12.01.2014

Holiday Traditions + A Chance For You To Give Back (and Win $50!)


Growing up, I was always a big fan of family traditions. I love how I can look back throughout the years, and they are some of my most treasured memories that I will never forget. They always stick out in my mind and provide me with such happy thoughts!

One of my favorite traditions, hands down, was decorating our Christmas tree as a family and making a whole night out of it by watching Christmas movies and listening to holiday music during the process. I knew when Billy and I got married that I wanted to continue this tradition (no matter how busy our schedules are at the time...no excuses!), but also add a twist to it. Our first year in our house together (and being married), we decided that every year we would exchange Christmas ornaments with each other as well. It's a small gesture, but one that is special to us.

Billy has always been far better at gifting ornaments than I am. For the first year in our house, he got me a personalized "Our First Home" ornament that I love. For our first year married, he got me a wedding ornament with our wedding date on it...and so on. You get the idea. :) Not only are they adorable, it's also so nice to look back at all the ones he's given me and what that year represented for us...
 

This year with a baby on the way (and possibly making his debut around Christmas!), we are obviously really excited to be able to include Camden in these traditions (maybe a baby ornament is in my future) in the upcoming years.

Welcoming our first child soon is reason enough for me to feel extremely thankful this holiday season! When we put up our tree the other day (who else has their tree up already?!), for the LAST time as just the two of us, it was so special. We reflected on all the years we've been together and how our family will be growing in just a few short months...it was so nice and something I'll never forget. Plus, our tree is looking pretty good this year, if I do say so myself...

 

Another tradition that we talked about doing last year (but never got the chance to implement) is volunteering to help serve meals to families in need. I knew this year that needed to change! We've been so grateful for our families' love and support these last 8 months with our pregnancy that we knew we wanted to give back in some way. I never really knew how to go about signing up to do this, but I'm happy to say that this year we found an organization early on that we could do this with, and will be helping at our local shelter this Wednesday.

If you're wondering about how you can help this holiday season, I'm here with a solution...

New York Life is donating 25 meals to Feeding America for every tweet that includes #KeepGoodGoing and #FeedingAMillion. How awesome is that? A short tweet, that can take less than a minute to prepare, will serve 25 meals! You can also visit New York Life's website to share your own photo for their Keep Good Going campaign. Such a great idea...get on it folks! (Just make sure to include both those hash tags!)

Now, for your chance to win a $50 Gift Card AND a $50 donation in your name to Feeding America on behalf of BlogHer, share with me in the comments: What are you family's holiday traditions?

*Through 1/9/15, New York Life will donate $2.50 for each approved post, with a minimum of $25K & a maximum of $100K. 
 See full terms and conditions at NewYorkLife.com/CelebratingGood. Find info about Feeding America at feedingamerica.org.


Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. 
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 12/1/2014 – 12/31/2014.
Be sure to visit the New York Life brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

126 comments :

  1. Christmas starts in our home the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The day is taken up by purchasing our tree, cutting the bottom, stringing lights, hanging decorations, and adding cheer all over the house! rebecca.s.adams@gmail.com

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  2. going to a local tree farm to pick out our tree, then decorating the house and the tree with music playing!

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  3. This is so amazing and I am so glad i get to help too... We have a few traditions - we buy a real tree (and pick it out altogether), we decorate the house together, we enjoy advent calendars together, we bake Christmas cookies together, we host a friends Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and then family lunch on Christmas Day. We exchange a Secret Santa gift instead of gifts for ALL adults.
    x

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  4. And the tweet - https://twitter.com/Cals_Rosie
    x

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  5. Love that you put your tree up early! And how easy it is to give back, of course. As for tradition: we always listen to Mannheim Steamroller when opening up presents on Christmas morning. Oh the memories :)

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  6. We also have a tradition of adding a personalized ornament to our tree each year. I love when I decorate the tree and see all of the past ornaments, and how our family has grown from just the two of us to the four of us now!

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  7. Our only tradition is a christmas eve dinner with the family

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  8. tweet https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/539446339231182850

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  9. Baking cookies with my aunts and cousins - it's a huge day filled with laughter, love, and lots of sugar!

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  10. We do the Elf on the Shelf with the kids. It's a fun tradition that they look forward to.

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  11. We always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. And growing up, my mom would let me open one gift on the evening of Christmas Eve.

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  12. We love listening to Christmas music, going out to pick out tree at a tree farm, and going out to look at all the lights in neighborhoods to see the displays. Christmas is so much fun!

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  13. Tweet Entry
    https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/539451594106867713

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  14. This is so great and loving your tree!! I am big on our traditions too, like always opening new pjs on Christmas Eve. But the great thing is always creating your own traditions. We started one this year to continue every year of putting together a present box for a child in need. :)

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  15. We decorate the tree together as a family after Thanksgiving while listening to Christmas music & then it's a Christmas movie night that evening around the lit tree!!

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  16. My mom & I always bake every year & give them as gifts!!

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  17. Mine is similar to yours... Every year since we've been born my brother and I have received a hallmark ornament from our grandmother. Even noe thet she can't get out to get them, we still buy one each year. It's so much fun every year to get them out and remember all of them.

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  18. decorating the tree is about our only tradition.

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  19. i LOVE traditions. we always open stockings first, in order of oldest to youngest, and then we have the same breakfast of christmas casserole.

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  20. On Christmas Eve we go to a candlelight service at church followed by a nice prime rib dinner.

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  21. Our tradition is to bake Christmas cookies and share them with friends and family members

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  22. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/539522262710235137

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  23. Love the tradition of helping serve meals! And love the ornaments! We don't have any traditions yet, but last night I baked cookies and we decorated the tree together, so maybe that can be our tradition! Among many other things!

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  24. Our holiday traditions include a huge family meal, gathering toys to donate to toys for tots every year, and we also love crafting and getting the house all done up.

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  25. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/539563545298341888

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  26. Baking cookies and picking out a Christmas tree :)

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  27. We decorate the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.

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  28. tweet:

    https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/539578083079376897

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  29. I enjoy decorating the Christmas tree with the help of my kids.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  30. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/539627085736984577
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  31. We love Listening to Christmas Music! We all love getting together making hot chocolate and driving to the Tree Farm to pick up our Christmas tree. We love driving around our town looking at all the light displays-and we have so much fun making our Holiday Cutout Cookies!
    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. Tweet Entry
    https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/539788110490787840

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. We open our gifts one at a time. The youngest child gets the first gift. After they open it they pick out a gift for someone else. The chain goes on until all gifts are opened. I love doing it this way, because we all get to see what everyone else received!
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

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  34. tweeted - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/539848112022372352

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  35. Once I went off to College and moved out I missed making Christmas Cookies and I knew my mom struggled getting them done. I then made it an Annual Tradition to do Christmas Cookies in Carrollton (my hometown). The first Saturday in December we all go to my mom and dad's house and bake all day long! It is my favorite Holiday event and I can't wait to do it this weekend!!!!

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  36. Picking out Christmas trees at a local farm and cutting them down together.
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  37. Tweet: https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/540677668027793408
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  38. My family always goes to my Aunt's house for the day after christmas to celebrate the holidays and her birthday.

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  39. Our daughter's b-day is in December, so right after her party, after family and friends leave, we always decorate the house together for Christmas. Then we have all of our family over again for Christmas Day lunch.
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

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  40. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/541331800132300800
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

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  41. Opening one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day!

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  42. It's important to think of others during this time of such bounty.

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  43. We drive around on Christmas Eve looking at lights and then come home and drink eggnog and open one gift.

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  44. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/541755795315363840

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  45. We pick up the tree and decorate together as one of our family's holiday traditions.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  46. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/541791812717776896

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  47. Wow--what a great program from New York Life! And what a beautiful Christmas tree, with ornaments you'll treasure as the years go by. Lovely.

    As the years go by, I'm finding this time of year more and more difficult. We put up a wreath, and we'll exchange gifts, and I'll make us a special meal on Christmas, but that's about it. Still, it will be nice, and we'll be together.
    {notheranneother [at] gmail [dot] com}

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  48. I shared your sweet blog post and the New York Life promotion on Twitter; here's the link:
    https://twitter.com/NotherAnneOther/status/542339847093248000
    Thank you! Oh, and thanks for the info on how to enable my email account in my Blogger profile; I also added a profile picture. Here's my email address, though, just in case:
    {notheranneother [at] gmail [dot] com}

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  49. We read Scripture as a family before we open our presents.

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  50. we always decorate cookies and gingerbread houses together and string popcorn for the tree pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  51. i tweeted https://twitter.com/thepryfamily2/status/542805474303688705 pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  52. picking out our Christmas tree

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  53. https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/543061541780590592

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  54. we purchase same pj every Christmas and take a silly photo.
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  55. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/543108137583005697

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  56. Our favorite holiday tradition is to make Christmas cookies together while listening to Christmas music.

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  57. tweeted https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/544239436280496128

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  58. My mom always cooks breakfast for our entire family on Christmas morning. It is the only time of the year she cooks breakfast (lol) so it is a funny, special thing our family shares and enjoys. :)

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  59. OUR FAMILY NOT ONLY SITS AROUND THE DINNER TABLE ON HOLIDAYS, WE COOK TOGETHER =) afjackly@oakland.edu

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  60. https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/545359404753620992 afjackly@oakland.edu

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  61. Our family tradition is matching pajamas on Christmas Eve and reading The Night Before Christmas to our little ones before bed. :)

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  62. Great giveaway. Our traditions are pretty basic. We go to church Christmas Eve, drive by the house that has a gazillion lights, and open family gifts that night. We open Santa gifts on Christmas morning :)

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  63. We love baking cookies together as a family!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

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  64. https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/545716715565629440

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

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  65. Christmas morning we bake cinnamon rolls and play holiday music while we open our socks.
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  66. We like to bake cookies for friend and neighbors.

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  67. https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/548567616378245120

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  68. we love to make christmas breakfast

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  69. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/548590017929809920

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  70. We love to bake cookies and visit train gardens!
    Shiebs24 at gmail dot com

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  71. We like to bake lots of Christmas cookies for everyone.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  72. Baking enough cookies to feed the entire neighborhood, opening a single gift on Christmas Eve and driving around to see the beautiful lighting displays. There is so much more, but most of it is being done by my children in their own homes.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

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  73. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/549283434892255233

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

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  74. My favorite tradition is having a treasure hunt on Christmas morning for the kids. We leave clues around the house they follow to find their big gift.

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  75. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/550030985912664064
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  76. Make the same entree for Christmas Eve ( stew) and Christmas Day (ham ) every year.

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  77. https://twitter.com/Attea2d/status/550041681396260866

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  78. Christmas eve pizza

    fmd518 at gmail dot com

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  79. One of our family traditions is the we go to Mass on Christmas eve and meet up with my brother and his family and my Father. We’ve done this for years and after mass, everyone comes to our house for a light dinner.
    Thanks so much
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  80. We go out for a Denny's dinner after mass on Christmas Eve.

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  81. I love baking and decorating Christmas sugar cookies with my daughter. It's really messy, lol but lots of fun.

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  82. baking cookies together as a family

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  83. We make an ornament every year with the kiddos pics on it!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  84. Tweet: https://twitter.com/coriwestphal/status/550110041333051392

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  85. We pick a name from the sharing tree and donate to a child for Christmas. We make Christmas cookies with the kids and give to those who don't bake. We open on present on Christmas Eve. We have ham for dinner on Christmas day.

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  86. One of our favorite traditions is baking roll out sugar cooking and decorating them.
    thank you

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  87. Tweeted https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/550165115475988482

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  88. We make and decorate Christmas cookies.
    austma7@aol.com

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  89. We use Christmas ornaments passed down from my grandparents on our tree every year. I like using some of the ornaments that I remember seeing on their tree when I was young.

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  90. On Christmas morning, we put a lit candle in a cupcake and we place it in front of the manger and sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus.

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  91. Our holiday tradition is to bake cookies on Christmas eve

    JOE GERSCH
    JOEBISSY@mail.com

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  92. There are no family holiday traditions =/

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  93. We cut down our Christmas tree and decorate it together. We have dinner with the family.

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  94. we have a yankee swap on christmas eve
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  95. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/550322637785006080
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

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  96. One of my favorite holiday traditions is when we pack up in the car close to Christmas and drive around town, looking at all the lights and decorations that people have put up :)
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

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  97. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/550329710283350017
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

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  98. We bake cookies on Christmas Eve and watch Christmas movies and then have family get togethers Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

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  99. We usually have our Christmas two to three days early, as our sons travel to other relatives on Christmas Day. My husband and I go out to dinner on Christmas eve.

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  100. All of our holiday traditions seem to surround food. I guess that is not that uncommon. LOL Some of my fav foods that we ONLY make this time of year are our smokey maple bbq veggie meatballs, smoked gouda fondue, and veggie sausage cheese balls! :-D
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  101. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/550363681381699584
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  102. We bake Christmas cookies every year.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  103. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/550379932439052289

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  104. We like decorating the tree, baking and and picking a new ornament every year.

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  105. To bake gingerbread cookies

    tbarrettno1 at gmail.com

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  106. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/550390571143929856

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  107. Baking Christmas cookies and decorating the tree.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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  108. We love to get in pajamas and drive around and look at Christmas decorations! tracietrump40@gmail.com

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  109. We like baking the traditional goodies with the kids and enjoying holiday movies together.

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  110. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/550403853766905857

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  111. One of our family traditions we love is going to my grandmothers house for Christmas dinner and we all open presents with the family after dinner
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  112. https://twitter.com/disneyfan40/status/550409055429476354
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  113. We started a new tradition this year of ice skating at the zoo on Christmas night. Thankyou

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

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  114. We eat chinese food and decorate the tree each year.

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

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  115. Tweet: https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/550411541217304577

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

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  116. We love to watch Its a wonderful life every year..I love that movie :)

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  117. https://twitter.com/klp1965/status/550414250531758080

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  118. our holiday tradition is to have a big family dinner together
    stigay at comcast.net

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  119. Our favorite family tradition is decorating the tree. :)

    SeasideMermaid@twc.com

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  120. Our traditions include putting up the tree and decorations during Thanksgiving weekend, baking lots of cookies and making candy and making a big turkey dinner for Christmad Day.

    lahlstedt at gmail.com

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  121. Going to Christmas Eve service, coming home to hot chocolate and opening one present.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  122. we enjoy decorating the house and tree for Christmas

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  123. i posted a tweet here:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/550448540951273473

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  124. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/550449162354171904

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete

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