eating a lot, playing games, watching Christmas movies. Then I go over to my fiancé’s house and spend the night with his family. It’s always fun 🙂

  119. Melissa (Books and Things) Avatar

    Right now my fave memory is when my uncle bought me a airplane ride-on and it was my fave. I was 3 and he just passed recently so I’m really holding on to that memory right now. :'(

  120. Cindi Avatar

    Making Christmas Cookies, going to see Christmas lights, spending the holiday with my HUGE family:)

  121. Rose Milligan Avatar
    Rose Milligan

    On Christmas Eve we sit together as a family and watch Smoky Mountain Christmas starring Dolly Parton. I love Christmas time. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  122. Lisa B. Avatar
    Lisa B.

    I always love that our whole family go to my parents place for Christmas every year.

    1. Leslie Rodriguez Avatar

      I forgot my holiday memory. It was to tell my husband that we were pregnant for the first time

  123. SHELLEY S Avatar


  124. bn100 Avatar

    decorating the tree together

  125. sarah farrow Avatar
    sarah farrow

    We sprinkle reindeer dust outside our front door on Christmas eve,, it’s a mixture of oats and glitter so that the reindeer can see where exactly to land, after that we hang Santa’s magic key on the front door handle as we don’t have a fireplace 🙂 my little girls love it

  126. tawnyabentley Avatar

    Every Christmas morning I bake cinnamon rolls for my 2 kiddos. I’ve loved watching them grow along with the number of cinnamon rolls I bake grow.

  127. Morgan Avatar

    On Christmas Eve, my family and I always bundle up in our favorite holiday blankets and watch Christmas movies all night long!

  128. Chelsea B. Avatar
    Chelsea B.

    Decorating the tree is always so lovely. As is our Christmas gathering, watching Christmas movies, driving around looking at lights, and, of course, the buying and wrapping of presents. There’s nothing more fun than the words, “Haha. I know what you’re getting for Christmas…!” 😉

  129. Sandy Avatar

    Thank you for the giveaway-Spending time with the family is the best….

  130. Rachel Avatar

    I don’t celebrate Christmas, because I am Jewish. However, I have shared in some of my friend’s wonderful Christmas memories, and have seen how their faces light up when they finally get to open their presents… And I find that really beautiful, because they have waited so long. People may think that Jews are against Christmas, but that isn’t true. Christmas is a very nice holiday when families can gather and share some quality time together.

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