Monday, November 14, 2011

Countdown to Christmas Contest!

Our Monday giveaway: What do you love about the holidays? 

The Christmas season is almost here!  I cannot wait to feel the energy in the air…smell the fragrant pines and see everything all lit up literally “like a Christmas tree.” The holiday stirs up so much excitement and fills everyone with joy – what a great time of year it is!

We all spend so much time getting ready for Christmas – planning, baking, shopping, etc. But the big “take aways” are usually not what we got or what we ate…but the memories we make with our families & friends. Those little moments that etch themselves into our brains forever. That’s what Christmas is all about!

As we get ready for THIS Christmas season, I want to hear about YOUR favorite memories! So to urge you to share your special memories with
us, we will give away three VISA gift cards.  The three lucky winners will be chosen by Matthew Mead and will receive a $200.00 visa gift card.

To enter, simply leave us a comment telling us about your favourite holiday memories and add (or update!) our new Holiday 2011 blog button
(located in the sidebar to the left of the page) on your blog.

If you don’t have a blog, you can follow us here on our blog (also on
the left sidebar) and on our Facebook page. Leave us a comment letting
us know you did.

You may enter once a day. I will pick the winners on NOVEMBER 19th.


**Contest is open to U.S. residents only.**
No purchase is necessary to participate in the contest.

(This contest is now closed.)



Buy our expanded keepsake edition of Holiday with Matthew Mead 2011 here.


  1. Those trees are so pretty. I really like the simplicity! I followed your blog! My favorite memory is the smell of xmas. I think my mom put some potporri in our decorations and they've smelled that way since I was little. I love it so much.

  2. I just want you to know how much I love and adore your talent. I have followed you forever. The other day when I was out shopping I saw your magazine and my heart jumped! I knew it was Christmas when my favorite publication is on the news stand. I love the tree on the cover so happy and bright! I have never been a big fan of Christmas, try as I might, but I am determined this year to make it the best Christmas ever! With help from the ideas in your magazine I have a ton of ideas. I have had so many sad things happen at Christmas this year I am going to be the Queen of Christmas! Thank you for your wonderful inspiration not only at Christmas but your Halloween publications are wonderful too!

  3. Oh my goodness! Every year the kids and I throw a gingerbread house making party. We have done it since my oldest, now in 7th grade, started kindergarten. It's so much fun to see what the kids create. We play Christmas music and drink hot cocoa, a fun time for all! xoxo, Melaine

  4. My favorite memory is when our children would get up at an outrageous hour on Christmas morning to open their stockings. It was so sweet to listen to them "be quiet" so we could sleep in. When we did finally get up, it was Poptarts for breakfast followed by the long awaited tree!

    I follow you on Facebook as well as your blog and have posted your button on my blog.

  5. Oh, hi! I'm a new follower and just added to facebook.

    My family is Dutch, from the Netherlands, and there we celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th. My favorite holiday memory is when my father tricked my sister and into believing Sinterklaas himself was at the door. You see, he rides a big white horse and instead of leaving out cookies, you leave carrots for the horse. My dad managed to sneak out of the room and while he was gone the doorbell rang. We rushed to open it and found a potato sack full of gifts and a mysteriously half-eaten carrot... we couldn't wait to tell him what happened when he returned from the "bathroom."

    If I win the giveaway, I'll be spending the gift card on a lovely tree - hopefully like the one you have pictured!!

  6. I like you on FB...favorite holiday memory is simply walking in the snow, on a cold, but un-windy night, and wishing upon a star...

  7. I never got the chance to believe in Santa Claus growing up. After midnight mass, we went straight home to open presents - sans present from Santa. Now that I have a daughter of my own, my hubby and I always make sure to add a little magic every year with Elf on the Shelf and a present from Santa. Seeing her eyes light up when she realizes all her good deeds were not forgotten. Every year this happens adds another notch to all my favorite Christmas memories. I only hope the believing doesn't end too soon!

  8. A favorite memory from childhood is that our parents would take us to visit our family friends...Christmas Eve at one house, and Christmas night another's and they in turn would stop by our house in between. Festive decorations, yummy cookies and snacks. Loved it!!

    I follow you on FB

  9. Every year on the day before christmas my family and I attend midnight mass at my church. I still enjoy listening to the choir sing their joyful hymns and see the church lit up with lights!

  10. I just love the photo above!

    Christmas is my favorite holiday. There are so many memories of Christmases past, but one of my favorites was going to the bakery after our Christmas Play practice. The owners were from Germany, and I loved listening to them talk. The aroma in the shop was heavenly. I always chose a santa cookie that was sprinkled with red sugar.

    I'm a follower of your blog, and have posted your badge on the sidebar of my blog.

  11. much to love about Christmas. Mainly I think it's the traditions. Knowing that each Christmas eve will be spent with my husband's family and each Christmas day with mine. As my parents grow older and my children grow up, I realize that these moments are to be cherished.
    Following your blog. Thanks, Matthew. :)

  12. I love lighting the Hanukkah candles with my family... the kid's, husband, and the dogs! Then we sing songs and reminisce before opening the evening's presents.

  13. The best part of Christmas for us is all the preparing...decorating the tree, watching ELF & POLAR EXPRESS, dancing around to the Christmas music, baking gingerbread. It is our favorite time of year together.
    Thanks for the chance. What a generous give away! Love your site :) New follower :)

  14. the best part of Christmas is getting together with family eating,laughing,playing games,and enjoying the time together.
    (new follower),thanks for the great give-away!

  15. Love the preparations for Christmas and my annual party. Am a follower.

  16. My favorite memories all started when we had our own kids. Watching their faces on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. And I love to hear their giggles every year when we watch the movie Home Alone. They laugh at the same parts every time, it's adorable.
    Added you to my blog sidebar !!

  17. Mine is always spending Christmas as Grandma's old farmhouse.Even when we lived across country we always came home to the old farm for christmas and I'm still so fortunate to be able to spend it their with my family.Warm Blessings!~Amy

  18. My favorite Christmas memory is actually easy. It was the last time my entire family was together from kids to my Mom before she passed away. I remember sitting there at the head of the table and feeling so warm, like that proverbial Christmas tree---- all lit up! I'd made the table linens, the napkins, special napkin holders and set the table with so much love and devotion. My Mom and I took one of our last walks and gathered the fragrant greens for the table and mantle. I can still see, smell and feel that incredibly special evening when I close my eyes!

  19. Spending the Eve of Christmas with my family and and opening the One gift,drinking hot cocoa with cinnamon and eating crispitos so yum!

  20. one of my favorite Christmas memories since having children is the time we spend each evening of advent, doing our advent devotions. there are so many wonderfully fun traditions that we have, but i hope that the ones that my children remember when they look back are the special moments when we are focused on the Savior.

    i'm so looking forward to the new holiday book! following your blog and going to try to figure out adding the button to my blog!

  21. Patricia Caruso BurgessNovember 14, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    My husband and I would always be sure to leave Christmas Stockings out for Santa to fill for the kids, and Santa always filled "mom"s and "dad's" too,much to the delight of my two children. In 1994, my husband died suddenly of a heart attack one week before Christmas at the young age of 47, leaving me a widow at 42. After that Christmas just wasn't the same since we didn't put Dad's stocking out anymore, until the first Christmas after my son became a father himself. I arranged for Santa to come to my son's house and he filled "Dad's" stocking for my son, and he left a little poem for him: I HOPE YOU LIKE THIS CHRISTMAS STOCKING, I FILLED IT JUST FOR YOU. INSIDE YOU'LL FIND SOME FAVORITE THINGS, AND SOME NEW SURPRISES TOO! THERE IS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL ABOUT THIS CHRISTMAS STOCKING...CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS? LOOK AT IT VERY CAREFULLY...COULD IT BE REALLY "HIS"? AS YOU BEGIN TO REALIZE I HOPE IT MAKES YOU GLAD, BECAUSE YOU SEE, THIS CHRISTMAS STOCKING BELONGED TO YOUR DEAR DAD! MERRY CHRISTMAS DAD!!

  22. One of my favorite Christmas memories is going to Christmas Eve service. Every year, we light candles as we sing and every year, it really helps draw me in and celebrate Christmas. It is definitely one of my favorite memories :)

  23. One of my favorite memories stems from a 30 year Christmas tradition in our family. Every Christmas eve my mom, my aunt, and my grandfather all head out super early in the morning to have breakfast and go shopping to buy gifts for my grandmother. They started this tradition after my mom and aunt moved away from home during college. After myself and my cousins came into the picture, it became the tradition for the grandkids to stay at home with grandma while the moms went shopping with grandpa. Every year since I can remember we would help grandma make breakfast , help with the last of the holiday decorating and most importantly help bake several dozen cookies to be eaten the next day!
    One year however, was unforgettable. This particular year after the cookies were baked, my cousin and I decided to play hide and seek in the house. Well, I went and hid in my grandparents closet and to my surprise, I found all of the gifts that my grandparents had gotten for my cousins and I. All the packages were neatly tucked away in the corner in their crisp wrapping paper. Well, curiosity got the best of us and it wasn't long until we were gently ripping the paper on the packages, "just to get a sneak peek".
    It wasn't long until my grandma heard the commotion and we got caught. I believe this is also the year that we all learned how to wrap presents because she made us re-wrap all of the presents we peeked into!! My cousins and I still laugh about that incident almost 13 years later!

  24. I just found you through Nie Nie dialogues...Love both of you & just "liked" you on FB. My favorite memory/tradition is of giving each of our kids a new ornament for the tree. I find a special ornament for each child, that represents something that is special to them for that particular year. I write their name & year on them, wrap them & they get to open them the night we get our tree. I love to see their faces when they open their new ornaments, and even more when we pull all of the past years out <3

  25. My favorite memory has to be from childhood. As a child wealways spent our holiday with family at our grandparents home. The entire family gathered to eat, talk and open gifts on Christmas eve, followed by our church's special candlelight service. Then we all went home to await Santa the next morning. I really miss my grandparents.

  26. When I was very young, I received a small doll. She was the size that could be used as Barbie's toddler. The doll came in a pretty, frilly, pink party dress and I received another outfit for her as well. Of course, I wanted to see what she would look like in the other outfit. My mother cautioned over and over to keep track of our things, especially the smaller things. We were kids though, and too excited and busy enjoying all of our new toys/gifts to listen. Later in the day once the boxes and gift wrap had been cleared away, I realized the little pink party dress for my doll was missing. I was in tears, and my parents did everything to try and find the missing dress for me. My dad emptied all the trash looking for the little dress, mom looked everywhere as well. I sat in sorrow over my loss recalling my mothers warning earlier about keeping track of our things. The dress was never found. As an adult, with four children of my own (a boy and three girls), my children were warned much as my mother had me years before. I used the above story as an example. Apparently, I used it so often, that it has become a family tradition. Never does a Christmas go by that this story is not retold-always with a smile and roll of the eyes. This year we have our first grandson, Jameson. I have no doubt that the tradition of telling the story of the missing doll dress will be told to him as well. Happy Holidays!!! ;)

  27. I'm a FB friend and follow you on Twitter...Love making Pecan Snowball cookies with a recipe from my mother when snow time begins!

  28. Every year my parents would host a Christmas caroling party. It would usually start off with the usual cookies, hot chocolate, and singing around the piano. But then the kids would become so excited and unable to contain the joy of Christmas, that we'd end up going caroling around the neighborhood. It never occurred to that the houses might be empty since all the neighbors were at my parents' party!

  29. Getting together with my family, my two sisters and their kids, grandkids and my kids and grandkids. We talk over each other, sing made up songs, eat yummmy food, give and receive fantastic hugs. One of the most important things I think we're doing is teaching the youngest generation to share - your love, your time, your talents, your home.

  30. As many will say, I too have fond memories of Christmas…some of the best being the times since becoming a mother. However, what I would love to share is the tradition we are working to begin this season.

    My family and I will be performing one ‘RACK’ [Random Act of Christmas Kindness] each day in December, through the 25th. With each act, we designed a small card to leave, in hopes of spreading the cheer forward. My kids [7, 5, and 3] have been helping me to develop a list of ideas. Included are such things as, leaving a quarter at a candy or bouncy ball machine, buying a hot cocoa for a bell ringer, leaving muffins in the teacher’s lounge, sending a box of doughnuts to a construction site, handing out balloons to random kids, and putting together a care package for someone serving overseas. We’ve come up with 28 ideas so far, and just can’t wait to get started!

    Here’s a link to the card – I’m hoping others take hold of the idea and ‘spread it forward’, per say!

    And, although I’ve failed to post in a [long] while, I’ve posted your button on my blog. I am also following your blog and like your Facebook page as well. Thanks so much for this opportunity, Matthew! Blessings this holiday season! Stephanie sp82877 at yahoo dot com

  31. One of my favorite memories...waking up with my younger sister at 6:00am on Christmas morning so we could open our stockings together then going back to sleep and waking up later that morning with everyone to celebrate Christmas. I really loved our special "sister times" those early Christmas mornings. erinneohara@earthlink(dot)net

  32. A special prayer at bed time, stories from mum about Santa Clause, Hot chocolate with cookies at night and the eternal wait for Santa. While with my head on my pillow, I could literally hear my heart beating fast and might be might be any moment! And no matter how hard we tried to stay awake to catch Santa live, we always used to doze off one time, just to wake up to fabulous gifts.

    I am all grown up now and of course know the secrets (I won't tell it here just in case a little girl is reading it...I want her dreams to be alive), and yet on a night before Christmas I drink my routine chocolate and quietly expect for a miracle or a glimpse of a reindeer. This happy expectation has become a tradition which I would very much pass on to my children, like my mum has to us. This is hope and faith. It is belief and it's alive and it shall be cherished every Christmas.

    Those heartbeats of faith are what I really reminisce and those are what keeps my Christmas alive.

  33. Have added the button to my blog.

    Win or no, that this is being read is winning enough :)

    Much love

  34. For me, Christmas is a time for family. On Christmas Eve we would come together for wonderful food, a frenzy of flying paper as gifts are unwrapped, and after the dishes are cleared, we all attend the candlelight service at our church--my favorite event in the church year. Mom was always a huge part of Christmas as she loved everything about it. She passed away this June, so this year will not be the same without her. Maybe in a few years we will begin making new memories.

  35. Christmas is all about love.

    Decorating and caring for the home, the families within and creating love through out the preparation for sweet handmade projects and meals.

    I love that Christmas brings magic in both the young and old. As soon as the tree hunting begins, the lights and decorating, the warm fuzzies from cider, hot chocolate or freshly baked cookies...

    Christmas is remembering those who are no longer with us and toasting with thanks to memories and giving thanks to those in our lives today. I love that Christmas is a creative transformation we get to visit and play in each year.
    essicajmj AT yahoo dot com

  36. my favorite christmas memory i when i got my mom's old baby doll for christmas. they had it wrapped in a huge box and when i opened it i fell in love. i named him kevin and he went everywhere with us just like a real baby. i am 38 years old now and have real babies to take everywhere but still know where "good ol kevin" is.

  37. I loved Christmas time when my dada was alive and we all got together with my girls and had a great time! Now I still have a terrific time coz we're the grands now for two adorable little girls! Thanks for asking.

  38. Hey! I added your button to my sidebar! Thanks for the chance :)

  39. I absolutely love the ideas you have in your magazine and have high hopes of trying some new things out with my kids! Christmas is my my absolute favorite time of year! The smell of the cold air, the coziness at home and just the excitement of the birth of Jesus. I have the best memories as a kid and I can only hope my kids grow up and are able to look back and have the same experience as I did! I hope I can create wonderful memories as my parents did for my brother and I. I hope they grow up and know what the true meaning of Christmas is. My best memory though is going to my Grandma's after Christmas Eve mass and changing into our "jammies" and Santa always made a surprise visit!! (Thanks Uncle Timmy)

  40. Thanks for the chance to win. I love following your blog. One year for chirstmas my mother in law only put a picture of Christ under the tree... no presents. The family was subdued, reminded and later pleased to know all of the presents were at a sister's home. A great memory

  41. My favorite memory would have to be the year of the ice storm. It happened the eve before Christmas Eve day. We had no heat and could barely get out of our driveway. Most of our neighbors had to chain saw their way out. We didn't have cell phones at the time so it was hard to get ahold of anyone. We also had a brand new 2 lb. puppy. We were basically homeless. We finally found a hotel that would take us and the dogs. Our daughter-in-law let us stay at her house (my son was in
    Afghanistan) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My husband always waits til Christmas eve. to finish his shopping but the malls were closed. It sure put a different aspect on Chistmas.
    No fancy dinners, no roof over heads, so to speak, no presents to open (we finally did a whole week later) just us. It all turned out okay and we were more thankful the following year for sure. Our son came home from the war and we had our get togethers and a warm house to celebrate in.

  42. Entering for a second time! Still got that same old tradition of making gingerbread houses with the kids and their friends. Forgot to mention that I did this growing up too! xoxo, Melaine

  43. I have memories of being at my grandparents house in San Francisco when I was younger and the house smelling so good with baked goods and the holiday meals. I have tried to recreate that at time with my family.
    On memory I have happened about 10 yrs ago, my sister was out of isolation after a bone marrow transplant and I had just gotten out of the hospital myself. my siblings and I all met at my parents house to enjoy the fact that people were on their way to being healthy.

  44. What a wonderful giveaway!!
    Some of my best Christmas memories are of my grandma's house when I was very young. She's passed on now, but I can still remember all the wonderful food and family time.
    I will post your giveaway in my sidebar.
    Thank you!

  45. One of my favorite Christmas memories happened every Christmas Eve it seems. My sister lived with her mom in California, but she always came home to Idaho for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, for as long as I can remember, the 3 of us-me, my older sister and little brother-would sleep in the same room. We lived in front of a big hill that had radio towers on it. For some reason, on Christmas Eve, the sky was very overcast so the red light of the radio tower cast a red glow over the sky. We just knew that it was Rudolph's nose and that Santa was so close. We would hurry into bed to be sure to be asleep before Santa got there. Our parents never had to tell us to get to sleep on Christmas Eve, which I am sure they were thankful for! Yes, that red light was always on, but for some reason we didn't notice it or correlate that it was a red light on the hill. To us, it really was Rudolph's nose! We still love to tell the stories of our Christmas Eve's and Rudolph's nose shining bright!


  46. I love the movie Elf! I watch it while Im decorating my tree. I also love everything Christmas represents-giving, love, others, Jesus, food, music, and decor!

  47. My favorite Christmas memory is being a Secret Santa for someone else. My family did it growing up and then it was my family's turn when we were going through a nasty divorce. My parents were in a terrible place and someone left food and gifts to a bunch of kids whose lives had turned upside down. It meant the world to me that someone cared. I still do it today with my kids. We pick a family each year that might need some cheering up or just a hand. Giving is Christmas to me.

  48. I love the anticipation....the excitement of giving someone something that you know they will just love, and the feeling that something wonderful is about to happen. When we were kids, my younger brother and I would sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve to make sure neither of us would get up before morning and sneak into the living room to see what Santa had brought. One Christmas Eve, amazingly, we feel asleep right away and when we woke up, we couldn't believe that we had slept the whole night away. It was a first for us- Christmas Eve always seemed like the longest night of the year. We both jumped out of bed and ran to the living room, only to find our parents and my older brother bustling around, doing something, we weren't sure what, but they just as quickly hustled us back to bed, because it was only about 11:00 at night and still Christmas Eve! We'd only slept a few hours, and still had the whole long night to wait until it was Christmas morning.

  49. This time of year always stirs up alot of fun memories and accompanying emotions as we celebrate a month of gratitude and make our way into Christmas. There is something about putting the pine and cranberry oil in the warmer, the glow of the lights coming through the windows, and bundling up in warm fuzzy caps and gloves. And lets not forget the music. The music is quite possibly the best part of Christmas for me. I love how a familiar tune can take me right back to a time and place so long ago. Listening to Christmas music and pulling taffy with my mom. The hot sticky taffy that has to be moved through buttered hands quickly-stretching and pulling, pulling and stretching, braiding in long ropes, cutting into peices, and wrapping individually in sqaures of wax paper. Then delivering to the neighbors who wait with baited breath for the infamous sweet treat. Walk home in those fuzzy caps and gloves under a crisp cold sky and light the paper bag luminaries lining the walk to invite the spirit of Christmas. These are the things that made the holiday special to me as a child and now that I have carried them forward for my own children, I still find myself getting anxious for a snowy white peice of vinegar taffy.

  50. I love seeing the excitement on my kids face. It totally makes the holidays.

  51. My favorite holiday memory was my first Christmas as a new oldest was 6 months old and we were sitting on the floor opening presents and I looked back at my mom and she had the biggest grin on her face. She was recalling her first Christmas with me (I'm the oldest and my son was her first grandbaby) sitting on the floor in the exact same position. I know, super sappy but I think of that moment every year, now that the baby is 10 years old.

  52. My favorite holiday memory is spending the day baking Christmas cookies with my children. Now that they are grown I get to bake with my Granddaughter.
    I'm a follower and will put your button on my sidebar. Please enter me in your wonderful giveaway!!!
    Prim Blessings

  53. Daily entry.....Mine is always spending Christmas as Grandma's old farmhouse.Even when we lived across country we always came home to the old farm for christmas and I'm still so fortunate to be able to spend it their with my family.Warm Blessings!~Amy

  54. I just found your page. So love it and look forward to following you!
    Love all your trees and decor!

  55. All of my children love to read. We have what could be considered a library in our home since we all have the same love for books. When my children were young we would round up all the books that related to an upcoming holiday. About two weeks ahead we would all snuggle in bed and read a few books a night. Our favorite was Christmas because we have so many wonderful books for this wonderful holiday, including one from my own youth. So many times I heard 'read it again mom!', or 'just one more pleeeeeease'.

    Now that my children are all grown, I miss this tradition. Hopefully they will do something similar when they have children of their own.

  56. I was a junior in high school, and it was the last day before Christmas break. The air was full of excitement as we anticipated the Christmas assembly that afternoon before being dismissed early from classes.

    As my friends and I ate lunch in the school cafeteria, everyone was talking about the holidays, wishlists, and family traditions.

    I was lost in my own little world thinking Christmas thoughts when the girl next to me asked, "So how old were you when you found out Santa wasn't real?"

    Silence. Huh? My mind raced! Santa not real? I managed to stumble out the words, "I can't remember."

    The Christmas assembly passed in a blur as I sat there wondering how I could have missed all the clues about Santa. I was 17 or 18 at the time...I guess you could say very sheltered.

    I kept the knowledge about Santa to myself and never let on to my family what I learned in school that day. But I had a plan. Come Christmas Eve night I would stay awake and find out for sure!

    Midnight came and in the wee hours of Christmas morning I heard it. Sounds of hoofs on the roof! I was sure of it! My ears strained, and I was never so positive of anything in my life!

    Just wait til I tell my friends the real truth! Afterwards I slept soundly knowing that my Christmas dreams were still alive!

    (I love your blog and follow you via Google Reader on rss feed! I'm also putting your button on my sidebar. Thanks for the chance to win!)

  57. my favorite Christmas memory is opening the stockings from my grandma on Christmas Eve. She individually wraps everything and the gifts range from packs of pens, kitchen tools, ornaments, to crayons.

  58. Last year, our family decided that it was important to do all we could to really focus the season on what it truly is meant for. We sponsored a sub for santa family, have done random acts of kindness throughout the month, and also wanted a very visual representation. So our christmas tree is now decorated with ornaments that have different "names" for Christ. (Jesus, Savior, Creator, etc.) Each day of december we discuss what one of the manes means and add it to our tree.

  59. Does anyone else remember when the JC Penny toy catalog came in the mail? Oh how I would pour throught it for hours on end looking at each and every toy, evaluating which one would be just right for me.

    One year in particular (just like every other year) I found a special Cabbage Patch Doll with curly hair in pigtails and cute pink overalls. I just knew she was the one, the one I had to have. I carefully crafted my letter to Santa and gave it to my mom to deliver to the post office.

    As the day grew closer and closer I kept dreaming of my pretty new baby that I hoped would be under the tree waiting for me on Christmas morning.

    Then it happend. My mom came to me and told me that Santa was having a hard time getting that specific doll (turns out JC Penny sent the doll I asked for the previous year as a substitue). My mom took me to the toy store in the mall and told me I could look there and she would call Santa back and tell him what I liked.

    I chose a cute little brown teddy bear with a diaper all swaddled up in a blue blanket.

    To my great satisfaction there he sat on Christmas morning, just begging to be loved and played with. I named him Andrew. I put a pink Utah State sweatshirt on him and carried him with me everywhere I went. My friends delighted in him at school.

    I alwasy laugh when I watch the movie Toy Story at the part where Stinky Pete is asking Woody what he supposes will happen to him when Andy goes to college or gets married. Andrew currently resides in my own little boys room, 24 years later.

    Each day when I make his bed and see that little bear in the pink sweatshirt tucked neatly away with his other stuffed treasures, I am reminded of my very happy childhood and one very merry Christmas morning.

  60. My Christmas memories past and present: Our list of things to always remember and Do.

    The things I remember to do first- Trimming of the trees, 1 for kids and 1 for mom and dad. Some creative decorating from mom and kids, there’s always more ideas than time to do. Every year I fall in love with the fresh pine smell that emanates the air...note to hubby: you are still my one and! This time of year I have gratitude for celebrating family birthdays...our oldest child and daughter, Sariah, born on December 8th, was due on my birthday, the 23rd of December in 1997. On that birthday, almost 14 years ago she developed a heart condition that caused her to have heart failure, but through our faith and prayers, today she is turning 14 and is healthy, vibrant, and full of life. I love my birthday at Christmas time....twice the happy celebration for me!!

    Things we hear, see and do- children laughing, siblings kindly trying to share their new gifts, people smiling, taking winter walks, playing in the snow, smells of delectable foods....eating, eating and slowly sipping our favorite hot cocoa to thaw us out after snowball fights, sledding or making snow angels...then eating some more!

    Traditional things to do- Every year on Christmas eve we carry on our traditional family pageant of the birth of baby Jesus, (I consider as the greatest gift of Christmas-His life and love for all mankind) All December long we never tire of the sounds of Christmas cheer that fill the air in our home...listening to the timeless Christmas classics from many favorite singers, we sing along, both on and off key! The upbeat melodies offer an invitation to dance along as well. Many evenings we may gather in our living room to talk, read, or listen to our oldest daughter, Sariah, play our family favorites on the piano. Some of us join in, mostly on cue to sing along! We like reading Dickens Christmas classic, and adding a new story to the collection each year. For two days we bake and decorate our favorite sugar cookies, we take them to our neighbors and carol our favorite songs, even if we freeze our nose and toes. Sometimes we have friends join us for that evening and have homemade hot cocoa and cookies to thaw our nose and toes after an evening of song. Many nights delightful conversations turn to memories from our Christmas past, we laugh so hard we cry. With our children we started a new tradition of making homemade gifts for one another to open Christmas is something that comes from the heart! We often associate this time of year with gifts, but remembering the happy times of our past and making good memories of the present truly brightened my desire to give more than I receive.

    Above all, my favorite sights to behold at Christmas are of those sincere deeds which warm us through heart, mind and soul. These sincere gifts given and received, and the love that passes between family, friends and strangers happens because of the true spirit of Christmas, a pure love which started from a tiny babe in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus. These evidences of pure love help me taste the joy of each Christmas Season! Wishing it to always be this way the whole year through!

    I follow on Facebook. I am recreating my blog...will add your button when I get done. Thanks! Sincerely, Chrissy L. Workman

  61. When I met my husband he invited me to his house the Sat. after Thanksgiving. He forgot to tell me in his family they like to have Thanksgiving and his mom's Birthday at the same time.
    I ended up taking family pictures with them, sharing all there family traditions. and telling them what I like about his mother. I will never forget or will my husband live it down that Thanksgiving.

  62. Here for my second entry. :)
    I used to love to watch my dad paint a Christmas scene on the picture window in our living room. He'd save the Christmas cards, and use them as his pattern. Wonderful memories!

  63. My family was homeless when I was in high school. Twenty years later, I began building my dream home. It was a tiny cottage overlooking a stream in the Catskills, and I had a French-Nordic style Christmas last year.

    It was pure, simple; evergreen branches, cardamom French toast and pressed coffee for breakfast cooked on the woodstove.

    Today, my husband lit a fire in the woodstove and caused a chimney fire and my house is a blackened mass of lumber flat on the ground with a warped tin roof nearby.

    I'll be homeless for Christmas again, but my family and dear doggies are safe. I'll make it magic somehow. This will be a holiday to remember.

  64. Another favorite holiday moment is Thanksgiving night, which is when we put up the tree for Christmas. Every year we add a new ornament, but hanging up the old ones and reminiscing is so special. The handmade ornaments from my boys over the years, like the popsicle stick star wrapped in yarn and covered with glitter, or the snowflake ornament favor from hubby's best friend's winter wedding are the best memories.