Giveaway: Benefit Glam Face Palette

Dec 13, 2011

This seven-piece makeup kit features Benefit’s chic new shades and celebrated bestsellers. From Girl Meets Pearl to BADgal Lash, this kit has everything you need to achieve a fabulous flush, glamorous glow, alluring eyes, a flirty wink, and irresistible lips.

This set contains:
– 0.25 oz Girl Meets Pearl (pearly golden pink)
– 0.18 oz Eyeshadow Palette in Pink Fancy (pale pink), Icy Lilac (silvery light mauve), Posh Amethyst (soft plum), Precious Pewter (steel gray)
– Double-Ended Sponge Applicator
– 0.07 oz Glamming Face Powder with Brush (soft rose/ peachy pink sheen)
– 0.14 oz A Little Bit BADgal Lash Mascara in black
– 0.18 oz Lip Gloss in Life On The A List (bubble gum pink)
– Makeup Tutorial Guide

Since it’s a holiday-themed week here at CHS, let’s keep up the Christmas cheer for this giveaway.  We’ve already discussed best gifts and favorite Christmas carols, so let’s talk about holiday traditions.

Every Christmas, my family goes sledding.  But we don’t “sled” like normal people.  We sled the Fearsome Foursome way.  In other words, it’s not fun unless there’s a chance of serious injury or death.

The road outside our home is a 1/4 mile drop, at a 45-degree-angle, with a hairpin turn about halfway down (hereafter referred to as “the course”).  Using a Torpedo sled, we careen down the course head first. It’s basically a combination of Olympic Skeleton and Disney’s Splash Mountain without all of those unecessary safety measures.

In addition to the sledder, one family member is the spotter.  This person watches for cars using a pair of binoculars.  One family member is the driver, because climbing back up the hill in a snowsuit carrying a 30lb sled is not happening. (The driver is also responsible for keeping the dogs out of the way after the Great Golden Retriever Incident of 2010.)  And the fourth family member is the judge.

The judge stands next to the spotter holding a cell phone in one hand and a score card in the other.  We score for distance, speed, accuracy and dismount on standard 10 point scale.  Because when you hit the 11 foot tall snow pile at the bottom of the course, you will fly off the sled but we try to do it with style. 

This is why the cell phone has the ambulance on speed dial.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how we do Christmas in the Wild Wild West, and why Christmas visitors must sign a liability waiver and be at least 5 feet tall. 

What are your holiday traditions?  And if you don’t have one, is there one you’d like to start?

P.S. Don’t forget to include your email in your comment or you can’t win.  Happened to someone on the last contest.


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  1. Tristan says:

    We have a Gingerbread “something” every year. Last year, we had all the neices and nephews over to decorate gingerbread houses. This year, I cut out cardboard ginger breads for my 4 year old daughter to decorate to hang on the tree.

  2. b says:

    I'd like to start saving an inch or two of tree stump labeled with the year and/or milestones. So cute!

  3. Michelle says:

    Each Christmas my husband and I visit one of those kiosks at the mall to have a clay ornament made to represent our family. We include our names and our four-legged child. We also come up with a new saying or family motto and include that on the ornament. This way we can look back at the past years to see where we have come from, our new additions, and where we are going. This year's motto, “Shooting for the Stars…” as we are both finishing grad school and looking at the new big steps in life.

  4. west says:

    every christmas eve we spend the day wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. no present is ever wrapped, seen or touched until christmas eve. the tree always comes alive with the presents under it with all the same wrapping paper.

  5. DCGal says:

    i want to be in your family!

  6. Emilie says:

    Midnight service (well, technically 10 p.m.) at the National Cathedral and lots of wine.

  7. Aggie says:

    Much to the dismay of my father, I have always required that the family to start opening Christmas presents before dark. At least the stockings must be opened by the light of the Christmas tree and fireplace only. That means that we need to be up around 6:30. It is painful to pry our eyes open that early, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  8. Shannon says:

    Everyone comes over to my Mom's house on Christmas Eve, and eventually we start the annual game of Kids v. Adults Trivial Pursuit game. As the “kids” have gotten older every year, the game gets more and more ridiculous. SO much fun though.

  9. JB says:

    my family goes to the movies christmas afternoon, and over the past few years as all the kids have gotten older, the choices have taken a darker turn. past choices include batman's the dark knight and law abiding citizen. now that its become a running joke, there is an email chain this year debating between the girl with the dragon tattoo and extremely loud & incredibly close.

  10. HRCK says:

    Our family traditions aren't nearly so active πŸ™‚ We put clues on all our presents and you can't open them until you've guessed what you've been given. It's made for a funny time with new in-laws who aren't quite as into it!

  11. Emily says:

    Love your family's holiday tradition! My husband and I alternate between his family's house and my family's house each year for Christmas. As a result, our hoilday tradition comes a few weeks before Christmas, and entails putting up our tree, drinking champagne, ordering pizza, and watching bad Christmas movies. It really is simple, but lovely. This year, I am pregnant, so we'll have to slightly modify, but looking forward to the time together, nonetheless.

  12. Hannah says:

    Ice skating at my grandparents house with the Amish neighbors πŸ™‚

  13. Kailey says:

    Me and Dad versus Mom and Brother in a game of Spades over cocktails. Dad and I always lose. Mom's a sandbagger. Then we all take our spots on the couch or floor and watch “Bad Santa.”

  14. Mel says:

    Movies, movies, movies. On Christmas day we all watch one of the movies I asked for and received. Also, before that, my husband and I find time to watch Love Actually. This year, we will be adding in another Christmas movie favorite to our Christmas Movie Extravaganza – Die Hard.

  15. SarahT says:

    We get “visits” from Santa on Dec. 23 for my Dad's side and on Christmas Eve for my Mom's side. It always silly little gifts for the kids, but there's always tons of wonderful food and Santa doesn't have to play favorites!!

  16. BN says:

    With Jews, Catholics, and Christians in my family, there are too many traditions to cover here. One of the most meaningful, though, is that each night of Chanukah, the kids take turns telling the story of the Maccabees's military victory and the miracle of the oil that was only supposed to last one night but lasted for 8 instead. It keeps the memory of the reason for the holiday at the forefront (as the story must be recited prior to getting that night's gift).

  17. Angela says:

    I absloutely love your family tradition! Our traditions are definitely not that great. However, my entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) spends Christmas Eve night at my Grandparent's house. All of the cousins have a sleepover of sorts. When we wake up in the morning, we have to open the presents one by one from youngest to oldest. It takes quite a while – but it's fun to see what everyone gets!

  18. kl says:

    Love that story! My grown siblings and I sit at the top of the staircase; where we are forced to entertain our parents until they let us down the stairs for Christmas presents.

  19. Beth says:

    One year my younger sister (she was 5 at the time) ate everyone's chocolates out of their advent calendars. A few years ago she started buying an extra calendar and divvying up all the extra chocolate on Christmas Eve. Reminds us of a now-funny family incident every year, and gives us chocoholics a bit of extra sweets before the actual holiday.

  20. C says:

    My favorite holiday tradition is our annual Christmas Eve party. We invite over friends of the family, and usually end up with 50+ people between the ages of 15 and 75. Included is LOTS of champagne (the amount cannot be exaggerated), chocolate and/or cheese covered foods, roasting marshmallows fireplace, and spontaneous Christmas carols played on pianos and guitars. The best year, though, was when our plumbing broke in the middle of the party and everyone had to use the snow covered back yard as a bathroom….

  21. Grace says:

    My family always goes hiking at Great Falls on New Years Day. My mother, whose idea it was, says that it's a great way to start the new year. It's always chilly, but it's a moderately difficult hike and you warm up fast. It's nice to get out in nature after the busy holidays as well.
    I will note this has been less fun at the time, but more fun in retrospect, since my brother, sister, and I have started going out for New Years Eve.

  22. cginnyc says:

    ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center!

  23. Jessica says:

    Jewish Christmas: we volunteer on Christmas Eve serving dinner at the homeless shelter, then a large group of us eat Chinese together and hit a movie the next day! I wouldn't have it any other way. =)

  24. S says:

    My sisters and I bake sugar cookies together and then eat the entire batch while watching Little Women.

  25. Nora says:

    Make pierogi on Christmas Eve with my family and then after dinner my dad gives each of us the gift that he picked out especially for each of us(my siblings and I).

  26. Dakota says:

    Watching 'A Christmas Story' several times and quoting it obnoxiously all weekend!!

  27. Leila says:

    It wouldn't be christmas in our home without homemade tamales and my parents and uncles talking about the good old days when they were in their teens and twenties back in the motherland (el salvador) and boring the rest of us to tears.

  28. eet says:

    Every single year my dad reads my sister and I “The Night Before Christmas.” (It doesn't matter that we are no longer able to sit on his lap) The best year was when the plumbing in our cabin froze Christmas Eve so we had to drive back to our house and he recited it from memory with a few tweaks: “visions of sugar plums” became “visions of working toilets”

  29. Jamie says:

    My brothers and I always exchange our gifts to each other on Christmas eve. Then we have a big Christmas Eve party with my extended family, and Santa comes to see the little kids!

  30. scarney111 says:

    My family's Christmas tradition is driving to Florida every Christmas day to go visit my grandparents. We spend the whole day in the car and eat Subway for lunch, but it's really not so bad. Nice to spend the day with my family!

  31. Anna says:

    We sing Christmas Carols every Christmas eve. There is about 20 of us and we are terrrrrible singers but it's a lot of fun. It's the last thing we do before present opening though, and my younger cousins used to go into meltdown as we started 'Good King Wenceslas' as they just couldn't stand the anticipation.

  32. Nina says:

    Shrimp cocktail, lasagna (and wine!) after mass on Christmas Eve. Then presents. It used to be presents first, but now we are all a bit older and have more self control.

  33. Emily says:

    All the cousins still sleep in the same room and aren't allowed out until a certain time, which has gotten later as we have gotten older, to see if Santa came

  34. ks says:

    Christmas Eve dinner with the whole clan at one of our favorite restaurants. God bless them for having all 45 of us on the night before Chistmas.

  35. Susan says:

    My family doesn't have holiday traditions, but my BF and I have started our own. We always take our dogs for a walk on Christmas night to see all the lights. It's nothing fancy, but I find it special since my family doesn't do anything for the holiday.

  36. abliu says:

    I'm so impatient to give everyone their presents… I make them ALL open ALL the presents from me two fulls weeks before Christmas.

    … Excessive? I think not. There are few things better than giving.

  37. E says:

    My family and I make gingerbread and sugar cookies on Christmas Eve before opening presents – for a while, we tried to alternate between opening presents on Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day, but for the past few years, Christmas Eve has won out!

  38. Maya says:

    We exchange new pajamas for Christmas every year!

  39. Kelsey says:

    I don't know if I would call it a tradition but my family has had the great luck of having the fully decorated Christmas tree fall over the last three years. Now it's just kind of a part of our holiday!

  40. Casey says:

    Read Pride and Prejudice!

  41. CMS says:

    Looking to start a new tradition this year- my new husband and I are planning to go to midnight Mass this year!

  42. Jess says:

    In my family we open Christmas presents on the night of Christmas Eve. My Nieces and nephew spend the night on the 23rd, and of course, matching pajamas are involved!

    Thanks Belle!

  43. Jenny says:

    My favorite tradition is Indian takeout on Christmas Eve!

  44. Kristi says:

    Back when my mother and aunt were children, her mother allowed them to open only one gift on Christmas Eve. It was always pajamas. My mother kept the tradition alive with me and my brother. Every Christmas Eve, we unwrap new pajamas, change into them, and take a photo by the tree.

  45. MYN says:

    My mom puts fake names on the presents to discourage us from trying to figure out what is in them. One year it was planet names, one year was Disney characters, one year was algebraic equations. She doesn't tell us what our code names (or numbers) are until it's time to open the presents.

  46. clara says:

    hot chocolate on christmas eve

  47. Danielle says:

    We have a giant family party at my parents' house and because of a significant illness on the part of my Dad, I have been head chef for the past two years. It is wonderful and lots of fun. Your sledding story brings back fond memories of the 8 person toboggan my family owns that comes for ancestors of yesteryear. We would wax the bottom of it every winter with bees wax and then all pile on it. It was terrifying, thrilling and incredible. It currently lives in the basement of my parents' house, but will be resurrected when grandchildren arrive.

  48. C says:

    Every year my mom and I go to the Arizona Inn library where they have a Christmas tree that must be 50 feet tall and is decorated fantastically. We sit near it and I read Truman Capote' s “A Christmas Memory” to her while she listens, has a drink, and looks at the tree. After that we go out to dinner, still just the two of us, and have a lovely meal together. We've been doing this since I was 10, I'm in my 20s now, and at first I hated it, but now it doesn't feel like the holiday season without it.

  49. Georgeanne says:

    We always watch “It's A Wonderful Life” on Christmas day and stay in our PJs all day playing games, enjoying a fire and each other's company.

  50. V says:

    Our tradition is Christmas movies on Christmas night!

  51. Elizabeth says:

    Every Christmas for my entire life (23) I've woken up at my parents' house, we've opened presents, and everyone is showered, dressed and out the door by 9 to drive to the town about 2 hours away where both sides of the family are “headquartered.” My parents really bucked the trend by moving out of the county! We do one meal on my mom's side, one meal on my dad's and drive back home. So I would say the real tradition is collapsing into my childhood twin-size bed at 9 pm to eat some warmed-up mashed potatoes and fall asleep. It's hectic but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  52. TA says:

    My family and I would go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and afterwards we would open our presents. The next morning we would usually make breakfast and sleep.

  53. Nancy says:

    board games, every year its a new one — its nice to have everyone together around the dining room table

  54. Elyse G. says:

    In my family we compete to see who has the “last candle standing.” Each of us lights a menorah and the person who has the last candle wins bragging rights until the following night.

  55. DC says:

    Christmas Eve crab feast with the whole family!

  56. amysee says:

    It's so much fun to read everyone's traditions! I am getting ideas for new ones (mostly involving champagne and pajamas…).

    Every year my family would have chilli for dinner at my aunt's house on Christmas Eve (my aunt's specialty… it could sit on the stove indefinitely while she got distracted with all of her other projects!). After she passed, we kept the tradition at my parents' house. My fiance and I started our own tradition of having a truffle either at Christmas dinner (which we usually had on the 27th, since family dinners take priority) or for breakfast. This year it's just the two of us for the holidays for the first time, so we will be melding our family traditions into something new.

  57. A says:

    My family always hosts a Christmas eve party with lots of finger food, then we open up all of the presents between extended family. The next morning we go over to my brother's house to watch my little nephew open “Santa” presents while the adults eat monkey bread and biscuits and gravy. Absolutely delicious! Then we open presents between immediate family, and head over to my uncle's to enjoy deep fried turkey, ham, and all the fixins! Low-key but so great.

  58. KC says:

    Nothing fancy, but our Christmas tradition with my aunts and uncles is to put together a jigsaw puzzle. My uncle and I are always the most dedicated and stay up late making sure it gets finished.

  59. R says:

    On Christmas Eve morning with my husband's family, we sing Christmas carols and then before eating, hold hands and say what we are thankful for. I used to think that the singing was a bit cheesy but it has definitely grown on me.

  60. Sarah R. says:

    My family always finds some way to play Pinnacle (a card game). It's played it teams of 2 or 3, and it usually gets a little heated, especially when adult beverages are involved.

  61. EK says:

    My mother has a photo of the three of us from when were younger posing in pajamas and bathrobes on Christmas morning. Every year we recreate the photo down to the exact pose – we rolled our eyes a lot at this when we were young, but it's great to look back on the photos now. The rest of Christmas is family movie day, since someone's always gotten a DVD box set of some sort to watch.

  62. B says:

    On Christmas Eve at my grandparents, after mass and before we open presents, we all gather around the manger scene. The youngest cousin gets to put baby Jesus in the manger, and we all sing happy birthday to him.

  63. Melanie says:

    Christmas shopping w/ my mom, Midnight Mass, and Christmas morning breakfast are my favorite Christmas traditions!

  64. Lindsey says:

    The siblings always go and see a movie after we've stuffed our faces…not sure what it'll be this year!

    And not sure if I need to put my email in the actual comment or not, but it's

    Fingers crossed!

  65. e says:

    My family does “midnight” mass (for the music) following dinner together, and then usually whatever Christmas movie is on T.V. During this movie, my sister and I take turns wrapping our Christmas gifts during the commercials breaks because, hey, better late than never.

  66. Ellen says:

    My favorite holiday tradition in my family is Christmas Eve. We have margaritas and mexican food. Over the years friends have joined, brother-in-laws have been added, but it hasn't changed. Really looking forward to it this year!

  67. Angela says:

    My family always goes to a tree farm to get our Christmas tree. We get all bundled up and walk all over the fields until we've looked at every single tree and pick our favorites. Then there's the inevitable argument about which tree is better (almost always mine), my brother does the honors of chopping it down and there's the forced family photo . The trip ends with hot chocolate and homemade cookies before decorating the tree. Since I've moved away, I get photos texted to me of the different tree options so I can still be part of the fun.

  68. E says:

    We can't open presents on Christmas morning until everyone is wearing their Christmas socks!

  69. T says:

    When it came time to decorate the house for Christmas, my grandmother would go “a gathering” in the woods around her place. She would collect Holly and Ivy, Mistletoe, greens, pinecones, red berries from ash trees, twine, twigs..whatever she could find. Then she would take all these “foundling” things and create Christmas all over the house. I try to keep up the tradition as much as I can and over the years relatives from the famiy place have sent me some of these special things to bring the Christmas of my childhood into my current house. Bless be the tie that binds.

  70. Meme says:

    My mom always gives us an annual ornament on Christmas Eve, which represents an accomplishment of life-changing moment. As an adult, my Christmas tree has ornaments from my engagement, my first job, the year I won the geography bee, my internship, etc, and I love it!

  71. Jen says:

    Trying to make it the entire 90 minute car journey to my grandmother's singing Christmas carols without a repeat!

  72. E says:

    Every year my brother and I are allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. It is always new Christmas pajamas so that in Christmas morning pictures we will look like we should be in a catalog, and not like we rolled out of bed in our old fraternity/sorority t-shirts. My mom now buys pajamas for my sister-in-law and has bought them for my boyfriends of Christmas past.

  73. Jen says:

    Lasagna for dinner Christmas Eve and opening presents among 20 people in age order (starting with the youngest).

  74. CynthiaW says:

    Wow – my family seems so lame now. We just go to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and the movies on Christmas afternoon.

  75. EBT says:

    When I still lived in Atlanta it was playing Christmas carols on my violin while we decorated the tree/house the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And Advent services at our church!

  76. Govvie says:

    I like your tradition, Belle!

    Crab legs, Polish sausage, and lots of wine on Christmas Eve; Bailey's and coffee on Christmas morning while opening presents.

  77. Emily says:

    My three brothers and I have always done a big sleepover the night before Christmas – usually involving a lot of Christmas movies on laptops, board games and very minimal sleeping. We're all grown up and one's out of state – but so far we've continued the tradition still! None of us are married yet – so I guess we'll figure out the spouse thing someday…

  78. Morgan says:

    Watching Christmas vacation and opening presents with my cousins, in order of age. The oldest (ME!) always has to go last, so I definitely deserve to win the give-a-way!

  79. Smeeshu says:

    My sister and I would get up at 5am to open gifts. We'd have a late breakfast of creamed chipped beef on toast (aka SOS). Nasty. The rest of the day was spent in our PJs, eating candy and watching movies.

  80. Carla says:

    We have many traditions! On the 24th we go all over the DMV and deliver gifts to all our family and friends. In The evening we all party it up till the morning!

  81. Helena says:

    We watch Holiday Inn and eat the traditional Christmas lasagne.

  82. Jessica says:

    Most our of celebrations take place on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. However, both sides of our family always watch a movie on Chiristmas night and then come back to our house for one more round of leftovers.

  83. Becky says:

    My entire extended family (usually 30 people, min) get together to decorate Chirstmas cookies. Every family brings boxes of baked, undecorated butter cookies in holiday shapes (my half-Jewish family provides the menorah and dredel-shaped ones), we mix up vats of icing, and go to town until everyone's in a sugar coma.

  84. Lexi says:

    My family always does a white elephant gift exchange, with a spending limit of $10. The rules allow each gift to be stolen twice after opening, without the possibility of pass backs. One year my brother introduced a set of ugly Christmas-themed dish towels to the mix, just to be obnoxious. Now, each year we see who we can saddle with the infamous ugly towels for the following year.

  85. Gabrielle says:

    My family always goes snowshoeing on Christmas afternoon. My brother and I always complain, but once we are out walking to the far reaches of our land we forget about all the materialism that surrounds the season and are able to appreciate all we really have. Not to mention it is a good way to get some physical activity in before the giant Christmas dinner that will follow.

  86. Blake says:

    Even though we're 24 and 21, my brother and I still argue over who gets to open the Advent Calendar at our parents' house each day while we're home for break. It's childish, but we've been doing it since before either of us can remember! We love opening up the little door each day to get out a figurine to contribute to the Nativity Scene.

  87. Jordan says:

    We have so many traditions, but on Christmas morning my grown siblings and I know that we aren't allowed downstairs until my parents give the okay. Then we have a family breakfast of my mom's cinnamon rolls before any of us are allowed to go scope out our stockings which have been filled overnight. In addition to the typical stocking stuffers, we also each receive a note from Santa praising the achievements of the past months and giving us encouragement for the upcoming year.

  88. Monica says:

    My family always watches Jurassic Park on Christmas Eve, to remind us of why we're thankful. (This is not a joke, but perhaps my Uncles idea of one when I was seven and we started the tradition.)

  89. alicia says:

    We stay with my aunt and uncle and their 3 kids at their ski house for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. So we have a few traditions: Ice skating at the pond on Christmas Eve, which inevitably leads to a pick up hockey game against other people's families. Going to the children's mass at the local church so that we can see the little kids act out the nativity. Opening a gift from the elves on Christmas Eve (always pajamas to sleep in that night). Watching Its a Wonderful Life until all the Santa believers in our family fall asleep, and then my sister, my mom, my aunt, and I drink Christmasy cocktails while we put out all the presents. I truly love Christmas.

  90. Patricia says:

    We watch Julia Child videos and create one of her special meals every year.

  91. M says:

    eggnog πŸ™‚

  92. IRMcK says:

    In my husband's family, all the family gets together for a huge and rowdy Christmas dinner, complete with a dirty gift exchange. And Christmas couldn't be complete without the unopened bag of “real plastic snow” under the tree…

  93. Carly says:

    My family celebrates St. Nick day, setting out wooden shoes and waking up the next morning to find them full of treats! My mom used to do this when she was a little girl.

  94. Sarah says:

    I am Jewish and my husband's family is Hindu. So on Christmas, we always go to a Chinese food restaurant called “Seafood Empire' in New Jersey. The tradition is not just going there, but the ridiculously disastrous experience that always follows. Inevitably, several families (mostly Jewish) are all trying to eat at this place at the same time. Even if you have a 'reservation', it doesn't mean anything. So you have cranky, pushy, annoyed families, and a harried, overworked staff. Every year we wait for a table, and then when we get one, the service is atrocious. But still, we go. Why? The food is good, and it's near a movie theater, which is the OTHER non-Christian holiday tradition we participate in on Christmas! πŸ™‚

  95. Kaylee says:

    Every year we go to the toboggan run (in a suburb of Cleveland) on the day before Christmas. We have many other traditions, but that's probably my favorite!

  96. Kat says:

    On Christmas morning after all the presents are opened and before we sit down to a large breakfast as a family we all do what my Grandma called a “hooter”. I don't know why they are called this but it's a shot of whiskey taken either in celebration or in honor of somebody/something. When we were all little the adults were taking these shots at probably around 7 am because we had woken everybody up so early to open gifts. However, now they are taken at a bit more reasonable hour and our family that can't be with us now also call and skype in so that we can all do our “hooters” together!

  97. MA says:

    We have many, but my favorite is the day after Christmas all of my cousins (I have more than 30) on my mom's side of the family — and a few of our aunts and uncles — usually go see the year's family-friendly (read:Disney) movie. It's always a blast. And even as most of us are grown, we still do it.

  98. Ali says:

    Harry Potter marathons! As well as traveling to Massachusetts to my grandma's house on Christmas Day!

  99. Lisatella says:

    My family doesn't always get together on Christmas Day, due to in-laws and travel and work schedules. But on whichever day we DO get together, we get out the movie projector and play the same 8mm films every year. My mom nose-diving into a kiddie pool in the late 50s, my sister as a baby on beach, and the 35 seconds of myself fluffing my 2-year-old hair that was taken before the camera finally croaked. We laugh until we cry every year, even though we know every scene by heart.

  100. szf says:

    Eating the chocolate out of the stocking before actual breakfast!

  101. Karen says:

    Aside from the usual time-honored tradition of attending Christmas Eve service with my family, my sister and I did something last year that I would really like to add to the evening every year, and that is going to get Mandarin food after church. There's a place in my neighborhood that is open well into the evening, and after church, there is often nothing more I'd like to do than go out to dinner with my family! Sadly, because of the holiday, most places are closed. This Mandarin place is open, though, and even though it's busy and we always have a wait of at least thirty minutes, it's worth it, and it seems a great way to cap off the night before going to bed on Christmas Eve. πŸ™‚

  102. Suzanne says:

    Watching “Nestor the long eared christmas donkey” on Christmas Eve.

  103. Shae says:

    My family always has a HUGE Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents. After dinner we watch old Christmas movies and bake cookies.

  104. Sarah B says:

    Ice skating!!

  105. Erica says:

    My step dad used to work on the ski resort I grew up on, which opened extra early on Christmas. Because of this, we always woke up at 5am to open presents so we could do that and eat breakfast together before he had to go to work. It was super early, but because we lived out in the rockies, it was always dark out still…sitting by the fireplace, dark out, white snow…then breakfast and snowboarding for the rest of the day … πŸ™‚

  106. mcmc says:

    Every year, my mother gives my siblings and me new pajamas and every year, we bake cookies in those pj's while watching a Christmas themed movie!

  107. Sharon says:

    Every year on Christmas Ever my dad makes from scratch pizza and punch (recipe from his mom). After dinner we pile into the car with our Christmas cd (New England Christmastide) and dog (airedale terrier) to travel around Rochester looking at the best lights. When we get home my sister immediately turns on TBS to watch the movie A Christmas Story and we play cards while drinking punch.

  108. Cait says:

    We don't really have any traditions actually. Which does make me pretty sad, I adore Christmas but my family is a bit of a mess/not fun around the holidays or birthdays. Luckily though, this year I'm spending Christmas with the boyfriend's family and I'm beyond excited for their traditions: Oyster roast on Boxing Day (they're an odd jumble of English and South Carolina low country), opening stockings and from-Santa-presents-only with Bucks Fizz (mimosas in the US) before cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and having brussel sprout races along the kitchen table after dinner! Really I just can't wait for a new tradition- having Christmas live up to my expectations for once.

  109. Holly says:

    Someone in my family is chosen as “Santa” and presides over all the presents under the tree. Then someone else is chosen as “Santa's elf” (usually a grandchild or niece/nephew who is young). Santa picks a present one at a time to give to the elf, who then takes the present to that person to unwrap. It's more of a fun game for whoever is the elf. The little ones get to feel like they're giving away the presents!

  110. L says:

    While significantly less daring, our tradition is giving each other a chocolate orange. My grandmother grew up in Germany during WWII and at the holidays always talks about how when she was little all she wanted was an orange for Christmas (fruit was in short supply). Growing up an orange always was a reminder to be grateful for what you have at the holidays and now we exchange chocolate oranges because Gram's got a sweet tooth!

  111. Ann says:

    Driving around to look at lights on Christmas Eve while “Santa” (my mother's next door neighbor) puts our gifts out. I am 50 years old and we are still doing this. My children think it is a hoot and my mother is thrilled that we still do it!

  112. strin012 says:

    Two favorites: Christmas morning breakfast with eggs, grits, biscuits, bacon, etc.

    Christmas dinner takeout from Top China (Also, the free and awesomely tacky calendar they give us for being a Christmas customer.)

  113. Kate says:

    I love traditions, and really hate when things change. For as long as I can remember, we've had my mom's side for Christmas Eve lunch and exchanging gifts, then my dad's extended family (his cousins and aunts) that night, then my dad and I go to the Christmas Eve service at church that night. Christmas morning involves us kids getting up early (with me usually waking up my younger brothers) to see what Santa brought, then lunch with my dad's family and gift exchanges, and then falling into a food coma that afternoon until all of my grandparents come to our house for a small supper that night. It's a hectic two days with A LOT of food, but I'm also really lucky that basically all of my family is close enough to do this every year.

  114. Cassandra says:

    My family has a lot of traditions, stemming from my mother's Polish heritage.

    Christmas Eve, we gather to celebrate “wigilia” which is a the traditional meat-less, sweet-less vigil meal. An extra chair is placed around the table for the loved ones that have gone before us, and a little manger is made by putting pure white cloth over a pile of hay placed on the table. The youngest child recites the story of Christ's birth and the family “breaks bread” by sharing wafers and wishing each other a happy new year. After dinner, we load up the car and go to Midnight Mass. When my sister and I were little, we'd get tucked in and eagerly await Santa to fill our stockings, which we'd open Christmas morning.

  115. Meghan says:

    My dad cooks dinner on Christmas Eve because my mom cooks everything for Christmas Day herself–appetizers, dinner, dessert, even breakfast for her rowdy adult children.

    But the dirty secret is, I think I like my dad's dinner better. Loaded baked potatoes, perfectly seasoned vegetables, and the most amazing grilled steak you could ever imagine. Don't tell my mom though.

  116. a says:

    My parents and I have a party on Christmas eve every year, and once everyone leaves, we have a box of godiva chocolates to eat by the fire. alice[dot]e[dot]cosgrove[at]

  117. katherine says:

    i'd like to start a tradition with my own family of each of us picking out an angel tree child and going shopping together to pick out gifts for them!

  118. k says:

    For the past five years I have had to fly home from Europe for Christmas (this is my first official winter back in the US!) Because I have to fly into JFK to connect to my home town anyway, my dad would fly up and we would stay in NYC for two days each year. On the night of my arrival we would go to the exact same pizza joint with my friends from Va who had moved up to the city and the next day we would hit Saks, Bloomies, and the Christmas tree. It has become such a symbol of Christmas that we arranged to go back up this year (and one friend who has since moved away is coming in) just so we can have the same pizza and see all the windows!

  119. Lara says:

    We order Chinese food! After cooking a huge meal for Thanksgiving, I just don't have it in me to do it all again, especially after a ton of cookie baking.

  120. Cat says:

    My mom gives my sisters and brother and I about 20 scratchers tickets each as our last present on Christmas day. For the next thirty minutes or so we all sit scratching them off and seeing who can win the most! I think it might be the gift we each look forward to most each year.

  121. Richele says:

    Post-Christmas dinner/dessert we play a rousing game of Monopoly, where cheating and under the table deals are highly encouraged.

  122. virginia says:

    I love watching silly holidays movie with my family and quoting every word – especially “Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story.” After the frenzy of shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, visiting, and gifting, it's perfect to just sit on the couch and watch something funny together.

  123. Emily says:

    Every Christmas morning my mom bakes a big batch of sausage pinwheels while the rest of us empty our stockings. Luckily my mother plans in advance and just has to pop them in the oven. We've been eating them every Christmas morning since before I can remember, so Christmas just wouldn't be the same without them. I actually like that we have them only once a year, because somehow that makes it more special and really makes it feel like Christmas. My brother and I still fight over who gets the last pinwheel! After that we open presents in a round and then have to spend at least a couple hours playing with whatever we got. Luckily we stay at home for Christmas, because I like lounging in my PJs for most of the day. This year we're spending Christmas Eve at my brother's house, which we did last year for the first time and I loved it so much I requested that it be our new Christmas Eve/Christmas Day location. emilcask[@]gmail[dot]com

  124. Sarah says:

    My family always goes to Mass at Midnight on Christmas and exchanges gifts right after we get home. Then, we wake up whenever we want on Christmas morning (usually after 10:00 or 11:00), share lunch, and play with our new toys together.

  125. agb says:

    We have extended family over on Christmas Eve for dinner and my mom makes homemade wassail. Throughout the evening, guests are encouraged to write down wishes for the new year on slips of paper and tie them onto our decorated Yule log. After dinner, we retire to the living room with our wassail and sit around the fire. My youngest brother ceremoniously places the Yule log on the fire. Each guest is then given a piece of holly to toss into the fire, which symbolizes letting go of grievances and worries from the past year and moving into the new year with a clean slate. I love that even the biggest smart alecks in the family take this tradition seriously. ItÒ€ℒs a nice way to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year to come.

  126. MM says:

    My family's traditions revolve around food. We spend weeks planning delicious menus and new recipes to try.

  127. MidwestChic says:

    That sounds so awesome, Belle!

    My family seems much more boring, with lots of wine, Christmas cookie baking, and matching pajamas (I'm hoping for footie pj's this year)!

  128. KH says:

    Watching Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve.

  129. KS says:

    Growing up, we always had to make enchiladas for Christmas Eve dinner. We'd auto set the oven so they would cook while we were at church. Half the fun was watching mom panic that we might be setting the house on fire.

    My in-laws have a tradition where someone would replace the angel on the top of the tree with a stuffed pig puppet and wait until mom-in-law notices and cracks up. After I got married, I was granted my very own pig puppet for our tree.

  130. K says:

    We open 2 gifts on Christmas Eve. One is always pajamas (for the kids) and one is a little something else to get the excitement. Then everyone is rushed to bed to await a beautiful Christmas morning.

  131. Brittanie says:

    My family loves Christmas Vacation. It seems to be the only Christmas/Holiday movie we can agree upon, but if I was to start a new tradition, it would include baking tree-shaped sugar cookies, unwrapping a new pair of pj's, hunkering in, and watching Christmas Vacation with a warm cookie and cup of hot cocoa in hand!

  132. Amy says:

    Drinking wassil while my dad reads the Christmas story. Makes me never want to “grow up”.

  133. PS says:

    We open one present on Christmas Eve. One year I got a shower head. That's what I get for choosing an oddly-shaped gift.

  134. B says:

    I'm German, so we get our presents on Christmas eve. Afterwards, we eat either cheese fondue or raclette, supposedly alternating every year. But every year we forget what we had the year before, so basically it just ends up being whatever we feel like at the time the decision is taken a few days before Christmas when my Mother says “We need to order the cheese TODAY or else there won't be any food on Christmas eve”.

  135. J says:

    sour cream and cinnamon coffee cake and eggnog for breakfast

  136. S says:

    I'm Jewish, so Christmas always involves a movie and way too much Chinese food. πŸ™‚

  137. Crystal says:

    Mine would have to be a movie at the theaters with my family every Christmas Eve. But I think my favorite extended family tradition that I loved hearing stories about was when my dad and his three brothers were growing up. My grandma always let them open one gift on Christmas Eve before bed. Every yaer without fail, my grandma “convinced” them to open their new matching pjs. I seriously don't know how they never caught on…

  138. JT says:

    Christmas morning none of us kids- the youngest of whom is 18- are allowed to go downstairs until Mom and Dad are there and the video camera is turned on. It started when we were really young and always wanted to go downstairs when we first got up, and now even though we're adults, we still can't go downstairs Christmas morning until we are told!

  139. K says:

    Wow! What a terrifying (and amazing) tradition story. Ours is a Christmas Eve tree decorating party, at which an assortment of dips, chili, and various snacks keep us energized to put all of the ornaments on the tree. A spinach wreath with beet slices is displayed prominently on the buffet table.

  140. Katie O. says:

    We do the traditional Christmas dinner/extended family gathering on Christmas Eve at my great aunt's house. Christmas day, however, is just my immediate family (5 of us). After opening presents in the morning, we do absolutely nothing all day, staying in our pajamas and then ordering pizza in the evening!

  141. Mags says:

    Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and homemade cinnamon buns and mimosas on Christmas morning

  142. marissac says:

    Ever since I was a little kid, my mom has always given us new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. Now my husband gets them, too! They are always freshly washed and waiting for us when we get to my parents' house. And they're always color-coordinated. Last year everyone got gray and blue pjs. The year before it was red and black.

  143. Sam says:

    My family doesn't have any particularly interesting traditions. I am seeing my boyfriend (who is stationed in Germany) for the first time since September. on the day after Christmas. I hope we can begin traditions of our own. πŸ™‚

  144. h says:

    every christmas eve we make lemon martinis!

  145. M says:

    Santa never wraps his gifts in my house!

  146. Heather says:

    Love this fab giveaway. I've had my eye on this set. Our Christmas tradition begins on the morning after Thanksgiving with Black Friday shopping. After shopping all day the weekend is filled with decorating the house for the season. However I think my most favorite holiday tradition is our annual Christmas Eve gathering of family and friends. We have an open house where everyone can come and go as they please. It's really fun to see both of these groups come together and just enjoy a relaxing evening of good food, adult beverages, and interaction. The party usually goes late and then we clean up and head to bed for Christmas morning. I just love it.

  147. Courtney B says:

    We exchange gifts with my parents and my brother's family on Christmas eve. On Christmas day we go celebrate with my soon to be 93 year old Grandad!

  148. AG says:

    On Christmas Eve, we go to our church's Christmas Eve service, then usually spend time with out church (this sometimes involves caroling and homemade doughnuts!) Christmas Day, we open presents, read the Christmas Story in the book of Luke, and make fondue, while watching a White Christmas.

  149. JS says:

    Ever since my mom died, I stay at my grandmother's house during the holidays. On Christmas morning, we get up at 5am together to make dough for yeast rolls so that it will have plenty of time to rise before baking. It seems like a big pain (especially because quick rise yeast works just as well), but it gives us quiet time to ourselves, and she always gives me a special gift!

  150. AnnS says:

    My mom always puts an orange and a candy cane in my sister's and my stocking. It's an old-fashioned tradition, but it's just not Christmas without the stockings' toe filled with a big orange.

  151. AB says:

    We've started hosting “Kitschy Kristmas” at my house on Christmas Eve. The tackier the decorations and fare the better. We make fried chicken, velveeta cheese dip, cherry coke cocktails, etc. This is California so there are fresh vegetables and salad too, but I love me some kitsch!

  152. Rory says:

    When I was a little kid, my grandpa had a giant Husky/German Shephard mix named Buck that would roam St. Albans, WV, and bring back stuff. He'd bring back folding lawn chairs, patio furniture, umbrellas, plastic swimming pools and just all sorts of random stuff. Typically my grandpa could figure out what went back to where, but what he couldn't return ended up as Christmas presents. I have received tennis rackets, Barbies, and more stuffed animals than I could count from that dog. Sadly Buck has left us, but we still have many presents and memories from his kleptomania.

  153. Courtney says:

    You're family sounds like a blast!! And this giveaway is AMAZE πŸ™‚ hope to win!

  154. Nicole says:

    Everyone in my family gets to open one present each on Christmas Eve, from back when my sister and I still believed in Santa, and had to give our parents our presents before we were overwhelmed and forgot in the morning.

  155. Genevieve says:

    Unfortunately (fortunately?) my family doesn't have such life-threatening traditions, but we do go to church excessively on Christmas- to my grandparents' church on Christmas eve for the midnight service (counting down to Christmas like it's New Year's! Where everyone falls asleep at 11.45pm during the sermon!) and to our regular church on Christmas morning.

  156. SBB says:

    We always go to the Christmas Eve service at church and then come home and watch Home Alone. No matter how old we are, it is always our favorite Christmas movie!

  157. K says:

    Aside from my insistence on truely excessive levels of Christmas baking every year, my favourite tradition right now is a new one. Every year good friends of mine have been added to the great Christmas dinner rotation. And every year they pick a different country to base their holiday dinner on: Hawaiian, Ukrainian, Mexican. It is always my favourite dinner of the year and a fantastic break from turkey!

  158. Morgan says:

    We sled too! But since we have yet to have a Bichon Frise Incident, our 2 dogs chase after us the whole way down. They bark and try and jump in the sled with us, and can't wait to race us back up to the top of the neighborhood sled hill!

  159. Sara says:

    My dad still reads “The Night Before Christmas” to my (college-age) sister and (already-had-one-college-reunion) me on Christmas eve before we go to bed (well, before my parents go to bed, at like 9pm), from the same copy of the book his dad used to read to him when he was little. It's a nice feeling of continuity, especially since my family has moved a lot – we'll still be reading from the same book. If we do Christmas somewhere else, my mom brings the book with her.
    We also have a New Year's Day tradition – we invite everyone we know to come over any time after noon on January 1, we have 8-10 different kinds of soup, and half a dozen desserts, and usually a ham or a turkey as well. If any of my friends are reading this, they'll know it's me because they've all heard of the famous Soup Fest! It's a great way to start the new year with friends and family and whoever else wants to enjoy a bowl of soup (all those diet resolutions don't start until January 2 in my family!).

  160. Lauryn says:

    my mom still makes us line up by age to come downstairs and open presents on Christmas morning.

  161. M says:

    My mom would hide our stockings and leave little rhyming couplet clues all over the house that would lead us to their hiding place… which would buy her an hour or two of sleep on Christmas morning. It was so much fun doing that with four siblings every year!

  162. Whitney says:

    Every year, my mom writes a letter to each of us and keeps it in our stocking. I'll get my 28th letter this year!

  163. Shella says:

    Big Christmas dinner on Christmas eve, then church service, then all the kids (even the grown ones) get to pick one present to open up that night. The rest of the presents are opened Christmas morning over home made cinnamon roles that have been rising overnight.

  164. Shannon says:

    I make cookies for Santa with my little girls!

  165. Kelly says:

    The week before Christmas we celebrate with my mom's side of the family and each year we pick a different country theme. We dress up, make native food and decorate accordingly. Last year we wore our Scandanavian sweaters for Icelandic Christmas and the year before I was stuck making margaritas outside (in 50 degree weather) in a mini-skirt to celebrate Tahitian Christmas. This year we are doing Israel, so we'll be lighting a menorah and spinning dreidels all evening.

  166. Elise says:

    My family gathers together Christmas Eve (because the little ones have to be home for Christmas morning) to exchange gifts and eat a meal that rivals Thanksgiving. One of my uncles dresses up as Santa to entertain the little ones.

  167. Robyn says:

    My mom and I watch Meet Me In St. Louis late on Christmas Eve. It's the best!

  168. Nicole says:

    My fiance's family has a great Christmas Eve tradition that I hope to continue with our family. “Santa Mouse” rings the door bell. The kids all run to the door to try to catch Santa Mouse before he runs and hides. Of course, no one ever finds him, but they do find matching PJ sets for everyone. We all change into our pajamas (yes, we're all in our 20's and 30's now) and move to the living room to read The Night Before Christmas and sing The 12 Days of Christmas.

  169. Roberta says:

    I'm laughing hysterically at the description of this sledding event. Truly magnificent. I appreciate the attention to emergency procedures with the cell phone. Now that I'm married and have offspring, I'm trying hard to develop holiday traditions for my own little family unit. This is hard when my husband is Jewish, and just doesn't understand why I am happy just sitting in the dark staring at the Christmas tree lights with a glass of wine. But he does like egg nog, so there's hope. I just want to bring that special feel to the holiday season for my daughter that I remember as a kid. This may seem small, but it's something I remember so clearly. My mom always had this cheesy Santa candy dish on the piano full of gumdrops during the holidays. We never had candy out like that otherwise, and my mom never told me to stop eating the gumdrops from the dish. But it was so special and unusual, that I think I was kind of reverent about those candies, and doled them out sparingly to myself. I just bought an antique candy dish on Etsy, and a bag of gumdrops. They're going on the buffet, next to the fireplace and stockings.

  170. Joella Kudron says:

    The only holiday tradition my family has is opening up one present each on Christmas Eve…apart from that, we just make sure we're all together on Christmas day!

  171. Lala says:

    Watching all the classic Christmas Rankin-Bass stop action movies and singing along with every song! (And, quoting most of the lines, too.) πŸ˜‰

  172. aPm says:

    My family and I watch all of the classic Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate and having the fireplace going. We also drive around to look at all the Christmas lights, go to church, and take pictures with Santa! My favorite tradition is going to see The Nutcracker ballet, which started when I was dancing in it and has continued ever since!

  173. mary says:

    My husband and I watch the BBC Pride and Prejudice (all 6 hours) every holiday season. Not nearly as exciting as sledmageddon, but I'm more a hot chocolate by the fire than an out in cold weather person.

  174. L says:

    We always head to my Aunt and Uncle's on Christmas Eve (formerly we went to my Grandparents) stuff ourselves with food, then the kids get to open one present from the whole family while there. I still count as a kid, and have been facing gentle questioning from my extended family as to what I want. Then we stuff ourselves with dessert!

  175. Theresa says:

    Your family tradition sounds awesome! πŸ™‚ Good luck this year!

    Every year, my boyfriend and I stay at my parents' house on Christmas Eve so we can be there for present opening with my young siblings. My older sisters and their families come over after their kids have opened gifts and once we're all together, the older “kids” open our gifts and we all sit around playing with our new toys and watching the 24 “A Christmas Story” marathon on TBS. Then it's lunch with my entire extended family, also at my mom's, then the boy and I head to his mom's, then his dad's. It's a loooong day full of food and family, and I wouldn't change it for anything. πŸ™‚

    Also, my two besties and I get together every year when we're all in town for our traditional night of wine, gift giving, and watching our collective Christmas favorite, Love Actually. It's maybe the greatest tradition I could ever think of. πŸ™‚

  176. Nicole O. says:

    Every year, my family & I go around the city looking for the houses who have awesome Christmas lights. This one house down the street from our old house was the best. Every 15 mins, a light show begins. You tune your car radio into a station that plays the songs & the lights on the house move according to the music. It's really awesome.

    Here's the video of the show that my sister recorded 2 years ago:

    saucy.baby21 [at] gmail [dot] [com]

  177. Juliana says:

    We always get together at my aunts house.

  178. Belle says:


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