Holiday Give-a-way Day 5

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 in blog | 17 comments

Congrats to the winner of yesterday’s give-a-way Angie Woods, she has won a $50 JGP GC!

I have had such a great time doing this give-a-way! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each of your comments and learning more about your family holiday traditions! Thank you all so much for participating!

In my opinion I have saved the best for last…Santa Claus! (SAAANNTTAA!!!) Oh, how I adore Santa! The magic and mystery that surrounds him. The twinkle in my children’s eye as they anticipate his arrival. I love reading my children’s letters to him, and watching as they sit on his lap and tell him all about their Christmas wishes. I love how the kids write a special thank you note to Santa and put it out for him along with his cookies and milk on Christmas eve. I love sneaking into their rooms after they have been tucked into bed and seeing them gazing out their window trying to see Santa’s sleigh. Then Christmas morning rolls around and the kids hurry in to wake us up so we can see if Santa really came. We clamor down the stairs and there we see all the wonderful goodies! The stockings are full to the brim, the tree is surrounded by gifts, and the cookies and milk are gone! Immediately the conversation begins of “I heard reindeer on the rooftop last night!”, “I saw Santa’s sleigh in the sky!”, “I heard jingle bells in the middle of the night!”.  So much fun!

Tonight we are taking the kids to see Santa for what might be the last time. They are growing up so quickly, and honestly I’m surprised that we have gotten away with the secret of Santa as long as we have. I hope that they will always play along with me, because I love it! 🙂

Speaking of saving the best for last…today’s Give-a-way is.. a FREE ONE HOUR PHOTO SESSION!! Yay!

Just comment below with some of your favorite Santa memories or traditions to be entered in the drawing to win!




  1. My favorite memory so far this year, is of explaining to my daughters, Lindsey (9) why we take collections of toys at church, and at local retailers. Lindsey inquired about the box of toys at the entrance to Walmart, and I explained to my girls that some families just don’t have enough money to buy gifts for their children at Christmas. So people who do have a little extra money can purchase presents, drop it in the box, or take it to church, and the gifts will be given to those children. Immediately Lindsey realized how blessed she is to have plenty of toys at home to play with, and said “Mommy, I have lots of toys. I want to give some of them to kids who don’t have any.” I’m so proud of her for feeling compassion for those who are less fortunate than her, and being willing to help them. It’s a great reminder of the love that God has for us, and the sacrifice He made when He gave the ultimate gift.

    • Jennifer, how very kind of you to take toys to children in need. You are teaching your daughters a great lesson of compassion. In a way, you got to be Santa to others. 🙂

  2. My favorite santa memory is from 4 years ago when my boys were 3, 5, and 8. My dad was staying with us for the holidays (he is from NY, so this was special) and he had a santa suit with him. My boys were all ready for bed on christmas eve in the special santa pj’s and we had just finished reading twas the night before christmas as we do every year since I was a child. My dad said he was tired and “went to bed”. The boys then spotted santa with a sack of toys “coming out of the fireplace” and they were so startled they ran to bed and pretended to be asleep. We went and got them up to explain to them that santa wanted to see them bc they had been so extra good. So they got up, saw santa, received an early present, took some pics with him and were tucked back in bed by santa. The boys were so happy and when they woke up the next morning they ran to my dad and told him that he missed santa bc he was sleeping. So that is our most favorite memory as they recall this memory every year and they refer to it as “the year that santa came to visit and grandpa missed it bc he was sleeping”!!

    • Jen, Oh my goodness! This is the sweetest thing ever! I love this story so much! Thanks for sharing!

  3. About 8 years ago I was introduced to “The Elves” (aka the Elf on the Shelf). My husband’s little twin cousins would come in from GA every year, and every year their elves would appear and cause mischief every night until Christmas Eve, when they went back to the North Pole. It was so much fun to see what the elves would do each night and the boys were always so excited.. Reagan received his elf last Christmas and he loves it too. Of course now I’m the one having to do the work of “Buddy”, and sometimes its hard to come up with new and exciting tricks for him to do, but it is always fun because Reagan thinks it’s so magical and it will give us lots of great Christmas memories.

    • Kara, I love the elf on the shelf idea! We didn’t get to do that one with our kids but it seems like it would be so much fun (and challenging)! Those are going to be great memories for your boys for sure!

  4. I always remember waiting on Santa and having a really hard time getting to sleep because we were sooooo excited. My dad would wait till we were all asleep then he would put the presents out. So the poor guy had to stay up till 12-1 waiting on his over excited kids to finally fall asleep! But Christmas was by far the best time of the year in our house. Christmas will always be the most magical time of the year. Its so peaceful and quiet and beautiful.

    • Leah, oh the joys of being the parent who waits up for the kids to go to sleep! I have to admit it’s just as much fun to play Santa as it is to be the kid waiting up for him!

  5. I remember laying awake half the night as a kid listening and looking for any sign of Santa! The feeling of excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning was something that I still remember. This year, I have that same excitement to be able to share in it with our son! I always remember running to the livingroom and seeing that first glimpse of all the presents under the tree, and checking to make sure that all the cookies were gone that we left for Santa. No matter what presents we had under the tree, I was always the most excited to look in my stocking. I would get more excited over a pretty box or a mini-size trinket, than I would over the biggest toy under the tree! To this day, I still feel like the best part of a gift is how it is wrapped or packaged. Call me weird, but I LOVE to spend hours delicately and intricately wrapping presents and adding on homeade trinkets! When someone takes the time to make a gift look beautiful in its wrapping, it makes the gift even better!

    • Amanda, the stocking is my favorite too! I would love to see some of the gifts you wrap! I bet they look amazing!

  6. My favorite santa memory so far is that this is the 1st year that my daughter truly “gets” what and who Santa is. I loved watching her sit on his lap and review her exhaustive list of wants and deires with him!

  7. One of my favorite memories with Santa was last year when I took my daughter who was 3 at the time to Disney World for Mickeys Christmas party. They had fake snow blowing from the top of the buildings so it made it seen like it was really snowing in Florida. Constrained Castle was lit up to look like ice hanging off of it. It was less crowded and they had many character meet and greets where they were dressed in holiday clothes. The parade was amazing with floats that gave off scents of gingerbread cookies. At the end of the parade was Santa waving to all the kids. It was such a magical time. That wasn’t even the best part tho. As we were walking towards the front of the park to leave Santa was walking to go in a building and my daughter was in her stroller with her character autograph book open. He was walking past all the other kids and seen her book open with a pen and bent down and took her book and signed it, gave her a hug and kept walking. It was such a great time and luckily I had my camera out and was able to get the picture of Santa handing my daughter back her book. It was definitely the best Santa moment so far.

  8. One of my favorite memories of Santa was when I was about 5 years old or so, we went to the Marietta Square to see Santa who was set up in a little pavilion with a flight of steps. This was about 1956. I remember waiting on the steps to see him and being so excited to see him and when it was my turn I was afraid of him, I don’t remember if I cried but I know I barely squeaked out what I wanted and he gave me a piece of candy. It was nothing spectacular and magic but it was very special to me and I don’t remember visiting Santa after that!

  9. The most amazing thing about Christmas is how children act every year. My family always gets together to make dozens of Christmas cookies, hard tack candy, and dough balls. Each little famliy takes their own bag full home. My grandmother has been doing this since I can remember. We also have a White Elephant Gift Exchange. It’s a gift exchange with mostly gag gifts. Everyone brings a wrapped gift and puts it on the table, then we all draw a number to see who goes first and so on. My favorite gift is a gift that has been coming back to the exchange every year for many years. It is a white and blue feather boa. Every year the person who got the dreaded boa would wrap it back up and watch as it was picked by the next sucker! Last year, however, I got that dreaded boa and this time it;s not coming back! My daughter added it to her dress up collection! Suits her perfectly! Also, I found it so cute that this year, my daughter gave Santa a gift. She wrapped it herself, with medical bandage tape(ha-ha). She wrote “To: Santa From: Taylor” in yellow marker and here it sits under our tree. Its just a little aluminum tin that once had cookies in it, but I thought it was so cute and caring of her to give santa a gift. I love how she is so easily amused and happy with the little, practical things in life.

  10. My favorite memory isn’t a sweet one, becaused I was just 6 when I stopped believeing. That christmas I got 2 lumps of coal and was so devastated, I cried for a whole day. My mom finally told me she put it there and I snapped “I knew he wasn’t real!” And refused to speak to her. But what I love about this memory isn’t the end of a childhood era, but when we returned to school, my teacher had us share what santa gave us. I proudly stood up and said “nothing! Santa isn’t real, your parents are santa!” And sat down, ruining christmas for my entire first grade class. 🙂

  11. One of my favorite holiday memories was of my brother David when we were children. He must have been about 3. Mom had hung candy canes on the christmas tree and my brother wanted to eat one sooooo bad, but Mom said no! The candy canes back then were not individually wrapped they just came in a box. So mom hangs the candy canes and as she leaves the room she warns David that she would smack his hands if he touched the candy canes. When mom came back into the room there stood David with his little hands clasped tightly behind his back, as he was licking a candy cane right where it hung on the tree. Needless to say Mom didnt have the heart to follow thru with her threat and David got to finish eating the candy cane because technically he didnt “touch” it!!

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