Monday, December 1, 2014

10 Ways to Make Treasured Holiday Memories


Like most Americans, our house is drowning in toys, our dresser drawers are overflowing with clothes, and our pantry is bursting with food (until the kids get home from school and raid it!).  We are blessed with more than we could ever need, so this holiday we're working even harder to take the focus off of "stuff" and put it on making memories with people. 

Looking back on my favorite holiday memories growing up, not one of them revolves around a specific Christmas gift. All of my favorite memories are of spending time with my family and doing things for others. So, why is it that American families spent an average of $800 per family on Christmas gifts last year? Why are we racing around the day after Thanksgiving hunting for deals? Do we really need an elf to bring gifts each day or an advent of new books and movies?  Do we really need all this "stuff"?  This year, we're making lasting memories with each other doing some of the things that I did as a kid - and hopefully, we'll bring some joy to those around us as well.
10 Ways to Make Treasured Holiday Memories - I love these simple ways to go beyond just giving gifts!  #KeepGoodGoing #BH #ad

Here are 10 Ways to Make Treasured Holiday Memories with your Children:

1.  Bake Cookies to Take to a Neighbor.

2.  Load the kids in their pajamas with travel mugs of cocoa and drive around to see the lights.

3.  Make Christmas Cards and Deliver them to a local nursing home.   Bonus Points if you can sing a few carols!

4.  Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. - My kids love doing this every year.  I save the unused toys from birthday goodie bags and holiday treat bags and then we round them out with school supplies, toothbrushes, and some candy.

5.  Buy a New Toy and Deliver it to Toys for Tots or adopt a family through a local organization.  Making shopping for these gifts a family affair and help the kids to see that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

6.  Gather gently used toys and clothes that your children have outgrown and donate them to a local community mission.

7.  Make homemade ornaments for the grandparents.

8.  Invite some friends over for board games and desserts.  Make it simple by having everyone bring a dessert to share.  Instead of a White Elephant exchange, invite friends to bring wipes and diapers to deliver to a local crisis pregnancy center.

9.  Take a Meal to Someone in Need - When my husband and I were first married, our church hosted a huge Turkey Box initiative and packed hundreds of boxes for area families in need of a holiday meal.  It was such a joy to participate with packing and delivering those boxes.  Even if you can't take part in a huge project like this with your kids, you can always gather canned and boxed foods for the Boy Scouts' Scouting for Food initiative or just to donate to your local shelter.  You can also simply fix an extra plate on Thanksgiving or Christmas and hand-deliver it to someone who needs it.  The company and the food are sure to be greatly appreciated!

10.  Camp out beside the Christmas tree for Family Movie Nights.  Be sure to include special snacks and watch some of their favorites like Polar Express and Charlie Brown Christmas!
I am beyond thankful to have a house FULL of family and love.  My greatest hope is that our children's most treasured memories involve the time that we spent together as a family!

New York Life is celebrating the holidays this year with their Keep Good Going campaign that will provide meals to Feeding America.

You can help:
1. Visit the New York Life website and share a photo of your favorite holiday tradition or memory.
2.  Tweet your own holiday tradition or memory using the hashtags #KeepGoodGoing and #FeedingAMillion. Each tweet with the two hashtags will trigger a donation of 25 meals from New York Life to Feeding America.

New York Life is also helping YOU celebrate by giving away one $50 VISA Gift Card to a lucky reader and making a $50 donation on behalf of BlogHer in the winner’s name to Feeding America. To enter simply leave a comment and share what you are thankful for this holiday season.

*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!

 

115 comments:

  1. I love these ideas. I think the greatest gifts we can give our children is our time! Thanks for sharing these great ways to make memories.

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  2. I'm thankful for my husband and kids.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  3. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/539580692691050498

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  4. I am thankful for my family

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  5. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/539614905809117184

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  6. I am thankful for more time with my family and friends this holiday season.

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  7. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/539617460584861696

    Nicole.ddziedzic at gmail dot com

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  8. I am thankful for my husband and 2 kids.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  9. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/539630320962650112
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  10. I am thankful for my Dad being here this Holiday season and not being sick anymore!! I am thankful that all of my sisters and brothers will be spending the Holidays with me! And I am so thankful for my new baby niece who was born a few weeks ago-healthy!

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  11. Tweet Entry
    https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/539782860731727873

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  12. I am thankful for my loving family and most of all Jesus and my faith. yarbr012 at gmail dot com

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  13. tweet https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/540201531673690112 yarbr012 at gmail dot com

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  14. Thankful for my children. They're the best things.

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

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

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  16. I'm thankful for my amazing family and most amazing gift of all; my three year old son.
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  17. I'm so thankful that my whole family is healthy!

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  18. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/541179937416155136

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  19. I'm thankful that my parents are still around to come over for Christmas Day lunch!
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

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  20. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/541323006329364481
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

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  21. A healthy baby, wonderful husband and warm house!

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  22. I am thankful for my healthy family this holiday season.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  23. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/541796113620008960

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  24. I am thankful for my family, and our good health! So much to be thankful for, it's hard to narrow it down. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  25. I'm thankful for my family and our health

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  26. https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/542707782575595520

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  27. i am thankful for the ways God has provided for us this year pryfamily5@gmail.com

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

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  29. I just had a baby one month ago. I'm thankful to have him
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  30. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/543105820620120064

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  31. I am very thankful for my Husband and children, they bring me so much love and joy
    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  32. tweeted https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/544247116621549568

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  33. I'm thankful for my husband and two children and that we are all healthy.

    s2s2 at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  34. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/544867875056791552

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  35. I AM THANKFUL FOR MY MOTHER, WHO HAS BEEN THERE FOR ME THRU THE GOOD & BAD! afjackly@oakland.edu

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  36. https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/545355721433300992 afjackly@oakland.edu

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  37. I am thankful that my family is healthy and happy!

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

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  38. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/545708133898010624

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

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  39. I'm thankful my mom's health is better this year compared to last!
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  40. https://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/547543972705353728
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am thankful my family is together -we bake and bake and bake!!! I love spending time cooking with the christmas music on and everyone around! truckredford(at)gmail(Dot)com

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  42. https://twitter.com/eliza_elliott/status/547839841484816384 truckredford(at)gmail(Dot)com

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  43. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/548590328404803584

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  44. I'm son handful for my healthy and happy family!!
    Shiebs24 at gmail dot com

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  45. https://mobile.twitter.com/shiebs24b/status/548686184369496064
    Shiebs24 at gmail dot com

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  46. I am thankful to have had all the family around this Christmas.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  47. i am thankful for my husband, as always :)

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  48. https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/549236898363744257

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  49. For the first time in many years I didn't spend much on Christmas gifts. In fact, only the grandchildren received wrapped presents. It was actually one of our better holidays because none of the children got into arguments and no one brought up old hurts from the past as usually happens.
    I am thankful for my family and for a job that provides for the necessities if not for luxuries and over the top gifts lol.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/549278975113981952


    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

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  51. I am thankful that BOTH of my sisters are pregnant!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm very thankful for my family and for the wonderful job my husband got this year.
    westiemks5 at yahoo dot com

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  53. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/pixel_berry_pie/status/549797079649112066

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm thankful my recent biopsy for breast cancer came back benign.

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  55. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/550027081061384192

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  56. In our extended family, we let the youngest child place the baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene on Christmas Eve.
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

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  57. tweet
    https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/550051056634175488

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  58. thankful for my family

    fmd518 at gmail dot com

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  59. I am most thankful for my health, my daughter, my husband and for all of those who continue to support me

    ReplyDelete
  60. https://twitter.com/Attea2d/status/550061461155090433

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  61. I am thankful for wonderful friends and family.

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  62. I'm thankful for my happy and healthy daughters.

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  63. I am so very thankful for my family. letessha@yahoo.com

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  64. I am thankful for God and my family

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  65. I'm thankful that due to a pretty good year, Christmas isn't such a pinch this yeAR!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  66. Tweet: https://twitter.com/coriwestphal/status/550104476929912833

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  67. I am thankful for my two granddaughters, one five and one four months. I am thankful that my dad found someone to make him not so lonely since his wife passed away over a year ago. I am thankful that my husband, my son-in-law and my sister have jobs. There is just so much to be thankful for.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'm thankful for God and all his blessings this year and my hubby
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  69. https://twitter.com/disneyfan40/status/550149214831771648
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  70. i am thankful for my home and my family

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  71. i posted a tweet here:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/550152574314102785

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm so grateful for our family's health - thank you.

    barbara (dot) montyj (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  73. Tweet https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/550154064512548865

    ReplyDelete
  74. I'm thankful for my family.
    austma7@aol.com

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  75. I am thankful for the fun that my family shared this holiday season:) My son told me tonight that he couldn't wait until next year.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I am thankful my family has good health.

    ReplyDelete
  77. https://twitter.com/smilekisses/status/550233829529509888

    ReplyDelete
  78. I am thankful for Lauren and Jill.

    ReplyDelete
  79. im thankful for my family
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/550317818575851520
    POKERGRL8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. I am thankful for my daughters! :) They are truly awesome and wonderful people! I'm also thankful for life itself :) Things are pretty good right now and I hope they continue to be the same next year :)
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/550322118445903873
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I am thankful that my three remaining fur babies are happy and healthy. 2014 was a rough year for our family and we lost three of our 6 cats within 6 months. Here is to a healthy and death-free 2015 for everyone!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  84. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/550324797033299969
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete


  85. I am thankful for my health and the health of my friends and family.

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am thankful that we still enjoy good health in our "golden" years, and that in a few days, I will be retiring!

    ReplyDelete
  87. I am thankful that i have my family and friends to spend the Holidays with. There are a lot of people that may not have anyone to spend the holidays with and I am thankful that I have this in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/MelissaShirley2/status/550344892786827264

    ReplyDelete
  89. I am most thankful for my six awesome kids.

    ReplyDelete
  90. That my daughter didn't have to spend the holidays in the children's hospital

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  91. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/550370017183674369

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  92. I am thankful for my family.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  93. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/550380824185413632

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. I am thankful for good health and being close to family

    ReplyDelete
  95. I'm thankful for my hard working husband and my healthy children.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I am thankful for family, friends and good health.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Tweet
    http://www.mamaslikeme.com/2014/12/10-make-holiday-memories.html?showComment=1420057488645#c5605223802529868931

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Correct twitter link-
      https://twitter.com/clc408/status/550387396160667648

      Delete
  98. Thankful for my three children.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. I'm thankful for my family. :)

    SeasideMermaid@twc.com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I am most thankful for my wonderful husband who learned to walk again after having a stroke and being
    told he would not walk again.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I am thankful for my fiance

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  102. Tweet: https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/550399192292532226

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  103. I am most thankful for my wonderful family :)

    ReplyDelete
  104. https://twitter.com/klp1965/status/550401286785355778

    ReplyDelete
  105. I am thankful that I had the ability to get the children most of what they wanted for Christmas. thank you

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  106. i am thankful for my family
    stigay at comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  107. I am thankful for good friends, good health and a warm house.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  108. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/550454092045094912

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
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