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Giveaway! The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

{ Photo from Kidlantis }

If you are looking to start a new Christmas tradition, then the Elf on the Shelf will definitely add some Christmas magic to your child’s holiday season. My daughter received her very own elf when she was three years old and it has become such a special part of her holiday experience. We want you to have a chance to enjoy this Christmas tradition as well, so we are giving away The Elf on the Shelf to one lucky reader!   If you are ready for an exciting family activity that includes a daily hide-and-seek for your child, then enter for a chance to win your own tradition in a box!

Want to learn more about The Elf on the Shelf?  Click here to read the article that explains this little elf and also shares my personal experience in detail.

 

Here’s how to enter the Family Sponge Elf on the Shelf giveaway:

The Family Sponge Elf on the Shelf Giveaway begins right now. Winner will receive one The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition package for your family (includes children’s book, elf doll and storage box).

STEP 1: COMMENT below this post and SHARE a Christmas tradition from your childhood, or a Christmas tradition you share with your children now.

STEP 2: LIKE Family Sponge on Facebook

STEP 3: SUBSCRIBE to Family Sponge

For additional chances to win: you can comment on an additional article, follow us on Twitter, sign up for our weekly newsletter and share our giveaway on your Facebook wall. Post each optional entry as a separate comment to increase your chances to win.

  • This giveaway ends December 9, 2011 at 11:59PM PST. Good luck!
  • You must be 18 or over and live in the US or Canada to enter.
  • One commenter will be selected as the winner through Random.org
  • All entries count as one entry and must be in a separate comment.
  • Winners will be announced on December 12, 2011 by email.
  • The winner has 48 hours to claim their prize.

We’re giving away The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition package to one lucky family!

Ready to win? GO!

We choose to align ourselves with products we have used and love: kid-tested, mom-approved. We are not being paid to promote this product. We do it because we’ve used it and we want to share it.

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245 Responses to Giveaway! The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

  1. HRH Mommy November 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    There are two traditions I wanted to share:

    On Christmas Eve, we make hot chocolate from scratch (with whipped cream) and while we enjoy it, we open 1 small gift that my husband and I select for the children and for each other.

    On Christmas Day, after we open gifts, we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” together. Whole family cuddled up on the sofa, some yummy Christmas-y snacks and this family is set.

    I already like Family Sponge and oh yes, I am getting your updates delivered into my mailbox!!!

    • familysponge November 27, 2011 at 6:35 am #

      Hot chocolate from scratch!? That’s awesome. Maybe we could get you to share your recipe with the Family Sponge community? And I love “Its a Wonderful Life.” What a great tradition you have!

      • HRH Mommy November 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

        So simple:
        Poor cold milk in the cups in which you will serve the hot cocoa. (That way you avoid making too much / too little). Poor in a pan. Add pure cocoa powder to taste. (I usually eyeball it, but I guess it’s about a heaping teaspoon per mug). Add sugar and start whisking slowly to allow the cocoa to dissolve in the milk. Keep whisking over low heat to make sure you don’t leave any cocoa lumps in the milk. Taste. Add cocoa and/or sugar as needed. Pour in mugs, add whipped cream, sprinkle with a bit of cocoa powder and enjoy.

        The whipped cream: take liquid whipping cream / heavy cream. Add a bit of sugar to help it maintain consistency better. Whip with mixer until “strong” peaks form, careful not to over-whip (is that even a word?). Take beaters out of mixer and let the kids lick them clean. Oh what fun that is!

        • familysponge November 30, 2011 at 11:28 am #

          Sounds like something I could do! Think we will be trying this out in the next couple days. Thanks for sharing!

    • familysponge November 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

      I’m a sucker for whip cream. I’d love to hear about your hot chocolate from scratch!

  2. Jenni McKay November 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    1. When I was little, we would leave cookies for Santa and dog treats for the reindeer. My parents would give the dog treats to my mom’s friend’s dog, but first they would leave one on the lawn for me to find in the morning. I intend to continue this tradition with my kiddos now that my oldest is two!

    2. Liked on Facebook.

    3. Subscribed in Google Reader.

    • familysponge November 27, 2011 at 6:32 am #

      I love it! Such a magical experience as a kid. And carrying on the tradition just makes it that much more meaningful and special. Thanks for the great idea.

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      I love the idea of dog treats for the reindeers. So sweet! – Jadah

  3. Autumn Minnix November 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    My kids are 2 and 11 months. Our family doesn’t really have a set tradition yet. However, there is one thing I will never forget about Christmas as a kid- and it is such a bittersweet memory. My baby brother is 2.5 yrs younger than me, and has made a mess of his life. He is in jail now. Everyone sees the bad and speaks terrible things about him. But I know the good. I love my brother almost as much as I love my children. So here is my memory. Every single Christmas morning, Mikie came running into my room, “Sis! Sis! Wake up!”. We would go wake our parents up and while waiting on them, we would get into our stockings together. It is such a simple tradition… But very special to me.**** I am a Facebook fan and I have subscribed to Family Sponge 🙂

    • familysponge November 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

      Childhood memories are the best – even when they are bittersweet. Makes me think of my brother who is just one year younger than me. It’s crazy how much less time you spend together as adults. Thank you for sharing. – Jadah

      • Autumn Minnix December 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        It doesn’t matter how little you see your siblings though, that bond stays the same 🙂 It’s really hard because he stays in a lot of trouble 🙁 We are 2.5 years apart. My children are 22 months apart 🙂 I like it though because I know they will be best friends. I bet you and your brother were best friends and enemies too, being so close! 😉

  4. Autumn Minnix November 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    I shared on Facebook 🙂

  5. Ryan hansard November 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Shared on Facebook page

  6. Ryan hansard November 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    My favorite Christmas tradition was getting Christmas boxers and wearing them year round. It was always funny to be wearing reindeer boxers in July.

    • familysponge November 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      That made me laugh out loud. I think it’s worth it to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long! – Jadah

  7. allison November 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    As a child we would bake cookies for santa and in turn santa would leave his snowy (flour) footprints on the carpet. Now as a parent of 2 childen 2 and 6 months, we are sharing the traditions that both myself and husband enjoyed as children. The best part of christmas is seeing the smiles on many faces!!

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

      Allison, I would love to see pictures of the snowy footprints. Such a great idea! – Jadah

  8. Cassi Curry November 29, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Growing up in my family, we always got to open one present on Christmas Eve, new pajamas! Today, my husband and I carry on that tradition with our two kids. In my family we also had a tradition of chocolate gravy and biscuits for breakfast Christmas morning. While my husband isn’t a fan, my kids and I still have that each Christmas morning, since we are away from family.

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      We had a tradition of pajamas on Christmas eve too. I remember when my sister and I got the same pj’s. We must have swapped gifts on accidents because when you look at our picture my sister’s pjs were at her knees and mine were at my ankles. She’s 4 years older, so her pjs were a bigger size. Chocolate gravy and biscuits – please share this recipe!

  9. Cassi Curry November 30, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Posted on facebook.

  10. Valerie Click November 30, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    My favorite tradition with my son is going to pick out our tree at the nursery and then decorated it together. Even if he puts 30 bulbs in one spot he is having a blast and we are creating a memory!

  11. Valerie Click November 30, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    I liked family sponge on facebook!

  12. Brittney November 30, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Every Christmas morning for breakfast we have Christmas tree rolls, which are basically cinnamon rolls that we put into the shape of a Christmas tree and bake. In place of the cinnamon and sugar there is cream cheese and pineapple.

    • familysponge November 30, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      Those sound amazing! I want them right now!!! Especially the pineapple twist.

  13. Aiko Martin November 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    We like to wrap up a Christmas book for every night of advent. The children then get to unwrap one book a night and we read it to them before bed.

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

      What an awesome idea! I am an advocate for literacy. This is such a healthier version than the chocolates. Thanks for sharing! – Jadah

  14. Michelle E December 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Growing up we used to be able to open 1 or 2 gifts on Christmas Eve and we continue that tradition w/ our boys…

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Nice. We did the same. I just remember it being so hard to go to bed on Christmas Eve.

  15. Michelle E December 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Liked on FB!

  16. Michelle E December 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Subscribed

  17. GalaxseaGirl December 3, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I love traditions! Especially this magical time of year. My 2 boys are still young, 3 and 4, but so far some of our annual (and common) traditions include:
    December first (the British half’s custom) setting up the tree… My mother sent me a box of some of her Christmas ornaments (the ones I put on the tree growing up, some of which are quite old antiques now) So along with our own collection, I tell the background of where each ornament came from as everyone takes turns decorating our tree.
    Advent calendars counting down the days til Christmas
    Getting a blast of holiday spirit at the annual town light parade
    This is a good time of year to clear out clutter and get rid of some old toys to make way for the new ones. Donate them to the charity shops.
    Also, of course, the list of Classic Christmas movies and tv specials I have on DVD the kids get to watch (Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street, Polar Express…)

    I also want to mention a tradition my mother had when she was a child, which I don’t do, but I think is cute. She was the oldest of 10 kids! Since Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus, they would have a birthday party for Jesus. On Christmas morning they would have a parade through the house carrying a baby Jesus and sing happy birthday; he would then be placed into the manger scene. I always loved that vision I have of all 10 kids doing this!

  18. Shauna B December 3, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I love the holidays and now that I have two boys under the age of 5, I really try to keep a few traditions going, as my mom did for my sister and I when we’re growing up.
    One tradition is to have my son open up a special small gift on Christmas eve and we also make homemade hot chocolate like one of the readers above. We make homemade whip cream and I let my 4 yr old decorate the top with candy like m and ms or gummy bears! (it’s our first yr with my 6 month old so he’ll probably just watch! 🙂
    On Christmas morning, I hide a few gifts for my 4 yr old and start with either a trail of small gifts starting from his room then lead him to the Xmas tree or scatter them throughout the house and outside (depending on the weather.)
    He loves it! It’s like a special treasure hunt. We also do this for Easter with the Easter eggs! Oh so fun!

  19. Catie December 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Last year, we started making “Reindeer Food” and we sprinkled it around the ground by the chimney on Christmas Eve. We also of course do milk and cookies for Santa. Nothing to extravagant, but there is nothing like the look on Madison’s face when the reindeer food and cookies were gone in the morning.

    • familysponge December 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

      That is so cute! There is nothing like the magic of Christmas when you are a kid.

  20. Shauna B December 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Liked and subscribed! 🙂

  21. Tami December 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    My favorite tradition with my daughter has been coming home Christmas Eve and putting on our footsie pjs (which I only wear on that night) and setting out a letter and treats for the reindeer and Santa.
    As a child I loved driving into downtown Sf with my grandparents and spending the evening looking at the Christmas trees and window displays at all of the stores.

    • familysponge December 4, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      Christmas window displays are so fun! I just saw one that strung marshmallows on fishing wire to imitate snow. It was adorable!

  22. Michelle December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    It’s a silly tradition but the only one I ever remember from when I was a kid…we get new Christmas PJ’s to wear on Christmas Eve. So now that I have a son of my own we carry it on in our house.

    • familysponge December 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      My husband’s family does the same thing with pajamas on Christmas Eve. It’s so cute.

  23. Michelle December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Like and subscribed as well

  24. Julie December 6, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    This is what I use to do as a child & have followed the tradition. We let the kids open one present from mom & dad on Christmas Eve, because it is so hard to wait one more day. Keeps them happy & when the kids are happy, everyones happy.

    • Family Sponge December 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

      My husband’s family likes to open all of the presents at midnight. I guess then the kids might not wake up as early. 🙂 I like the one present on Christmas Eve.

  25. Jenni McKay December 6, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Shared on Facebook!

  26. Jamie Jones December 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    As a kid I use to write letters to my elf and leave them under a chair. Then the next morning I would get a response from my elf letting me know that he got it and is taking my letter to Santa. And obviously reminding me that I needed to be good. Always wondered why that elf’s hand writing looked so much like mom’s. 🙂

    Tradition with my 3 year old and nieces/nephews. Every Christmas Eve everyone gets new PJ’s, wears them that night and takes a picture with Grandma and Grandpa (there are 6 kids and more on the way)

    Liked and subscribed as well.

    • familysponge December 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      I like the letter writing to the elf. My daughter has the elf on the shelf, and she makes cards for him. Writing a letter to her elf would be a nice thing for her to do. – Jadah

  27. Autumn Minnix December 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    I am following on twitter <3 #inlovetimes3

  28. Autumn Minnix December 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    I receive your weekly newsletter <3

  29. Autumn Minnix December 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    I read & commented on Holiday Postcards!! Loved the article 🙂

  30. Sharol.M December 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    The day after Thanksgiving, we pick out a tree and decorate it together. We also get a customized Christmas ornament made each year to put on our tree. Then on Christmas Eve we help our kids build and decorate a gingerbread house and open one gift =)

  31. Holly December 7, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I always buy matching pajamas for everyone and we open them Christmas Eve!

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      I’d love to see a picture of the identical pajamas. Sounds like it could be a cute photo card. – Jadah

  32. Jennipher V December 7, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Our family tradition growing up was we were allowed to open one gift christmas eve night just before goin to bed.

  33. Jennipher V December 7, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    liked family sponge on facebook

  34. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    My husband’s family watches “A Christmas Story” all day long on TBS. My family reads the Christmas story from the book of Matthew in the Bible on Christmas morning. We used to watch “Smokey Mountain Christmas” until the VHS tape broke. Usually, we allow the kids to open one present on Christmas Eve which builds the excitement overnight. I love Christmas!

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      I love Christmas too. Reading the book of Matthew sounds like a great Christmas morning tradition. My daughter asks me almost everyday “What is Christmas?” I explain the birth of Jesus and the story of St Nicholas and what gift giving is all about. – Jadah

  35. Angela Westfall December 7, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    When I was growing up, I always got to open one gift Christmas Eve. I still do that with my daughters. I also have the family watch Charlie Brown Christmas every year.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      Yes to Charlie Brown! We’ve already watched The Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving and soon Charlie Brown Christmas. Can’t wait. – Jadah

  36. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    I like you on FB.

  37. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    I am a new email subscriber.

  38. Jennipher V December 7, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    i subsribed to family sponge

  39. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I follow you on twitter as @artzamy23.

  40. Jennipher V December 7, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I shared on facebook

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      Thank you! – Jadah

  41. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    http://www.facebook.com/artzamy23/posts/260315747359054 Shared on FB.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks for sharing on FB. We really appreciate it! – Jadah

  42. Kristen December 7, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Ever since I was little and can remember we would have Christmas eve at my grandfathers house and my grandmother would do Christmas breakfast at her house. My grandma passed away in 2007 so it’s tradition for me to keep Christmas breakfast going. So on Christmas morning we open presents and cook a big breakfast and enjoy spending time with our family and our grandmother in spirit.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      What a touching story. That is so wonderful that you get to carry on the Christmas breakfast tradition. What will you be making for breakfast this year? – Jadah

  43. Christine Sapp December 7, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Our family tradition is getting all bundled up and cutting down our Christmas tree then coming home and decorating it.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      We just cut our first tree this year, and I am fan. I can’t imagine going back to plastic now. – Jadah

  44. Cassie Camacho December 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    This is my first Christmas with my family (My husband and son) last year he was too little to participate. And this year I am so excited to share and begin new traditions. In my family growing up, we decorated the day after Thanksgiving and celebrated the whole month. The first Saturday in Dec we went to our city’s light parade, Then went Christmas shopping afterwards. The second weekend (this one) we go to our local zoo because they have a Christmas theme and activities going on. We meet Santa sometime during the week, get our pictures etc. Christmas eve is finally here, and its baking a day starting around 6am. We fill the house with goodies and yummy foods. By nighttime we each open one gift talk about the past year and what we hope to do as a family the new year. We leave out cookies for Santa on our special cookie plate for Santa, and milk. Christmas day begins around 5am (EARLY I KNOW!) and each person takes turns every year to play ‘Santa’ and hand out everyone’s gifts. We do all that and more. Christmas dinner is big and this year in our first home and our first real Christmas with my little family, we are hosting dinner there. My family, the In-Laws and more! My son is truly enjoying all the activities and of course goodies. I cant wait for more to come 🙂

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      I love all of the festivities. As your son gets older the traditions will become that more special. Sounds like a of family quality time. I love how you share what you hope to do as a family int the new year! – Jadah

      • Cassie Camacho December 7, 2011 at 9:58 am #

        Yes, I am very excited to begin new and old ones. I am huge family person, so its important to me to spend it with them and my own! This weekend is Santa so I hope he does well! He just turned 1 on October! So Im hoping he doesn’t scare the crud out of him!

  45. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I just signed up for your weekly newsletter.

  46. Amy L. Norman December 7, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    http://familysponge.com/design-style/capture-the-moments/#comment-524 I commented on your precious camera story. <3

  47. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    We decorate the house for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving- The kids love getting the stuff out of boxes! And we make cookies throughout December and save some for Santa! And we also build and decorate a Gingerbread house- this year, it’ll be a barn with chickens and horses because we now own land and have 16 chickens 🙂
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      I have to see a picture of the gingerbread farm! It’s nice to have chickens for those fresh eggs. We lived on Kauai, and chickens and roosters were everywhere – Jadah

  48. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    New FB fan of Family Sponge.
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

  49. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Email subscriber now!
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

  50. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Following Jadah @familysponge on Twitter- shannau
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

  51. Melda Carter December 7, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    For Christmas, my family always gives a needy family a box of Christmas Cheer. We adopt a family that we think needs a little cheer in their life and collect presents to give them. They never know it’s us so it make for fun when they talk to us about it. We also bake cookies and take to the firehouse to the firefighters who are working on Christmas eve & day. We are looking forward to it this year in our new home and city.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      This sounds lovely. So you make a box of goodies for a family you know and they have no idea? – Jadah

  52. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Shared this on FB! https://www.facebook.com/shanna.uptergrove/posts/157064641061823
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks for sharing us! – Jadah

  53. Shanna Uptergrove December 7, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Just signed up for your weekly newsletter!
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

  54. theresa December 7, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    would love to win, i am lookin forward to startin this tradition next year. my daughter is only 4 months old, i have been lookin everywheres for one.

  55. synthis marsiglia December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    A Christmas tradition that my hubby and I have had since we first got engaged is to pick out an ornament and have it engraved at a certain store. We also make Italian Cookies that have been passed down from generation to generation. 😀 On Christmas morning we read the Christmas story from the Bible before we open gifts.

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 11:02 am #

      Please share your Italian cookies recipe. That sounds so delicious! – Jadah

  56. Dawn Hooper December 7, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    For our family tradition, we have a game that we play every year called the left right game. The letter can be found online ( just google left right game). One person reads the letter as each person does what the letter says, it is sooo much fun! I think the confusion is what makes the game ever better. I promise you, you will laugh for hours!!!

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      I am a board game fanatic. I will have to try this game out. Thanks for sharing! – Jadah

  57. DELLA THOMASSIE PELEGAL December 7, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    WE ALWAYS BAKED C00KIES,0PEN 0NE GIFT AND READ THE NIGHT BEF0RE CHRISTMAS 0N CHRISTMAS EVE. I HAVE C0NTINUED THIS TRADITI0N WITH MY CHILDREN.

  58. Brittany Green December 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Something my mom did for me and I do for my children is leave a present on the foot of their bed Christmas Eve Night so when they wake up first thing they see is a present from Santa!

    • familysponge December 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      I love this idea! At the foot of the bed – that is just too sweet. – Jadah

  59. Haley December 8, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    My boys are still young at 2 and 3 so we havent really started our own traditions yet! The Elf of the Shelf is for sure something I want to start with them!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      This age is the perfect age to start some new traditions. Good luck! -Jadah

  60. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    On Christmas Eve morning, we go to Cracker Barrel and eat breakfast together. We each pick out a new ornament while there and take it home for the tree. Then we go home and cook desserts together and get ready for our Christmas dinner. We enjoy speding time together in the kitchen.

  61. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    I like Family Sponge on facebook. Facebook name is DarleneWebbArnold

  62. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    I am subscribing to Family Sponge via email. My email address for subscription is summersorbet1234@gmail.com

  63. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    I am following you via Twitter. Twitter username is Summersorbet123

  64. Christy A December 8, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    We walk through the Holiday Fantasy of lights 5K run. Then, we drive through it multiple times throughout the season. My twins were 3 months old their first time through and their little heads turned to follow the lights. Almost everynight we go looking at lights. They are 2 years 3 months now. We also pick a night and rent a limo with friends to go “light seeing”. I make hot chocolate and put it in caraffes and bake Christmas Cookies for all of us to enjoy.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      Fantasy lights sounds so cool. What city does this happen in? And a limo and hot chocolate in a carafe – I love it! -Jadah

  65. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    I signed up for your weekly newsletter.

  66. Darlene Arnold December 8, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    I shared this giveaway on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/#!/DarleneWebbArnold/posts/2810811626830

  67. Amanda Parnell December 8, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    Our family tradition is on Christmas Eve the kids write letters to Santa and leave them along with the cookies…In return, Santa writes them back and leaves them a DVD or Video Game on the dining room table…this all has to be open before “gifts from Santa” are open!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      What a sweet deal from Santa! -Jadah

  68. Dawn Walsh December 8, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Our newest tradition is a glass pickle ornament. We decorate the tree and then on xmas eve the ornament will be hide on the tree. The child that finds it gets an little present.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Very cute! I may have to share this with my best friend in Kauai. Her and her husband nicknamed each other “Pickle” and I’m sure they would love adding this to their family traditions. -Jadah

  69. Amanda Parnell December 8, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    I followed on twitter!! 🙂

  70. Amanda Parnell December 8, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    I posted on my facebook wall!! Can’t wait to see who the winner is!!

  71. Danielle Russo December 8, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    A family tradition I had growing up is we all would gather at my grandmothers house around 5pm and eat dinner on Christmas Eve. Around 6-630 we would start opening gifts. We never got home any earlier than midnight. My brothers and sister and I would be so excited and anxious to see what Santa would bring. Christmas morning my brother would walk into each of our rooms and we would all go into the living room together. We would let me youngest bro start first asnwe would loook at everything he had and go down the row…youngest to oldest.

    Now that I have 3 myself we pretty much do the same thing and open up gifts on Christmas Eve. We bake cookies..usally 2 dozen of different kinds because the older two have different ideas as to what flavor is Santas favorite 🙂

    My hubby is the one thats eats half while placing all the gifts under the tree…meaning crumbs are all over the floor :)…lol I can remember my daughter saying one yr ( she was 2 ) Mom, Anta is messy haha. We write Santa a thank you note the night before and first thing on Christmas Morning we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus 🙂 The rest of Christmas day we spend playing games, with new toys and just hanging out enjoying family and friends 🙂

    It looks like I am going to have to make a mess this yr and eat the cookies as “Santa” is deployed.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      We will keep deployed Santa in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sure you will do a wonderful job making cookie crumbs. I also love that you take turns on opening presents to see what everyone got. In my house we are all crazed with wrapping paper flying the air. I may have to incorporate youngest to oldest opening gifts too, so sweet. -Jadah

      • Danielle Russo December 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

        Thank you and I am sure I got the crumb mess covered lol.

    • Danielle Russo December 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      forgot to add I liked fb page and subscribed 🙂

  72. Dawn Walsh December 8, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    LIKE Family Sponge on Facebook with this same name

  73. Dawn Walsh December 8, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    i just SUBSCRIBEd to Family Sponge

  74. Jana Lynch December 8, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    A childhood family tradition with my parents were listening to some old time favorite Christmas songs (ex. Susie Snowflake) and many more that we used to sing as a family as we decorated our Christmas tree….these songs were played on records (yes ancient!)….but such memorable times! Well now that I have my own little ones, my Dad put all those spirited songs on a CD (that I will cherish forever) & now in our house we decorate our tree & play those very same songs & sing with our children. Puts such happiness & warmth in my heart!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      That is so sweet that your dad made a mix CD of the Christmas classics. Makes me teary eyed just thinking about that. -Jadah

  75. Nikki S. December 8, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    Every year since my four year old was born we would go out and pic a new ornament for the him, this year we get to do that for our 9 month old to, It may not be the greatest tradition but my four year old seems to enjoy it

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      This sounds like a perfect tradition! -Jadah

  76. Angela December 8, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    My kids are toddlers, so I’m. Creating new and incorporating mine and my spouse’s favorite traditions with our little family.
    We bake cookies for Santa and we read Christmas stories. We are also going to start caroling around to our neighbor friends this year!
    When they are older we will do volunteer work for the needy, this year we adopted a child and we are delivering gifts. : )

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Volunteering with your kids is so important. I’m excited to hear you will be doing that with your kids. I always wanted to Christmas carol. Will it just be you and your family, or will you have some friends to join you? I feel like if it was just my husband, myself and I we’d be pretty quiet singing crew. 🙂 -Jadah

  77. Justine December 8, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    every year i looked forward to my Grandpa’s traditional homemade cookies in the mail. it was always the one holiday tradition i looked forward to the most. sadly Grandpa has passed and will not be able to continue his tradition this year, but my mother has decided to continue in his honor! this year will be bitter sweet. it will never be the same without my Grandpa but i look forward to my children enjoying their Grandma’s cookies each year 🙂

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      May your grandpa rest in paradise. What tradition will your mom carry on? -Jadah

  78. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    We love putting all the wrapped gifts under the tree after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, so when they wake up Christmas morning, they see all the gifts. We also like to set up the train, turn on the lights, and have it all set up when they wake up. We also like to read the Christmas story out of the Bible. I do want to start the Elf tradition next year in our new home…it looks so fun & I know the kids would love it!!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Having the tree running sounds so magical. Thanks for sharing! -Jadah

  79. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    I “liked” you on Facebook! 🙂

  80. Michelle December 8, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    My mom and I get together with my son and make christmas cookies for everyone.

  81. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    I liked Family Sponge on FB

  82. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I shared on FB

  83. Jeanette Mays December 8, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I shared. A christmas tradition in our house is make christmas cookies its so much fun.

  84. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I subscribe to your feed: haras76 at live dot com

  85. Jeanette Mays December 8, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I also followed on twitter. screen name poky6676

  86. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    I follow you on twitter @sassyfrazz
    We also cut down a Christmas tree every year! 🙂

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Yay, to a fellow fresh Christmas Tree friend! -Jadah

  87. Jeanette Mays December 8, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    I liked on Facebook. Jeanette Mays is my screen name.

  88. Jeanette Mays December 8, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    I signed up for the newsletter. Ever sense I was a kid my parents would read the night before Christmas to us before we went to bed.

  89. Nicole H. December 8, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    We always drive around town and look at all of the Christmas lights and make an evening of it! 🙂

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      I love driving and looking at lights. It’s so much fun listening to the Christmas music in the car. Have you tried walking through neighborhoods? People keep telling me that can be a lot of fun too. -Jadah

  90. Nicole Gallant December 8, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Every year at Christmas we do two things with our kids, Each year they get one special tree ornament that they get to open on Christmas Eve to place on the tree. The ornament represents something to do with them/their year leading up to Christmas. Then when the time comes that they choose to move away from home they will have their ornaments to start decorating their own tree with. My mom did this with me and although I didn’t quite understand the importance of those ornaments when I was little I do now as I see them next to my kids ornaments on my tree. The second thing we do is put out our “Magic Key”. Our home doesn’t have a chimney or fireplace and my son was always concerned that Santa wouldn’t come because of this. I found this magic key, that is placed on the outside of your door . They key only works with Santa’s magic and with it he can deliver toys to our home. I enjoyed reading all of your traditions. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      My mom just gave me all of my ornaments from my childhood. It is a sweet tradition to pass it on. My daughter loves the one my mom sewed for me when I was born. And what a great idea on the magic key story. We live an apartment and my daughter noticed we don’t have a chimney. I didn’t have an answer for her. Could I share this magic key story with our Family Sponge community? I think it would help a lot of families who do not have fireplaces in their homes. Thanks for sharing! -Jadah

  91. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    This year I’m going to start a new tradition with my kids…making ornaments! I have just bought a family one each year, but my 2 youngest are old enough this year that we can start making them!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      I love the idea of kids making their own ornaments. I still have one I made in school: a strawberry (a painted walnut, with sesame seeds and green felt leaf). What kind of ornament will your kids make this year? -Jadah

      • April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 11:12 am #

        I saw this post yesterday http://www.mommypotamus.com/decking-our-halls/ on making them with yarn. My 2 youngest are 3 and 1, so this is something I think they can both do. I’m still looking around for some other ideas too! My oldest is 10, so I’m going to try to find something that he will enjoy doing that is more specific to his age. We might also do some as gifts! I love when I visit my family and see that they still have ornaments that I made them when I was little!

  92. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I gave a tweet!!
    https://twitter.com/sassyfrazz/status/144802137099079680

  93. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Subscribed to Family Sponge

  94. Claudete Lariviere December 8, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    OMG, I use to have one of these Elves back in the 1960’s !!! Its been a long time since I seen my “Pixie” that is what I named my elf doll. I remember every year, finding “Pixie” amoungst the boxes full of Christmas decorations and ornaments. Each year I took “Pixie” out and I just loved her soft bendable legs. I would sit her on the mantle,i would sit her on the couch, the end tables, just about everwhere, cause Pixie always sat so pretty. Eventually when the tree was trimmed, I would fihnd a special spot for Pixie an over the holidays I would take her out of the tree and play with her. Now i never knew there was a story behind “Pixie” and of course my Original Pixie is long gone decades ago. I would LUV to have another, it would bring back a flooding of memories of Christmas Holidays, to have my little “Pixie” again and read the story to find out now, what to me is a mystery behind this adorable Elf….thanx for a chance to win her,

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      “Pixie,” so sweet! The Elf on the Shelf story says you can’t touch the elf or it loses it’s magic. But I love the idea of getting to play with your elf. My daughter just finds things to stand on to talk to her elf and she’s very careful not to touch it. Good luck! -Jadah

  95. Nicole Gallant December 8, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    subscribed to your weekly newsletter!

  96. Lindsay Myers December 8, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    As a child we didn’t have any Christmas traditions but now that I have kids I have determined that we are going to have a few of them!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:25 am #

      Creating new traditions with your own kids is so much fun! Do you have any ideas on ones you are thinking about starting? -Jadah

  97. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Following on twitter as @luckyag13

  98. Sarah H. December 8, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    I shared this great giveaway on my Facebook page : SarahandTerry H.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Thanks for sharing! -Jadah

  99. Janaya Falcon December 8, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    our family tradition is to open one gift on christmas eve, to make more room under the tree for santas presents! then christmas morning we wake up to find santas gifts and open the rest of our gifts then go to our grandparents to spend time with them for christmas!

  100. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    signed up for weekly newsletter

  101. Karen December 8, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    When I was a kid my parents would put up the tree Christmas eve night when I would go to bed. The next morning they would tell me Santa brought the Christmas tree and all the presents. I was so excited when I got up 🙂

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Santa bringing the tree on Christmas Eve is so sweet. It would be so hard for me to wait for a Christmas Tree until Christmas Eve. I just love the holiday season. -Jadah

  102. Caitlyn LeJeune December 8, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    My family’s Christmas tradition is to open all presents from everyone on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas Day, we all hang out, watch A Christmas Story, and eat!

    Now that I have my own babygirl, I plan to start new traditions with her 🙂

    LIKED on Facebook and subscribed.
    Thanks for giving me the chance to win Elf on the Shelf!
    I would love to have this to start as my own family tradition!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      Yes, A Christmas Story movie marathon is fun. I know the sale that leg lamp. I’ve thought of getting my husband one someday just for laughs. 🙂 -Jadah

  103. April Parkhurst December 8, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I have to say, I am so glad I came across this giveaway! After reading one of your articles I kept going! I look forward to reading more:) I commented on the Green living with an eco-friendly fresh Christmas Tree article!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      Makes my heart happy to know you enjoyed the articles. 🙂 Good luck! -Jadah

  104. Marisa December 8, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    The night before Christmas,me am my kids bake cookies an I let them stay up alil late an watch a holiday movie,an just before its time for bed I tell them that I think I hear reindeers on the roof an they should run to bed….they get so excited goin up the stairs,so cute!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      Running up the stairs to bed – that’s awesome! I should try that. What’s your favorite holiday movie for the kids? I love Muppets Christmas Carol and my husband’s favorite is Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. We obviously like Jim Henson. 🙂 -Jadah

  105. Kristina Davis December 8, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Our Christmas tradition was/is that we would take one night early in December to put the tree up and all decorate it as a family, and Dad would out the tree topper on once the tree was all decorated. I still do this with my children and my hubby puts the topper on when the tree is done!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am #

      So sweet that you are carrying that tradition on with your husband and children. – Jadah

  106. Marisa December 8, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Likes ur Facebook!!

  107. Marisa December 8, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Subscribed to ur emails!!

  108. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    One sad christmas tradition that happens is that I usually have the flu on Christmas. A good tradition in my family is that someone (we have no idea who does this) comes to our house on Christmas eve around eleven p.m with two to four red trash bags that are filled to the brim with Christmas gifts. Every year when we were kids we would try to find out who it was but never did. We even moved and it happened.

    Since I have been married, we always celebrate christmas morning with my in-laws and my mom comes as well. My family gets together after Christmas.

    We just became parents and is looking for traditions for our kids.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      Sadly I understand about being sick. I always sick when I was a kid on Christmas. Check out our immune booster recipe here: http://familysponge.com/food/blending-natural-immunity-booster/ Both Jen and I are green smoothie advocates. Since I’ve been blending, I’ve been so healthy. Hoping to skip the flu this season. 🙂 – Jadah

  109. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I liked FamilyShare on facebook

  110. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I subscribed to FamilyShare

  111. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I followed FamilyShare on twitter

  112. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I shared the giveaway on facebook

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks for sharing us with your Facebook friends. We really appreciate it. We are called FamilySponge, but FamilyShare is cool too! 🙂

  113. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    I subscribed to the weekly newsletter

  114. Kendra Mitts December 8, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    I just commented on the making memories post. Thank you for the chance on winning the elf on the shelf.

  115. Eileen December 8, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    This was my favorite tradition as a child and I’ve been doing it with my own family ever since my daughter was born. She’s 3 now and this is will be her 4th Christmas so she’s even more into it than she ever was. On Christmas Eve, after we’ve spent time with extended family and it’s time to go home and wind down for Santa to come, everyone gets to open one present. Every year the present is a pair of Christmas pajamas. Then we all get into our pajamas, and I make hot cocoa. After that we get into the car, bundled up under our blankets, and we drive around looking at Christmas lights on the houses. We listen and sing Christmas music, drink our hot cocoa, eat candy canes and wonder where Santa is on his route. We look for the best houses, all of us liking something different, and generally just have a nice time that I feel really gets the magic of Christmas. There is one house we stop at every year, this family puts the Griswold’s to shame! Lights everywhere, blowups all over, their lights even blink in sync with a local Christmas station! They even have TVs outside with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on a loop. It’s a huge hit as you can imagine. Then when we’ve started getting sleepy, we head home and read Twas’ the Night before Christmas and it’s time for bed. Then my husband and I relax with “It’s a Wonderful Life” as we do our Santa duties. If it wasn’t for the sheer excitement of Christmas morning, our traditions the night before would be my favorite part of the holiday. 🙂

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Your Christmas Eve festivities sound perfectly wonderful! – Jadah

  116. Rebecca December 8, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Santa (I) put the stockings on my kids bed so when they wake up in the morning they dont run right downstairs. they can open their stocking first. but i would love to add the elf on the shelf to the tradition

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      I love that “Santa” puts their stocking on their bed. Very sweet! -Jadah

  117. richele caporelli December 8, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    we go see the xmas lights every yr at linvilla orchards! my dads parents did it then my parents did it then i did it now i take my kids!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      That sounds so lovely. What city does this happen in? -Jadah

  118. Lisa Cour December 8, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I always loved setting out cookies and milk the night before and then getting up at the crack of dawn and running into wake Mom and Dad so we could open our gifts!!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      Love milk and cookies!

  119. Lisa Cour December 8, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I liked Family Sponge on Facebook

  120. Cindy Coday December 8, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    We always open one gift on Christmas Eve

  121. Cindy Coday December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    I subscribed to the
    feed

  122. Cindy Coday December 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I liked on facebook

  123. Kaitlin December 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    My family starts Holiday traditions for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. We stay in a hotel in Downtown and watch the Christmas lights and fireworks to start off our Christmas tradition. We have a cookie exchange every year for all the women in our family. We also the week of Christmas make sugar cookies with my sisters and their kids. Then on Christmas Eve we visit family and then head out to see some Christmas lights on the way home. At home we make homemade hot chocolate and go Christmas Caroling in our neighborhood. Then we go to midnight mass and wake up early to open presents and spend the day with the ones we love.We have been doing this since I can remember and plan to continue the tradition with my new little family.

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      I love stay-cations. I love the idea of staying in a hotel on Thanksgiving weekend.

  124. caryn December 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Every year on christmas eve we were allowed to open one present each. This one present always was a new pair of christmas pjs that my mom sewed for each one of us! While i don’t sew i do buy my kids a new pair of christmas jammies to open and take a picture of in front of the tree!

    • familysponge December 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

      Wow, your mom sewed your pjs!? That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing and good luck! -Jadah

  125. Hollie O'Hara December 9, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    We have a humbug, which is a little bug dressed as an ant, who brings them a little present everyday leading up to Christmas, like an advent calendar.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      A humbug – this is so cute! Would you send me a picture of your humbug to hello(at)familysponge.com I would love to share this idea with the Family Sponge community. I am very curious to see what this little bug looks like. -Jadah

  126. michelle beare December 9, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    i have three young girls and every christmas eve they get one special present then they put on their new christmas pajamas.me and hubby put ash footprints on the floor leading to the tree and he eats the cookies.we also leave them a note from santa.the look on my childrens faces christmas morning is priceless.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      Very sweet! -Jadah

  127. Debbie December 9, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    We purchase the LEGO Advent Calender for our oldest son every year (he now lets his younger brother help). He adds the daily LEGO item under our tree with our LEGO Village and LEGO train. He looks forward to every morning to see what is in the next box!

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      I will have to check out the LEGO Advent Calendar. I didn’t know they had one. -Jadah

  128. tiffany December 9, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Our family tradition is making gingerbread houses. This is something that we just recently started but the kids love it. It’s a fun family project and all the kids get to do a different one so it makes it fun. Another one of our traditions is they get to open one present on Christmas Eve. This is normally a gift from my Mother in law because every year she gets everyone new pajamas.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      I love the idea of making gingerbread houses as a family project. Very cool! -Jadah

  129. paula December 9, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    My daughter is 4 and we buy a “special” ornament each year something pertaining to that yr. This yr. will be Disney Snow White as we went for our 1st Disney trip Boo not so scary halloween party. My daughter dressed as Snow White:)

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      This is so sweet. Did they say, “hello Princess” to your daughter all day at Disneyland? I’m a Disney fanatic. We have annual passes. 🙂 -Jadah

  130. paula December 9, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    I like you on fb. family sponge

  131. paula December 9, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I follow you on Twitter.

  132. Marli December 9, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    My family has numerous Christmas Traditions. We start off with Thanksgiving of everyone being together, then after lunch we head of to the Christmas Tree Farm and get a tree. Normally during December, we have a tradition of making Holiday Candy. Along with the candy we have numerous parties, and celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:48 am #

      Holiday candy from scratch!? Tell me more! -Jadah

  133. paula December 9, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I subscribed to family sponge.

  134. Dakri Lukowski December 9, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    We have several traditions. On Christmas Eve we get in our pjs and drive around looking at Christmas lights and then come home and make cookies for Santa. Then we sit and read some Christmas stories. My mother and father also get each of us a Christmas ornament that symbolizes something we did that year.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      I like the ornaments reflecting something you did over the year. Very cool! -Jadah

  135. paula December 9, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I subsubscribed to Family Sponge:) Thanks

  136. Staciw December 9, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Love this, Would love to win for my Twins. Like

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Good luck! How old are your twins? I have a few friends with twins, and you all are wonder women in my eyes! -Jadah

  137. Melissa W December 9, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Each year we decorate the tree as a family by our “first” fire in the fireplace of the season, drink hot chocolate and talk about each special story behind all the ornaments. My girls 3 and 8 really love hearing stories about ornaments from mine and my hubby’s childhood.

    Then Christmas Eve we leave Cookies and Milk for Santa and carrots and oats for the Reindeers as well as a thank you letter for Santa.

    Christmas morning they wake up to eaten snacks and soot on the fireplace stoop, full stockings, and special gifts from santa and from mommy/daddy.

    It’s simple but oh so special for us!

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      Yay for fireplaces! We don’t have one this year, and I am definitely missing it. I just learned about giving Santa a magic key since we don’t have a chimney. I love that you tell the stories of ornaments – I never thought of that. 🙂 -Jadah

  138. Melissa W December 9, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Freind on Facebook!

  139. Melissa W December 9, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Shared on my page!

  140. Vicky (Tori) Culver December 9, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Every year for Christmas we do many traditions. We start with putting the tree up and decorating it together. The kids get so excited doing this, the look on their faces when its getting each piece put on is amazing, and they try to remember whose ornaments are whose….Each year I get a new ornament for them, me and their dad have done this every year since they were born and christmas eve they get to open them and put them on the tree. Sadly their dad passed away 3 years ago and this is our 3rd christmas without him but we hang one on the tree for daddy as well. We bake cookies together and decorate them as well, and on christmas eve we spend time with their grandparents on their dads side and then christmas day is spent with my side of the family.
    I appreciate the opportunity to win this, I think my 3 children will really enjoy this..Have a Merry Christmas 🙂

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      Thank you for sharing your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a special tradition. Thanks for sharing! -Jadah

  141. Jennie Cherry December 9, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Every year my mom bought me and my 4 brothers matching pjs. She would wrap them and then we would open them Christmas Eve and wear them as we waited for Santa to visit. It always made for such adorable Christmas morning photos. Now we are doing that with my SIL. We both only have one child so we spend the night at gma’s house and the two cousins get to open their pjs Christmas eve. It’s so adorable!
    We also made the cookies as a family. My mom always said that way Santa’s cookies are made with love. So I am trying to carry that on as well!
    I have so big shoes to fill! My mom is the best mom/gma in the world!

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      So sweet! I’m on the one child bandwagon too. 🙂 I love that you guys have a sleepover with matching pjs too! -Jadah

  142. missy enos December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    step 1: a tradition with my daughter is to open a set of christmas pjs, a christmas movie, and usually a cute baking kit on christmas eve. we make cookies for santa, then put on our pjs and watch a movie while they cook/cool, then get them on a plate and her to bed 🙂

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:40 am #

      That’s a cute idea to open up a Christmas movie the night before Christmas! -Jadah

  143. missy enos December 9, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    i liked family sponge on facebook

  144. Lindsey Kaufman December 9, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    When I was a child my mom always let us open one gift that she chose for us on Christmas eve. Now that I’m a mom we are looking for our own Christmas family traditions to create for our 1 year old son. And we are really hoping that Elf on the Shelf will be one of the first.

  145. Lindsey Kaufman December 9, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I shared on Facebook 🙂

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Thank you for sharing us! -Jadah

  146. Regina December 9, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    A favorite childhood memory was we would make a cookie recipe that was passed down from my Grandma, and I still make them now with my children…… evey year !

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Ooh! What kind of cookies? I’ve never been a baker, but now that my daughter is 4, she wants to help in the kitchen. So I am trying to domesticate a little more. 🙂 -Jadah

  147. missy enos December 9, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    subscribed to family sponge

  148. Jennifer December 9, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    A family tradition that we had when I was growing up is to stay up a little later Christmas eve and watch christmas movies. We would open one gift each (usually ended up being the pjs) and then go to bed. Then we would get up the next morning and eat a small breakfast, stay in our pajamas & open gifts.

    • familysponge December 9, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      Do you have any favorite Christmas movies? -Jadah

  149. missy enos December 9, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    subscribed to weekly newsletter

  150. missy enos December 9, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    shared on facebook

  151. Christina Rankin December 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    A family tradition we have with out children is to do an Advent wreath with activities every day of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas). My kids enjoy it.

    • familysponge December 10, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      We are trying to do that as well. We actually are making our very first Jesse tree this year. —Jen

  152. Lindsey Kaufman December 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Tweeted It!

  153. Tristan jones December 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Every Christmas Eve my whole family spends the evening at my grandmothers house, we eat finger foods, have fondue, and after everyone is stuffed to the hilt we gather around the living room and pass out the gifts. My grandmother has taken to try and keep people from peeking at gifts by not putting our names on them. One year it was certain color ribbon was designated to each person, we’ve been cartoon characters, numbers, reindeer, months of the year, and several others that she’s came up with! We open gifts then usually she has a “pass the surprise gift” game that we play. It’s lots of fun and a tradition that I look forward to every year!

  154. Kristen Hailey December 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    We started a new tradition this year with our 2 year old. She gets to open a “gift” each night while we do our Advent reading and candle lighting. It’s a mix of new & already owned, secular & religious, books.

    • familysponge December 10, 2011 at 6:15 am #

      That’s a neat idea of mixing the two!

  155. Kristen Hailey December 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I like Family Sponge on Facebook!

  156. Kristen Hailey December 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    I have subscribed to Family Sponge emails!

  157. Sarah December 9, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    After having dinner at my grandmas (mimi) we would drive around and look at lights and drive down this enormous hill by her house that dipped two times. We called it the double dipper. And we only drive down in on Christmas Eve!

    • familysponge December 10, 2011 at 6:18 am #

      That is a fun Christmas Eve tradition to have. I love that you named the hills.

  158. aj harris December 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    We always play Clue and Euchre on Christmas Eve or Christmas. I remember watching the adults play when I was little and grandpa would always drink his 7 & 7 and smoke his paul malls lol. Then I’d go play Simon or watch Willy Wonka. Ha thanks for the memory!

    • familysponge December 10, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      Good ol’ Christmas memories! 🙂

  159. aj harris December 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

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