Countdown to Christmas Day one

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    • #328922

      Welcome to our Countdown to Christmas Challenge Day #1 – Each day we’ll be bringing you a new challenge question and giving you the opportunity to win one (or all!) of our fantastic Giveaway Goodies.

      Here’s how to Play:

      1. Reply to this thread and answer the Budget101 Challenge Question listed below
      2. 1 Lucky Recipient will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries

      What 5 things or traditions really make your holiday (be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, etc) feel like the real deal to you?

      today’s giveaway goodie is:

      a Motion Activated Digital Photo Frame with an automatic on/off sensor for longer battery life.

      • motion sensor turns frame on/off automatically when it senses you nearby
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      • auto rotate motion sensor that rotates your photos when you rotate the frame to portrait position
      • random display, split screen option, mains ac adapter included, remote control

      Read More about Budget101 Challenges and how they work here!


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    • #445839

      What 5 things or traditions really make your holiday (be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, etc) feel like the real deal to you?

      :fqlights:I thought I’d start this out myself (even though I don’t qualify for the giveaway!) ha 🙂

      1. We have a couple of traditions that make Christmas “feel” like christmas in our house, the first one is, we ALWAYS bake holiday cookies together. Each of us picks out 1 type of cookie to bake and we make them and decorate them together and then wrap them up and give them as gifts to our friends and neighbors.

      2. We also decorate the tree and house, although this year we did so minimally.

      3. We try a new EggNog recipe each year, not the drink- an actual recipe. Yesterday I made eggnog muffins which were pretty good.

      4. We have Soup for Christmas Dinner each year with all of our friends. Each year one of our group of friends hosts (changes every year, we rotate) and makes a big crockpot of soup or stew. When it’s my turn I pretty much prepare the veggies a day or so ahead and put them in ziplock bags or containers so on Christmas day I can just dump everything in rather than making a big meal.

      5. On Christmas Eve, we track Santa with Norad and play family games together- cards, jenga, whatever. Even though the kids are older, they still seem to enjoy this family time and we usually open a Family “gift” which is a game of some sort for us to all enjoy together. One year it was Jenga, another year, phase10, etc.

    • #445840

      What 5 things or traditions really make your holiday (be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, etc) feel like the real deal to you?

      1. The first Snow on the ground really kicks off the season for us. snowball fight
      2. Decorating the tree together as a family and making a new homemade decoration for the tree every year.
      3. Baking Goodies and putting together Family Gift Baskets for our friends & family
      4. Listening to Holiday Music, we leave it on all day long with mp3’s playing
      5. We watch “The Grinch” together- I don’t think there is a single person in the house that doesn’t know every line by heart now!

      Neat Question Liss, Thanks!

    • #445845

      every year we add to our traditions, but our 5 favorites are: tracking Santa with norad, going to the Christmas production at church, watching our magical snowmen pick different places/things to do in the house, baking cookies, and having our annual Christmas party.

    • #445846

      The Christmas traditions I love are going to look at Christmas
      Lights with Christmas music blaring and of course the Christmas
      Tree. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year 🙂

    • #445841

      1 For me its the change of the weather.
      2. The good food the season brings
      3. Seeing family members you may of not seen all year.

      The log in the fireplace.
      5.Most of all the giving and watching everyone open their presents.

      Merry Christmas Everybody.

    • #445844

      1. Putting up the christmas tree the weekend after thanksgiving.
      2. Volenteering for the multitude of school parties.

      We have 3 elementary school aged children and 1 still home w me.
      3. Going to christmas eve service .
      4. Driving around to see all the christmas lights.

      Making all the food we just have to have during this season. Scotch eggs, cookies, carmel corn and our making a happy birthday Jesus cake.
      balloony  smilie

    • #445850

      1. Just spending time with my children and husband watching Christmas movies, he is in the service so having him home is a gift in itself!
      2. Baking cookies, well I bake they eat!

      Skyping with our family since we do not have family here.
      4. Doing the Elf on the Shelf, a fun activity for the whole family.
      5. Driving around to look at the Christmas lights!

    • #445849

      1. We build snowpeople as a family after the first decent snowfall. This really gets me ready for the holidays, even if I’m having a grinchy year


      We made 5-8 different flavors of Fudge every year to package and give out as gifts.

      3. We hold an annual christmas recipe swap. We get together with friends (8-10 couples in all) and bring a Holiday Dish along with 8 handmade recipe cards with the holiday recipe we shared.

      The host of the event picks up 10 dollar store photo books and decorates the covers. At the party each of the couples gets a new handmade recipe card to put in their photobook. It’s alot of fun and we get a ton of great new recipes for the holidays.


      My brother and I have been sharing the same christmas card for the last 20 or so years. It started one year I mailed him a christmas card. The next year, I got the same card back from him.

      He signed his own name to it and sent it back to me. At the time I kind of thought he was a cheap sob but to be funny I sent it back anyway. Well, fast forward 20 or so years and we’ve literally shared the same christmas card for over 20 years.

      I don’t know if you’d call that Frugal or just plain old cheap. haha

      5. We eat Pie for Breakfast on Major Holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      Why? Well, for starters we usually have such a big family dinner that no one feels like eating dessert afterwards and I like to start the day with a treat. So, we have Pie for breakfast.

    • #445851

      The holiday traditions for us are:

      1. Black Friday shopping starting around 10 – 11 pm Thanksgiving night. A lot of times we go just to people watch.

      Putting the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and I make homemade hot cocoa.
      3. The elementary school craft bazaar (I’ve been organizing it for 11 of it’s 29 years running).
      4. The snow

      Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and my brother, his wife and girls.

      The best part of the holidays is being with family.

    • #445853

      1. Finding just right Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving.
      2. Setting up and decorating the tree.

      Decorating the outside of the house.
      4. Baking of cookies.
      5. Going to the local school to listen to Christmas carols.

    • #445854

      My five
      1. Family
      2. Friends

      4. Food
      5. Decorations

    • #445856

      The five things that make me feel like Christmas start when my grand children come over and help us decorate the house and tree. Then we make Christmas cookies. That really starts the season for me.

      We also decorate outside with lights to make everything look festive. Once the presents start showing up under the tree, it really starts to get exciting. Lastly, we do a big Christmas brunch while everyone opens their gifts, and we sit around and talk and enjoy the day.

    • #445857

      We leave a set if dishes on the table in a spot that noone sits at to represent our military that didn’t make it home and is overseas serving.

    • #445858

      1. Putting up the tree is always the beginning of the season for us. I have many ornaments my children have made over the years, some vintage ornaments from my mother and others that have been gifts.

      It is interesting to see the looks on my grandkids face when they see their parents made that ornament when they were that size.
      2. After the tree, it is time for the tunes…..we love Christmas music! We have it on more than the television and we all sing along.

      We may not sound great but it really puts us in the spirit of the season.
      3. Celebrating the season of Advent is central for us and the Advent calender is always front and center for Christmas. I have used it since my kids were small and it still is a mainstay at our house.

      Lighting the candles on the advent wreath, the readings for each day, it means so much to our family.
      4. Giving: Not just presents, but ourselves is something we try to do year round but especially important at Christmas. Each year a different activity is chosen as a family and we all try to participate.

      We have rang bells for the Salvation Army, collected food for food drives, served food at soup kitchens and wrapped presents and delivered them to those in need. This is the one I find that puts me in the Christmas spirit the most. It is about the giving, not the getting.
      5. Going to church at midnight on Christmas Eve after having the family over for our Christmas that day.

      As my children got older and had children of their own, I wanted them to start their own traditions and to be in their home on Christmas morning. I started having my Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve day. It is such a wonderful day with my house full of my family, good food and Christmas cheer Midnight Mass is the perfect culmination of the season, I feel wonderful afterwards.

      I love Christmas!

    • #445859

      5 things that make me feel like christmas:

      1. It doesn’t matter where you are as long as your family is there with you. Last christmas my husband and 3 children and one daughter-in-law spent christmas in a motorhome all because it was important to me that we all be together.

      It was challenging but fun!
      2. My family no longer does the exchanging gift thing. It is such an overwhelming chore to find something you don’t know if they even want.

      We now go overboard on birthdays and make their day extra special.
      3. I have 3 grown children and all are very independent in their own way. Christmas is a time to see how much they have grown and changed over the year.

      The loving atmosphere is so important now more than ever. I know someday we probably won’t be able to all be together as jobs take all of us in different directions more and more each year.
      5. The comfort in feeling blessed that at least this time of year I have a roof over my head and food in my belly.

      Something so many don’t have..

    • #445860

      1. Family
      2. Snow

      Christmas Decorations
      4. Shopping for gifts
      5. Baking, giving and receiving goodies

    • #445863

      Here are our (non-traditional) traditions smiley-eatdrink013 smilie

      1. Santa Cams- ok I’m almost hesitant to share this one but you know those things that most people call “Smoke Detectors”? Well, in our house, our kids grew up thinking those were “Santa Cams” and since theres at least 1 in every room, Santa does a pretty good job of keeping an eye on everyone each day. I’ve even caught our youngest explaining his naughty behavior to the “camera”.
      2. Xmas Movie Night- we each pick our favorite holiday movie, make popcorn and douse them with various homemade seasonings and watch movies /pig out.
      3. Baking Cookies/Gingerbread House- some years it’s a gingerbread house, some years its cookies, but we always bake together during the holidays
      4. Yearly Family Photos- the one time a year we all get dressed up together!
      5. Xmas Day Dessert Gathering- we don’t have a big dinner, but we do hold a dessert get together where everyone brings a dessert dish and we “sample” a bit of everything along with fresh coffee, mulled cider, and hot chocolate for the kids.
    • #445865

      Countdown to christmas starts with:
      1: Watching Christmas movies Dec 1
      2: Family Christmas gatherings every weekend in Dec
      3: Putting up the tree and decorations
      4:Making Christmas cookies
      Taking a drive to our local Christmas Alley to see the lights

    • #445866
      1. Doing the elf on a shelf :12 (1):
      2. Christmas Eve pj box- we make a box up for each family member with new pjs & slippers or robe and slippers to lounge around in while we watch a family holiday movie.
      3. we bake cookies and put them out for santa, along with carrots for the reindeer and magic reindeer dust so they can find their way.
      4. we go elfing or frosting- (when you leave little packages of goodies on your neighbors doors, etc.) we leave a little package, run away and then gently toss a snowball at the front door to “knock” and watch from the shrubbery as they open the door and discover the gift. be careful not to break a window!snowball fight smilie
      5. We make cocoa in to go mugs and drive around the neighborhood checking out the lights and munching on the cookies we made together. (Note, if the kids are little help them when they break the eggs, I literally cut my mouth on eggshells in the cookies one year, lol).


    • #445870

      @Budget101 383343 wrote:

      What 5 things or traditions really make your holiday (be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, etc) feel like the real deal to you?

      1. Watching Christmas movies
      2. Listening to Christmas music

      Spending extra time reflecting on Jesus Christ
      4. Putting up the Christmas Tree
      5. Singing Christmas carols in Church

    • #445871

      Keep ’em coming! I glanced over a couple of these this morning and plan to come back later tonight to look some more. Unfortunately, having grown up in foster care I don’t really have any Christmas traditions (since that kinda requires doing the same thing each year- doesn’t work so well when you get moved around randomly), let alone ‘family’ traditions (again, kinda requires some form of stability).

      So instead of putting up random ideas (which in all technicality wouldn’t be MY family traditions and thus invalid) I’ll be peeking in to get ideas on traditions I want to start with my own family since our first child is due in spring (gotta get some practice in and try em out before she’s old enough to realize we have no clue what we’re doing). ^_^

    • #445873

      I love christmas! The best part for me is to play santa and have the kids in total AWE on christmas morning.

      I mix baking soda with cinnamon essential oils to get a nice christmas scent & put it in the sifter, put on boots and sift “Santa’s footprints” all the way to the tree. The first year I did it the kids were so shocked and amazed at the “Magic” footprints!

      We put the Christmas Pickle on the tree each year (it’s a german tradition) and everyone always looks forward to. I make stuffed french toast for breakfast using eggnog and the fam always looks forward to that!

    • #445876

      Making cookies for Christmas cookie swap with 5 other ladies via mail (we all live in other states)

      Getting a cute picture of hubby and I then using Walgreens for inexpensive cards.

      Going to Smithille, NJ with hubby to see the village all lit up and hear/see the carolers.

      Watching Christmas movies…one of my favorites is Christmas Vacation.

      Decorating my work unit for the residents (I work in a geriatric/rehab facility)

    • #445877

      I am not sure my family has 5 traditions. We usually put the tree up, buy gifts, wrap them. then on Christmas eve I sneak them down stairs and put them under the tree.

      this is the first year I have kids that don’t believe. one doesn’t believe at all, and the other still likes the miracle of Christmas and one is 100% heck ya there is a santa. We bake cookies a few days before, save the best ones for santa.

      we put out water for him to drink because we are scared the milk will spoil. then we get up early, unwrap presents, video tape the kids. eat breakfast,..lunch…spend all day putting stuff together and sticking stickers on the toys.

      then we go to grandmas, eat super and open more gifts. I guess we do have many traditions.

      this year…Christmas is gonna be sparse on the toys. we just haven’t rebounded from my lay off earlier in the year.

      the older kids understand and are willing to take the hit so the youngest can have a nice Christmas. they just proved to me they have what Christmas is all about.

    • #445878

      Spending the holidays with family, setting up the trains on Thanksgiving, reliving memories with pictures, listening to the happy uplifting tunes of the holidays, and watching the Christmas movies and shows on TV.

    • #445879

      1) We always go shopping Christmas Eve for our stocking stuffers
      2) Stop by our Applebees for the bartenders homemade Eggnog
      3) wrap gifts xmas eve while having a few drinks and playing xmas tunes
      4) The xmas day morning trip to Walgreens, to get anything we might have forgot
      5) stay in PJ’s all day Christmas

    • #445880

      1. Time off work to spend with family and recharge.
      2. Going to the theater to watch “Scrooge” the interactive play.

      Holiday movies on Hallmark and Lifetime
      4. Reading Christmas anthologies
      5. Attending the annual Christmas party.:holiday:

    • #445884

      Congratulations to DorisKing3, our randomly selected Goodie Giveaway recipient! Stay tuned for tomorrows Question for your chance to play again! We hope you enjoy your Digital Photo Display with Remote Control and automatic Motion Sensor!!

    • #445885

      Growing up, one of my favorite traditions was to make tamales on Christmas Eve. When I got married many of my family traditions went to the wayside, because my husband didn’t like them.

      The traditions my children and I have kept is

      1. To decorate the house.
      2. Choose and decorate the tree together.

      Each one gets to choose a covering and decoration for their bedroom door.
      4. We get one new special tree ornament.
      5. This year we’re adding attending a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

      These are only a few, but some of my daughter’s favorites.

    • #445886

      1. Christmas Eve at my brother’s house.

      2. Christmas Eve candlelight services at church.

      3. Christmas baking and goodie making.

      4. Making up my Christmas sacks for everyone.

      5. Finding something to make for everyone.

    • #445888

      Putting up and decorating the tree, baking, family, baking, putting so much thought into gifts, baking, the look of joy and gratefulness om everyone’s faces when they open their gifts, and last but not least, baking lol

    • #445909

      1-Tree up and decorated on Thanksgiving Day begins the Season for me
      2-getting out the Christmas dishes
      3-table decorations
      4-Saying ”Merry Christmas” at every opportunity
      5-Christmas Day Meal with love and laughter

    • #445918

      @Budget101 384189 wrote:

      Congratulations to DorisKing3, our randomly selected goodie giveaway recipient! stay tuned for tomorrows question for your chance to play again! we hope you enjoy your digital photo display with remote control and automatic motion sensor!!

      :120103_emTE32_prv ( Thank you!

      Thank you!

      I almost never win anything! I do have one question though, am I still eligible to play other challenges or do I need to wait for a little while?

      Thank you again, I can’t wait to hang this in my living room!


    • #445927

      Church, snow, family and friends, food

    • #445907

      1. Getting the stockings filled for my kids.
      2. Watching Christmas movies.

      Drinking eggnog.
      4. Listening to Christmas music.
      5. Doing a little last minute Christmas shopping, just to be in the crowds.

    • #446017

      I love digging out the special tree ornaments…dinner with the family… Christmas cards from family and friends across the country… having the tree up and the ornaments on the tree is always special…

      going downtown to see the animatronic Christmas scenes in the EPB (Electric Power Board) windows….

    • #446025

      1. Baking cookies and tea breads with my family and friends.
      2. Advent by the fireplace every Sunday evening leading up to Christmas Day

      Going to Christmas Eve Mass with Family and friends.
      4. Driving around the neighborhoods, looking at Christmas lights and decorations.
      5. Volunteering – helping to cook and serve at Christmas Day Dinner, for the local community.

    • #446030

      I love mistletoe the best. I love the kisses. 🙂

    • #446124

      1. Putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.
      2. Making up the Christmas bags with family and friends for the homeless kids at some of the area schools.

      Going to the live Nativity.
      4. Making PJS for all of my kids and grandkids.
      5. Watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” with my husband and kids eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate!
      That’s what we do at Christmas.

    • #446149

      Shopping, Cooking, Trimming the Tree, Sneaking around hiding gifts so kids cannot find them :), reconnecting with family

    • #446213

      We start with cookies, decorating the tree and for me hearing the snoopy red baron christmas song on the radio.

    • #446335

      @Dorisking3 385011 wrote:

      :120103_emTE32_prv ( Thank you! Thank you!

      I almost never win anything! I do have one question though, am I still eligible to play other challenges or do I need to wait for a little while?

      You are eligible to win again immediately, there is no waiting period on entering challenges.

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