Holiday Inspiration

Two weeks into our December Challenge, we’ve already got a basketful of contest entries from participants hoping to win our $50 gift certificate once the New Year rolls around!

december-challenge

If you haven’t been playing along, there’s still lots of time to join in on the fun as the contest will continue through the end of the month! In addition to having the chance to win a prize, this experience is proving to be a great springboard for scrapbook page topics.

To give you a little taste of the fun we’ve been having, here are a few of the tips, stories and other memories shared in response to the questions posed so far …

Holiday Traditions …

When my oldest DD was just a tiny baby I read about someone who bought 25 new Christmas story books every year. She would then wrap up the books and put them into a basket. Each night a child would pick a book, open it and then mom would read the book to the kids.  I loved this idea and started rounding up all of the Christmas Story books that I had. (Didn’t have money to buy 25 new books). Every year  I would try to find one or two new books to add to the collection. Of course the type and length of the books changed as the girls grew older.  Now that they are in high school and so very busy the tradition has gone away, but I really miss it. ~cole19

We have lots of traditions in our family….but one of the standouts for me is the Christmas Pudding. My Grandma always use to make the pudding with silver sixpences and thripences hidden inside. When Grandma was unable to do this, Aunty Dorothy took over. Her pudding was to die for!! With the passing of time the family Christmas became too large as the offspring mulitiplied…..sow we to don’t see this side of the family on Christmas day. ( Dorothy turns 80 in just a few weeks). So for many years now I have taken over the making of the pudding using Aunty Dorothy’s recipe and Grandmas old silver coins.  I guess it won’t be to long before I will be passing this recipe on to my own daughter along with her great grandmothers very old and treasured silver coins. Some traditions are definitely worth keeping!! ~pennyshilling

Holly

Tips for Managing Holiday Stress …

My goal for no stress is the focus…..when my focus is on Christ…the reason for Christmas…..the stress is gone…..when I allow the world to seep in ….as in too much busyness…then that’s where the stress comes in. So for me it is about focus…. ~mommato7

My favourite way to handle stress at this time of the year is to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea, with the lights on on the Christmas tree, in warm PJs and slippers, the fireplace is on, and I have a magazine in my hand. It works everytime! ~Lucia

… LISTS.   I try to start writing down gift ideas even the day after Christmas for the next Christmas! lol  I know that if I don’t write them down when I think of them, I’ll forget.  So, I have a running list going all year long of ideas for gifts, recipes to make, crafts to make, etc.   Also meal planning!   Just planning out a weeks worth of meals and getting groceries once a week for those meals relieves so much stress from my life, the other things don’t bother me as much.   Every night I hear, “What’s for dinner?” lol  Knowing every morning what’s for dinner that night is such a weight off of me, so I can focus on other things during the day and not have that burden hanging over my head all day on what to make that night.  :-) ~Dianne

Holly

Remembering Childhood Wishlists …

The only thing that I wished for and still bring it up every year is how I wanted that Barbie head where you fix their hair and apply make-up? Never got it… and now that I have money for myself and could go out and get it, I still ask Mom for it… just for tradition sake… *grin*  Of course, my Mom just rolls her eyes. ~MamaBee

From age 9 to 17 I asked for a car at every gift-giving opportunity.  I figured the odds were in my favor if I asked often enough.  :-)  Grandma and Grandpa took pity on me in year 17 and kicked in a bit for a 2-door Tercel.  I loved that car!!  Otherwise, my Christmas lists changed year to year.  My mom is a great gift giver and hardly ever bought off my list anyway.  She was always one step ahead of me.  I know I did not ask for luggage when I was 15 (I REALLY wanted that car) but luggage was my gift that year and 14 years later it is still with me.  Sadly, the car is not.  Mom always knows best! ~SierraB6

Holly

Counting Down ’til Christmas …

I made the memory advent as suggested by Stacy Julian on her website in late November.  A standard small photo album with 18 pictures (couldn’t find a 24 page album) from Christmases past (one for each day).  Each day I’m writing about what memories that pic sparks for me.  I’m finding it a lovely thing to do although my DH and DS aren’t into it at all and think I’m a bit strange! When DS was little we had a advent calendars with little windows for each day from 1 December until 24 December when the biggest one would be opened. I remember these from my own childhood too (perhaps that’s why I’m enjoying the memory advent so much – it’s taking me back to being a kid again and anticipating the big day to come. ~margotmacg

We always had some type of advent calendar when the kids were little.  Then one year I found an ornament that actually let the kids flip a little number over which counted down to Christmas Day.  Even though my kids are all grown now, that little advent calendar still gets “front and center” on the Christmas Tree and they still flip the little numbers over whenever one of them comes by the house.  Doesn’t matter that I have had a really fancy wooden advent calendar … it usually sits untouched … they love this inexpensive little ornament. ~digitaldebi

Holly

Check out our December Challenge forum for more of these wonderful tidbits, including favorite recipes, the real vs. artificial Christmas tree debate, favorite holiday movies, various ways we handle gift-giving and the sending of holiday greetings, just to name a few … and be sure to add your own so I can add your name to our prize drawing basket!

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