Holiday Memories & Walmart Giveaway

I think most people will agree that the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, is a favorite time of year. I know it’s always been one of my favorites.

For me, it’s a time full of tradition and memories – both from my own childhood and from the traditions and memories we are building with our own kids. There are so many opportunities during this season to foster those traditions.

Our favorite traditions tend to revolve around the kitchen, from baking cookies to homemade pierogi and from-scratch gifts. I love having the kids work with me in the kitchen just as much as I loved to work in the kitchen with my mom. And there is just something so magical about working together in a toasty warm kitchen with Christmas music playing and the lights on the Christmas tree glowing. I wish I could bottle those moments!

This year, Walmart is making it easy to spend as little or as much time in the kitchen as you want while still staying under budget. With Walmart’s Holiday Meals, you can prepare a Christmas Dinner for Eight for as low as $20 or a New Year’s Eve meal for 10 for under $40.

Those Holiday Meals are perfect for entertaining at a reasonable price. Check out Walmart’s Holiday Meals website for a great menu put together by Food Network’s Aaron Sanchez.

To help make your holiday entertaining a little easier, I have two $30 Walmart gift cards to give away.

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment sharing one of your favorite holiday traditions, memories or foods to eat. This giveaway will end on December 26 at 8:00 p.m. CST and will select the winners for me.


Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Walmart. In addition, I received a Walmart gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate and two to offer as a giveaway.

113 thoughts on “Holiday Memories & Walmart Giveaway

  1. My favorite holiday tradition is making tamales, which we always do the first Saturday in December. Everyone would get together at my grandma’s house and we would spend all day–literally from about 5am to 9pm–assembling and eating tamales. I live on the opposite coast now, and this was the first year I wasn’t there to make the tamales with everyone.

  2. Every year we have a huge morning breakfast that we prepare together the night before. It is great to get up and smell the food in the oven!

  3. Christmas morning always begins with opening stockings that were first made over 50 years ago by my family members. Over the years I have used the same pattern and made stockings for my husband, children, their spouses and grandchildren. There are 10 of us now to open the stockings.

  4. On Christmas Eve, we go to Christmas Eve service and then go to my husband’s aunt’s house to eat and talk. Afterwards, we go home and go to bed. On Christmas, we open gifts and then go to my mother in law’s house, open gifts, and eat dinner. My father-in-law hides Speedway (gas station) gift certificates in the tree so we have fun trying to find them.

  5. On Christmas Eve, no matter where my sister and I are living, we head to Mama’s house to attend the Christmas Eve service at the church we grew up in. Then we gather with her sister and her three kids (now that all five of us cousins are married and most with kids the count is pretty high) for a fondue extravaganza. We sit around pots of boiling oil until we can’t eat any more, and then the chocolate comes out. Every year we say we need to start a bit earlier, and yet every year we are still dipping strawberries in chocolate at midnight…

  6. My favorite memory was going to my Grandmother’s every year for a family gathering at Christmas. The food was plentiful and I always looked forward to that time every year. Since she passed away things have changed with our yearly traditions, but it’s always fresh in my mind the time and care she put into having all of us come together at her home. The preparations for that meal started early in the year with the planting and harvesting of their huge garden right down to the cooking of it all that she did.

  7. My favorite tradition is stringing popcorn and cranberries up on our tree! One year, our dog ate all the popcorn but left the cranberries:)!

  8. I love making a chocolate truffle every year. It is a big hit.
    I get most of my groceries at Wal-mart so this gift card would be great!

  9. I wish we had more traditions. One that my hubby and I started last year is making sticky buns for Christmas breakfast. But perhaps our biggest tradition, in both families, is spending lots of time together. From about the 23rd to the 2nd we spend every minute with family and it is wonderful!

  10. One of my favorite traditions is Christmas morning breakfast…cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs and sausage. πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  11. The best part is spending time together, no matter what we do. We don’t have too many traditions. We’ll attend Mass and bake a birthday cake for Jesus. The most important thing is to be thankful for God’s precious gift to us.

  12. A big memory for me is of the candy cane advent calendar we had when I was a kid. My mom had made it (out of felt), an we hung it in the same place every year. There was a beautiful companion “12 Days of Christmas” piece, made with sequins galore. Don’t know what’s become of them; wish I did.

  13. I’ve slept with a stuffed bear since I was very small and whenever one would get worn out, I’d put it under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and Santa would leave me a new one. I’m hoping one of my boys gets attached to an animal so I can do the same thing.

  14. Our favorite candy came about by mistake. Sometimes when my Grandmother or Mother tried to make divinity, it wouldn’t stiffen up after all the beating. So they added peanut butter to stiffen the candy…then dropped as usual. The same thing has happened to me-but I know what to do! We like the peanut butter variety way better than regular divinity!

  15. My mom wasn’t a great cook. She stuck to a pretty steady revolving menu of casserole after casserole.

    But when Christmas came around, she *always* took the extra time and effort to make a bread called “Puula” in Finnish. It was the only time I ever really saw her bake any sort of bread. I’ve since learned it’s more commonly called Cardamom bread. I can’t think of Christmas without associating with it the smell of Puula baking in the oven. I’ve tried making some loaves myself, to varying degrees of success.

  16. My family always has Red and Green Dinner. (yes, capitalized!) All the food had to have either red or green in it. Each person chose what course they wanted to prepare–appetizer, salad, main dish, side dish, drinks, dessert, etc. Food coloring was considered cheating so it was always a fun challenge to make something that hadn’t been made in years previous. πŸ™‚

  17. Everything about Christmas is my favorite πŸ™‚ I especially love Christmas Eve with my family…food, visiting, Christmas movies and letting the children open one present!

  18. My favorite holiday tradition would be making coffee for my parents before we woke them up on Christmas morning. It was something we always did, though never asked to, which kinda made it special. A silly little thing, but I remember waiting for the coffee to brew, looking at all those presents!

  19. My favorite Christmas tradition is what we call “Light Night”. My mom would bake a bunch of goodies and then she and my dad would pile all of us kids in the car. We’d get snuggled under our blankets, and dive into my mom’s homemade goodies. Then we’d head off on our tour of the town and all the pretty Christmas lights it had to show off! It was so fun!!!

  20. My favorite tradition is that my dad reads “The Night Before Christmas” to my sister and I (and now my three little ones) on Christmas Eve.

  21. Our favorite tradition is to purchase a 12 piece nativity set and secretly dropping off one piece a night on the 12 days of Christmas leading up to Christmas Eve. The last piece dropped off is the little baby Jesus. Our teenagers have SO much fun being creative in how they drop the pieces off each night under the cloak of darkness, because as soon as the third of fourth day hits, the recipients catch on and are eagerly doing whatever they can to catch us in the act. It turns out to be a VERY happy and fun and joyous event every year. There are giggles and smiles all around. For us. And for the Family who needed some little Christmas loving and spirit.

  22. We love baking during the holidays are favorie is making sugar cookies we make it a big family affair with decorating. When done we put the cookies in gift tins and deliver them to our friends and neighbors to enjoy.

  23. Each Christmas when getting the tree ready to go into the stand, dh cuts off a small bottom piece off the tree. I set it aside to dry for a couple of days, then use a sharpie to write who is a part of our family that year (including pets). I started doing this in 2000. It’s fun to go back and see who was there and the different sizes of the trees we got.

  24. Our favorite tradition is we buy about five ornaments and we drive around the neighborhood, drinking hot chocolate with a scoop over peppermint ice cream added to it. We look at the lights and we decide who wins what categories: Brightest Lights, Best Religous Display, Best Display for Kids, Best Old School Lights, and Best Overall (Grand Prize). They each get an ornament left on their house with a note that they won our family ornament competition. It is so fun! It’s a great way to give back to the people who spend their energy bills on brightening our holidays!

  25. For me, it’s all about Christmas Eve. As kids, we never, ever, put our tree up until 4pm on Christmas Eve. I always make popovers with the bestest jam for Christmas morning. Each and every family make the holiday their own, with their own traditions. I think that’s so cool.
    Blessings to you and yours…

  26. Our family tradition is getting up early Christmas morning and finding Santa’s goodies of what he left, then heading to my mother’s for Christmas breakfast and gift exchange.

  27. Well, we are starting a new family tradition of being at home instead of traveling. But usually, we’d travel to my mom’s house, and on Christmas morning go to my Granny’s, where we’d have breakfast and exchange gifts. Then we go to an aunt’s and have a big lunch. πŸ™‚

  28. Our tradition is to gather everyone and read the Christmas story from Luke before opening presents…settles the kids down and reminds us of the true meaning of the day. Merry Christmas!

  29. My favorite tradition is getting up on Christmas morning and baking a birthday cake for Jesus with our daughter. She is 5 this year and I’m not sure how many more years I will have of this, but we both love it!

  30. I like all the cookies, because I bake lots that I don’t make at other times of the year, then fix plates to give away.
    I also love to go Christmas caroling. We try to go to older people, and they enjoy it so much.

  31. I love everything about Christmas. My family always celebrated with my Dad’s side on Christmas Eve. I have always loved that! It’s everyone, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, and Great Aunts and Uncles. This year my great Uncle turns 90! My Mom’s Family celebrates on Christmas day and it’s the same way. I love that I get to see all my family and I love to watch my daughter (she’s 2) learn what family is.

  32. I love Christmas! Christmas eve foods are my favorite, my family has a tradition of just snacking all day on shrimp cocktail, homemade tarts, snack mixes and pies….all very nutritious! πŸ˜›

  33. This is only my second year being married at Christmas – last year we did every tradition that both sides of the family do. This year, we’re picking our own! I’m loving ALL of the traditions we’ve decided to keep for our little family.

  34. My favorite tradition is that our family spends Christmas Eve together. This is the one time of year that everyone gets together and we spend hours catching up with each other.

  35. Every year we get to open one Christmas present, its always pajamas so we look good in the pictures Christmas morning. My Nana always had a sleeping Santa under her tree that was full of fudge. In 86 she moved from VA to FL the sleeping Santa was the one thing my mom and her brothers fought over. Years later Nana found the mold and made everyone in the family a sleeping Santa, she had to make over 50!

  36. We bake cookies every holiday season. Their favorite is chocolate chip with no nuts (I like them with chopped pecans).

  37. My favorite Christmas tradition is also cooking in the kitchen with my children. They love to help. This year we expanded our cooking to also include homemade gifts such as play dough and foot scrubs! We had a blast.

  38. My favorite traditions tend to focus on the kitchen, too. I get a little frazzled with all of the baking I do, but I do love making those special recipes passed down by my grandma, that only get made around Christmas. Thanks for the lovely giveaway, and happy holidays! πŸ™‚

  39. We have lots of holiday traditions. To start off the season, my mom, sister, and I get together and have warm cider and appetizers while we comb through cookbooks to make our Christmas baking list. We do it the day after Thanksgiving and it usually takes all day – our list is usually upwards of 60 or 70 different kinds of cookies, candy, etc. We bake all through December and then give ourselves a “night off”. We go out to dinner as a family, pile into the car and go see CHristmas lights. So much fun!

  40. our favorite tradition actually is the day before thanksgiving and we go to see the city turn on all the light displays in the downtown area it’s a huge planned community event — a huge santa with reindeer, and about 6 large displays altogether — there are business handing out free hot chocolate and cookies so is the salvation army –its a walking tour type thing and we go rain, snow or cold — it is so much fun! and then it ends at the botanical conservatory with seeing santa and real live reindeer – and more hot cocoa, cookies

  41. Every year since I’ve been born we have gone to my aunt’s on Christmas Eve. We always have ham rolls that she doctors up and her famous cheeseballs. Throughout the years she has added some other dishes that quickly became favorites such as “cherries in the snow”.

    I can’t wait for tomorrow!

  42. Our family likes to pile up in the car and drive around to look at all the lights.

    Our last stop of the evening is to a large church a few towns away that hosts a live nativity with over 200 cast members. It is a wonderful reminder of the true light of the world, Jesus.


    ndisilvio@ gmail . com

  43. I have very fond memories of my grandfather showing up bright and early on Christmas morning to watch my brothers and I open our gifts. I think my parents were thankful for the extra set of hands for toy assembly and battery installing. Now that I have a child of my own, my own Dad has suggested he will be dropping by early on Christmas morning.
    Christmas Eve church is so special as well – something about hymns, candles, the navitity, a darkened church and little ones in their jammies – teary just thinking about it.

  44. For as long as I can remember, eggnog has been a tradition at my family’s Christmas gathering. A special punch bowl holds the adult version – eggnog with rum, chocolate syrup and whip cream. Delish! Grandma won’t let you drink it until you’re of legal age so it’s a real treat when you finally get to. Until then she serves eggnog straight up to the younger crowd.

  45. We always have Christmas dinner at the in-laws. Then we open presents and let the kids help make sugar cookies. Their favorite part is decorating because they lick frosting and snitch sprinkles along the way. It’s so fun!

  46. Our traditional Christmas candy is pretzels dipped in almond bark. It works because it is so simple and the kids can do it and you get a lot of candy.

  47. My favorite memories of Christmas are those spent with family members that are no longer with us, especially my grandfather, mother-in-law and most recently my son. I am so thankful for the great memories we shared.

  48. I love, love, love, the annual Christmas Day breakfast! The smells, eating on dishes you only see and use once an year!

    This is my first holiday as a mother, I want to start traditions that I had as well as my husbands!

    Merry Christmas!!!

  49. We always make some kind of make-ahead breakfast for Christmas morning. This year I’m trying something new, Creme Brulee French Toast. Yummmy!!!

  50. For the past several years we have made stuffed shells or lasagna for Christmas. This year my parents are coming into town and my Dad can’t have a lot of cheese or salt. So, we’re making a turke with the fixings. But, so as not to disappoint my inlaws, who are also coming for Christmas, we are also making stuffed shells. There should be a lot of food to eat this Christmas!

  51. My father in law started coming to our house every Christmas Eve dressed as Santa Claus 3 years ago when my son was born. I love it.

  52. My dad makes the best scrambled eggs once a year on Christmas morning… with bacon mixed in of course… and Wolferman’s English muffins. Sometimes we’ll have icebox gingerbread muffins as well. I look forward to Christmas morning (or mid-morning) breakfast almost as much as finding what Santa had left…

  53. The only concrete family tradition that my husband and I have is that I make a breakfast casserole for breakfast Christmas morning. Every year I offer to change it up, but he likes to keep it the same!

  54. My favorite traditon is Christmas Eve lights. I remember as a kid how magical it was to fall asleep looking at lights and wake up in my bed on Christmas morning.

  55. We spend alot of quality time together as a family, we shop and cook together and watch old movies!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

  56. I love the cookies…then about this point in the Christmas season, I”m totally over them! I love my children’s joy in learning about Christmas.

  57. Christmas morning before we open our gifts the kids look through their stockings while my husband and I sip coffee. Their excitement over all the little things I’ve collected through the year always makes me happy. They have all told me they would give up all the gifts just to have stockings!

  58. My favorite memory is going to Dairy Queen and picking a name off a tree of a child who needed Christmas presents. Then my parents would take us to the store and we got to buy that child something for Christmas. I still do it to this day.

  59. Every year we make a huge Christmas breakfast, and eat it right after unwrapping gifts! It’s delicious and the perfect start to Christmas Day πŸ™‚

  60. My favorite tradition used to be going to Communion at Church on Christmas Eve, but since the church we are members of now doesn’t do that, we have started a new tradition this year of doing Communion on Christmas Eve at home. It is a great way to keep the focus on the REAL meaning of Christmas.

  61. My favorite memories are when out now grown children were home and every Christmas eve we would read Twas the night before Christmas and drink hot chocolate,eat our cookies! We always had such fun. Now Our daughter is passing these traditions along to her sons.

  62. One of my favorite traditions is going caroling to shutins/widows. We just did that tonight and left a loaf of homemade bread with each one. It gives you such a joyful feeling knowing you spread some Christmas cheer!

  63. We have an Italian dinner of Christmas Day. It is a nice dinner with courses. Each course we ask a different question and share our thoughts on it. My children each take a turn hosting the course and the question. We also draw chores for the Christmas Dinner as I divide up the duties. It is so fun to watch different ones serve or wash or fill glasses. I love this time of year!

  64. My favorite holiday tradition started this year, making homemade cinnamon rolls for the family for Christmas. This year was my first year attempting it and I plan on continuing it every year!!

  65. My favourite is sitting by the Christmas tree drinking hot chocolate – my husband and I always make sure we find time to do that a few times over the holidays!

  66. Christmas morning I make homemade cinnamon rolls, cheesy strata and I cut up some fruit to remind me to be a little good to myself. I don’t count calories or fat grams.

  67. We always head to church for the Christmas Eve service then home for a holiday meal. The kids open one gift- pajamas- before heading to bed.

  68. Every Christmas Eve we go to a local wildlife refuge to walk a trail and enjoy the scenery. It is a wonderful time to appreciate the world outside, which is still mild and not too cold here in Mississippi!

  69. Every year my husband and I watch the Muppet Christmas Carol together. We’re both so busy with work and things that it’s nice to sit down and spend some time together laughing and remembering what the season is about.

  70. My favorite holiday tradition is opening one present on Christmas evening with my siblings. It’s just as fun now as it was when we were kids.

  71. Every Christmas eve we pick out a cookie recipe to make cookies for Santa and then before we go to bed we eat Tamales, and Toutiere pie followed by a Christmas Ham dinner the next day!

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

  72. I few years ago, my husband got me the supplies for making Lefse, a traditional Norwegian potato-based flatbread. My son peeled the potatoes for me tonight, and we’re all looking forward to enjoying the tortilla-like lefse hot off the griddle tomorrow!

    Beth at Mother by Design dot com

  73. One of my fondest memories growing up was opening one gift on Christmas Eve. It was always the same thing – homemade pajamas from my Mom. Then on Christmas morning, all 5 of us kids would go downstairs in our new pajamas to open our gifts.

  74. One of my favorite Christmas Traditions is when our family eats foreign cuisine on Christmas Eve night, and then we eat Smoked Ribs on Christmas Day, it’s something our family always looks forward to, and it’s a great learning experience as well.

  75. One of my favorite holiday traditions is making and decorating cookies with my kids on Christmas Eve.
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  76. One of my favorite traditions is having dinner on Christmas Eve from our favorite Italian restaurant, then taking a drive to look at the Christmas decorations and ending at Krohn Conservatory to see the beautiful flower display and live Nativity scene.

  77. We love the big ham dinner, and my mom’s best-in-the-world sour cream cut-out cookies. And the tree, and the lights, and of course, we love the true meaning of CHRISTmas!

  78. Our Christmas morning breakfast is one of my favorites…biscuits and gravy and HUGE cinnamon rolls…yeah the two don’t really “go” together but at one point the kids didn’t eat the biscuits and gravy so that’s why I started making them for them to have. Now we all just eat this weird combo and LOVE it! It’s a very looked forward to tradition! Think I’m going to go have some leftovers now.

  79. I love Silk nog (soy milk “egg” nog)… its seasonal and some people are grossed out by it, but I pick some up nearly every year and really enjoy it!

  80. Our family tradition is to open one present on Christmas Eve, a new pair of pajamas that have been washed and are ready to be worn to bed. Then waking up Christmas morning to the stockings on the table and enjoying a day of real family time – nothing better.

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