Reader Giveaway: $100 Home Depot Gift Card Stocking Stuffer

To get in the holiday spirit, I’m giving away a $100 The Home Depot gift card to one lucky reader. The Home Depot gift cards are a great idea for the do-it-herself-ers and handymen on your gift list.ย  Or, you may decide to keep the gift card for yourself and invest inย household items that help reduce utility bills all year long such as programmable thermostats, CFL bulbs, or low-flow shower heads.


This year, The Home Depot has 17 holiday gift card styles to choose from including a scratch-n-sniff gingerbread man that can be decorated with stickers, and a card that looks and feels like it is covered with every handyman’s wrapping paper–duct tape (my personal favorite).

Rules for entry are similar to previous contests here at Frugal Dad.

How to Enter The Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite holiday memory (be sure to complete your email address in the comment entry form).

Comments feature will close at 11:59pm(ET) on Saturday November 22nd. I will announce the winner on Sunday, November 23 and contact you via email. Each commenter or email will be assigned an entry number, and winners will be selected using to select a random number from the total number of entries.

Good luck!

*The Home Depot gift card can only be used in the United States, but international readers are welcome to enter the contest if they would like to pass along the gift card to a friend or relative living in the United States.ย  No email addresses collected as part of this contest will be shared with any 3rd parties.


  1. My husband would have a heart attack if I won this gift card. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As far as a holiday memory, my favorite is probably having breakfast with the whole family at my grandparents house. I remember as a kid, we weren’t allowed to open gifts until all the adults finished breakfast. It felt like they took forever to eat!

  2. My favorite memory is going to midnight Mass, where my grandpa lit the fire that begins the Liturgy of the Light. He’s been gone almost 15 years and I still think of him during that part each year.

  3. I would say my favorite Christmas memory is of the first year my daughter really understood the whole Santa thing. She was so thrilled to see that Santa had come.

    We had a dirt lot for a backyard and had made sleigh tracks and reindeer footprints. Even put some half chewed carrots in the dirt. She was so impressed!

  4. Growing up we always had theme nights during the holidays. One night would be a book, another night would be soks or pj’s and the final night of Hanukkah was always toy night. I am lucky to continue those traditions with my own son now.

    Thanks for a great giveaway – I am thinking of getting a fireplace as you mentioned earlier this week!

  5. My favorite memory of Christmastime was making ornaments for the tree. One year we treaded popcorn to string around the tree. I think there were quite a few pin sticks for all of us that year!

  6. I always enjoyed being with my grandparents during the holidays, not only was it festive, their home was always a place of nurture and love.Thanks for reminding me of those wonderful memories.

  7. My memories of my childhood Christmases are wonderful. There were always lots of presents under the tree (though my mother now tells me it wasn’t as much as I remember and lots were practical gifts) but I remember laughing until we cried over some silly joke gift that got passed around family and friends (taking time off in a closet so it could sneak up on some unsuspecting recipient a few years later) but now my most joyful memory was just from last year when my three year old twins woke up with such anticipation for what Santa brought. The look on their faces was priceless…honestly, I hope never to forget it!

    Thanks for the giveaway–and, more importantly, the info on the gel fireplaces. I had no idea they gave off so much heat. I worry about power outages in my neighborhood and with no wood burning stove, a fear of storing gasoline if I bought a generator and two little ones at home, it sounds like a gel fireplace might just do the trick for us! Thanks!!!

  8. i dont get to spend christmas very often with my family across the globe, but i’ll always remember the mixed aroma of the homemade christmas dinner and dessert spread from a few years ago. and we didnt have a traditional christmas pine tree but a christmas cactus!

  9. My favorite holiday memory is when all my family got together for Thanksgiving dinner. We always held it at my grandparents so everyone always knew where and when. We’d always have family show up that we had not seen in years. Now that my grandparents have passed away, we no longer have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

  10. I live in northern MN, and one year I was with my dad a little farther south and there was no snow at all. I had never spent a Christmas without snow….I mean who has ever heard of not have a White Christmas. I was about 10, and almost in tears and wanting to go home. My dad really didn’t know what to do.

    Well about 10:30 on Christmas Eve, it started to snow, huge fluffly flakes came down for about 2 hours. We had a White Christmas after all. The snow lasted for about 4-5 hours the next morning, long enough to go our and make snow angels, build a very small snowman, and have a short snowball fight.

    For a girl from the north who was missing her mom, brother, step-dad, and all her friends, I think God was giving her a gift that Christmas so I could enjoy that time with my dad.

    PS Thank you for your website. I appreciate it.

  11. My favorite Christmas memory was a trip we took to be on the beach at Christmas. It was wonderful to watch the kids splash in the water and feel the warm sand under our toes. I wish I were there right now!

  12. My favorite holiday memories are when my dads side of the family would all gather at my grandparents to unwrap presents. We never did it at our own house. We carted everything to the grandparents on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas day we would all gather there and open together. We were packed in but it was so much fun seeing what everyone received. The happiness knew no bounds.

  13. Instead of putting gifts under the tree, my parents hid them around the house. On Christmas day, my siblings and I would run around the house frantically searching for our gifts. The treasure hunt was as fun as the gifts themselves.

  14. My favorite memory was when I was about 5 and my sister, 12 years my senior, was babysitting me a few weeks before Christmas. We went into the “formal” living room, where the tree and gifts were, and she started gently and carefully untaping gifts to peek inside. To this day, I don’t remember what my gift was, but hers was a new hi-fi stereo (we’re talking 35 years ago). The pure joy and excitement on her face was amazing and has stuck with me. I also don’t remember what her reaction was on Christmas morning, but I know it could not have compared with what I saw that night a few weeks before.

  15. For as long as i can remember my favorite holiday has been Christmas. It was the one time during the year that everyone takes that extra time to be with family. When we bought our house (about 6 yrs ago) we began the tradition with my brother to go “Christmas Tree Hunting” the first Saturday of December. So each year since we have made the trek out to some of the outlying farms to go and cut down that “perfect” tree. The families really have a good time and we always follow it up by warming ourselves back up with some Hot apple Cider. (Mmmmm)

  16. Christmas was fun when the kids actually saw reindeer and sled tracks in the snow next to the house! Good thing we had cookies for Santa!

  17. My favorite Christmas memory is the year my husband and I had our twin boys. We had no money for gifts that year due to the big expense of two babies, so we sat by the tree holding babies with red bows on their heads and listened to Christmas music. Best presents ever!

  18. My favorite holiday memory is sitting at the top of our stairs every Christmas morning (they were bendy stairs) where we couldn’t see the tree. My brother and I would huddle together in a blanket and my parents would go down ahead of us and holler up if Santa had come or not and they’d get the camcorder ready to get us running to the tree. I will always remember that giddy anticipation each year and even though we acted like it was torture, I know my brother and I both looked forward to that every Christmas morning.

    Great giveaway, FD. I think I may be able to find a project around here to use that GC for ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. One of my favorite holiday memories is from when I was visiting my father’s in-law’s house (they were my “step-grandparents”) in North Carolina many years ago. I couldn’t have been more than 10 years old. They lived on a golf course. It was so warm on Dec 23rd through 26th that year that my dad took me out to play golf with him each day. It was so memorable b/c it was so warm for late December and I was not at all used to that and b/c I had never played even 18 holes of golf at once, much less 4 days in a row! Looking back now, I realize the patience my Dad must have had to play a round of golf for 4 straight days with his 9 or 10 year old son who was pretty awful (and remains so to this day).

  20. I can’t pick just one, but my favorite Christmas mornings were those when I was in middle and high school, and it was just my mom and me for Christmas. We had so much fun trying to surprise each other with gifts!

  21. My favorite Holiday memory was fairly recent. It was about 20 years ago…I was a new Mom and as broke as the day is long. My wallet was empty. Seriously empty. And my then-husband drank his paycheck. I felt VERY alone and not at all filled with the Christmas Spirit. Not one little bit.

    But I went walking with my son in the stroller, he was only 5 months old.

    I went to beg for a Christmas Tree. Not literal begging, but I threw myself on the mercy of the Christmas Tree Lot guy. It was the day before Christmas and the trees that were left were truly ugly. They looked like me, beaten, forlorn and forgotten. I humbled myself, explained my situation (no money, no Christmas Spirit, and Baby’s 1st Christmas…) and the teenage guy allowed me to take any tree I wanted for free.

    I shoved what little money I had (I still had pride, people…) in to his hands and thanked him.

    That Christmas made me eternally grateful for every Christmas that followed. It’s NOT about the gifts. It’s about the spirit of kindness and togetherness. I had NOTHING that year. But I gained a lot.

    I carry that with me, two decades later, as I still enjoy celebrating a very frugal Christmas. Even though I still *want*, I am no longer in *need*. I am very blessed.

    (By the way, if by some chance I get selected, your gift card will be donated to the Women’s Shelter where I donate gifts: Good Shepherd Alliance in Asburn, VA…)

    Blessings to you, FrugalDad. You rock.

  22. I love to remember the joy of my sons waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. Even though they would have been up late the night before and they knew cows needed to be milked before any presents opened; they would fly down the stairs and jump into our bed. Of course, my husband and I were awake due to all of the noise that they would make. It was wonderful to snuggle together and feel their excitement.

  23. Every Christmas Eve we go to church where my parents sing in the choir. After the service the pastor says “Merry Christmas!” and we all depart.

    Once we get home we have home made sugar cookies, rum balls, and whatever other holiday treats we make. All this is in front of a warm fire with the cats getting as close as they can to the warmth.

    Christmas Eve is very peaceful and relaxing for us. Christmas day is a madhouse of 3 stops on a 200 mile road trip.

  24. My favorite memory is getting an elongated Christmas and spending time with family. Both sides of my family live in the same town, and one side is a lot bigger. We celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the bigger side, then we spend the weekend after Christmas with the other side. It’s a really great tradition because we’re not rushing around to see everyone. We can actually relax and enjoy each others company.

  25. My favorite holiday memory is going to be this years – when for the first time NOTHING is going on a credit card! yeah!

    I don’t have a lot of great holiday memories as a kid – that is where I learned to want want want… and my parents just shopped shopped shopped. Christmas time is when I learned how to go into debt.

    Everything is different this year – and it already feels great! I’m teaching my children what gift giving is really about!

  26. One of my favorite holiday memories is opening presents at my Grandparents’ house. I can still remember the excitement of hearing Grandpa’s deep, big voice, call MY name for a present. And I loved spending the rest of the day sledding with my cousins.

    Now I’m working to build memories with my own sons – ages 3, and 16-month twins. I hope that I can give them the same kind of memories.

    Thanks for a great giveaway (and for making me remember!)

  27. Good morning, Jason! Count me in! And, I’ve been trying to get my hubby to check out your blog ever since we completed DR’s Financial Peace class and started teaching it – so he could see the frugal thing from a dad’s POV! I cc’d you the email!

  28. My favorite holiday memory is an ongoing one. We all get together, great grandparents, grandparents, parents, and children…. with some close to have kids which will throw it into a great-great grandparent situation.

    We get together every Thanksgiving at a small lodge type building and all stay there for the few days around Thanksgiving. We have been doing this for 13 years, and even though we have moved away, we still make the 10 hour drive to be there with the rest of the family.

  29. Our tradition was to bake gingerbread cookies. We would decorate them and I’d take a whole boxful to school to celebrate my birthday (over the winter break). The teacher always got the largest one. It was fun trying to outdo ourselves every year with detailed clothing, hair, etc. using frosting tips and various kinds of sprinkles.

  30. My favorite Christmas memory is of making cookies and other treats with my mom and my sisters – we always put plates of goodies together for all the neighbors and delivered them a few days before Christmas – it’s a tradition I’ve kept up!

  31. When decorating the tree we always have to listen to our favorite christmas CD. John Denver and the Muppets. My wife has always been a huge muppets fan, so when I said that we have to play this CD when decorating the tree, she just said “Of course we do!”

  32. My favorite Christmas memories were from Christmas Eve, since that’s when my family would open gifts. We would go to church for the Christmas Eve service, come home and make snacks like sausage balls, and then we’d sit down together as a family of 4 and open gifts one by one.

  33. My favorite Christmas was 1982, the Christmas after E.T. came out in the theaters. My mom took a pattern from a kid’s halloween costume of E.T., sewed it up the back and stuffed it to create a life-size E.T. for us. It was about 3-4 feet tall, certainly taller than my brother who was 4. She set him up in the rocking chair and piled presents around his feet (E.T., not my brother) and waited for Christmas morning. Christmas morning, we ran out to the living room and started ripping through the presents but neither of us noticed poor E.T. sitting in the chair. About a half hour into Christmas morning, my brother glanced up and saw him sitting there in the rocking chair, screamed and ran from the room. He cried hysterically. He wouldn’t go back into the room for the rest of Christmas, my parents had to bring him presents in the kitchen, he was so terrified of E.T.

    (He got over it and that life-sized E.T. was one of the best toys we had growing up.)

  34. What a great giveaway!

    My favorite holiday memory is the christmas we spent at my aunt’s in Florida. My Aunt’s Boyfriend dressed up like Santa for my little sister to see putting out the presents. It was so great!

  35. My favorite Christmas memory wasn’t so great at the time, but looking back, I just have to laugh. It was about 8 years ago, when my daughter was almost 3. It was the first time she actually “got” Christmas, and she was sooooo wound up on Christmas Eve that she wouldn’t go to sleep. She ended up getting so tired that she cried until about 3 in the morning. We slept on the couch together that night and woke up early Christmas morning to open presents. The joys of parenthood!

  36. Every year, my Granny starts decorating in September so every nook and cranny of her house is completely full of Christmas cheer. Then, on the night of the Christmas parade, she begins opening her house to anyone who wants to come in. One year she had over 5,000 over the course of the month. She always closes to the public on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for family time. We go to a candlelight service at church then have a big family dinner.

  37. My sister’s birthday is December 6, so we’d all go to pick out the tree the next day. Then we’d take it home and (after my dad managed to get it through the door and stand it up straight) decorate it together. (Then the cats would investigate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. My favorite holiday memories involve Christmas with my family. I have seven siblings and when we came down on Christmas morning a whole room would be filled with presents from Santa. We would sneak in and try to figure out what was in the packages before my parents caught us!

  39. It would be tough to pick one.

    I think the greatest was my son’s 3rd Christmas. He finally realized it wasn’t just about getting and more about giving and we had a lot of fun just giving giving giving. It got a little out of hand.

    2nd favorite holiday memory was the year I found our presents from Santa in the basement storage room. hehehehe Funnily enough it never dawned on me that they were not from Santa. I was just like WHOAA!!!! STUFF!

  40. actually, christmas is always awful at home. So my favorite memory was last year, when i went on a tour of asia with my boyfriend and his family. By far the best holiday i ever had.

  41. As a boy, after dinner on Christmas eve we would gather in the living room and sing some holiday carols and then my dad would read the manger story to remind us what Christmas was really all about. We would sip hot apple cider while listening to him tell the tale, ahhh. Afterwards, when were were bundled up in bed, mom would read Twas The Night Before Christmas. We’d go to sleep with thoughts of sugar plums and presents dancing in our heads. The following morning, we’d pile out of bed at the crack of dawn to see what presents were left under the tree. We were not allowed to open any yet, but did take down our stockings and rushed into our parents room to open them and see what little goodies we got to tide us over until the festivities later.

  42. As a child – I remember one year my Dad was very busy and was unable to hang up the outdoor Christmas lights like he normally would. I was so upset so my Dad, as a last resort, hung up these light up wreath decorations on our tree. Looking back I’m sure it was hideous with them blinking at different rates and colors. But boy did I think it was great! Thanks Dad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. My favorite Christmas memory would have to be from 1990. It was Christmas Eve around 8pm, and we were in the midst of a Nor’easter when I went into labor with my first child (2 weeks earlier than expected). My father in law packed us up into his four wheel drive and we set off for the hospital. I remember looking out the window at the snow swirling down and feeling how excited I was, as well as the nervous anticipation. My son was born at 11pm that night, and I remember laying awake for hours unable to sleep because I was so excited and happy. The hospital was kind enough to allow me to go home the next afternoon so we could celebrate the rest of Christmas Day with our new extended family! Merry Christmas : )

  44. Last year was the first year my 3yr old actually understood Christmas. Watching him open his toys and get excited in the way only a 3yr old can was priceless.

  45. My favorite holiday memory is every year when we go to get our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving evening. We know all the workers and they look forward to us coming.

  46. My favorite holiday memory comes from a few years ago, when my youngest child was 3 years old. After he had opened his gifts, we prompted him to send a “thank you” so Santa. He promptly walked to the fireplace, stuck his head close to the opening, and yelled “Thank you Santa!”

  47. I love watching “A Christmas Story” with my family every year as we build the Lego trainset for under the tree. Each of our two kids gets to build their own custom train car each year.

  48. Looks like it’s going to be another record commenting day FrugalDad. I like the look of that gift card. Duct tape is sooo handy — even for “wrapping” gift cards!

  49. The holidays, they always kick off with Thanksgiving.
    I remember it quite well, my step dad Charlie was getting his smoker warmed up for smoking the family turkey. The wood smell was great after an hour it started to smell a little funny. No worries just something burning off on the smoker. At the two hour mark the smell was unbearable it smelt like something was burning. Charlie comes inside the house with cursing with Turkey in his hands. For some reason there was something attached to the bottom of the Turkey that didnโ€™t belong there? Charlie had cooked the turkey on a plastic plate that came with the turkey. With Charlie now very upset he ripped off the plastic turkey mold and threw it in the trash, then marched back to his precious smoker to fix the turkey. Like any young adult I had to make this even more memorable, so I picked up the warped smelly plastic. It was scrubbed it with some dish soap for a few minutes to get the stench out. I then proceeded to hang it on the Chrismahanukwanzakah tree as an ornament. Still to this day I remember it very well, and of course Charlie does too. There is something that did happen during this favorite holiday memory is that I donโ€™t care too much for turkey, donโ€™t get me wrong Iโ€™ll still eat it but Iโ€™m more of a smoked sus scrofa scrofa eating ninja. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  50. My favorite holiday memory was the first time we got a real Christmas tree. Growing up, my mother always decorated this beautiful–but fake–blue spruce in silver and white. It was a gorgeous tree but it just wasn’t the same.

    So when I was around 13, Mom agreed to let me have a real tree, as long as I took care of it. It was so beautiful and it smelled so good. I decorated my tree in red and gold. I watered, fed it and vacuumed the needles every day. I’ve bought a real tree every year since.

    Even as fun as decorating with Mom was, I think this year is going to be the best Christmas ever. I just bought my first home this year and I can’t wait to see how it looks decorated for the holidays. To top it off, I’ve got both my mom and my boyfriend’s family on board for frugal but meaningful gift giving. That’s quite a feat!

    I think this year we’re going to be filling up on a lot of great new memories and new traditions without all the new stuff we really don’t need.

  51. I love the time together with my family, I have no kids but I love seeing the laughter and joy that takes place when we all together.

  52. My favorite holiday memory is the first time my son saw our Christmas tree. My husband and I had just finished one heck of a process to set up the 9 foot tree without it toppling, and uttered too many grumbles during the lights and decorations. But when my son woke up from his nap, all of that faded away as his mouth opened wide and he slooooooowly looked up and up and up at all of the lights. You could just see the amazement in his eyes – now I just try to remember that moment through any holiday stresses!

  53. My faovrite holiday memory is a great one. Every year when I was a kid, we would go to my grandparents house. The whole family would be there. After dinner (Polish Sausage and Pierogi – typical polsih Christmas dinner) we would go for a walk around the neighborhood, while looking in the sky for “Rudolph”. Someone would always stay back at the house and put out the presents for us. One year my Uncle even dressed as Santa and ran across the street as we walked. WOW! Secured my belief for anouther year.

  54. My favorite holiday memory is from when I was a little girl. My Grandpa would sneak into the room after my sister and I were asleep. He would dip his finger in the ash from the fireplace and put a fingerprint on our cheek.

    When we would wake up on Christmas morning, my sister and I would run to the mirror to check our cheeks for Santa’s fingerprint. Imagine our excitement when we realized that HE had really been there.

  55. My favorite holiday memory is from when my kids were little. We used to go to a nearby town on Christmas Eve and drive around to look at Christmas lights. One year, there was a man dressed as Santa out in the yard handing out candy to the kids in the cars as they passed.

  56. My Favorite holiday memory is waking up my son last year (he was 2)so he could get up and open his presents before we started the round of houses we had to visit. The joy on his face was worth every penny spent, and everything we had done without so he could have a great Christmas!

  57. My favorite holiday memory is last Christmas with my son. He was three last year and finally aware of holidays and being with family. Seeing the happy smile on his face and the glimmer in his eyes was amazing!

  58. Dad was great at switching boxes or misleading you, so you thought it was something different. One year mom got a ring, buried in a box of powdered laundry detergent. Another, my small keyboard was inside a very large box, my new “ironing board.”
    My favorite (now) was a box of knobs I opened at my grandmother’s. I was very curious as to why I was getting new gold doorknobs. They were actually for the bedposts to my new daybed already built at home (he’d forgotten to include the picture of the actual gift underneath).

  59. We’ve started a new tradition of drawing names within our nuclear family and filling a stocking with little things. We have a big breakfast and open them together on Christmas Eve. This is such a fun and relaxed time in the otherwise hustle and bustle and stress of the season – a time to share a lot of laughs and remember the true Reason for the Season!

  60. My favorite Christmas’s are waking up in our own house in the morning with my boys 4 and 6 years old. Opening a few gifts and having a big breakfast. Then heading to a relatives home for festivities with the rest of the family.

    We used to drive all over the place trying to accomodate everything and everyone. No more of that and I am thankful.

  61. My favorite Christmas memory is going to my grandma’s church for a candle light service. I remember thinking it was so cool that kids got to hold a candle, too.

  62. My dad reads “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” aloud every year while we eat my mom’s shrimp creole. We’re all grown up now, but my 2 year old niece has started us all appreciating this even more now.

  63. Every December I would go to my grandmother’s house and help her decorate her tree. We would order pizza and I would string the lights. Then she would tell the stories of her ornaments as I hung them on the tree.

  64. Every year we would head down to the Columbia River and watch the Christmas Boat Parade. I’ve moved away from Portland Oregon for 12 years now, but it’s the one Christmas activity that I miss dearly. The family would be bundled up with coats, mittens, scarves, and hats; drink hot chocolate from a Thermos and watch boats float down the river that the owners had decorated with Christmas lights! Ohhs and Ahhs galore!!

  65. My favorite memory is of Christmases spent at my grandparents’ house in New Orleans. There was never enough space upstairs for us kids so my grandmother would slide a mattress down the stairs and set it up in the living room with the Christmas tree. The best part: We got to ride the mattress down the stairs!

  66. It seems that my favorite memories change every year as we make more. Toward the top of the list are the days spent at the Christmas tree farm, choosing the perfect tree and baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and

  67. What a great giveaway! My favorite holiday memories are mostly centered around food: a thermos of hot chocolate in the car while driving around looking at xmas lights, eggnog, making cookies with my family.

  68. My favorite holiday memory was learning to build a big gingerbread house from scratch with my Mom. Now I make them on my own and love seeing the kids smash it to pieces eating everything they can tear off. Not before I take pictures of course ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. my favorite holiday memory from when i was a kid was going on posadas. posadas are re-enactments of the journey that mary and joseph took on the night that baby jesus was born. we would have a large group of people walking with us and we all held candles and sang together as we went from one home to another asking for shelter. we would visit about 2-3 different homes before we were finally accepted by the last home, where we would then celebrate and share some champurrado (hot chocolate drink made with ground corn for thickness and flavor) and some other mexican breads. it was a really nice and siritual tradition that made us forget about any differences we had and helped us all be a bit more hospitable. now, as an adult, i’m not very religious anymore, but i do remember fondly of the way my family celebrated the holidays. it reminds me of a more simpler way of celebrating the holidays.

  70. My family has never really been big on holidays. Most of the time it would be like any other day. So its always a treat when I’m able to join friends and such for holiday get-togethers.

    For the past couple of Thanksgivings, my friends would get together at one of our houses to celebrate with a dinner. I always end up making most of the meal (e.g. ham, turkey, side dishes, etc), but I didn’t mind the time put into cooking. It was always fun just hanging out with everyone. Good memories.

  71. I remember my childhood as celebrating both Hanukah and Christmas, and realizing both of them to their full extent. Once we had our family gift exchange, we’d head to my grandparents’ house and see everyone! It still goes on today, and it’s great.

  72. My favorite memory has become a tradition. We have a Nativity set where Mary & Joseph (and the Wise Men) “travel” around the house on their way to the stable. I move the figures and our kids hunt around to find them. It’s been limited to the 1st two floors of our house in the past; I might have to include the attic this year!

  73. It’s hard to pick just one favorite holiday memory. My birthday is Christmas Eve, so many memorable things happen this time of the year! I got engaged in December, married in November & then had both of our children in November! These 2 months are super busy for us.

    But I think the best holiday memory I have is when our oldest was small we drove to a park that was decorated with lights (drive thru kind of thing). It was just great to see his little eyes looking all over trying to not miss anything!

  74. My Favorite Christmas Memory is the year we got our puppy. She was a love for many years and slept under the tree every holiday season.

    Thanks for the give-away!

  75. My favorite Christmas memories from childhood include music, board games and hot chocolate. Gifts are nice in the moment perhaps but are rarely what is remembered.

  76. When I was growing up my entire family would get together each week at Grandma’s house to celebrate Advent. We sang carols, told stories and ate cookies and pies.

  77. My favorite Christmas memory is making homemade pizza every Christmas Eve. And now I carry on this tradition with my kids, making the dough from scratch before Christmas Eve service, then coming home church and working as a team to assemble it and then eat together. Yum!

  78. My favorite holiday memory is when I was five and my Mom told me that Santa had left my presents on the porch. I opened the door and on the porch was a shiny blue pedal car stuffed with presents. I was so excited I screamed and jumped up and down.

  79. My favorite memories of the holidays revolve around spending time with my sister and my mom cooking huge holiday dinners.

  80. Favorite holiday rituals…

    Thanksgiving we always spent with my dad’s parents – they figured if they claimed that holiday, everyone could count on getting together (cousins and all) once a year and still get together with the other side of our families for Christmas. I remember looking forward to that every November.

    For Christmas, my parents and I would sleep in (I’ve never been an early riser), and my two older brothers would get up at the crack of dawn. They would get our stockings down from the fireplace and quietly bring them into my room. We’d all sit on my bed (after they gently woke me up – they only time they EVER did that nicely! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and open our stockings together. That is such a great memory for me – we’d always get an orange in the toe, a toothbrush, a couple small chocolates, new socks, and usually a small toy. That was the only day of the year I enjoyed waking up early in the morning…

  81. My favorite holiday memory is waking up at 4am and being so excited that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I would sneak past my parents room and wake my brother up, and we would sneak to the top of the stairs and try to see the presents under the tree down in the living room. We were too scared to actually go down the stairs, didn’t want to get caught!

  82. My favorite holiday memory was one year when my Great Grandma gave everyone in the family a piece of jewelry or watch and we spent all evening admiring everyone elses pieces while sitting around the tree, sipping hot cocoa & singing Christmas carols. A simple memory, but it was the last year we all were in the same room at the same time.

  83. The first year my husband and I lived together we were poor grad students across the country from anything either of us had ever known. We had made it through our first hurricane season with not but a few thunder storms. We could not afford to fly home for the holidays, so we spent them at our tiny apartment. It was both of our first Christmas’ on our own, so we did not have any decorations. I found an old sketch pad and some colored pencils and drew a tree. We taped it to the wall next to the table, and piled the presents our relative sent us in front of it. It was a quiet Christmas. We kept the “tree” and put it up every year until we moved and bought a houseplant to decorate. I have been trying to achieve that peaceful joyous holiday feeling each year afterwards.

  84. Hmmm. I think my favorite, something that always makes me laugh is the Christmas Eve when my nephews were getting a little older. The older one was probably stopping the “believing” part of Christmas at that point. My mom went outside just as the kids went to bed, she had some sleigh-bell type things with her and she shook them, trying to imitate Santa.

    When she came back in, the older kid said, “Nana, why were you shaking those bells out there?”

    We still make fun of my mom about that. Hee.

  85. my favorite christmas memory is laying on the floor near/under the live Christmas tree and making faces in the metallic bulb ornaments. Those bulbs make your face all distorted (like a fun house mirror) and I love the smell of a live tree. I also liked watering the tree. I would fill a long neck pepsi bottle (remember this was waaayyy back) and crawl under the tree to add the water to the metal tree holder.

  86. My favorite holiday memory is simply being able to spend that special time with my family, something I miss.

  87. Christmas lights have always been part of my holidays. Growing up my grandfather would take us out on Christmas Eve to look at all the trees and house lit up.

    As I got older I started my Clark Griswold type adventures trying to outdo everyone on our street and myself the next year.

    All the competitiveness vanished on Saturday when my 5 year old was sitting next to me screwing in red bulbs into light strings. I am sure that as he and his bother get older they will get the same burning desire to outdo everyone, but for one day it was just my boys and I sharing our first honey-do activity together.

  88. We moved away when we married so would pack up and go to my MIL’s house each Christmas. We always hated having to haul all our stuff there and back but didn’t want to be the bad guys. My fourth son was born Dec 22nd so I went home from the hospital on the 24th. My MIL insisted we come- that they would all help and I wouldn’t have to cook. We, for once, stood our ground and stayed home. My husband went and bought a Stouffers Lasagna so we didn’t even have a big traditional meal. For the first time ever the kids got to play with their toys and make a mess and I didn’t care how messy it was and didn’t have a thing to do (like cook) so we had the best day ever. I was on pain meds to if you can get some of those they help to relax you- I AM JOKING, PEOPLE, but I really was on some happy meds. I learned that all the things I do to try to create memories and traditions are fun only if we really enjoy them but not to do them because you have to. My husband then declared we would stay home for Christmas from then on.

  89. Although I have been pregnant three times, two of those pregnancies were during Christmas. It always seemed so extra special to be pregnant as we got ready for Christmas. It made me feel like I was more in touch with the true reason for Christmas.

  90. On one particular Christmas, my mother had gotten my dad an 8 foot ladder. She wrapped it in newspaper print and placed it beside the tree. He couldn’t figure out what it could possibly be. We all had a great laugh because it was so obvious to the rest of us!

  91. My favorite holiday memory is from when I was in college. I would make tons of different cookies and give them out to just about everyone that I knew. It was just so much to give them out to people.

  92. My best holiday memory was on Halloween of last year, when my husband and I found out we were pregnant with my daughter, now 4 months!

  93. My family sometimes had money, sometimes didn’t growing up, but we used to make ultra-frugal, ultra-creative decorations with things like popcorn, oranges, and cloves. I totally want to do this with my kids, though!

  94. My favorite holiday memory was the year I did a sub for Santa for a family at church. Watching from my hiding place behind some bushes as the family opened the door to a bunch of wrapped gifts was a fabulous experience!

  95. my favorite holiday memory was from last year when we adopted a family for the holidays. each of us in our family was in charge of picking up a couple different items for the family but we all ended up going overboard. we definitely felt blessed giving so much to a family in need. we’re planning on doing it again this year as our community was devasted by the summer floods.

  96. My favorite holiday is not, unlike most people, Christmas. It is actually Thanksgiving. My family is a very small, but very spread out. Thanksgiving is the only time we all get together. Two years ago I spent most of my Thanksgiving Day with my 2 little cousins. I love those girls. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The leaves were perfect (think famous pictures of a Vermont fall), the air crisp, and the wind null. We played in the leaves, walked the trails in the woods, and just generally had a blast. It was a simple but perfect Thanksgiving Day.

  97. My favorite memory isn’t from when I was young. My dad really didn’t celebrate the holiday’s. I mean no gifts, or tree’s or anything… so my favorite memory is from now that I’m a mom!!

    My memory:

    My family and I decided that we didn’t want to spend the holiday’s by ourselves last year… so we drove down to California to surprise my in-laws!

    Since we have a key it was easy to walk right in…. and stand in front of Grandpa as he slept on the couch…. LOL and he opened his eyes and started laughing and hugging everyone. But, it was even more fun surprising Grandma!! She was at work when we got there, so we hid the car and when we heard the garage open we all hid (3 kids and hubby and I) and we jumped out and yelled surprise!!!

    Probably, won’t be doing it again, because I don’t think her heart can take it any more! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But it was fun, and a great memory!

  98. My favorite Christmas memory is of waking up early on christmas morn – eating swedish tea ring (pastry) with my family, and opening presents in our pajamas! So much fun, even if the gifts we’re expensive -just the experience of opening gifts and the anticipation made it all worth it!

  99. Spending the Christmas holiday in France with my father and brother and introducing them to my new baby.

  100. When I was about 8 years old, my dad tricked us on Christmas morning by rigging up a pair of black boots from our chimney. When we woke up and ran to the living room, we stopped dead in our tracks. We thought that Santa was hung in the chimney! We spun around and went back to bed! That trick bought my dad a couple of hours of sleep that Christmas morning!

    Good times…good times…


  101. My mom used to turn off all the lights in the house except the christmas tree and my whole family would cuddle on the couch together and watch the blinking lights. It’s still my fav thing to do at christmastime.

  102. I remember the Christmas when I was seven years old and my father wouldn’t spend any time with me in the evenings before Christmas. I got so mad because he always spent time with me! Every night he’d go to his shop and work on stuff. Then, on Christmas morning Santa Claus brought me a hand made work bench made from real wood, varnish and painted red. It was huge! It came complete with real tools, even a new saw that would really cut wood! I was so happy! Many years went by and I happen to ask my mom what happened to my old workbench. She told me how many long nights Santa worked in his shop to give me my dream tool bench. I almost cried. My dad passed away a few years ago and I still think of him when I go to Home Depot to buy tools.

  103. How great! I’m doing a similar giveaway on my blog, but for CVS :o)

    My favorite holiday memory is watching “A Christmas Story” on TV every year! I just have to watch it the whole 24 hours…or at least have it on. I absolutely love that movie and so does my hubby! I also love making up all kinds of cookies and giving them out at the beginning of December. I’ve only been doing that for a few years but it really gets me going for Christmas.

  104. For me, I had a lot of extended family and we wouldn’t all join together, so I would always have Christmas Eve dinner with my aunt and her entire extended family, then around 11:00PM, we would travel to my godmother’s house where we would sit around until midnight, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying everyone’s company. Then at midnight we would do gift exchange. This is what I remember growing up, it was the one night of the year where it was acceptable to stay up late. Then Christmas morning / day I would just spend it with my parents and sister. It always felt like three mini events.

  105. I have lots of Christmas memories, but one the one that sticks out right now is sort of a silly memory. Although my sister and I are a few years apart, we share the same best friend. Every year we would exchange gifts with our best friend. One time my sister ripped the wrapping paper off a gift and the box said it was an electric pencil sharpener. Right away my sister started crying. She didn’t want a pencil sharpener. So, being the dutiful big sister that I am, I spent some time telling my sister about all the great reasons for having a pencil sharpener. With a new found excitement for pencil sharpeners, my sister opened the box only to find that there was no pencil sharpner in the box!! Our best friend had used the box only to contain my sister’s real present, which was an assortment of cosmetics. Now my sister started crying again! This time she was mad because it WASN’T a pencil sharpener. The lesson in this is, don’t judge a present by it’s box!

  106. When I was ten, a neighbor down the street was teaching me how to sew. Having mastered some of the basics, I wanted to tackle an intermediate project, and I decided I would make my dad a robe for Christmas. I labored for weeks – carefully picking out the nicest fabric, perfecting each stitch, and even adding a hood. I finished a couple of weeks before Christmas, wrapped it up, and put it under the tree. I could not wait for Christmas morning! When my dad finally opened it, he almost cried. He knew how much time I must have spent on it, and he marveled at how well it fit. Almost 20 years later, he still wears that robe, though it is looking a little tattered. I will always remember that Christmas as the first Christmas I was more excited about a gift that I was giving someone than I was about any gift I might be getting.

  107. My favorite memories of Christmas are having a big fancy dinner on Christmas Eve complete with candlelight and goblets of sparkling cider. Then my dad would tell the story of the birth of Christ using the nativity set carved from olive wood that my mom got in Israel as a teenager. We sang lots of hymns and Christmas carols and then we each got to open one gift(it was always new pajamas).

  108. One of my favorite holiday memories is the first Christmas that my partner and I spent together. We had a mellow Christmas opening gifts and playing with our kitten. Afterward, the kitten fell asleep in the wrapping paper under the tree.

  109. My favorite memory is the year my mother decided she was tired of wrapping Christmas gifts. She thought we’d play Bingo instead, and the Bingo winner would pick out the gift they wanted. I didn’t Bingo once, so I didn’t get a gift!

  110. I love our traditional holiday lights scavenger hunt. We divide into two teams and drive around trying to be the first to find all itmes on the list. Afterwards, the losing team has to serve ice cream to the winners.

  111. I have so many favorite holiday memories and can’t choose between 2 most prominent ones so I’ll share both!

    1 – The Christmas when I was 10 and woke up at 4:30 in the morning to find a puppy in one of the stockings. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and heard my stepfather coming out of his home office. When I got back to bed, I heard whining and at first thought it was the neighbor’s dog. Our living room window adjoined the neighbor’s backyard so I went to look, and when I turned around to go back to my room, I saw a puppy in one stocking and a kitten in the other (we had already had the kitten for a few days, but she mysteriously disappeared for a few days to keep the puppy company at a secret location).

    2 – My sister’s and my first Christmas in our own house with our puppies. We bought a house in Nov. 2005 (but had to travel to attend a cousin’s wedding that Christmas), so Christmas 2006 was our first in our new home. We got a tree (which we don’t always do) and set a budget of $100 to buy presents for each other. I ordered the Ticket to Ride Game (for both of us because she couldn’t decide what else to get for me after $60), which we opened Christmas Eve and played till 4am Christmas morning. We also ordered a bunch of dog toys and gave one to each of our dogs (who turned one on Epiphany, Jan. 5th) for each of the 12 days of Christmas. It was one of the most fun Christmases we ever had.


    My favorite holiday memory just happened last night. My boys have been anxious to start decorating for Christmas but we wouldn’t let them start until after Thanksgiving. One of the boys dug around and found a couple of our smaller fake trees and brought them up to their rooms. We still wouldn’t let them get the ornaments out yet so they started making their own ornaments. By the end of the evening they had made a hodge podge of amazing ornaments that were very boy like – an empty can of pepsi, a pocket knife, a water bottle. It was the funnest and coolest tree I’ve ever seen and I told them they made my Christmas and the season hasn’t even begun yet!

  113. When I was a kid, my grandmother heard about a family in our town that had suffered a loss, including substantial loss of income, and she thought about the disappointment the family’s children would face on Christmas morning, in addition to everything else they were dealing with. So, she purchased presents for each of the children and arranged for a friend who often dressed as Santa for other events to deliver the presents on Christmas Eve, in full Santa attire.

    The family never knew who sent Santa to their home, and my grandmother never talked about what she did. In fact, I heard about it from my mother, who helped choose the gifts.

    As I got older, my grandmother and I formed a friendship that I will always cherish. Now that she’s gone, these memories warm my heart all the more.

  114. My favorite Christmas memory was when I was small and we would wake up and run to the living room. I would search under the tree until I found my ‘gold’. Santa ALWAYS gave me a can of black olives…and still does!

  115. I remember enjoying Christmas as a child, but we almost always spent it away from home. My dad has “issues” with staying home at Christmas, so we planned trips to keep him in a good mood for the holidays. Interestingly enough, the Christmases that give me the fondest memories were the rare few we spent at home. This is why I insist we spend Christmas at home now, for my kids, so they can have continuity, and hopefully very happy memories to treasure for the rest of their lives. We’re lucky to have both sets of their grandparents near us, so we have a yearly tradition of spending Christmas Eve at the home of my in-laws, Christmas morning at our house (complete with pancake breakfast), and Christmas Day dinner at my parents’ house.

  116. It will be hard to pick just one, so I’ll just say one of my favorite memories is of the year my then-3-year-old niece decided to try to play the baby grand piano in the middle of the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church! She knew exactly what she was doing as she took one step, turned and looked at her mom and dad, took another step, turned and looked and so on. They let her to until she got to the keyboard and only had to chase her a little to catch her! So much for keeping a reverent attitude there for a while! Thanks for a tremendous give-away.

  117. My favorite holiday memories are probably decorating the Christmas tree (a big production with six kids in the house!) and our advent calendar. I loved that thing!

  118. One of my favorite memories in recent history was a few years ago it snowed here in the Houston Texas area on Christmas Eve. I have lived in areas with snow but my daughter and husband are Texas natives and the joy of watching them experience this for the first time was truly priceles!

  119. The best gift!
    When my niece was three-years-old she wanted to help me wrap Christmas gifts. But when we were done she wanted to wrap some more. She got her ball. We wrapped it, and tagged it to Angelica, from Angelica. Being the only grandchild in our family she was really spoiled. But with all her great gifts on Christmas morning, she was most excited when she unwrapped her own ball.

  120. A favorite Christmas memory was when my 2 brothers and I were about 3,4 and 5 years old, we all hid behind the big recliner in the living room waiting on Santa Claus. One Christmas, we were poor and didnt have much, no really we didn’t. One the State’s football players came to our house along with his wife and took my brothers and I shopping for Christmas, suddenly we had more toys than we knew what to do with.. They were so kind, and gave my family a Christmas that we wont ever forget. Pick me, I will share with my Brothers..Teehee.. This would be an awesome gift. Thanks.

  121. My favorite Christmas memory was the big Sears catalog, My mother told my 2 brothers and I that we could pick out 2 little things and one big thing and write to Santa and tell him. She would mail it for us. That did not mean we would get what we chose but we could ask.
    for about a month before Christmas,The only time we willingly sat next to each other we searched that book over and over and wrote a letter almost every day.

  122. I’d love to win this giveaway for my husband…usually we’re busy getting gifts for our three children and don’t get much for each other, so I’d like to surprise him with this gift. I remember some good Christmases when I was a child, lots of family and food and fun and practical presents. But really my favorite memories involve my children and Christmas recently…the kids get so excited waiting for presents, and my husband gets just as excited…he always lets them open a toy or present on Christmas Eve or even before. Those are my favorite memories.

  123. Thanks for such a great post FD, and it’s been terrific reading everyone’s comments! My best Christmas memories include very simple tasks, like riding around slowly JUST to look at Christmas lights, decorating cookies, watching old (and new) Christmas shows, making ornaments and decorations by hand, singing holiday songs for a whole month, etc. My older son loves to keep track of Santa on the Norad website on Christmas eve.

    The best part of celebrating Christmas as an adult has been to stop driving to other people’s houses on THE day, and stay home to have a more relaxing, low-stress Christmas. I remember just a few actual presents from childhood, but I have many memories of the magic and anticipation of the season.

  124. My favorite Christmas memory was reading “The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever” to our children every year. We would look forward to spending this time every night, or sometimes for one reading in one day! We have invited our friends and relatives in on this reading also and have thouroughly enjoyed it!

  125. My favorite X-mas memory is of my sisters and I setting our alarms for like 3:00 A.M. so we could
    peek at the presents under the tree. Christmas
    was such a magical time then.

  126. Every Christmas Eve, my Mom, sister and I would go out to eat and to the movies. It was a special time to spend together.Then, we would come home and my Mom would let us open one gift. It was a very special time.

  127. My favorite christmas was a combination of having small children and a new job as an English as a Second Language teacher. For my children, I always created Rudolph’s foot prints (made with baby powder “snow”) on the carpet along with Sant’s fingerprints (ash from the fireplace) on gifts under the tree. They were always amazed!
    My ESL experience was capped that christmas by my three elementary students from Poland. The two brothers and a sister presented me with a red beaded necklace. Knowing the family was destitute, I asked them where they came by such a thing and they proudly exclaimed, “We STOLE it for you!” They actually bought it but their English was still shakey!!!

  128. Since we didn’t have family in Texas, we always stayed at home… starting with midnight mass, go to bed LATE and still be up at 7:00am!, open presents and JUST PLAYED WITH THEM ALL DAY LONG until our Christmas dinner was ready for us !!

    Now I am married with a daughter, we always have to go EVERYWHERE… my family, his family, and some close friends. It is very hectic… I still love the CRAZINESS that ensues!!!

  129. My favorite memory of the holidays was when I was a kid, snuggled inside on a cold snowy day. We sipped hot chocolate and watched early morning cartoons before mom & dad woke up. I still remember the feeling of the slippers attached to the bottom of my pjs, I love those onezees.

  130. One of my favorite Christmas memories is my mom waking up before my sister and I. On Christmas Eve, she would tell us what time we could get up the next morning. My sister and I would wake up early, then eagerly wait until that time arrived before we would head downstairs. Some years, long before that magical hour arrived, my mom would be upstairs asking us why we weren’t downstairs yet! She got so excited – I think she was more excited than we were many years!

  131. for all of my 38 years of life I do not remember spending a christmas without my family… there are 5 kids my parents in my family. Some of the best memories are waking up early (5 am) with my brothers and sisters and all of us sitting at the top of the stairs outside my parents room waiting for them to wake up. We we tried to be quiet, as only excited kids can do, until my parents woke up. Which usually wasn’t too long afterwards!

    Thanks for keeping us informed with your blog! Happy Holidays!

  132. cutting our own Christmas at a tree farm in Vermont with the boys when they were 8 and 3 years old

  133. Wow, what a great giveaway – thank you!

    My favorite holiday memory is of the first Christmas my husband and I were dating. We were in college. All of my friends, roommates, and my boyfriend went home for Christmas, but I worked at a hospital and had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My family lived in another state. I was feeling very lonely and sorry for myself all alone in my apartment.

    In my family growing up, our Christmas Eve tradition was to have pizza for dinner. We even fasted from pizza from Thanksgiving on, just to make the Christmas Eve pizza even more special. So…on my lonely Christmas Eve, when I got home from work and faced the whole night alone, who was waiting for me at my apartment but the pizza delivery guy! My boyfriend had called from out-of-town and ordered a pizza for me so that I could participate in my family’s tradition even from a distance.

    Can you see why I married him?

  134. My parents were models of moderation, teaching their children that “wanting” is not the same as “having to have.” They let us pore over the Sears catalog (dating myself, am I?), where I went straight to the toy section, but they were firm in coming up with their own creative gifts for us, not the latest fad. I loved their wonderful gifts that were really hobbies that would bring enjoyment for a long time – stamp collecting, train sets, etc. My absolute favorite Hanukkah, though, was when Mom and Dad gave me a doll with a cute cowgirl outfit for her the first night – and then 7 more doll outfits for the next 7 nights of Hanukkah, finishing up with the treasured bride’s dress! I thought I was in heaven, and I remember how treasured I felt to this day.

  135. When my parents moved to Swarthmore, PA in 1958 we were fortunate enough to find a house on a street with lots of kids.

    My earliest memories are of my two best friends, Julie & Jeri, and the excitement we felt at Christmas. It was a time for family, and a time for FRIENDS! We’d sneak out after we were done opening presents and get together for a few minutes to compare loot and to wish each other a Merry Christmas.

    We now have an annual Christmas gathering together that includes our eight children (ages 11-25)our spouses (if any), and our parents.

    Many of the gifts are completely inappropriate and purchased as cheap gags. One year Julie got a “deal” on folding plastic snow shovels to keep in our car in case we got stuck. Jeri came up with some radio controlled flying saucers that the kids all opened and they were flying around the room. My favorite personal gift was the stuffed “boyfriend” pillow that Santa? brought me. There is a contest to use the “oldest” recycled wrapping paper/gift bag, and also to find the most inappropriate gift.

    The food is excellent, the drinks flow, it’s total chaos and it lasts for about five short hours. Our kids look forward to the 3J’s Christmas almost as much as they do the family Christmas.

    My BEST Christmas is every year I’ve been able to be with these women that I cherish! This will be our 50th year!

    I am truly blessed!

  136. I was 5. Mom and Dad let me sleep on the couch Christmas Eve so I could “catch” Santa in the act. Of course, I fell into a dead slumber and never heard a thing. But when I woke up and rolled over on the couch, a little table was right next to my head with my gift from Santa–my first big-girl watch (I had just learned to tell time). That sneaky Santa!

  137. My favorite Christmas is when I finally learned that it’s really not about gifts, but love of family. In the mid-80’s my husband and I both were “down-sized”. At that time finding jobs when you are pushing 50 was very hard. I got a job at a local University, but by then we were many months behind. We had 5 children of all ages and ourselves. I had 70.00 that I scrapped together for gifts. Because I was working extra typing student papers on top of my job it left no time for shopping, so my two oldest daughters went shopping for all of us. They purchased very toughtful gifts at $10.00 per person. We all sat around the tree and realized how fortunate we were that our family was still together, our faith was intact, we all had good health. It was truly a learning experience for us all and I think back to that time with warm thoughts.

    An with that sobby story, I want to thank you for your blog – I read it and pass it on to others every day. Thank you and Christmas blessing to you and your family.

  138. So many memories, yet one of my favorites is fairly recent. My parents had died & my aunt & I had friends over and I realized as we sat at the table – people from all ages, groups and places that family isn’t what we are born to, but what we make. We felt blessed to be together.

  139. When I was about 4 I asked my mom if it was Jesus’ birthday why we didn’t have a cake for him? She said good question, we should make him one. Thus began our Christmas Eve tradition. She made the cake and let my brother and I decorate it (however we wanted). Then we sang happy birthday to him and had cake before we opened our one present on. To this day (I am 30 now) we still have cake and sing. Mom thought we could stop about 3 years ago since there are no grandkids yet – she was wrong ๐Ÿ™‚ I still love it!!!

  140. I definitely loved getting the ornaments out of their boxes each year. Every ornament held some kind of meaning, marking either an event or reminding me of the person who gave them to me. The best were the ones with MY name on them — how exciting!!

  141. My favorite memory was of us girls (3) perched at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning waiting for my Dad to turn on the 8mm movie camera and those bright lights; just to catch our smiling faces as we came down the stairs and saw the Christmas tree. We still watch those old home movies!

    Alyzabeth’s Mommy for Eight Weeks!
    Forever Family Day 09/16/08

  142. We 4 siblings were like stairsteps – all 2 yrs apart. Every Christmas Eve we did a photo of us all sitting on the floor, looking like a choo-choo, with the youngest in the front. Every year!

    Then, when I had my 3 kids, they had to do the same pose on Christmas eve…. And NOW, my GRANDKIDS are having to do that! What fun that what was a fun memory photo time has become a family tradition ๐Ÿ™‚

    In addition, one year when we were all together, which doesn’t happen very often, my siblings and I, all in our upper 40’s and 50’s, did that that pose again – in secret – and used it and a photo of us as kids in that pose – on a special mother’s day card for Mom that year ๐Ÿ™‚

  143. In our house, Christmas didnt officially begin until after we watched Miracle on 34th Street as a family in black and white. That meant no tree or any other decorating or anything Christmas related until we watched the movie together as a family (usually the day after T-day). I also remember all of the family gathered at my Grandma Betty’s house on Christmas Eve with all of my Cousins. Christmas morning was reserved for the immediate family.

  144. Looking back my most memorable Christmas memory was when our twins were 15 months old and managed to work together to push their fenced in area 10 feet over to the tree. I came in to find them happily sitting facing each other and munching on an ornament together. Scary at the time, but a tell tale sign of how our angels would work together and gang up on my husband and I for years to come.

  145. I love that it is always just my parents, my brother, and I on Christmas. It feels very special to just have one day where it’s just the four of us. We all help cook and play games. We see the extended family the day before or day after Christmas. I love that one day just for us.

  146. Every Christmas my mom would take my brother and me downtown on the rapid. When we arrived we would head to the May Co. for a frosty and then we would be off to see Santa and Mr. Jingeling (he was the keeper of the keys for Santa)on the 7th floor of Halle’s Dept store. We would visit The Twigbee Shop at Higbee’s Dept. store. It was just for children, to do their Christmas Shopping. Lunch was at Woolworths (yummy egg salad). I remember walking with my and brother and smelling the nuts roasting, watching the people hurrying, the Salvation Army bell ringers. It was all so magical, especially the giant tree at the Sterling Linder Davis store. When my dad got off work he would join us for dinner at the Silver Grille. They would bring the kids dinners out in little cardboard stoves that we could take home. Anyone who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio in the fifties or sixties will probably feel as sentimental as I do about all these places. They are gone now but they remain a wonderful holiday memory for me.

  147. One of my favorite childhood memories is driving to New York City every Christmas eve to my grandparents’ apartment and counting the lit up christmas trees on the way. My brother and 9 cousins would play on the elevators after dinner and before presents time.

    My grandparents’ tree was small and purposely had loud abnoxious blinking lights and bells that we all loved as kids and the silliness made my grandmother laugh hard! I can still hear her laugh in my mind today.

  148. My favorite holiday memory was a Christmas when I was a little girl and received a cradle that my dad made, a quilt my mom made, and a Babyland General doll to go inside them. My sister and I each loved those three precious gifts. We appreciated them back then, but I still cherish them now. Reminds me I need to put some love and personal time into the gifts I give my girls… not just plunking money down on random stuff!

  149. My favorite holiday memory was when we took a sled ride out to my grandpa’s farm and sat around a bonfire roasting marshmellows and hotdogs with all my cousins on a snowy Christmas Eve!

  150. When I was 10 I faked being sick, stayed home from school and decorated the entire house myself for Christmas. My parents had planned to visit family in another state for the holiday and so they decided not to decorate at all. It was a beautiful December day in San Diego, CA and, after a hard day’s work, I remember sitting on the sidewalk in the sunshine eating a popsicle from the ice cream truck feeling very satisfied!

  151. My favorite memory was when I found “Santa” (my mom and dad) putting toys together for my brothers and me. I thought that was the neatest secret (present) to “open” for Christmas!!!

  152. My favorite Christmas memory is always setting up the christmas tree in the basement. My sister and I used to spend all afternoon decorating the tree. It always put us in such good holiday spirits, plus it always meant that Santa was getting ready to come bring presents!

    Nowadays I could care less about presents, I just like seeing my family. It’s funny how living in another country than your family makes you appreciate them.

  153. I like spending time with my family during the holidays and have many wonderful memories of my childhood and previous vacations…

  154. My Favorite Memory of Christmas is getting what we call a Christmas Angel of the tree at the mall and shopping for a underprivigled child. We would always try to find someone my age so we would get things she would love. And we’d throw in extra for the mom. I loved it!

  155. My favorite memory of Christmas is a pretty simple one. I used to love to turn off all the lights in the house except the Christmas lights on the tree and the mantle. Between the smells of my baking cookies and the warm glow, I thought the house was a magical place. I used to really just take it all in. I still remember it and makes me feel like home

  156. my favorite holiday memory was the year my grandpa dressed as santa and arrived at our house on a snowmobile with all our toys in a big red bag! i was about 6 years old and my sisters were just over a year old (twins). should’ve seen the looks on our faces to see santa knocking on the door!

  157. my favorite holiday memory was eating homemade donuts and sitting around the fire asking ‘what if’ questions!

  158. Happy Holidays! My favorite Christmas memories are the ones in which my sisters and I would be gathered in the living room still working on creations we were making for our younger siblings (and later nieces and nephews). I have 10 brothers and sisters, so we always made our gifts. One year I recall, I made 17 sock monkeys complete with outfits to boot. We met one of my brother’s GF and son that Christmas. Shane was 2 at the time, and I was happy to gift him with a monkey, by surprise, as well. Soon he was feeling right at home with the rest of the clan, running around and acting like monkeys! It was fun creating that memory of sharing.

  159. My favorite, however odd, holiday memory is reoccurring!It is called “find the pickle”. My parents would hide wooden pickle (handed down through 3 generations) in the Christmas tree every year. Whoever found it, would receive an extra gift. The gift was always a game of some sort that the family could play together. But the best part was trying to beat my brother to the pickle. We used to try to find it the night before, lock each other in thier room so we could race downstairs first…. We pulled all the stops. The pickle became more important then any of the gifts we hoped of receiving. The reward was a spending quality hours of laughter with Mom and Dad. I can hardly wait until my 15 month old is able to Find the pickle on her Christmas mornings!

  160. My favorite Christmas memory is bringing home my first baby on Christmas Eve. They wrapped him up in a stocking made of baby blankets. Every year we hang that stocking as a special decoration in our home.

    That will be 18 years ago this Christmas. They truly do grow up so fast.

  161. Growing up, we always opened one gift on Christmas Eve. After marrying and having childen of my own, we carried on with the tradition. Today, with 6 small grandchildren, we’re still going strong with the same tradition! Nothing’s better than keeping old traditions alive.

  162. i most vividly remember my father urging me to put a favorite toy into the collection plate on Christmas and the pain i felt as i put my toy giraffe into the plate. there are lots of presents i remember over the years but i most cherish this special one with my dad. give your best….

  163. My favorite memory is just being together with family and all of my cousins, aunts & uncles, grandma etc… all the great food and of course…the presents, however, it is funny, we really dont remember the presents much do we? Just being surrounded by family is what I remember the most!

  164. presents! I know on a frugal website maybe material things aren’t the best but growing up we were Jehovas Witnesses so I rarely got presents but my extended family (grandparents, aunts, ect.) would always get me presents anyways

  165. I remember my parents in the 50’s trying to put a real tree in a stand and the bickering and arguing that went on. I think the fighting ended when my Mom told my Dad “what he could do with the tree”. This was a yearly tradition until they got a fake tree.


  166. my favorite holiday memory is the first Christmas my then boyfriend, now husband, and I enjoyed together. we did not get to be together on Christmas day, as we had only just started dating, but I had mailed him a gift, and he called me when he opened it on Christmas morning, and his family told me that he was speechless, and anyone who could do that to him was a keeper ๐Ÿ™‚

  167. My favorite memories are getting up at dark thiry to go Christmas shopping with my mother and sister on Black Friday. The fun is gone now that mom is no longer with us to go out shopping.

  168. when i was about 4 or 5 yrs old we were at my grandparents for xmas and i was very worried that santa wouldn’t know where i was. well they had someone come to the house dressed as santa for me and my cousins and i looked at my parents and grandparents and said he remembered me. they all love that story, i don’t have any actual memories of it, but it is my fav because they always smile so big when they tell it.

  169. My favorite christmas memory is the first christmas spent with my new husband. it was the begining of our new life together and the most memorable so far!

  170. when I was little my parents would read us the night before christmas pop up book on the night before christmas

  171. I remember the year my parents let us “wait up” and try to catch Santa. The catch was, we had to wait in the basement even though our tree was upstairs in the living room.

  172. My favorite holiday memory is remembering my parents being happy and festive on xmas eve, different from any other time of the year and my dad, who never was a church goer, always watched xmas eve mass on the tv. After I got married, I always went to my dads on xmas eve morning to be with him while we went shopping for last minute holiday food and then prepared the salads and kelbasi, etc. I wish I could go back to that time and be with my dad again.

  173. My sisters friend Bethany, learned that she was not going to be getting presents that year because her parents had both lost their jobs and thus didn’t have the money.

    However on Christmas eve while they were away at a family members home, someone (to this day no one knows who) got into there home and filled under the tree with gifts!

  174. My best memory of Christmas is a recent one. My boyfriend(now fiance) and I took a road trip and we were in NY on Christmas Eve. We went to Rockerfeller Center and were awed by the huge Christmas tree. We joined a bunch of carolers and went caroling into wee hours.

  175. My father died young (age 57) in 1982. Then my Mom had a massive heart attack with numerous complications when she was just 58. We nearly lost her. That summer we called our “lost summer” because we were at the hospital nearly every day, as she was only home from the hospital 11 days out of 16 weeks. She was in & out of the hospital for a year & a half. But that Christmas, when we finally felt like she was going to pull through, was miraculous. Its been 5 years now and my mom has a weak heart…….. and every year on Christmas my brothers & I look at each other & say “she made it another year”. So each & every year becomes our most special because we have Mom with us another year.

  176. We have made it a family tradition to play a game that involves rolling dice and silly gifts (mostly from the dollar store). We always laugh histerically!!!

  177. My favorite Christmas memory is going to the tree farm to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. Every year, me and my two sisters would pick out our favorites and try to convince the rest of the family why it was the one we needed. Still, in the end, we always went with my dad’s pick! After we cut it down, we would drag it back to have it measured. We seemed to pick a taller tree every year. Then, we would enjoy hot chocolate before heading home to decorate.

  178. When my parents were married, my mother purchased a set of plates for their first thanksgiving together. Fancy plates with a very nice holiday design on them and big turkey in the middle. They were used only for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and only by my parents. After using the plates for over 36 years, one of the plates broke while mom was washing dishes. Without a second thought, she picked up the second plate and dropped it on the floor, shattering it as well.

    The next day, I searched and searched for the plates online, but the pattern was rare had been discontinued years before. After several weeks of searching, I finally found a company that specializes in discontinued china patterns that was able to locate a set.

    I ordered the plates and they arrived on Christmas eve. I didn’t even open the box. I just wrapped it up. The next morning we went to my parents house and I gave them their gift. It meant so much to me to be able to replace something so dear to them. They continue to use the plates every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  179. The year I picked out the christmas bush. I was little – 5 or 6 and I picked a christmas tree that was wider then it was tall. And there was no budging – my stubborn kiddie mind was made up! My parents said the bonus was they could reach the top of the tree just standing there. However, they could not reach around it. It was WIDE. And I have never lived that one down – anytime we pick out a tree, someone brings up the christmas bush. Might just be time for another! ๐Ÿ™‚

  180. My fav memory would be going to my grandmas and seeing all my family. I never would get to see them that often and it was nice to all gather and eat and sing. Now more then half of them live in FL or don’t come around at all. So I really look back on the old times growing up and miss them.

  181. My favorite holiday memory is putting up the christmas tree by myself at age 11. Bringing it in the house, going in the attic & getting the decorations – everything. My parents must not have had the holiday spirit that year. They bought the tree & just left it outside. But i was determined that a Christmas w/ no tree was not going to happen!

  182. My favourite holiday memory is one that repeats itself every year! I moved to the USA about 12 years ago and I still live in the same, small, New England neighbourhood. Every Christmas Eve, everyone in the neighbourhood sets out paper bags with candles inside to line the edge of their property. The street lights are few and far between, so these luminaries are really beautiful, especially if there’s any snow on the ground! I love to take my dogs for a walk around the neighbourhood late on Christmas Eve when it’s very quiet and all you hear is the snow crunching under your boots!

  183. One of my favorite christmas memories was Two years ago. My family and I took a trip together for the first time in our lifes. It was a great experience we all enjoyed spending time with each other and even though we didn’t get to open presents we gave our presents up to our family members in mexico who couldn’t afford buying any for their children. It was such an amazing christmas because it thought me appreciate everything and anything i have. That christmas wasn’t about getting presents it was about spending quality time with our family and each other. Family Time is the best quality time there is.

  184. Here from the Simple Dollar.

    One of my favorite memories is when my brother lost his remote control airplane on Christmas Day due to high winds and we had to canvas the neighborhood trying to find it. The reason I love this memory? He was an adult! When we finally found it in a tree in some poor man’s backyard, he took his two kids up to the door and asked for their plane back. He was pretty embarrased when we all made it clear that it was actually his plane!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  185. My favorite Christmas memory . . . is always just sharing time with my parents. As I grow older, I realize more and more how amazing they are. I enjoy giving them gifts more than receiving them! My fave memory of all . . . hanging the ornaments on the tree, most of them handmade by myself and my brother. When i was younger, I used to think, ‘good grief, can’t we get some cool store bought ornaments???” And now? I wouldn’t trade any of them !!!!!!

  186. My holiday memory, that still lingers, is watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV for the umpteenth time…and continuing to get just a bit misty-eyed, when Charlie rescues the little neglected tree at the sale lot…

  187. In my home Christmas is a season. My favorite memories are spent with my son attending all of the wonderful musical productions, driving around and looking at the lights on homes, and the special time made to spend with friends.

    Also, each year we choose a struggling family to do the 12-days of Christmas for and it is a great time leaving presents and running away without getting caught.

    Thanks for the great website!

  188. For me, It is always coming home to the outdoor hockey rinks, and gathering friends and family members up and having a skate. There aren’t many things as pristine as a fresh sheet of ice to share with friends and family.

  189. My favorite Christmas memories consist of the traditions we had growing up that we did every year. We would go to church on Christmas Eve, and then pile into the van to drive around town looking at Christmas lights. Then we would go home and spend time together in the living room listening to Christmas music.

  190. I love getting together with family and having that time with them. I miss the tradition of eating lefse and lutefisk!

  191. My favorite memory is a hodge-podge of a bunch of stuff.

    The constant supply of Christmas cookies, the holiday music playing in the background. Wearing warm goofy sweaters, and watching Holiday Specials on TV.

  192. one time my dad gave me a gift of a package of blank cds. the next day he asked me to copy a cd for him.

    …okay, okay. it was pretty nice because about a month earlier he bought the family a cd burner, and this was when they were still very novel. it was still a good, but strange, gift.

  193. My favorite memory is a Thanksgiving back in the 70’s when it snowed so hard in the Northeast that I could not see my car in the driveway. Dinner was to be at my home at noon, Each person was responsible for a part of the dinner. How could we get together?? My Dad owned a snow plow and they had the problem, he plowed his way here with the turkey wrapped in foil and a blanket. He had to plow his way up our street. Once he did that, he plowed enough for my sisters to arrive with their delicacies. We ate at 3 pm but it was enjoyed by all!

  194. One of my favorite Holiday memories has to date back to when I was about five or six years old. We lived in a small town, Bisbee, Arizona at the time. Every year the Bisbee Elks would put on a huge Christmas Program on Christmas eve or as close to it as possible.

    My brother and sister and I spent an evening of fun and laughter with family and friends. And then at the end, right before we got ready to leave, we all heard noise outside.

    And as kids would have it we all insisted that it was santa & his sleigh. Not knowing what else to do, (were should have been at home fast asleep by this time) we could only stare in shock to see Santa walk in asking if we had been good or bad this year…

    He laughed at our shocked expression and told us he had wondered where all the children had gone when he had dropped off all their presents earlier that evening at their homes.

    But he understood that the Elks had a special celebration for us all and he forgave us for not being home tucked into bed. And since he had already dropped off our presents at home that at he would give us a Christmas Stocking to remember him by.

    Every child got to go to Santa and sit on his lap, and tell him what ever we wanted. When it was finally my time, I thanked him for all the presents that he had left for my family and if I could have just one more wish, it would be to be able to stay with them all night long instead of being sent to our rooms separately, but to be able to cuddle up all together like we did when we were much younger. And of course I wanted to see one of his reindeer if that wasn’t too much of a problem. He said that the reindeer were too busy tonight but maybe in a few days I might see one, as for the other he just smiled and said,”I’ll see what I can do.

    After receiving my stocking from his helper it was time for us to go home. We all piled into the family car and dad drove us home. As we reached the house, we noticed that all of the lights in the neighborhood were off. Which was surprising on Christmas Eve, as most of our neighbors had all their decorations up and tended to leave them on all night.

    We as we entered the house, we noticed how cold it was, and my dad went around trying to figure out what had happened.

    I found my 1st christmas gift hiding in my bed, a set of siamese twin kittens, all snuggled in and warm in all my blankets. At about this time, dad had figured out that the electricity had gone out all over town, which meant that we all had to snuggle down in the bathroom of all places. It being the only room with a gas heater.

    So we bundled up the blankets and the kittens and made a wonderful bed in the tub for my Brother, my sister, the two kittens and my self. Mom and dad made a cocoon of blankets around themselves next to us, and sang us to sleep that night.

    By the time we woke up in the morning the electricity was back on and the house was as toasty as could be. So I think Santa may have had a hand in that night for me.

    And several days later while we were visiting the Elk’s club, someone came over to my mom and told her that someone was here to see me in the back.

    When we went out through the kitchen to see who it was , imagine my surprise to see a reindeer with a not attached that read:
    ” Dear Mona, Things here at the north pole have finally slowed down enough to ask the reindeer who might be able to come down to visit you. There was such a clamor of the reindeer
    all wanting to come that we had to pick just one.

    This is Comet, he will be able to visit for two hours, and then he must come home alright? Be careful he really likes sugar cookies, but can only have two, so don’t let him fool you!
    Have a wonderful Holiday Mona, and I hope this fulfills all the wishes you had for this year.Be good and I’ll see you again next year. SANTA”

    At that age, I thought all miracles could come true, so now I am trying in little ways to grant some wishes here in Hilo, where I live now.

    This is my favorite memory of the Holidays, thank you for allowing me to share it.

  195. One of my warmest memories of the holidays was spending time with my grandparents there was lots of cooking and baking…my favorite was making “wedding cookies” and peanut brittle…and don’t forget the egg nog…these were great times and hopefully my children will have warm memories too….:)

  196. My favorite holiday memories are of Christmas Eve at my Nana and Papa’s house. My Mom’s whole side of the family gathered together every year and we would all exchange gifts. My parents would always give us new pajamas that we would wear to bed that night.

  197. My favorite Christmas season memory came the year after I graduated high school. I was an exchange student living in the South American country of Ecuador. It was my first Christmas away from my family, and away from the cookies my mom baked each year in the weeks before Christmas. As I talked to my parents during our once a month phone call, I asked my mom if she would be willing to try sending some cookies to me in Ecuador. She was, even though the odds weren’t high great that they would make it to me. But they did, and when I opened the box, I could smell home. It was great.

  198. My favorite Christmas memory was making cookies! My family makes French cookies, which are made on antique waffle irons, two at a time, and one batch makes a gross of cookies! It’s an all day affair, but it’s a tradition that everyone loves!

  199. For me it was always going to church on Christmas Eve – then driving around and looking at everyone’s decorations. I enjoy watching all the Holiday TV Specials and try to get out to a local holiday production in my area.

  200. Favorite Christmas memory was when I was 8 and my brother was 12 and we were allowed to open one gift on Christmas eve, usually whatever my Grandmother sent us. That year we got sleds the kind you blow up. So around 9 pm on Christmas eve me, my brother and our parents went sledding in our backyard. My parents NEVER did things like that. All I remember is both my parents racing each other on each of the sleds down the hill. It was the best Christmas ever. I don’t even remember any of the other gifts I got that year because they just didn’t matter.

  201. Christmas Eve is my favorite memory. We get together with two of my aunts and their husbands (they don’t have kids) and then our family. We have a fairly simple dinner of ham sandwiches and soup – sometimes we add other stuff sometimes we don’t. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s always so cozy and we end up laughing quite a bit. I love it.

  202. One year, my family was hosting an exchange student. At Christmas we were driving between church services (my stepdad was a pastor) listening to the radio. Elvis came on singing “Blue Christmas.” My sister and I sang along. Hector, our student, asked, “What is ‘blue Christmas’?” We explained that Elvis was lonely without his loved ones at Christmas, and Hector replied sadly, “Ah yes. I have blue Christmas too.” It made us appreciate being together … and treat Hector specially nice.

  203. My favorite memories are right now with my children. Each year we make Huner original ornaments, The process of designing, making of them and my family looks forward to get what we have designed for the year. These are the times of our life and I know in years down the road they still will be my favorite memories.

    Love your site!

  204. Hello! One of my favorite holiday memories is driving through this live nativity that tells the story of Jesus’s birth. My kids look forward to it every year!

    Thanks! -Becky

  205. One of my favorite memories of Christmas was when I got my favorite (or at least most used) Christmas gift ever. It was a jordan jammer basketball hoop. And that thing made it from 1988 to my freshman dorm room in 1997, with plenty of duct tape holding it together by that point. I’ve looked all over for years, but I still can’t find another one. Maybe one will turn up on ebay someday.

  206. My favorite holiday memory was when I was around 5. When I came downstairs, my mom pointed to something shiny by the door. I went over to find a jingle bell. My mom said that Santa must have dropped it when he came in with our presents. I was so amazed and excited that I had something to prove that Santa was in my house. I even took it to kindergarten to show everyone after Christmas.

  207. My dad was the “frugelest” Dad on the block. He would decorate with Dumpster Diving decorations and we were only allowed to light them up for 1 hour an evening from 9-10 pm to save electricity.

  208. I always loved the big Christmas dinner with all my relatives and my grandma’s homemade rolls. Yum!

  209. My most prominent christmas memory is centered somewhere around christmas when I was eleven years old. I had been sleeping on a broken down mattress I had since I was moved to a big girl bed. I was a big kid and that put even more stress on the mattress. My parents told me I would be getting a brand new $200 mattress for christmas but that was all they could afford. I was fine with that. Christmas came and went. When christmas break was over, the teacher asked us to write an essay about what we got for christmas and read it in front of the class. Some background, I went to a breakthrough environmental magnet school. The first of its kind in my school district. It attracted the best students in the city, many from priveledged backgrounds. My parents could put a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my stomach but there was no room for luxuries. I dreaded reading that paper. The other students talked of their lavish gifts including atari games, trips to disney and shopping sprees for clothes. When my turn came, I was laughed out of the room. The teached actually had to clear the room to get order. I think that teacher learned a lesson. Relating stores of consumer luxuries have no place in the classroom. The Jahovia Witness kids were allowed to write about what ever they wanted since they don’t practice christmas. I guess I could have said something to the teacher privately, but I didn’t feel comfortable making an exception for myself at the time. I think he learned a great deal from this exercise.

  210. This is actually a Thanksgiving memory:

    One year, I had pneumonia and my mom’s partner had to take her new baby to stay somewhere else until I recovered. Since this was over Thanksgiving, my mom cooked for just the two of us…a chicken instead of a turkey, but with all the same fixins.

  211. My favorite memory about Christmas was the year we bought 2 Christmas trees. I love the holidays. I go for BIG trees. I know our livingroom ceiling is only 9 feet high. As usual, I picked out a very tall tree. When hubby cut it off to fit into the tree stand-it was extremely SHORT! I said it was OK. He knows me very well. He told me to get my coat on-we were getting another tree. He bought me another tree. We gave the first tree to a friend who was not going to have a tree due to finances. She put the tree up herself & the next morning it was laying on the floor. She could not get the tree to stand straight. To this day, we all call that tree the “tree from hades”. We have laughs about that tree 10 years later.

  212. My favorite memory is being at my grandparents’ house with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. I saw them frequently growing up, but it was always much more festive to have everyone together for the holidays!

  213. It was the signal of the holiday season when my grandmother/grandfather left for a night out in December, because it meant they were going shopping for a Christmas Tree! My sister and I was always excited. The tree was my grandfathers pride and joy, the only decorating he would let us young ones do was to add the icicles at the end-he counted each ornament and purchased unusal and large ornaments.

  214. My favorite memories of Christmas involve wrapping the presents. My brothers and I wrap presents every year with some type of practical joke attached. So, we’ve received presents wrapped in ice, tarred and feathered, stuck in jello, hidden in cereal, buried underground, in a cement block, etc. As we’ve gotten older, the tradition continues, but now we have to budget more simply for the unusual wrapping! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it must sound crazy, but it makes Christmas memorable every year.

  215. My favorite holiday has always been Christmas. I love the anticipation, the thought required to pick a really good gift, the family traditions, and the foods we only eat on this day.

    Thanks for all the great posts this year! This is one of the few must reads on my feed.


  216. My favorite holiday memories are of my all of my brothers and my sister and I coming to my mother’s house for christmas and just being together. Family, Food and Presents…what could be better?

  217. My fav holiday memory was when my son came home from Germany with his family for Christmas! Thanks for your giveaway!

  218. I think my favorite Holiday Memory is baking with my Grandmother and especially the time we made cream candy until we got blisters. Our fingers hurt, but that candy sure was good.

  219. My favorite memory is making christmas cookies with my boys. I would bake christmas cookie cutouts and the boys would decorate them. By the time they were done decorating them, there would be frosting and colored sugar everywhere. Those cookies were the best because they were homemade with love.

  220. My favorite memory is chocolate fondue! Yep, chocolate Fondue. We had it every year, and took all the time with all the little things you got to dip in it. This would always be our Christmas Eve dinner(ok, dessert). Then the little traditions of what would happen if your item fell off the stick (such has kiss the person next to you). ๐Ÿ™‚

  221. My favorite memory is when my family went with another family to help them pick out a christmas tree from their family’s property. Llamas & geese watched us carefully as we wandered the property. Eventually, a decision was made, and we cut the tree down.

    When we got it back to their place, and began to set it up, we found that this ‘perfect’ tree was nothing more than a rather largish version of Charlie Browns unfortunate Christmas tree…

    How we laughed!

  222. My favorite memory is getting up in the morning on Christmas and having the entire living room full of presents as a child. And then going to church with my new doll.

  223. Great idea for a give away, it’s been fun reading all of the posts.

    My favorite Christmas memory is growing up in Norther Michigan (the U.P.) waking up on Christmas morning and finding a new snow sled that was used almost every day of the Christmas break.

  224. Although I have many childhood memories that are at the top of my faves…my favorite in recent history has to be any time I could be at home with my family (wife and daughter) on Christmas Day.
    You see, I was in the Navy for 20 years and being home takes on a whole new meaning when you can actually BE at home. It didn’t matter what was under the tree…it was my wife and daughters love and affection…in person, that meant the world to me.
    Now that I am retired, we spend all of our Christmas’s together. But we fully understand the sacrifice that we had to make to be together as we are now.

  225. Love this comment idea!

    My favorite holiday memory is the Christmas Eves my family had when I was a kid. We would first go to church where we’d sing carols around the piano and light the Christ candle on the Advent wreath, then we’d stop at the manager scene at a nearby park, then take a drive down Christmas Card Lane (that really what it’s called – every house paints a giant Christmas card and puts it in their front yard), and finally go home and open presents by the tree.

  226. My town used to have a community singalong. Everyone would gather in Rodney Square, hot chocolate was given out, and someone from the local news station would lead everyone in tradition carols. I loved hearing that many people singing, that level of comraderie.

    They cut the singalong due to budget reasons, but before that they cut all the Christian songs. Which was a shame, I thought; few songs are more fun to sing than Joy to the World.

  227. We would always travel to my grandparents in MN for Christmas. My dad and grandpa would stretch out in the recliners and basically both fall asleep and see who could out snore the other. We taped it that year and made a christmas song out of it. It was so funny.

  228. My favorite Christmas memories are actually more recent. As we all grew up, my mother started taking the Christmas-day shift at work to allow parents of young children to have the morning with their family. So, we started a new tradition about 8 years ago: The “kids” and dad go see a movie Christmas Day, then come home and cook dinner. Mom comes home at 7:30, we eat Christmas dinner, then we open presents and drink hot chocolate in the evening by the glow of the Christmas tree. It’s great to be able to continue the special memories into adulthood!

  229. When I was growing up our whole family would get together on Christmas eve at my grandmother’s house for dinner and gift exchange. We would always end up playing cards at the dining room table while snacking on leftovers. Then we would all go the church for the 11:00 candlelight service.

  230. My favorite memory is that on Christmas Eve, we kids got to pick 1 present from under the tree to open and wouldn’t you know it was always something like pj’s or slippers or a robe that we could wear to bed or the next morning. My mom was a great sewer so most times the girls would have matching nightgowns and the boys would have matching pj’s. Awww it was so special to go to bed with your brand new nightclothes knowing that your mom had taken the time and effort to make something sooo special!

  231. My mother raised three children by herself for many years, and found herself exhausted when we would wake her up at dawn on Christmas morning after she had stayed up until after we were asleep the night before. To give herself a chance to rest, she eventually declared that we were allowed to leave our bedroom to get our stockings, and we could then open and play with our stockings in our bedroom, so long as we did not wake her before 7am! This system worked well for years, until late one Christmas morning when Mom came into our room — we had been so distracted by our stockings that we hadn’t woken her up. She felt that she was missing out on a lot of the fun, so she decided after that year that we were allowed to get her up so she could open stockings with us.

  232. My favorite Christmas memory was sitting on the couch with my Dad and siblings on Christmas Eve when he’d read “The Night Before Christmas” to us. It is even more special because, after our son was born, he gave me the same book he’d been reading for the last 30 years so I could read it with my son.

  233. I’ve really enjoyed reading about everyone’s Christmas traditions. I sent this page to my parents so they can read them also. (And if I get the gift card it’s going to my dad!)

    My favorite Christmas memories are from my childhood, when all my grandparents were alive. Back then everyone in my extended family made a greater effort to get together at the holidays. My parents both come from large families, so it was always fun to see all the aunts, uncles and cousins. We would go from my mom’s parents’ house in the afternoon to my dad’s parents’ house in the evening. Now that none of my grandparents are around, everyone kind of does their own thing and we rarely all get together anymore. I miss that.

    I also remember being a kid and running across the street with my sister to our best friend’s house to see what Santa brought her and her brothers. Then she would come back to our house to play with us and our new toys. So fun!

  234. My favorite holiday memory came last Christmas. For nine years I believed I was unable to have children and being a mother was the one thing I wanted to accomplish in my life. Then a week before Christmas I found out I was pregnant! Sharing the great news with all of our friends and family over the Christmas holiday made it one I will never forget.

    Our daughter will be 4 1/2 months old this Christmas and I look forward to the lifelong memories we will make with her.

  235. My favorite Christmas was the last one I spent together with my entire family alive and well. We sat down by the tree, played Christmas carols and exchanged gifts. My mother, brother and I got my father this really nice watch and my father said to take it back and get something for myself and my brother. A few months later, he passed away. It was as though he knew what was going to happen. But it was my best Christmas ever, just the memories of how wonderful and special our last christmas together was.

  236. How fun and incredibly generous of you!

    Every Christmas Eve my grandparents were alive:Driving through “Candy Cane Lane” admiring the decorations; Dinner and presents at paternal Grandparents’, going around in a circle, each person opening a present at a time, enjoying seeing what everyone received; across the street to maternal grandparents’ Christmas party w/extended family and visit from Santa; Midnight Mass; opening more presents at home.

    Last year, when my stepdaughters came to my family’s Christmas celebration. I was so overwhelmed and grateful at my family’s generosity and love shown towards them.

    Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all!

  237. My favorite memory of Christmas was when I was 5 years old, back in the 1980s. My parents were still together then. Christmas was a sensory experience then. We had a tree for the first time. It was real. I remember the way it smelled; pungent, aromatic, mountain-y. And the warm multi-colored lights would make the tree release its scent even more. I remember I was afraid to touch the tree lights because I thought they would be too hot, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I could touch them. I remember leaving cookies out for Santa Claus and trying to stay up as late as possible, but eventually falling asleep. Waking up in the morning, my sister and I ran downstairs, and we were upset that the cookies were gone and we missed Santa…but look at all those presents! To this day, the scent of a real Christmas tree reminds me vividly of my childhood holidays growing up in England.

  238. We had a fun tradition when my boys were little. We would put them to bed, and then five minutes later go in their room and announce a “Jammie RIde”. We would all pile into a warm car with blankets and hot chocolate ( with lids) and go drive around and look at Christmas lights.
    It was great fun!
    Now with gas cheaper this would be a cheap family event!

  239. My favorite memory is going to my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve. After a great meal and gifts we would take the long way home so that we could sing Christmas songs and watch for “Santa’s sleigh”. We put our pajamas on before getting into the car so that when we arrived home we could go straight to bed. I now do this with my kids and they love it just as much.

  240. My favorite Christmas memory is from when I was in the Navy and stationed in Misawa, Japan. On Christmas Day of 1989, myself and several others were on watch (the military is a 24x7x365 thing, of course). Next thing you know, the CO, Command Master Chief, and several other officers and Chiefs show up and bring us all kinds of food, candy, snacks, you name it. It really meant something that instead of staying home with their families all day, they thought of us that were on watch that day and spent some of their Christmas Day with us. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.

  241. Grandmas house, with it’s board games, distant relatives and big classy dinner ๐Ÿ˜€ That was the best holiday memory out of my childhood ๐Ÿ˜€

  242. Just found your site today – I’m looking for some guidance as we attack our debt! Thanks for the site – I’ll be back.

  243. My favorite memory is when my whole extended family was together for Christmas. I think this only happened one year and it was amazing to have everyone together. (Even though we just about couldn’t all fit in Grandma’s living room!)

  244. I always loved decorating the Christmas tree. All of our decorations had meaning to our family and brought back good memories. Many of them were homemade. As we pulled the ornaments out of the box to hang them up we reminisced about fond memories. The whole family participated and it brought us closer together.

  245. My favorite holiday memories are of my preteen days when I was in Girl Scouts, and we had collected boxes of food to give to the needy.

    I will never forget the looks on the faces of the people receiving the boxes. To this day, that is better than any present I could ever receive.

  246. My son’s first Christmas, when we bought him a train table and all the tracks and trains and had it set up for when he came down the stairs in the morning. He was only 1 at the time, but his look, caught on tape, was priceless.

  247. One of my best memories is the Christmas when we received a telegram from Santa telling us that he would be coming to see us. We were so excited it’s a wonder that my sister and I got to sleep at all on Christmas Eve!

  248. My favorite memory is about helping my grandmother bake and decorate cookies and to take them to neighbors. Cookies would be spread out over the dining room table and we would mix icing in all colors and decorate for several hours. One of our neighbors would reciprocate by dressing up as Santa and placing candy canes in everyone’s mailbox. Good neighbors are hard to find!!

  249. One of my favorite holiday memories is game night on Christmas Eve. We would play bingo for a chance to open a present and just spending time at home with the family in front of the tree was great!

  250. My favorite holiday memory is traveling to my grandparents house when I was 6. It was such an adventure being on a road trip to see the grandparents that I so infrequently saw. We drove up and there were Christmas lights on the outside of the house. We were welcomed into a warm, cozy house with the Christmas tree lit and presents already wrapped under the tree (hey, I was 6…Christmas then was still DEFINITELY about the presents).

    I hope to provide my children with holiday memories that they can look back fondly at. Really, that’s much more special than any present I could buy.

  251. My favorite memory is waking up and seeing the joy on my kids faces as they come downstairs and see their presents. This year will be a bit different as we are renovating and don’t have a spot to put our tree. Thankfully, my parents are having Christmas for us at their house so we will be spending Christmas with them.

  252. My favorite memory is going to cut down the Christmas tree and setting it up. After that, sitting by the fireplace with a hot chocolate and just staring at the lights and the snow falling outside. I can still smell the wood burning in the fireplace and the total calm and happiness we all felt.

  253. My favorite holiday memory is eating my mom’s dressing! It was wonderful! She passed away almost two years ago… We were all shocked to find out that nobody has the recipe! We miss her and her dressing!

  254. I was either five or six, it was holiday season and my parents were away with my baby brother. He was six months old and was getting surgery on the other side of the country. I was with my grandparents and was content with that, but then my mom came home to be with me at the last minute, it was everything I ever wanted.

  255. My favorite holiday memories are all when my kids were little. There was nothing like seeing them come out to see what Santa brought. Those were the days!

  256. My favorite holiday memories were always going
    back to Mom and Dads! I always felt like a little
    kid again. The warmth and love was like no other!

  257. I remember one year, My parents were having a hard time financially. So I started saving all of my babysitting money. I was able to give my brothers, sisters and parents gifts. It was such a great surprise. Every one was happy and thankful to SANTA:).

  258. My favorite memory is growing up and my whole family getting together for Thanksgiving. My grandmother would make 26 different pies. Each family would get to pick out and take home a pie of their choice. The love of the holidays was passed on because of my loving grandmother…

  259. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories was the year that I decided to bring a gingerbread train kit to do with my young nephews. They always seemed so bored at Thanksgiving, so I wanted something to do with just them. The adored the process and that it became the table certerpiece…and,of course, the eating. I loved the smiles on their faces.

  260. I always loved going to my granny’s on Christmas Eve and spending time with my family, but my favorite came before midnight when we would cook and eat the biggest breakfast meal ever. Thank you for many opportunites!

  261. Hi,
    My favorite memory as a kid …My Grandma ( dad’s mom) Hand Knit all the grandkids ( 8 in my family alone) scarves and mittens. She asked us the color we wanted and we couldn’t wait to go to her house to get our favorite gifts. She kept up with the styles each year. I remember my Bright green long,long scarf and matching mittens.

  262. My favorite Xmas memory was when we lived in Texas and had to turn on the air conditioning so that we could use the fireplace to roast chestnuts!

  263. My favourite christmas was when I was in my mid-school. I used to visit my Grandma’s place and spent christmas with her in her village. Of course, we exchanged gifts. I’m still longing for such days in my life.

  264. One of the most memorable Christmas times that I had was when I thought I knew how to use tools. I was so excited about putting together my son’s tricycle that I told Dad no problem I have this while you work on something else. Yeah right we ended having to take 1/2 of it back apart because I ended up leaving something out. OOPS!! That’s why its best he gets the gift card to pick the tools out. By the way the son is 26 yrs. old now.

  265. One of my favorite christmas memories is the events that took place with my dad’s parents. On Christmas Eve we always went out somewhere special with my entire family -aunts and uncles included- for my dad’s birthday. On the way home we would drive by all the houses with the fancy lights all over the yard and house as we listened to Santa’s journey on the radio. Our next stop would be the Old farm house where we met up with my dads cousins to share stories and sit by the fireplace drinking hot cocoa and hearing how close Santa was. We would be home in bed before he got close to town. The next morning, my gpa always had old horse bells on the chair…he said that sAnta must have forgot them.

    I have those old antique horse bells now.

  266. Beginning when she was about 4 years old, on Christmas Eve, just before bedtime, I would read The Night Before Christmas to my daughter. As we were reading, suddenly we would hear jingle bells outside. Then there would be a pounding on the roof and Santa calling out the reindeer names – and my daughter’s name! My daughter would jump up off the couch, sprint to her bedroom, jump into her bed and pull her covers over her head. I’d try to get her to finish the book and she’d frantically yell at me “get out, get out, turn off the lights. Santa’s here, I have to go to sleep!” Unbeknownst to my daughter, our neighbor had the jingle bells and was outside of our house, pounding and ho, ho ho-ing! In turn, my husband would go to the neighbor’s house and return the favor for their kids. We did this for a few years – eventually our daughter wouldn’t even want to start the book, she just wanted to go to bed!

  267. my favorite christmas memory is my son’s first christmas. He was just a little baby but we placed his little baby carrier near the tree as we decorated. He mostly slept but when the lights went on for some reason his eyes flew open. He didn’t cry. His little eyes took it all in and his hands and feet moved at full speed. It was precious

  268. My favorite holiday memory is when my daughter was 3 and I carefully wrapped all the “Santa” gifts in special Santa paper (reserved only for the Santa gifts). She woke up, stumbled to the tree and with a crestfallen look on her face said, “SANTA DIDN’T COME!.” It took us about 30 minutes to convince her that the gifts with Santa’s face on them were from Santa himself. Needless to say, Santa won’t be wrapping the gifts this year.

  269. My favorite Christmas memory is the annual Christmas walk that my mom always made us take (and still does). Every year, without fail (and without any consideration as to how cold it is), we take a walk around the park near my parents’ house in order to burn off some of the holiday food. Although I loathed it growing up, I’ve grown to love the tradition!

  270. My memories of the holidays include going to my grandparents house. I always looked forward to going there for the holiday with all the wonderful smells from the kitchen. One particular Thanksgiving when I was nine years old my birthday landed on the Thanksgiving holiday. My grandmother surprised me with a store bought birthday cake beautifully decorated with in Thanksgiving colors. I’m an adult now and still remember how special that day was for me.

  271. We go every holiday season to Frankenmuth, Michigan. The lights are beautiful over the river and all throughout the town. It is a beautiful town based on his German heritage. Bronners the largest Christmas store around is located there. The restaurants are decorated so nice and there are many shops. You can even take a horse drawn buggy ride. It is a wonderful Christmas tradition.

  272. I can’t say that I have one memory that stands out but there were six of us kids and my parents bought ridiculous amounts of gifts for everyone so I distinctly remember the first site every year of the Christmas tree and the gifts surrounding it. It was insane! There were presents everywhere! I’ll never forget the way that room would look on Christmas morning!

  273. My favorite memory has to be the year my wife and I went to relatives Christmas Eve with the intention of spending that night and Christmas morning with them and their children. That night an ice storm hit the city and temperatures dropped very low. The town was paralyzed, and we had to stay two more days at their home, unexpectedly. It was like Christmas Day would never end…the party continued for three days.