The Little Things, The Bigger Things, My Favorite Things

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Enter to WIN one of (3) $100 Amazon Gift Cards from Barefeet In The Kitchen!

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, my friends. Get comfy, and settle in for just a moment. I am so excited to chat with you today! (If you don’t have that spare moment this morning, skip straight to the bottom of this post and GET YOURSELF ENTERED in this awesome holiday giveaway for one of THREE $100 Amazon gift cards.)

First things first, have you seen the fantastic new Recipe Index on the website?? As someone who started her blog simply to have an organized and easy to use way to store recipes, this index makes me grin every time I use it. I never imagined that this website would one day hold over 1400 recipes, yet here we are and it was time for a wee update.

Barefeet In The Kitchen's new recipe index makes finding the perfect recipe easier than ever!

The shiny new recipe cards? With their much requested easy print button? The categories that are so easy to search? That fabulous search feature at the top and side of every page? Oh, friends, I’m so happy to share this with you at last. May all of your recipe searches be fruitful now.

Have you checked out The Little ThingsOn the weekend, I share a glimpse into our life and my thoughts in The Little Things Newsletter. Books I’m reading, things we’re watching, things we’re doing, and whatever I might be pondering: I didn’t imply this was brilliant writing, right? You’ll find the Weekly Meal Plan in the newsletter as well as mouthwatering links to foods that I’m craving. This is my favorite way to connect with all of you and each time you hit reply on that newsletter in your email, it makes me smile. (You can sign up HERE and I’ll drop that newsletter straight into your email each weekend.) I dearly love hearing from you all and I am honored that you take the time to write to me.

There is an updated ABOUT section and a brand new LIFE section too. Check it all out and then get yourself entered in this giveaway for some pre-Christmas fun!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS –> Sponsored by me for you. The end. Merry Christmas. You all make my life a better place. Without you, Barefeet In The Kitchen would not be the coolest job that I never knew could be a job. The fact that I get to do something I love every day is priceless on so many levels. So, I’m sharing my joy with you today in the form of a few gift cards. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Enter to WIN one of (3) $100 Amazon Gift Cards from Barefeet In The Kitchen!

Just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite holiday memory, tell me about your favorite (or least favorite!) holiday food, or if the holidays aren’t your thing, tell me about something, anything at all, that has made you smile recently. At the end of next week, I’ll toss the names in a hat to randomly choose THREE lucky winners of (3) $100 Amazon gift cards. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GIVEAWAY WINNERS: Kimberly, Jan, and Yolanda!

Giveaway ends on Friday, December 9th, 2016, at 11:59pm EST. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S to enter. Three winners will be randomly chosen and will be notified via email within 48 hours of the giveaway close. Winners must respond within 48 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen.

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Dee Fedor says

    One Christmas Eve in the 60’s, my parents walked the neighborhood picking up a little to muçh “Cheer”. Passed out in the living room! I put the candy canes on the tree and ate Santa’s cookies so my little sister, age 4, would still believe! Everyone was fine by 6am when we rushed downstairs! Christmas was SAVED!

  2. Sandy Kempton says

    My favorite holiday memory: We had tall ceilings in my childhood home and were able to have 12 foot Christmas trees every year. My
    Dad would put on drywall stilts to decorate the top of the tree with ornaments, tinsel, and garland. My brother and I took turns every year getting on his shoulders and placing the angel at the top of the tree. I’m sure my Mom cringed more than once as we tried to balance ourselves and not topple over into the tree, but she and Daddy gave us some wonderful Christmas memories.

  3. Denise Flint says

    One of my favorite holiday memory is making chocolate chip cookies(some for Santa of course) with my dad and sister while my mom became the paparazzi. Now I get to share that with my 2 little boys(4 and 2 year olds).

  4. Sheri Bartay says

    I love the smiles on the faces of my grandkids looking at wonder at the Christmas tree or when we go to look at the Christmas Lights in the neighborhoods in the area.

  5. Leslie Harris says

    My favorite part of Christmas is baking day…all the kids, in the kitchen, music in the background, making gifts of food to share with friends and family. Merry Christmas!

  6. Josie says

    My favorite memories are definitely of my childhood when everyone — aunts, uncles, cousins spanning multiple generations — would gather at my grandma’s house for Christmas eve dinner. Tables were set up spanning from the dining room out into the living room. Such a warm, happy evening full of love, family and wonderful food. Memories that will live in my heart for always.

  7. Terry C says

    haha… one of my favorite christmas foods is chex mix! for some reason, the only time my mom ever makes it is at christmas – and she ALWAYS makes it, so it’s a tradition.

  8. ChrisK says

    One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is having the huge flat box of swiss chocolate miniatures come from my dad’s boss. They had tons of different flavors and shapes and sometimes there’d be two boxes and we would literally lose our minds with the delicious choices!

  9. Debbie R. says

    My favorite memory was when my husband of 3 months came home from boot camp. We were married on September 11th 1971 and he went into the Navy on his birthday, October 6th so we were barely together a month when he left. Seeing him come through that door a week before Christmas was the best present I ever had!

  10. Susan says

    Christmas reminds that my Father loves me so very much he sent his one and only, most beloved son, to this earth to save me. And Christ willing left paradise even though he knew what he would have to endure. The beauty of the season!

  11. Melissa Brush says

    Christmas in an
    Elementary School
    (sung to the tune of Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland)

    Children scream, they’re not listenin’ When they go, we won’t miss ’em,
    In all of this pain, we try to stay sane, Workin’ in an elementary school.

    Christmas comes, they’re excited, Though our nerves, they’ve ignited,
    They’re off of the wall, they run in the hall, Workin’ in an elementary school.

    In the lunchroom we can hear them yellin’, And we know that they are really wound, Someone hits, the other says “I’m telling”, And that is when our heads begin to pound!

    Pretty soon, we’ll be restin’, ‘Cause our nerves, they’ve been testin’,
    We’re happy, it’s clear, it comes once a year, Christmas in an elementary school.

  12. Janet W. says

    I absolutely love the holidays and spending Christmas with my immediate and extended family. It’s a great time for us to get together, catch up, and eat delicious foods. We love to eat Honey Baked ham with sides like green beans and sweet potato soufflé. Our favorite for dessert is caramel cake which my sister in law usually makes.

  13. Rebecca Cesario says

    My favorite Christmas memories always relate to our family tradition of cutting a live tree. The first one was in 1998 when my husband and I cut down our first tree to put up in our first house. We had vaulted ceilings and the tree was over 12 feet tall and came from the National Forest outside of Denver, Colorado. I had to stand on our kitchen table to reach the higher branches and had to toss the star onto the top. As the years progressed, and three kids came along, the tradition became more and more fun. As a family, we have cut down trees in three states (Colorado, Illinois and Michigan) in sun, rain, warm, cold, snow, wind – anything Mother Nature dished out the day we decided to go get the tree. My kids and I enjoy putting the ornaments on the tree and they all have favorites that they “have” to hang. I also started purchasing picture ornaments each year for each child and put that year’s picture in it. When my kids head out on their own, I will be able to give them a gift of ornaments to decorate their first trees.

  14. Sandy says

    My favorite thing about Christmas has always been the smiles on the kids faces when they open their presents. My favorite food is my dressing. Since I always have dinner at my house, I don’t have a least favorite food at Christmas. My youngest grandson always makes me smile. He says the funniest things and is so polite and thoughtful.

  15. Ann Coombe says

    My favorite holiday memory is my parents HUGE tree in the entryway of their house. Many years we went out in the summer and tagged it. Every year it was at least 10′ high….sometimes 14′ high. Sooo beautiful and magical for a young child.

  16. Cindy Demchak says

    I loved going with my family when we were younger and picking out the perfect Christmas tree and decorating it with the family. Then helping Mom with making cookies and learning different Cookie Formals that was past down from Gram.

  17. Becky G says

    My favorite holiday memory comes from something a bit sad. When you get divorced, suddenly things change at xmas. Your kids may not wake up at your house. Instead of being sad, my husband and I have made a new tradition ourselves stemming from our first xmas together 3 years ago. On xmas eve we go to our farmers market to shop for a special meal with the kids the next day. That night we watch Love Actually. The next morning we sleep in and then open one present from each other before the kids all come in the afternoon.

    My favorite holiday food is my mom’s Norwegian cookies, krumkake. We make them together each year!

  18. Helen Cope says

    A favorite holiday treat I always remember growing up was Moravian Sugar Cake. It was heated and had nooks and crannies filled with brown sugar, sugar, and butter. That was always a special treat with our Christmas morning breakfast. 😋

  19. Alexandra Robertson says

    My favorite holiday food is dessert lol. I love anything mint&chocolate. I love to make my grandma’s sour cream and rum raisin pie.

  20. Robin says

    What made me smile this week was getting my cookbook in the mail! Now I have easy weeknight meals I can cook fast and your recopies are all delicious!

  21. Barbara Brannon says

    Oh my! Thanks for this great giveaway – I could sure use this win what with 4 grandkids!!! I guess my favorite memory is of me and my older sister when we were young kids laying under the live Christmas tree after it had been decorated and looking up through the branches and smelling that wonderful cedar smell. The bubble lights were my favorite! My favorite food at Christmas dinner was my Mothers fresh cranberry salad – to die for – and I make her recipe every year for the family since she passed. My LEAST favorite is green bean casserole – yuck!
    Thank you again for the chance to win! –
    Barbara in TN
    [email protected]

  22. Debra says

    Christmas is a very stressful time for many, me included. Money is very tight. This year so we are keeping things simple. My son reminded me yesterday what Christmas is all about. He did a service project for school that raised money for children going into a new foster home. He said mom, “It is not about what you have, it is about who you have!” OUt of the mouths of my amazing 11 year old.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  23. Missy Reidenhour says

    We are loving the new Christmas traditions we are starting with our own young family. The girls make Christmas SO special for us! Baking with them, going to see Christmas lights, visiting family and friends, and just seeing them react to surprises just makes my heart melt! I hope when I get older, I don’t forget these special times. Pictures are worth 1,000 words!

  24. Stella Brown says

    My favorite time, when all our family was together. After dinner the story telling of things that happened through out our growing up and starting our own families. So may are gone now. Of course it is fun watching these young ones make their memories. Grand kids are fun. We still gather with our old fashioned food favorites.

  25. Lisa Brown says

    I love my mothers stuffing and candied yams; I look forward to the holidays every year to eat these. Thanks for the chance 🙂
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  26. Sue Reedy says

    I so enjoy exploring your recipes and have
    enjoyed all that I’ve made. I absolutely love
    Christmas, pretty much everything about it,
    from the festive feel in the air to all the
    yummy foods. I love sitting in a room with a
    glass of wine just watching the lights on the tree. My family always makes a bunch of cookies at Christmas and in the past few years I’ve added several of yours to my baking list!
    Thank you and have a Merry Christmas!

  27. eva andrew says

    My family had a bakery, so we were really busy up to Christmas Eve. My favorite part of Christmas back then was getting the box of oranges from my aunt…she would have them sent every year from Florida…oranges, marmalade, and those chocolate covered coconut patties…oh yum!

  28. J. Fraser says

    I especially love a white Christmas. Soft snow falling and family all in one room. I also am one of the few who really likes fruit cake. I make it every year.

  29. mary Bitzan says

    Lefsa!! My mom made it from leftover potatoes. Couldn’t wait for the first piece off the griddle with butter and sugar!

  30. Deborah M Fischer says

    My favorite holiday memory is from my childhood. I was around 6 years old and I remember sitting on my father’s lap eating our traditional Christmas morning breakfast, my grandmother’s homemade coffee cake . I don’t recall him being an affectionate father so this memory is very precious to me.

  31. Jan Blaylock says

    Christmastime memories of my mom are so sweet. She was normally a somewhat reserved lady but when Christmas came, she transformed into a silly heart! Grinning, giggling, singing and dancing! She made everyone around her laugh and join in the fun! Such wonderful memories! Christmas truly is “The most wonderful time of the year!”!!

  32. Michael A. Koons says

    When my daughter was an infant she rolled everywhere instead of crawling. It was Christmas and she was laying underneath the tree gazing at all the lights with her father looking on while I was busy in the kitchen. He heard me coming into the room and told my daughter to hurry and get out of there cuz Mom was going to get her. She took off rolling down the hall so fast that we both had a great laugh over that!

  33. NIcki says

    The thing that made me laugh was when my grandson took his first communion at the church. My daughter gave him $1 and he and his Dad went up front. The priest gave him the wafer, and my grandson turned around and said in a loud voice to his Mom. “Is that all you get for $1?” The entire church laughed.

  34. Cindie Carlson says

    My favorite memory from Christmas is the year Santa rang the door bell at my Aunt’s house and when I opened the door there was a wheelbarrow filled with gifts all for me! Do I need to add I was an only child?

  35. Polly S. says

    I have several great memories of Christmas but I remember dad loving Christmas. He was always having a good time. He made the holidays fun. I really miss him. He would take me sleigh riding, or help me build a snowman, When Christmas came we ate breakfast and no one opened gifts til then. We did get one gift on Christmas eve.
    We knew it would be an outfit for Church or Pajamas.
    One thing I remember dad and mom both enjoyed Christmas but dad was so much into enjoying giving to others and loving the holiday. Not always giving things but giving love to others.

  36. Dee Carter says

    This is a little sad to share but it sticks out in my memory so vividly! Our Mother developed colon cancer but got through it the first time and then it showed us we wouldn’t win! Before the second time I told my Mom I would like a 8 x10 picture of her. “Oh why would you want that!” So I convinced her to go and have it done by a photographer. When we ordered it, I said “why don’t you get one made for all of us kids, (4 boys and 2 of us girls). When our family all (about 30 then) got together on Christmas Eve, I spoke up and said, Mom has something for all of us. I had gift wrapped them all the same. When my big brothers unwrapped this pictures the tears started running down their cheeks!! I will always hold that memory. That was 22 years ago! Thank you for letting me share.

  37. Linda Baker says

    As a little girl spending Christmas at my granny’s farm with my parents and little brother and sister was magical. My dad would stealthfully throw some hay around and somehow even get some on the roof of the house. He would create reindeer footprints in the snow to make the scene even more incredibly awesome. When we woke up Christmas morning he would excitedly tell us how Santa had chosen granny’s house to stop and feed his reindeer. Oh how we loved Christmas!

  38. Marcie Huddleston says

    I remember my mom always waited until Christmas morning to wrap my presents. One year, I woke up super early and heard her wrapping away. I could hardly stand laying in my bed patiently waiting for her to finish! We didn’t have much, but she always made Christmas special.

  39. Suzanne Simmons says

    My favorite things about Christmas growing up was pulling out 6 or more containers of different cookies for dessert — which to eat last and savor!? — and playing games when my grandparents were visiting.

  40. Marilyn Dean says

    When I was young my parents would wait till we went to bed and then decorate the tree and put presents out. When we woke up it was so exciting to see. My favorite thing to do for the holiday is bake cookies and make crafts for my friends and family.

    Hope your family has a wonderful Holiday!!!

  41. Cynthia Fletcher says

    I love seeing the anticipation on all of my children and my nieces and nephews faces as we circle around the Christmas tree and start handing the gifts out.

  42. P.J. Coldren says

    The whole Christmas morning tradition: NOBODY downstairs before 7am. Down the stairs by age, youngest first. Stockings first, then breakfast (which often was an orange from the stocking). Then presents. One at a time, doled out by Dad or Dad’s designated doler-outer. Burning the wrapping paper in the fireplace. BIG turkey dinner, with home-made creamed spinach, stuffing (Not dressing), canned cranberry sauce in a plastic Fred Flinstone log-shaped cereal bowl (where IS that and did they make it the perfect size for that can on purpose?), pumpkin pie for dessert. Always LOTS of people – there were 6 of us with no company, and we almost always had some company.

  43. Kesha says

    My favorite holiday memory is spending time baking Christmas goodies with my Mena! My very favorite thing we made was chocolate fudge and no bake cookies

  44. Denise says

    One of my favorite things about the holidays is a tradition we have of getting together with the entire family and spending the afternoon/evening making massive amounts of tamales. We get together on the 23rd, listen to music, have some drinks, sit and catch up with each other while making tamales. Everyone gets involved and has a different job to do and as they grow and can manage new tasks, they venture into new areas. It is a great time!
    Happy holidays!!

  45. Sharon says

    We had 4 grandchildren born the same year. Then 6 more over the next few years. Loved seeing Santa (my husband) at our house on Christmas Eve and watching the eyes of those little ones! Such excitement! They are all young adults now. Miss the days of innocence.

  46. Connie Ramsey says

    I have two sons and when they stopped believing in Santa well it wasn’t the same! So now I have six grandchildren and I get to see Christmas through their eye’s!

  47. Suzie says

    When we were kids we did an old fashioned Christmas in a cabin in upper WI. We went into the woods and cut our tree and then spent the week leading to Christmas making all handmade ornaments for the tree. Popcorn garland, paper chains, and more. Was so much fun. It was “unplugging” before it was a real thing!

  48. Bethany B says

    As a kid, getting a box of baked goodies from my great grandma in the mail was always the thing I looked forward to the most.

  49. Wendy says

    What made me smile most recently is being at my MIL’s house and she had made a pan of your Cranberry Christmas Cake. Delicious! I picked up a bag of cranberries to make my own this weekend!

  50. Sandra Reynolds says

    My favorite memory from past and now to the present is picking out a Christmas tree. When my children were small, I think going driving looking at decorated homes was a close tie. As far as food goes, my favorite is making sweets and giving them to someone. I don’t know about ya’ll but to see someones face when they get a homemade gift or to have them call you and let you know they LOVED that gift most of all is…well….. a warm and fuzzy feeling. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  51. Sharon says

    Anything about Christmas is special. I remember often of the beautiful trees my parents got. It was during the time when they used to flock trees any color you wanted. We had a different color every year. Some were not so good but my favorite was the beautiful black one. We had to have a couple of them for me. Kind of excited to see if more colors than white fake trees will be coming. Beautiful time of the year.

  52. Kimberly Stordeur says

    It’s hard for me to decide on one “favorite” memory. I think my “favorite” is the tradition of when I was little; baking and decorating Christmas cookies with my family (different years; sometimes mom, aunts, brothers, etc…) and now my children. All through their years of growing up we have continued this tradition, they are now 14 & 17 yrs. I see in my kids their excitement of making the cookies and picking the special ones out to leave for Santa, on his special plate, with some milk, in his special cup (Yes, we still do this). We still make them as I always have, the old fashioned way of rolling the dough and using cookie cutters, making the icing with powder sugar & food coloring, and of course we have an array of sprinkles, colored sugars, and a plethora of adornments to choose from. This is a tradition I have enjoyed all my life through bad times and good and one I will continue with my family indefinitely, plus it’s fun to taste test and then eat them when we’re all done 😉 LOL!

    Merry Christmas to you and your Family!!!

  53. Carol G says

    I love spending time in the kitchen making cookies for trays I give to family and friends. I also love putting on Christmas music and decorating the house. This I can say with all honesty…..putting those decorations up is a WHOLE LOT more fun than taking them all down! 🙂

  54. Joy F. says

    My favorite holiday memory was from when I was a kid. My cousins & I used to get together and write a play to perform for our parents & grandparents on Christmas. We had so much fun. One of my favorites was when we did a take off on the tv show Dallas. Who shot E.H.? We asked my Uncle to be E.H. Pewing. (J.R. Ewing) We had everyone laughing. Each play was different but we always had so much fun!

  55. Deborah H. says

    I love the meaning and celebration of Christmas! Family, love, and memories made each and every Christmas. The excitement in my grandchildren eyes; it’s precious! Merry Christmas everyone!

  56. Deanna says

    What made me smile…. I walked into my clients home this morning, & she was smiling and laughing. She hasn’t been feeling well lately, so to see her smiling made me very happy 😍

  57. Renee McQuilen says

    My favorite thing is all the baking I get to do (and eating!) and I don’t feel guilty about it one bit!!

  58. Monica Archer says

    My favorite holiday food is sweet potatoes. I don’t know why I don’t eat them more any time of the year.

  59. Gerrie M says

    My favorite Christmas memory was the year I decorated our Victorian Christmas tree. I had been purchasing a few ornaments each year in the after Christmas sales for years. FINALLY, I had enough to decorate an tree. Tucked in between the branches were bunches of sparkly baby’s breath and beautiful gold and burgundy ribbon wrapped around the tree – everyone (adults) said it was stunning! Then my children wanted to know, “where was the REAL Christmas tree?” In no uncertain terms, they let me know this was not THEIR idea of our Christmas tree! Where were all THEIR ornaments? Where were the ones they had made in Sunday School every year? Where were the colored lights? Where was the tinsel? (You apparently can’t have a real tree without tinsel!). All those years of wanting to have a beautifil Victorian tree and finally having one, only to find out that colored lights, popsicle stick stars and felt snowmen (and the tinsel) were what meant Christmas to those who mattered the most – my children!!
    So away went the baubles and baby’s breath, the white lights and ribbon, and we’ve returned to our REAL tree with all the colored lights, homemade ornaments amd tinsel we can put on the tree. I learned what was important that year. And the Victorian decorations remain packed away, as they should. We may never see them again, as grandchildren have now arrived on the scene … and the circle will remain unbroken I think, for another generation! 😊

  60. Sara says

    Something about the holiday season makes me want homemade hot chocolate every night with marshmallows and whipped cream which my kids adore as well!

  61. Judy Bradshaw says

    Good Morning Mary, it’s the Holiday season and I just want to bake and bake. I have to curb my passion for Chocolate . I’m a diabetic, do you have any great sugar free chocolate cake recipes. Love your blog. Hugs to you and yours.

  62. Pat says

    Mary, I enjoy your blog so much and always look over your recipes…..I especially am enjoying the old and the new cookies and candies on blogs for the season….Marry Christmas to you and yours………..

  63. Debbie Y says

    My favorite memories are being at my grandma’s house. Everything she cooked was wonderful. Even though I have her recipes, it doesn’t quite taste the same. Merry Christmas!

  64. Kathleen McGee says

    My favorite Christmas memory is when my son Jeremiah was alive and all of us would.go Christmas Caroling as a family every Christmas Eve. We had some much fun!

  65. Patricia Bennett says

    My favorite memories is Christmas with my grandparents .As a kid we would get up and see what Santa had brought us .We then would go to my grandparents for Christmas dinner .My grandpa would bring out the records and one record in particular was the song All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth even as an adult with toddlers he still kept up the tradition now including my children .They are long gone and so is the record but to this day whenever I hear that Song I smile and get teary at the same time .I wish there was such a thing as a time machine I would love to go back for one more Christmas with them

  66. Chiska says

    Your new tabs are great! My huband always makes pie so we can have it for breakfast Christmas morning. I love all of us sitting around the tree munching on pie. That’s my favorite thing to eat during the holidays too. Especially his apple pie.

  67. Dawn Elsberry says

    My favorite Christmas memory was the year it snowed on Christmas Day! I know that might not be a big deal to most people, but I live in Tucson. That is a big deal anytime it happens here.

    I love cooking with pumpkin this time of year! Pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter, etc! Bring on the pumpkin!

  68. Lisa says

    My favorite memory is when my then 5 year old daughter opened a gift of play dough and put her hands on her hips and said “I didn’t ask Santa for Play dough!” She was upset that she received someone else’s gift!
    The moment was priceless and I still have the photo with “that look” on her face.

  69. Heather Goshow says

    One of my favorite holiday memories has been the year we have written our boys a letter right before we put all the Christmas decor away. We open the letter the next year at Christmas time and read all the memories from the year prior. Our kids even at (15) and (12) look forward to their letter each year.

  70. Jenny Hartin says

    My favorite Christmas memory is the first Christmas in NY with my boyfriend (now husband) who on my birthday (December 16th) while I was at work – took the day off – and went and bought a tree and decorated my apartment — it was so touching and wonderful.

  71. SusanStroda says

    My FAVORITE memory was my parent’s nightmare.. Only the Creche was put up before Christmas. When us children awoke on Christmas morning, we awoke to lights, a tree And presents! I’m pretty sure we were awake within minutes of our parents finally getting to bed. By the time my younger brother was told there wasn’t any Santa Claus, this tradition ended… A magical time ended, the tree and lights were put up as a family around the 20th of December, and the thrill of Christmas morning was just another morning.

  72. Sharon coffman says

    I love Christmas ! My favorite memory is going to Christmas candlelight service with my family. It doesn’t happen often now, as my children are grown and scattered. Also I often babysit my youngest daughter’s boys, and her twins , who are not 2 yet, take me to the Christmas tree many times a day to show me how pretty it is.

  73. Janine Boparai says

    I am new to your blog. I LOVE it! It immediately went on my “check every day” food blog list. Which I am picky about as there are only 2 others besides you there. 😉

    My favorite holiday memory is lights. I love fairy lights and love seeing them every year. I have many happy memories with lights at the center. My favorite holiday food is butter pecan fudge and peppermint bark.

    I wish you blessings and good eats this holiday season!!

  74. Daphna Ellis says

    My favorite thing about the holidays is the food, of course. I love having the family all over to my house (2 daughters with their husbands and 5 grand kids). I love Christmas Day, once it is here. By that, I mean, by Christmas morning, all the stress of working, shopping for gifts, and all that is finally done, and I can enjoy myself.

    Thank you for the opportunity to WIN!!

  75. Nutmeg Nanny says

    Your new site is lovely! I’m totally entering this giveaway because I get so many Amazon boxes delivered to my house people think I never leave my house, haha. Favorite holiday memory – when I was 14 my parents told us instead of staying home for Christmas we were going to get together with our family and friends and rent a huge Chalet in Tennessee. This house was massive and it easily held all 20 of us that were staying there. Becuase we were going away for Christmas we didn’t exchange gifts that year but it didn’t even matter. The memory is still my favorite and ever since then I have wanted to plan a getaway Christmas.

  76. Kris McCulloch says

    My favorite Christmas memory is the recipe passed down through 3 generations (great, great grandma’s old fashioned Sugar Cookies); since we had a large family of 7, we didn’t have a lot under the tree & on our table, so we raised (chickens, large veggie garden) & made (ground wheat for our own breads) quite a lot of our foods. Christmas cookies were a big deal–we tripled that recipe!–Wrapping our large kitchen table in wax paper, cookie cutters came out, 5 kids rolling and cutting those cookies; then hours later 5 small bowls of colored frosting to decorate with! (I always wanted the difficult color–Purple!!) We shared these cookies with our neighbors & sang carols at their doorsteps as we walked away…..and I carry this tradition on making these cookies with my son (always his 1st holiday request to make these even though he’s 19 yrs. old now!), and sharing with my neighbors too! Passing on the love during the holidays is the BEST! Merry Christmas to you & your family! =)

  77. Michele Rutledge says

    I love making Christmas goodies to share with friends and family. I like to show l9ve thru cooking and baking.

  78. Michelle A says

    Our favorite Christmas meal has become beef tenderloin and mushrooms. Even my non mushroom eaters love these mushrooms.

  79. Judy Ball says

    I look forward to your blog. Trying new recipes n what you r up to. This yr is a rough yr as many close friends n family have passed away… including an aunt anyday. My joy is our church familynd the way we celebra r e Jesus birth.. the studies, the play, the music, the serbices. And then there is the big Christmas eve party for my family. Ilove seeing all of my family together. My children, the grandchildren, & greatgrands… n a f we w friends as well… and the New Years Eve party. Lights up my eyes n heart.

  80. Jennifer Rote says

    My favorite holiday memory is the first time I took my son to a winter carnival. So cold, but so much fun. The lines for the rides weren’t that long. lol

  81. kaddra Powell says

    I love to watch my family open homemade gifts from me and when they use them. I love the holiday music and dancing

  82. Starla Dawn says

    Mary, I wanted to let you know I tried your Cranberry Christmas Cake. I brought it to a breakfast we were having at work. It was the first food item cleaned out. People loved it. I bragged to them about your website and cookbook. It was incredibly tasty. Thank you.

    Starla

  83. Aurora Dickson says

    I am sorry to say, but I never realized that Barefoot had a website or blog.
    I get your recepies directly in my emails and have tried a few with great results.
    I just now viewed your website/blog and was quite impressed. Good Luck on
    your future endeavors and please have more and more FUN.

  84. Jodi Jones says

    I absolutely loathe Fruit Cake and my ultimate favorite Christmas Treat is Snickers Fudge 🙂 My fondest memory is the whole family sleeping at my Parents house (Siblings and all our kids) going to look at lights, watching a Christmas Story and opening PJ’s and Slippers. Going to bed and waking up as a family to open presents and have a huge brunch!! I miss those days.

  85. Kristin Taylor says

    My family’s little tradition began when we asked each other…” What is your favorite food?” Artichokes are one of my families favorites. So…began the tradition on Christmas Eve….we would steam an artichoke and make our lemon and butter sauce, and my Dad would cook marinated deer steaks on the grill. We would have a baked potato and a Rhodes roll, have a big lettuce salad, and my Mom would make her Mother’s recipe stained glass jello salad that looked so festive. We look forward to this yummy meal every year. Of course to add to the ambiance….we would light the candles and the fireplace, and turn on Christmas music. 🎄🎄🎹🎼🎼. Merry Christmas Mary! I love your emails. I love the Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal recipe you had. I make it often! God bless!

  86. Kim Holland says

    My favorite memory is my grandmother’s sugar cookies. They are light and crispy with chopped pecans. They are unlike any other sugar cookie that I have ever tasted. When we would visit her, she would have a batch of cookies waiting for us.

  87. Helene Tallman says

    My favorite holiday memories are the ones I am making right now! For whatever reason, there are a thousand tiny things that make each celebration of Christ’s birth more special each year. This year will likely be the “smallest” in number celebration for decades. God has blessed our family and we are no longer living close to one another so it will be THREE of us…just three. I am looking forward to having a quiet and meaningful time together and to enjoying all the joyful smiles around me. Praying for you Mary and your beautiful family as you celebrate this year!

  88. Donna Jones says

    I love pecan pie! My favorite memory was a bunch of us going to cut down a Christmas tree! Making a fire and roast hotdogs and heat up chilli for chilli dogs!

  89. Sally Fester says

    My favorite holiday dishes are family Italian traditions such as broccoli pies and aracini rice balls. Plus other traditional dishes. Thanks for sharing!!

  90. Terri Pass says

    I’m baking your Cranberry Christmas Cake to take to a holiday party this weekend. It will be the first time I have made it and, hopefully, will become a yearly tradition!

  91. melody dover says

    For my friends and I, it’s all about the fudge. We get together every year and make loads of fudge and cookies. It started with her mother and we carry on these traditions. It’s great fun and a great way to memorialize my friends’mother. Of course, my favorite Holiday food is all the sweets that come along with the season.

  92. Theresa Frost says

    I love your blog and the delicious recipes you post for us…I enjoy making many of them for my husband….he says its like a treat everyday to try something new…Thank you so much!

  93. Kathy says

    my favorite memory is spending Christmas day with my parents-they are 94 and 97 its a special time and my grown daughters get to hear some beautiful stories of their grandparents when they were younger.

  94. Christeen says

    I love this time of year. Our tree is up right after Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to holiday baking and cooking. So happy that our oldest will be home from school for a month. So, all of us together once again. Enjoying every moment!

  95. Patricia says

    I love everything about the holidays, but right now I am blessed to adopt a special four-legged girl. My 14 year old Shepherd died exactly one month to the day my new girl came into my life. She has brought joy back into my life.

  96. Cathy says

    What I like most about Christmas is all the cooking ahead of goodies. I always make home made gifts for my friends. Not only are they delicious but they are made with love. Everybody looks forward to what new surprise goody they will get each year. I now have my Grandson making cookies for some of his teachers at school as well. The Holiday season is about giving and feeling good

  97. Evelyn J. says

    It was easy for me to think of a Christmas memory that I love. Now this one pertains only to me, of course there are several from times with my own family. This is an oldie in other words, lol. I can remember one Christmas where the girls, there were 7 of us, all got a doll with different color hair. I was a tomboy for the most part, but I loved that doll for so long. My doll had light purple hair! Why that doll was a favorite as I was definitely into Hop A Long Cassidy and any other cowboy hero. That doll stole my heart. She was a little plump & dressed in a pretty dress, what a switch for me. A fun, happy memory. Thanks for this chance to win. Oh & there were 3 brothers in the family as well, can you imagine Christmas morning for all of us. 🙂

  98. Koni says

    We’ve always given our kids 3 gifts (to represent the gifts the wise men brought). In addition, they receive a book, an ornament & an item of clothing. We play Christmas music and have a fire going in the fireplace. Grandparents arrive for breakfast and we eat sausage breakfast casserole, fruit & a blueberry coffee cake. Then we hang for a bit and all head to a blockbuster movie. We love our Christmas tradition!

  99. Sharon Wooden says

    When I was a little girl, probably 65 years ago, Santa Claus came to our house on Christmas day to bring presents to my 4 sisters and me. He really tried hard to convince us that he really was Santa but I had overheard him talking to his best friend at church and knew it was my dad!!! It was so much fun even though I knew who it was!!!
    I love making a huge variety of candies, cookies and nut breads for my family!!!

  100. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says

    There are so many favorite holiday memories – but the best ones are when my kids were little. One year my husband (Ed) knew a guy who had a seasonal job at the mall – he wore a red suit, and a hat, and got to visit with kids all day long. Ed talked to his friend and told him we would be coming to see him at his job. Ed also filled him in on some things going on around the house, a new puppy, etc. When we went to the mall and my two kids sat on this man’s lap, their jaws dropped to the floor when he asked them if they were helping with the new puppy, and he mentioned so many other things – about sharing, and being good, etc. Needless to say my children were absolutely, positively, without a doubt, convinced that he knew everything! What a good year 🙂

  101. Tabatha Johnson says

    Hi!
    My favorite holiday memory is probably from 1987. I was 12 years old and my grandparents had a huge Christmas party for the entire family. I mean, not only their side of the family, but all my aunts, uncles and cousins on my dad’s side as well. There were tables lined up all the way down the living room, which was the width of their 2 story, 4 br house. 🙂 I remember having a wonderful time while sitting around that family table in that loving place.
    My grandma played the piano and the organ and we all sang Christmas carols. I love that memory!
    My very favorite food at Christmas time was, and still is, my grandpa’s “famous” black raspberry pie. He used to save me a small bowl of the black raspberry filling. And he would bake up the scraps from the crust with sugar sprinkled on them so i could sneak and have some before anyone else got pie!! I was definitely a grandpa’s girl!
    Merry Christma!!s

  102. Cindy says

    Every year we do the “12 days of Christmas”. We decide on someone who is going through a rough holiday. (Lost a loved one, financial difficulties, going through divorce, etc.) We then place a gift on their doorstep anonymously everyday leading up to Christmas with a funny poem. (On the first day of Christmas a true friend gave to me… A candy cane as big as a tree, accompanied by a giant candy cane!) or 2 movie tickets, 3 ornaments,etc. it’s so fun to know you’re brightening someone’s holiday and they gave something to look forward to!!!

  103. Keri Fabian says

    At age 10, I was having some serious doubts about whether there really was a Santa or not. Peer pressure had convinced me there wasn’t a Santa but my parents argued that he existed. My dad decided to set my record straight. On Christmas Eve in 1970, we recieved 6 inches of fresh fallen snow which was just perfect for my dad’s plan. We lived in a little house with a covered carport roof that could be seen by my upstairs bedroom window.. After my brothers & I went to bed, way into the middle of the night my dad went to work on that carport roof. He created perfect sleigh tracks, boot tracks & reindeer tracks in the snow on the carport roof. Can you imagine my surprise seeing that sight on Christmas morning? It bought me another 2 years of believing there really was a Santa & dad said the smile on my face was worth all the work & lost hours of sleep.

  104. Trisha Rush says

    Receiving a letter from Australia from my first ever boyfriend. I haven’t seen him for over 50 yrs. Amazing.

  105. Robin says

    My favorite holiday memory would be spending time with my grandparents as a child. My favorite holiday food is by far dressing! I could eat it for weeks!

  106. Jen E says

    When I was in high school — and still eating wheat and sugar 😉 — I used to bake a lot, including sugar cookies around the holidays. I gave most of them to friends and neighbors. 20-some years later, a former neighbor lady mentioned in a Christmas card to my mom that her now-adult son (then a pre-teen with disabilities for whom I “baby-sat” regularly) still talked about how I used to come over and bake cookies with him. I had long since forgotten all about that, but Donnie remembered it vividly and brought it up every year at Christmas. You never know what ripples you’re sending out…

  107. Beth Keehne says

    Some of my favorite memories are the days my 3 daughters and I would spend baking goodies in the kitchen for them to take as gifts for their teachers at school. Singing Christmas carols and making a mess in the kitchen. We are all over the country now, and when the three of them can manage to get together – they always plan a day to do the same things together and then come the phone calls to me about the recipes and ingredients. It makes my heart swell to know that it was something they enjoyed as much as I did :0) Merry Christmas!!

  108. Joyce says

    My favorite Christmas memory would be playing hide and seek with elf on the shelf with my daughter. We start about a month before Christmas and hide him from one another. Just never know where the rascal will turn up lol.

  109. Claudia says

    Now that I’m in my 60’s, I look back and cherish the Christmas activities that wrote the Christmas message on my heart. In particular, one year we were in Calgary, Canada with our Canadian family and we saw our first midnight passion play. Bundled up to the max, standing outside in the snow, we were “witnesses” of the story of Christ’s birth. Beautifully acted out, we all left that night solemn in the deeper understanding that Christ came in love for us. I reach for that place in my heart when the glitz and commercialism of the holiday gets to be too much💝

  110. Elizabeth says

    I love all the wonderful smells of the holiday seasons. Brings back lots of memories.
    Thank you for your website.

  111. Cheryl Sutton says

    The best part of this holiday season started with Thanksgiving.. Our son returned home safe from Erbil, Iraq (his 4th tour) & our daughter & her family came & spent a week with us…the food was fantastic..we had 3 turkeys…1 fried, 1 smoked & a baked wild turkey that our grandson shot. We had a house full but enjoyed every single second!

  112. suz says

    every year, there’s a new favorite memory/activity or two as new friends or new baby earthlings debut with the family. but i especially enjoy trying out cookie, biscotti, fudge and side dish recipes each year, in the hope of finding a new christmas classic to pass along. –suz in ohio

  113. Shari Adams says

    My favorite memory is going to my Grandmothers house (who has since passed away)as soon as we opened our presents at home. the whole family met there and had breakfast together – Christmas has never been the same since she died. My favorite food was sour dough pancakes that my Grandfather made, & bread, butter & sugar that my grandma always fixed us for a treat.

  114. Sue Klimek says

    As an onky child going to my aunt and uncle’s for Christmas was always something to look forward to, they had 4 girls, plus all the other relatives would come too. Lots of food that refused to eat, blood sausage, lutefisk cooked both the Norway and Sweden way, plus ooskaka (which I don’t know how to spell). But there was always lefse and homemade rolls to eat. Fun time.

  115. Nicki Balzarini says

    When I was younger, our Christmas tradition was to eat at my grandmother’s house pizza, go to church as a family, and come back to my grandmother’s house to open gifts. Not the eloborate meal but a fun tradition all the same.

  116. Sharon says

    My favorite holiday food used to be turkey, but now that I’m vegetarian, it has to be my aunt’s sweet potatoes made with just pancake syrup and brown sugar.

  117. Carolyn Calfee says

    Grandma’s Candied Sweet Potatoes and her dressing. My family still asks for me to fix these every holiday. Sure miss her but glad I was always welcome in her kitchen as a child. I learned to cook from her when I was so small I had to stand in a chair to reach the countertop.

  118. Faricha Lewing says

    My favorite Christmas memory going to my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve and seeing her tree lite up and smelling the roast simmering in the oven! We never cooked anything for Christmas meals that anyone disliked lol!

  119. Donna Mendoza says

    I love to have prime rib for Christmas dinner, along with Yorkshire pudding!! I grew up in England! Air Force brat, lol The best holiday ever is watching the grandkids open their presents and seeing their faces❤️❤️

  120. LeAnn (still smiling) says

    My husband passed away recently and I had a pine tree removed from our yard. I had them leave 6 feet of the stump with the intention of having something carved as a remembrance to my husband. I finally selected a carver that goes chain saw carvings and had him do a bear leaning on a shovel (my husband had a massive green thumb). The carving was completed Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I can’t stop smiling when I look at the tree! My first holiday without my husband was not as painful because of that bear!

  121. Melissa Gurin Ashwill says

    I love the candles of Hanukkah. I think that’s why I love Christmas lights, too! I HATE potato latkes. They’re so greasy. Have a great and festive holiday!

  122. Lisa says

    I would have to say the Christmas cookies I bake with my kids. It’s our favorite Holiday tradition that began when my daughter was just a toddler. And now her daughter, my precious grand daughter has happily joined in.
    Merry Christmas to you!

  123. K. Miller says

    Beautiful and very, very welcome at birth, I was thrilled and brought to tears when my only granddaughter was rolled out of surgery to repair a cleft lip. Despite the stitches, and swelling, and obvious grogginess from the anesthesia, she looked at her parents and I, and managed her first new grin. I was so overwhelmed at the talent of the surgical staff, as well as being utterly grateful for living in a country where this kind of surgery is readily available and commonplace.

  124. Rachael Smallwood says

    My favorite holiday memory. Growing up we always had huge family dinners. It was nothing to have 30, 40, or 50 people together for dinner. They would buy the biggest turkey and ham that they could find and everyone would bring a side dish. Usually started around 1 pm and go well into the night.

  125. Kim says

    My favorite Christmas memory was 8 years ago…my son and daughter in law hosted a raw bar for the whole big extended family. We had so much fun as all tasted things…some of them for the first time. We lost our son 8 months later. I always smile when I think of this night… our last Christmas with him.

  126. Pamela DeKraker says

    My best memory of Christmas was when I was 8years old. My dad found a used bike and restored it with fresh paint, tires and added a pretty red bow, sat it under the tree for Christmas morning..

    The holidays are tougher now days as I have lost my mom and brother in the last several years. Trying to get the spirit of Christmas back for the sake of my two grandbabies, they are my greatest blessing.
    Merry Christmas to you.

  127. Mary Ogunbiyi says

    Hi! Thank you so much for doing this. I have not seen the new recipe index. Actually, this post made me smile 🙂

  128. Lisha says

    My funniest memory has to be of Thanksgiving in 1998; I had a lot of parrots at that time in different areas of the house, we were going all out that year being our last time with good friends in San Diego before a new adventure began. I smoked a duck in almond shells on the back patio since the ovens were full with the turkey and ham, guests were scattered throughout setting tables, a true medieval feast. My parrots were not shy and interacted loudly with the guest, shouting instructions or greetings, really random any things to make them involved. Once everyone was seated and the presentations of the meats began, my main parrot, whose cage saw into the kitchen, started screaming his head off setting off the other birds. As the platters of Turkey and Duck rounded the kitchen corner into the dining room, my parrot yelled “Bad,bad Bird! Dead Duck! Bad, bad Bird!”

  129. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says

    This is the best giveaway ever! Thanks! Loving the new look of the site.
    I love the cozy feeling of the holidays: fires, baking, lights, looking at the snow (NOT driving in it), and seeing the looks on my loved ones faces when I surprise them with their gifts. Oh, and love me some Christmas tunes! I’ve been listening since early November and it never gets old. It gets hectic sometimes, but this is my favorite month of the year.

  130. Lydia says

    My dad would always find and cut our Christmas tree. One year he brought in a small American holly, covered with red berries. It was already perfectly decorated!!

  131. Susan says

    When I was a child many years ago my brothers and I loved Christmas at Grandmas house! We would watch Frosty the Snowman and other holiday shows sitting in Grandpas lap drinking hot cocoa! Childhood memories with my Grandparents are the Best!

  132. Esther Robb says

    My maternal Grandmother always made Scottish shortbread at Christmas time. It was the highlight of the holiday season for me. When I was in nursing school, she made an extra batch just for me to take back to school. I kept the tin on the outside ledge of my dorm window (I was in Cleveland, Ohio) so it lasted a long time. After my Grandmother’s passing I took over the tradition of making the Scottish shortbread for the family. It never tastes quite as good as hers but it brings back great memories nevertheless.

  133. Sharon C says

    HI Mary! My favorite Christmas memory would have to be Christmas 1990, when my husband proposed to me. We have been married 22 years and have been blessed with two lovely daughters. I wish you and yours a very Merry, Blessed Christmas!

  134. Kristi Geere says

    Hi Mary! Merry Christmas. I just love the Christmas season. I love the sappy Hallmark movies as well as the classic Christmas movies. We watch one every night the whole season long. I absolutely love baking during this season. Peppermint and chocolate are my favorite combos this time of year. I pray your family is blessed this season. Thank you for all you do for us with your wonderful blog.

  135. Sheree says

    When I was a teen my family moved to TN for my dads job. The plant changed their minds and several families that moved there for the job were stuck. After struggling to find work in TN my dad ended up having to come back to Indiana to work while my mom, sister, and I stayed in TN. We talked on the phone every day and my dad came home every chance he got but sometimes it was months before he could come home for a visit but no matter what, we had always been together for Christmas. One year my dad was working and couldn’t come home for Christmas. Us girls got up Christmas morning and solemnly opened out gifts and tried to pretend everything was okay. I don’t remember what we had for breakfast or if any of us had even planned a special meal that year because we were so heartbroken that my dad couldn’t be there. It was our first Christmas without him. I honestly don’t even remember what we were doing that day, maybe we were watching tv but most likely my mom was drinking coffee, my sister was playing, and I was probably in my room where sullen teens love to be lol. But I do remember that somewhere around 10:30 or 11 that morning my daddy burst thru the door!!!! Surprising us. He had driven all night just to get home to us for Christmas and he had to leave to go back that night so he could be at work the next day. I can’t tell you anything else about that day because all I can remember is being so overjoyed that my daddy came home just to be with us for a few hours that Christmas Day. I knew we couldn’t afford for him to drive there and back and I knew he couldn’t afford to miss work (if you missed a day then you lost your spot on the crew and didn’t have a job) but he loved us so much that he drove all night to be with us. Looking back he must have gone 3 days on no sleep and it’s a pure blessing he didn’t fall asleep at the wheel and get killed. But it’s my favorite Christmas memory ever.
    I don’t have a favorite Christmas food but my grandma always made oatmeal chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies for Christmas. Every family got a gallon size ziploc baggie of each every year. They were the best. When I grew up I carried on that tradition and we make them every year. Being gluten free the last 5yrs or so has been so hard at the holidays but when I found your I want to marry you cookie recipe I was in heaven!! We make that for my daughter and I and I don’t feel so sad anymore that we can’t eat my grandmas cookie recipe.

  136. Gina Welborn says

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer but since the death of my daughter last year Christmas is very hard for me to celebrate Christmas now. I was blessed to have one last Christmas with her in 2014 so I am grateful for that.

  137. Dulce Medina says

    My favorite holiday memory is back when I was a kid and used to take my sister’s toys from Santa, then my mom will come and said: ahhhh no!! I don’t think those are yours!!
    My favorite food is turkey even though is more for Thanksgiving but I still love him. I don’t think I have a least favorite thing, I just love to eat 😉
    Happy holidays!!!

  138. Kathryne Leach says

    Lights are my favorite part of Christmas. I wish we could leave them up all year. I enjoy seeing the creative displays and colors bright against the darkness. You’re recipes are so good. I enjoy your website very much.

  139. Lorrie Carey says

    I so enjoy getting your emails and the yummy recipes you share. I can honestly say EVERY recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been a success! As a matter of fact, 3 of them made it in my Christmas goody bags last year and will most likely be repeated this year.
    I have too many Christmas memories to pick out just one. This Christmas is especially sentimental. We found out our first grandbaby is on the way!

  140. Angie says

    Christmas, not for me but I do love spending time with visiting family and cooking meals for them period. Anything from breakfast casseroles to lunch casseroles to elaborate dinners. I’m all in it for them and to see their faces as they savor every bite. That’s what I’m all about!

  141. Judy C Barnes says

    My favorite thing about the Christmas season is just savoring all the sights and sounds of the holiday season — twinkling lights, beautiful trees, the aromas from the kitchen, and the joy of being with friends and family. It’s always fun to add one new experience during the season — perhaps a new dish from the kitchen, a new restaurant meal with friends, a stroll through the neighborhood to enjoy the decorations. Find joy in the season

  142. Carol JG says

    My favorite holiday memory is the year my siblings and I got ice skates. We got freezing rain on top of 12 inches of snow, so our backyard became an ice skating rink.

  143. Wendy Williams says

    One Christmas morning, all our stockings were switched out for pantyhose. When filled with our goodies really stretch.
    I love baking and eating anything with cranberries. We are blessed to be able to pick these gems all around our property.

    Merry Christmas!!

  144. Terri says

    My favorite memory: being a child, listening to Bing Crosby sing White Christmas while my father put the lights on the tree….I miss him so

    Holiday food: COOKIES

  145. Vicki Nave says

    One of my favorite memories is of my middle daughter when she was about 5 or 6 running out Christmas morning so excited to see the baby Jesus had arrived at the nativity overnight.

  146. Jolie says

    One of my favorite Christmas memories was spending it in Disneyworld! My favorite food at Christmas time is yummy Louisiana dishes, cornbread stuffing and spinach madeline but I can NOT stand Sweet potato dishes.

  147. angelina plumeri says

    My family had a bar and restaurant that we lived above, but Christmas was always, family, food and anyone of our customers or friends were welcome to enjoy with us. My dad always made sure that anyone who was without family was not alone on Christmas. They always closed early on Christmas eve and Christmas Day. Us kids would have to be in bed early but would be woken up at midnight to open presents and enjoy the huge huge Italian feast my mom prepared. I still make everything she did.

  148. Bobbie Nami says

    All my best memories are when my kids were too young to want the presents but chose the paper and boxes they came in!!

  149. Molly Hoover says

    My favorite holiday memory would have to include my father and my aunt since they both have passed away. When I was younger, my family and I would go to my aunt and uncle’s house every year for Christmas. They had an organ in their family room. My uncle and I would sit at the organ and play Christmas carols while my dad and aunt would sing behind us. The absolute greatest memory ever. Miss them both every day!

  150. Nicky says

    I have made about a dozen recipes off of your facebook page, all of them have been tasty, the creamed corn was a hit last thanksgiving. This year I stuck to my basics, but this story is about last year, You see my husband and I cooked a 40lb turkey! Now mind you this was not any ordinary turkey we called him “Turk” we raised this turkey for 6 years my children picked him out, we brought him home
    We fed him talked to him etc, he was part of our family. For my husband in particular Turk was very fond of him, they actually talked to each other my husband has a way with animals, if you have had any type of pet you know what I mean. Turk was 6 years old and a 40lb bird, the problem was he had become to heavy for his little legs to support so we had to do the humane thing. We kept him in the freezer for a year as no one wanted to cook or eat him. I decided we shouldn’t let Turk go to waste, so I cooked him last year for thanksgiving. He was the worst turkey I have ever eaten! He was tough, stringy and flavorless. There is a reason for buying and ot raising young turkeys for your thanksgiving meal. I think Turk was telling us what he thought of eating him to begin with,. Don’t eat 6 year old turkeys, let them pass on how ever they want and show them the respect they deserve or you’ll be eating the worst turkey you’ve ever had!

  151. Julianne O'Connell says

    I love all your recipes especially gluten free options.
    I would like to make this holiday season my favorite because I have a 37 year old daughter with four boys that just received the gift of life on November 1st, she had a liver and kidney transplant . She is doing well in the hospital still but I know she will be okay . And I married my soul mate October 21st this year . I have much to be grateful for . A mother of 3 and 5 grandsons.
    Thank you for all your delicious recipes , Have a Very Merry Christmas and God Bless.

    • Cindy Kinney says

      You do have much to be grateful for. Here’s hoping your daughter grows stronger everyday. Happy Holidays and congrats on finding and marrying your soulmate.

  152. TriciaN says

    One of my most memorable, but not favorite, Christmases happened the year our son got a new bike. It was one of those with a banana seat, a small front wheel and long, vertical handlebars. He was cautioned greatly about learning how to ride this style of bike, as it handled very differently than his old (regular) bike. He was 9 years old–need I say more? Almost immediately, he went up a big hill in our neighborhood and, coming rapidly down the hill, flipped the bike and ended up with a 3″ gash on the back of his head. Does anything bleed more than a cut on the scalp? Anyway, we spent 4 hours of Christmas Day in the emergency room getting his scalp sewn up and then observing him for a concussion!

  153. Dawn Hanson says

    I love this time of year, the cold and snow and all of the lights and decorations! Our family was blessed with 2 new granddaughters this year, the first daughters in my family since I was born! So looking forward to the holidays with the grandsons and the granddaughters and creating lasting loving memories!

  154. Lisa McGinnis says

    Growing up, we would celebrate on Christmas Eve, and spend all of Christmas Day in our pajamas, putting together a puzzle, while eating leftovers.

  155. Ade says

    I was around 11 when I decided I wanted to cook the turkey for Thanksgiving and have never baked a turkey before. My grandmother had helped me and it was so fun and I learned a lot. What was I thinking? I’m glad it didn’t burn.

  156. Cindy Kinney says

    My favorite Christmas memory is sitting in front of a cardboard fireplace (we didn’t have a real one) with my sister and brother when we were young and singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve while a little tin thingie twirled around and around in back of a fake log, also made out of cardboard, to make the light resemble a flickering fire. It seems so corny and silly now, but we were so excited back then for Santa to come.

  157. Susan Juggert says

    I remember the year we didn’t have a lot of money and mom let us open our 1 present the night before so we had new coats to go around to friends homes, then when we got home we wrapped them back up and had them to open on Christmas day, I will always appreciate that Christmas and it taught me to be thankful for everything I have.

  158. Vicki says

    Growing up Christmas was such a huge event, but unlike now, it didn’t begin until about 2 weeks before Christmas when the tree and decorations would go up and I’d go to my grandmother’s house to help her with the baking and so forth. To me, this was the best part, learning how to make all of Gram’s special treats of roasted nuts, fondant mints and fondant wrapped dates that my dad loved. We made rolled out sugar cookies and molasses cookies and Gram taught me how to make her most excellent fudge. Then, on Christmas Day we had a big family meal where Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and friends came for turkey, stuffing and the pies Gram and I made the day before. It was a magical time, the true meaning of Christmas sharing knowledge, love, friendship and good food with all. I miss her dearly.

  159. Elena Hallin says

    My favorite Christmas memory..I have several..I remember so clearly being 18 and a new mom. It was so different from being home as a child. It was up to me now! What little bit of money we had went to our beautiful daughter Melissa who was 2 months old. Although it was sparse and limited to just our daughter, Christmas felt so wonderful as our new little family! I love my mom’s candies pecans at Christmas.

  160. Sherilyn Medin says

    Hi
    My favorite Christmas memory is when we were little. We always went to my grandparents house. The house was always full of wonderful cooking smells…heaven. Our aunt ,uncle and cousins were there. We always had so much fun with them. Playing games, building snowmen, eating cookies. And of course my grandfather was always extra special to me. He lost his right hand and forearm in a milling accident. I would sit in his lap and play with his hook. It fascinated me and could he drive with it. He had what was called a brodie knob on the steering wheel. Could he whip that steering wheel around…boy! I was always amazed at that. Very fond memories for me❤
    The food item I disliked the most was those jello molds with different food items…gross…lol.
    Thanks for the opportunity to think back to those special times…..worth gold.

  161. tina l rehrig says

    Every year I make homemade chocolates to give to family and friends, and I have passed onto my children the idea that Christmas/holidays aren’t just about receiving, but more about giving, even if its just a few cents in the red kettles at the local stores this time of year.

  162. Rose Carter says

    Best memory was of my mothers last Christmas, she received a fur coat, mixer and several other things she had never had. We were raised so poor and her face lit up that year!

  163. Melissa says

    One of my favorite holiday memories is decorating the tree as a family, while listening to Christmas carols. After the tree is done we sit down to watch a holiday movie while having peppermint stick ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce. Yum!

  164. Kelli D says

    My favorite memory growing up is my parents wrapping small and large sized boxes as our Christmas gifts. They would have notes inside sending us on a hunt thru the house to find our REAL hidden gifts.
    My least favorite holiday food is canned cranberry…blah!

  165. Kimberly Scully says

    It’s all about finding that awesome wow dessert to cap off an evening of family on Christmas Eve, but it does HAVE to be chocolate.

  166. Stella Miller says

    One of my fondest memories with the holiday is that my husband and I bake cookies together. We make Molasses cookies, which is a recipe handed down from his grandmother on his father’s side. It’s something we look forward to doing every year and of course we look forward to eating those cookies and sharing them with family & friends.

  167. Brenda says

    Love your blog. My favorite Christmas memory is of my then 2 year old son
    receiving a “doll” for Christmas. That year it was encouraged to give your
    children gender neutral toys. I bought the funniest “doll” I could find –
    pink body with white polka dots and bright yellow string hair. My two year
    old son opened the package, took one look at the doll and tossed it over
    his shoulder and never picked it up again. Priceless!

  168. Uli Cotter says

    Both of my parents were born and raised in Germany so we had a lot of German food growing up. I don’t cook a lot of German dishes now that I am an adult, but I do love the Specialty German cookies and breads during the holidays. It has become a tradition in our family to enjoy these treats at Christmas time.

  169. Paula Kuehl says

    My favorite Christmas tradition and food is the French Canadian Meat Pie Toutiere that we have after Mass on Christmas Eve. My two sisters and I now have a taste off every Christmas Day to see whose pie is better. Nothing better than fatty pork goodness turning a humble piecrust into a sublime masterpiece.

  170. Amanda says

    To me, the best part of Christmas was how excited our kids would get when they were little and were giving us a present. It made them so happy to do the giving.

  171. Rebecca says

    My grandmother is British so we do a traditional English roast for Christmas dinner including Yorkshire pudding which my kids crave year round!

  172. Donna says

    My family, being simple and frugal, used a round, heavy cement “thing” with a hole in it as a stand for our live Christmas tree. A pan of water went underneath it and mom tried to disguise it all with a big tree skirt. The stand probably weighed more than the trees but they definitely wouldn’t tip over easily.

  173. Shellie Kent says

    Just recently had surgery and have not gotten into the Christmas spirit right now, but has only been a month today so I hope to get in it soon!
    The thing that has made me smile this week is that we are having our Christmas Program at church Sunday and our music director has ask me to do my cardboard testimony for the program. I am excited about this because I was saved last August 30, 2015 at the age 52!! So when you mentioned what has made you smile this week I thought that was pretty important, Thank you and Happy Holidays!!

  174. Allie says

    My least favorite holiday was this Thanksgiving. Eldest so son thought it would be fun for he and his wife to invite his teenager grandchildren and their boyfriend/girlfriends plus a 3 yr. old and 2 dogs. I thought they were joking……They planned on staying 5 nights……….guess what, it didn’t happen……………….

    • Allie says

      It was no joke. He brought up 9 people and 2 dogs. After 3 days, they were invited to leave. Still trying to figure this one out…….Did I give birth to a retard?

  175. Allyson says

    My favorite holiday food is gingerbread. I love it so much I make extra to freeze. My newest favorite holiday memories include watching Elf every year with my kids and drinking hot cocoa. Makes them so happy!

  176. Dawn says

    I really love your blogs and the recipe index makes it so easy to find what I am looking for. Thanks for adding gluten free recipes as both my sisters and niece are gluten free. My favourite recipe fromChristmas was my mom’s shortbread cookies – she made them in all different bite size shapes (stars, hearts, moons, circles to name a few) them she would put them in these round tins – she made so many and we 4 kids would sneak them thinking that if we just took a few from each tin she would not notice LOL but with 4 kids and their friends doing it by the time she went to get the cookies the tins were almost empty. She never got made thoug , just made more

  177. Misha Hunter says

    When our kids were young, my sisters, brother and I would meet up at Mom’s house on Christmas Eve to have our family Christmas. And family always included friends or family who wanted to have a Christmas with us. Weeks prior the kids would decorate a box for each person and then we all bought $1.00 gifts and wrapped them and put them in the box they were thoughtfully picked for. Each of us brought plates of foods, we played games, sang songs and then opened our Christmas boxes. We all looked forward to our special family Christmas Eves!

  178. dezi says

    Oh Mary! Here is my favorite and I giggle about it to this very day!!! A week before Christmas one year, me, my brother and my sister (ages 8, 7, and 5) waited for my parents to go into town as they always did on Saturday mornings to do their weekly shopping and bank business. Our grandparents lived next door.
    We had it all planned out. They left and the three of us sat down at the foot of the Christmas tree and unwrapped (sneakily) every single one of our presents and had the biggest ole’ time seeing what our parents had gotten us. Then, we had an equally giggly time carefully wrapping everything back up before our parents got home! Oh, how we howled with laughter between ourselves knowing the secret.
    Our parents never knew about it and didn’t even suspect it on Christmas morning when we all gathered around the tree to open presents. It was all we could do to keep “straight faces”. Only much later when we were all grown up and had left home, did we tell our parents this story. They were stunned and we giggled about it telling them. Right now, I am grinning from ear to ear telling you about it!

  179. Ruth Ann Ryan says

    My favorite memory was going to Nanas not just for Christmas but whenever she ‘summoned’ us. As the family grew, she would just say “Pop, put another board in the table”. For Christmas and Easter we always had the hand cranked ice cream made on the back porch.
    Sadly since she’s passed on that tradition slowly died. The world is a larger place, and families no longer live close by.

  180. Phyllis says

    My favorite holiday memory is baking Christmas cookies with my three children. It was so much fun to see them frost a cookie, and frost their fingers and hope I didn’t notice(which I never did.) Now I get to repeat this tradition with my grandchildren.

  181. Lisa Varner says

    My favorite holiday memory was when I received my Easy Bake Oven at around age 5. It was my fave Christmas present ever, and I made so many cookies, cakes, and biscuits with that little oven. It was so much fun and actually probably was the thing that initially inspired my current love of baking!

  182. Yolanda Mowad says

    Christmas that I always remember is the early 1960’s. Our family was not rich in money but in love. I mom was a seamstress and my dad worked in a gas station (back then they pumped your gas, cleaned your windows, checked your oil and water and tire pressure). Everything we received (usually clothes) was made by my mom. I was in high school and had seen a Pendleton reversible turquoise/brown skirt and an angora sweater that I wanted but knew that my parents could not afford such an expensive gift. Somehow they managed and I got my skirt and sweater! I still have that skirt ( I am going to be 70 in January) and every once in a while I try it on – can’t zip it but it brings back warm memories of a simple family Christmas.

  183. Mary Ann Zudekoff says

    Each Christmas as we pulled out the Christmas ornaments and decorated our freshly cut tree which we cut down from our backyard, my Mother would always unpack and display a small, black & white photograph. It was a picture of my dad putting his infant daughter under the Christmas tree. My mother brought me home from the hospital on Christmas eve and my father had my mother stay in the car until he had a chance to turn on the tree lights and to carried me in. My grandmother (Nana) took the picture of this very special moment. You see, my parents had been married already 15 years and were about 40 years old when I was born. I was their very special Christmas gift. My mother would tell me this story each year regarding this very sweet picture. This is my very special & cherished Christmas memory. Merry Christmas to all!

  184. Karen says

    My least favorite food is turkey! I make it for my family, but when I was young and pregnant with my first child, I got sick eating turkey and could never stomach it since!
    My favorite Christmas was in our new house about 15 years ago. Everything was new and wonderful and still seems to be that way ever after these years. I am smiling right now thinking about these things. Thanks for making me remember!

  185. Sandra Jemie says

    My favorite Christmas memory is making Christmas cookies for family and friends Christmas Eve. Then going to candle light church service.😊

  186. Christine Fields says

    My mothe’s chocolate drizzled cream cheese cookies! Yum! That is my favorite holiday food, least favorite would be eggnog!

  187. Mary Stevens says

    It’says after midnight mass and the neighborsmaller came over for fresh homemade cinnamon rolls and drop doughnuts. We kids got to stay up late the one night of the year that was the most important to us.

  188. Ashli Munger says

    My favorite holiday food are eggnog and fudge! I guess you could say I”’ in love with the creamy and rich 🙂 One of my favorite holiday memories was drinking our special coco on Christmas Eve that was supposed to help us sleep good so Santa could come. Don’t ask me how hot coco with extra chocolate piece, candy canes, and marshmallows are supposed to help you sleep, but we were convinced that we couldn’t sleep without it!

  189. Beate Keith says

    My Grandmother move from Munich, Germany to the United States after my mother married my father in 1948 (US Soldier), My grandmother spoke broken English but that didn’t matter because she was such an awesome cook and we knew just how much she loved us when she would make German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse) every Christmas.

    The language of love was expressed through food.

  190. Deb says

    A favorite memory of mine involves my daughter Sarah as a 3 year old. Santa was stopping by my parents house one Christmas Eve and she was so excited because she couldn’t wait to share with me that she noticed that Santa had on a pair of shoes that looked just like her Daddy’s shoes! Those were sweet days, how I would love to have all my family together again.

  191. Karie Briones says

    I grew up making sugar cookies with my mom from her mother’s recipe as well as the cookies cutters my mother used when she was a kid. I love doing the same thing with my kids! We tried going the easy route and using pre-made sugar cookie dough one year…never again! Love the holidays!

  192. Dawn says

    Favorite Christmas memory: first Christmas with my husband. Favorite food: snowball cookies. And something that made me smile recently, is spending time with my parents. 😊

  193. Jan says

    When I was 11, I snuck in the storage room to look for presents. I found a baton-something I wanted sooo badly. Made me so happy. Christmas came and went with no sign of the beloved baton. I didn’t say a word so it wouldn’t ruin my younger siblings belief in Santa Claus. About 3 months later, my parents gave it to me, because I “deserved something special”. I never told them my dark secret! I knew it was there and I would eventually get it-can’t believe how patient I was! LOL

  194. Lisa Smith says

    As a child, my Momma would make several Christmas snacks that just made our Christmas. She would make homemade chocolate chip cookies, Chex Party Mix, and Nutty Fingers (a lot like the Pecan Tea Cakes). We always looked forward to these special treats!

  195. barb huddleston says

    Its a very rare thing that my very small family can all be together for Christmas. The last time that happened was 7 years ago. My brother will be home from Afghanistan in the morning and my husband and I will fly in to see them THIS year. SO THIS year is my favorite Christmas memory!

  196. Trisha Delaney says

    Today we took our daughter to cut down her first Christmas tree, I am so excited to share her first Christmas season and to pass down old traditions and start new ones!

  197. Amy Stamper says

    Growing up mom would cook this fabulous feast inviting friends family & those that were less fortunate (neighbors with no family living close, etc.) Baking cakes for Neighbors, tons of her begged for fudge was made. Mom made Christmas special! Such fond memories! On Christmas day we had a Merry house full & it was wonderful.

  198. Becky says

    My favorite holiday memory to date is this Thnkgiving, when both my daughter and daughter-in-law announced they are expecting July babies!

  199. Kellie Helm says

    My favorite holiday memory is from Thanksgiving. Since my grandparents were visiting us, my mom pulled out all the stops. We had candles on the table during dinner and as we were cleaning up, my younger brother asked if he could blow them out. Not only did he huff & puff but he managed to blow the RED candle wax all over my mom’s antique lace table cloth. Who got in trouble? Me because I couldn’t stop laughing!!

  200. Jenny McGee says

    One of my son and my Christmas traditions is that we like to hold hands and sing around the Christmas tree. We sing Oh Christmas Tree, of course. So fun…

  201. Laurie Anderson says

    When I was as child, I had the bedroom closest to the Christmas tree. My brother couldn’t sneak out to check his stocking without passing my bedroom and me stopping him. And I am four years older. One year, I snuck out, took everything out of his stocking and checked it out. I put it all back and did the same to mine. I then went back to bed until my brother tried to sneak pet my room.

  202. Tarah says

    My dad would create riddles instead of putting name tags on the gifts for us kids. We would have to solve the riddle before we could open the gift. The answer to the riddle was tied into the recipient in some way. It was an added layer of fun each Christmas morning.

  203. Catherine Bonenberger says

    One of my favorite Christmas memories is spending Christmas at Disney World with my two son and their families. It was magical!

  204. Sandy says

    When I was a child my mother and I were holiday dinner guests of her boss. With difficulty I choked down the very rich creamed onions on my plate. Unfortunately, our hostess quickly served me more because she thought I was enjoying them! I still get queasy thinking about creamed onions.

  205. Nancy says

    Christmas is my second favorite holiday, right up there after Thanksgiving. I just love the decorations and I love to give presents. Thanks for your posts.

  206. Mary says

    I love to remember all the Christmas baking and candy making when I was growing up. We made lots of toffee and gave it as gifts — to the mailman, the milkman (that will show you how old I am!), teachers, neighbors, etc. My favorite Christmas cookie is Pecan Puffs (from the Joy of Cooking) – now I know they are also called Mexican wedding cookies. We made tons of those and rolled, decorated sugar cookies to give away too (but mostly eat!).

  207. Cecile VanTyne says

    Every Christmas has been so special since we had our kids, so I’ll go back to my childhood. My sister and I would wake up in the middle of the night to see what Santa brought. One year we both got Barbie houses and were so excited! We had them set up and our Barbies ready to go on dates with our Kens by the time our mom found us and sent us back to bed…like we were actually going back to sleep!

  208. Theresa Hamby says

    Holiday time is family time. Extended family catches up on what’s been happening the last year. Baking dates are made. Shopping , wrapping and phone calls for planning. We all slow down to enjoy time with each other and make new memories.

  209. Kim Henrichs says

    My favorite holiday memory is one where my brother came home from the Army to surprise my mom. She had no idea and the joy on her face was priceless!

  210. Amanda Rountree says

    My favorite Christmas tradition is when my husband, 3 children and myself take a day to shop for each other. We set out in the morning with me taking 1 or 2 kids and he has the other(s). We shop and then meet for lunch. We then switch kids and shop some more. It is such a great joy to see what everyone has gotten on Christmas morning, especially for the kids, knowing that they got to get present for everyone else.

  211. Keely Sogoloff says

    Watching “The Christmas Story” over and over and over and over….(you get the idea) every year without fail. And The Grinch!

  212. Pam says

    We have a family tradition that every family member gets to choose a menu item to be served during our Christmas weekend. Everyone participates and anything is possible. We have had everything from anchovies, lobster, ostrich burgers, and chocolate chip cookies to peas and carrots. We make a contest with everyone trying to guess who chose which dish. Lots of fun and a challenge to somehow make all the choices work together over the weekends 4 or 5 meals. With 15 people, we get lots of variety, and sometimes some really strange dishes we would have never tried otherwise!

  213. Pamela Roscoe says

    My favorite Christmas memory comes from my grandfather. On Christmas morning, he told my little sister and me that Santa came down the chimney, left our presents, had a few of our homemade cookies and left. Kim and I were both wide eyed listening to his Santa story. Grandpa took us into the living room where we saw big white boot prints from the fireplace to our Christmas tree. He told us that Santa had snow on his boots and we could see it! Such an exciting moment for two little girls. I had a very imaginative mother who used Grandpa’s boots and a lot of baby power. It’s a wonderful memory years later. Merry Christmas!!!!

  214. Wanda S. says

    My mother loved Christmas. She had a ceramic nativity set that had a little barn and real straw with beautiful ceramic figures. That was the most wonderful thing I looked forward to unpacking and setting up each season.

  215. Jayne says

    My favorite Christmas food, besides the Turkey is the mashed spuds and my mom’s sausage dressing and spooning out or the bird. Oh and one can not forget the gravy for the spud!

  216. Margaret T Breese says

    My fave Christmas memory is from when I was really young- Going to Christmas Eve Mass,then coming home and getting to open ONE present……I’d always go for the biggest one placed under the tree for me!!!!

    *hugs*

    LadyM

  217. Sally says

    My favorite holiday memory: Christmas eve, 9 years old, living in Okinawa, going to a chapel program with my family and learning the Christmas Story of Jesus’ birth, retuning home and eating fried rice for supper. That was the start of my family tradition of having fried rice for Christmas eve supper and celebrating the birth of Christ.

  218. Kelly says

    One of my special Christmas memories is when I was little, on Christmas Day I got a note from santa saying that my bike would be a little late. A few days later I woke up and the front door was open, it was in Utah so it was really cold and snowy out side but my parents always tried to make every holiday special, well seeing the door open I ran upstairs to our christmas tree and there was the prettiest bike ever. Great memory.

  219. Nicole K. says

    My favorite holiday memory is helping to cook with my grandmother and great aunts on Christmas Eve. They would spend all day in the kitchen preparing Christmas Eve dinner, which always included tamales. I thought I was just the best helper mixing the masa at 5 years old. That was 30 years ago and that generation has passed, but I smile thinking back on those wonderful memories.

  220. Therese Lockhart says

    My favorite thing for the holidays is the raisin/apple stuffing turkey. I love turkey and want it for my birthday, which is right between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  221. george says

    It is a pity that any competitions are only for USA residents as I live in Australia and would like to participate.
    I suppose you can,t have everything.
    george

  222. Veronica Spencer says

    I remember growing up, my late grandmother would make her famous mincemeat pie and cookies. She would usually make them for Christmas, and no matter how stuffed we were, we all managed to save room for a slice of pie, or a couple of the cookies. Another memory of her was when my sister, our two cousins, and I would get together, she would pat our hands a little bit as we sneak a noodle drying on the counter top. Heck, I remember when we were teens (back in the late 80’s, early 90’s), my cousin would literally stuff a deviled egg in his mouth, and the look Grandma gave him was priceless, and very funny. This time of year is when I miss my grandparents the most, but I still laugh when we all get together talking about “the old days”, as my teen daughters call them. Have a Merry Christmas!

  223. Don Holebrooks says

    I follow your website and have used several of your recipes. I love the smells of Christmas and memories of my Mom’s Rum Cake and her banana cake. oh yes..

  224. Barb Ralls says

    One of my favorite memories is going to pick out the Christmas tree and then decorating it with my little sister and parents. We loved hanging the icicles – don’t see those used any more. Thank you!

  225. Christa Stepp says

    I have 4 adult children who all show up for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast that MUST include Sour Cream Cinnamon Twists. Their spouses and my grandchildren are all in with this tradition!!

  226. Susan E Kantor says

    My best memory as of yet is the year when I received Toodles the doll. Toodles is still with me after about 55 years. 🙂 My newest Christmas memory will be the birth of my third grandson, Collin Ray. I am blessed! Merry Christmas to all!!

  227. Debbie Benson says

    Christmas 2015 – I was able to travel to see my whole family for Christmas, including my grandson who I had not seen since he was 13. He was then 21 with a new grandbaby son.

  228. Aida calma says

    First, I love your blog, weekly newsletter congratulations!
    My favorite Christmas memories is when I was living in my El Salvador. Dispite the poverty i was a happy little girl.. I vividly remember the fireworks, the delicious food and laughters. My grandmother and aunt would prepared the traditional dish panes con Pavo (Trurkey sandwiches) but this are not your ordinary sandwiches. The turkey is marinated then cooked in a traditional salvadorean salsa criolla. I loved Christmas in my country!

  229. Lisa says

    My favorite thing about the holidays is making memories for the children. I was so honored when I found out my Grand-Niece wrote a paper for school about traditions and said her favorite was Christmas Eve at my house!

  230. Sallie says

    My favorite memory – the year my daughter was born 5 days before Christmas. What a blessing. My husband and I agreed we would not buy presents for each other – only for our 4 yr old son. I came home the day before Christmas and my sweet husband said he had an errand to run. An hour later he came home with my unexpected Christmas present – lobster tails (one of my favorite foods) for Christmas Dinner. And extravagance but what a sweet surprise. Just a quiet Christmas Day with our little family. Lots of love, and joy.

  231. Charla Childs says

    My favorite memories of Christmas is the first Christmas as a mom! I still well up with tears of how much fun it was to watch his face with surprise and overwhelming excitement that “All this is mine?!” I Love Christmas and why we celebrate it! The birth of Christ! We have a tradition of having Cuban food for Christmas. Boliche Roast and Black Beans and Rice and of course Cuban Bread. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  232. Matthew A. Nicolai says

    My name is SGT. Nicolai,Matthew A. Of the US Army infantry retired. For me Christmas is the time to sit back and watch the magical movie Die Hard with Bruce Willis for 🎄. Because up until recently my wife and I have had the argument that die hard was not a Christmas movie. After many years of debate, heated battles and arguments…die hard has finally been named the number one Christmas movie of all time. ( at least in my opinion) so this year for Christmas the wife and I will be enjoying the wonderful one liners of Bruce Willis as John McClain in the epic 🎄 story die hard. Never forget nakatomi plaza.

  233. Karen Peebles says

    Ever since I was a little girl on Christmas Eve my Mother would make snacks for dinner. We would have chips and dips or Fondue, cheese and crackers. My sisters and I really liked the Fondue because we got to cook our own little bites of meat. I carried on this tradition when I became a Mom.

  234. Carol Kiermaier says

    My parents used to host an open house every Christmas Eve. We always ate all kinds of appetizers instead of dinner. Later on in the evening, we had all kinds of desserts and coffee. I have 2 sisters and a mom who all loved trying new recipes out on each other. Now that my parents have passed, my youngest sister has continued the tradition. Our daughters now share in the fun. I no longer try out a new recipe to bring. I’m requested to bring the same thing every year, my sweet and spicy meatballs. I’m not sure I’d be allowed through the door without them!

  235. Patsy Nicholson says

    My best memories are the ones when we were little getting u on Christmas morning so excited to see what Santa had brought us. We always new his presents where through ones not wrapped and all the little things like candy, nuts and fruit in our stockingstores. Back then Christmas was about family, after we opened all our gifts and had a big breakfast we would go to our grandparents for the Christmas dinner. Now days everything is so commercialized, I just wish we could go back to the good old days. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  236. Lynn Marti says

    Before Christmas we always visited Santa at Howland Hughes Department store in Waterbury…I remember waiting in a line of velvet ropes behind many excited young children! When we finally got to Santa we told him our wishes for presents and then had our pictures taken with him! After this we were allowed to go to the Toy Department (which was conveniently located next to Santa Claus) ! That magical time of life is still one of my happiest memories of the Season!

  237. Sherry Crowe says

    I like reading about people who love cooking and their job. Thank you for making it a hightlight of my day. Keep up the good work!!!

  238. Deb Plante says

    One of the Christmas events /ritual that we did in our youth was put the tree up & decorate it on Christmas Eve ,then go to the Midnight Service, all of the family together. When we came home our parents had fresh ham baked,homemade “from scratch” rolls & sliced up veggies for a very early 1 a.m.or so”Christmas Day Snack/Meal” before we turned in to await St. Nicholas. This is also when we set out on a dish his favorite homemade” from scratch”cookies with a glass of milk. When we came down early Christmas Morning, lo & behold . . gifts for each one under the tree & Santa ate his cookies & drank all of his milk too! I’m the eldest of ten children & it was soooooooo much fun to do & joy to share!And we celebrated with songs & good homemade foods! Hope always in going forward & onwards & good memories for “Stories to Tell & Tales to Spin”!!! “Merry Christmas”!!! Deb Plante

  239. Bill says

    There are two memorable Christmases. When I was a kid around four, we went downstairs to find that all the needles had fallen off the tree; the lights and ornaments laying all over the train set. I cried and cried and cried. That was the same year that the visiting Santa gave me a toy gun that had a lever that pinched my finger. That was it for Santa for the rest of my childhood. Moving on to an adult, back in the 80’s we had a horribly cold Christmas morning and a major natural gas line had burst, so we had no heat. Luckily we had a fireplace, and also wood, so we were gathered around the hearth drinking cocoa and opening presents. One final thing is for Christmas I make my 4 pounds of cream cheese cheesecake, and my dozen egg eggnog. Yummy

  240. Wendi McGee says

    This Christmas is the second one my new husband and I have shared together and he is more excited about Christmas than any other adult I know . He won’t stop shopping for me . We also made our first Christmas candies together this year .
    I am so thankful for God to give him to me .

  241. Vicki Wilde says

    As a single mom of 5 children , ages 12 to 5 year old,; Christmas was least to say a little overwhelming some years. I worked full time as a nurse at a local geriatric center. The daily physical and emotional needs of my children was a full time job in and of itself. When the holidays rolled around I had to be very creative to maintain the daily and as well as accomplish the gifting and the traditions that I so dearly loved and wanted to pass on to my children. When my December work schedule came out and I realized it was my turn to work Christmas Day that year I knew that the magic of this holiday was doomed. How was I going to pul-off the Santa surprise and show up for a work at 5:30 am. We had a family council and the plan that my children came up with was brilliant. In there letters to Santa that year that asked him to please gift wrap all of there presents. I would get up and leave for work as scheduled. Luckily we had a close neighbor friend, an older gentleman, that was not expecting his family to come by until later in the day; he kindly agreed to bring the children to my work after they had waken and gotten dressed. We would open presents when we got home. I was amazed at their wisdom and totally relieved that the magical secrets of Christmas would be spared for yet another year.

    The children arrived at the nursing home about the time of my break. We went to the nearby hospital cafeteria and had Christmas breakfast. It was hilarious listening to everyone anticipate what was in the gift wrapped packages from Santa as we ate. When we returned to the nursing station of my wing a local organization was delivering several large bags with stuffed animals in them to be given to the residents of the center for Christmas. It was time to get back to my nursing duties so I eagerly passed the task of passing out these gifts to my children. They visited each resident with a gift and there angelic smiling faces. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the residents or the children.
    Now grown with children of their own, my daughter recently revealed to me, that childhood Christmas memory was her most special one ever.
    Our traditional Christmas breakfast consists of blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, country sausage and everyone’s favorite country fried apples. With all of this menu being a fairly simple meal, I was relieved when we all agreed that this would be our Christmas Day dinner instead. No one was willing to for go Christmas Day without country fried apples.

  242. Kent says

    I could do any one of the above but I’ll tell you something that made me smile recently. As a substitute teacher I get to teach several different age groups so recently I was in first grade at a local elementary. I’ve always believed that children learn better if you make it fun so I’m not surprised that they like me but one little girl made m feel special. It was time to leave for the day and I was taking them to their bus when she looked up at me and said “I wish you could take me home.” That made my heart melt. I ad to tell her that her parent’s didn’t know me and wouldn’t like that but she sure made me feel good.

  243. Gail Iverson says

    Hi Mary,

    I love Christmas but as I’ve gotten older it is such a stressful time of year especially now that we are on a fixed income with little wiggle room. My health isn’t great this year so really struggling with do I push myself and decorate or let it go. I have one young grandson around daily so feel I should put up tree at least for him. Thankfully my daughter in-laws have stepped up to take over planning and preparing Christmas dinner.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip and Happy Holidays.

    • Kaci says

      Do what you can and have them all help you with the decorating too! I smell new tradition! 🙂
      I hope your health improves and you do only what you can do and do not feel negative about what you aren’t able to do!

  244. GLENDA T says

    On of my favorite memories was from when I was young. My family and all of my aunts, uncles and cousins would go to my grandparents on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas. Santa always came (who I later found out was one of my uncles). I remember how much fun it was to be with all of my family at one time and how much love there was there. Everyone was laughing and having fun. My grandparent and most of my aunts and uncles have all passed, but I still find such joy in remembering those times so long ago.

  245. TINA PINHO says

    I love most of your recipes and enjoy looking forward to receiving your newsletter every day. The recipes i have made went over in a big way with my family and friends.

  246. Amy Orvin says

    My favorite holiday memory was when my brothers and I would run home from school knowing our mom was waiting on us to help her put up the Christmas tree. We had the best time and really enjoyed looking at the lights at night.

  247. Hannah Callahan says

    I don’t have just one favorite, but right now I’m really craving peppermint bark, so that’s going to be my answer. 🙂

  248. Stephanie DeMaurice says

    Hi Mary,

    My favorite memory was going to my
    Grandmas and seeing her tree that always had to go all the way to the ceiling, and smelling celery and onions frying for stuffing.It made the whole house smell like Christmas dinner!
    Thank you for your inspiration, cooking and wonderful ideas.
    Stephaniedem

  249. Lori Stewart says

    My favorite Christmas memory is when I was 4 my family drove to Kansas City to see the lights on the Plaza. We were a family of 7 and doing this was a very big deal. Money was really really tight. I remember we were walking looking in store windows and I saw the most beautiful doll I have ever seen!!!! I remember saying how much I wanted her but I knew that would not be a possibility. We continued on to the car at the end of the walk my father said he had forgotten something at the restaurant. We waited in the car with my mom. He came back and we went home! Christmas morning I woke up to find that beautiful doll under the tree for me!!!❤️ I knew just how special that was, and I will always hold that memory close in my heart.

  250. Linda Janovitz says

    My warm memory of Christmas when I was a small child in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I received a beautiful child’s rocking chair, a very large orange and a pair of knee high stockings. It’s interesting how this memory has stuck with me order so many years. I just celebrated 72 years blessed with the love of God.

  251. Jan says

    When my kids were young I got laid off 1 yr just before Christmas. So I wrapped their new presents with some of their toys, that looked like new. When they opened their presents the look on their faces were priceless! I felt bad til I overheard them saying that, I think she knows we unwrapped our presents and then rewrapped them. Ha! They never did that again!

  252. Melissa says

    Favorite holiday memory… for some reason the first thing that popped to mind is when my husband surprised me with my first really high quality knife set in 2010. I had become so passionate about cooking but was ill-equipped for it. It blew me away the thought he put into it – and I still have only that set of knives to this day! He done good.

    Favorite holiday food is prime rib, when I am willing to spring for it, mostly because I make amazing prime rib, caramelized onion, mushroom, and provolone melts with the leftovers the next day. Ugh. I want one right now!

    • Kaci says

      That sounds delicious! And the knife set…. aaahhh yes! Wonderful gift for those of us who love to cook’. 🙂

  253. Lisa says

    I remember being a little girl and making little homes in the Christmas tree for my dolls in the branches. I ditched the dollhouse each year and played with toys in the tree for hours!! That’s what I think of every year as the tree goes up:).

  254. Kaci says

    Having had a rough childhood, the Holidays can he a hard time for me. Thanksgiving is my Favorite. It doesn’t require the obligated giving that Christmas seems to force onto people. It is just a day to prepare food and be with Family and friends and give thanks for them and the fortunes we have.
    So many people I see going into debt to buy things people really do not need, and half of the time do not want. Isn’t that insane? I now do for others. I would rather, if I am able, to do random acts of kindness and help people who otherwise would have nothing special this time of year. Doing for others gets me through this time of year, lifts my spirits, and I sure hope I am a positive example to my adult children. May your hearts be filled with the joy of giving this year, and empty of the feeling of obligation that can come with Christmas….. happiness instead of angst! Love instead of irritation. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  255. Steve Weber says

    My favorite holiday memory is the first time I went to a candlelight christmas service at church – I remember how awesome it was and how happy everyone was.

  256. Sharon Minter says

    My favorite Holiday food is our Christmas Morning breakfast that is tradition at our house. We have Filet Mignon grilled, Hashbrowns, Biscuits & Gravy and Scrambled eggs…..and Mimosas. We started it when our sons were young and now that they are adults with families of their own it’s the one thing that brings them home every Christmas morning.

  257. Jennifer Morgan says

    My favorite holiday memory is singing caroles on Christmas Eve with my family (none of us can sing AT ALL) with just the tree lights on in pj’s. Favorite Christmas food was this very light pastry my neighbor made on a metal mold – shaped like snowflakes – and I think deep fried & covered in powdered sugar! I have no idea what they are called and my Mom would but she has passed away. Love Christmas! Love your blog! xo Jennifer 🙂

  258. Lynn says

    My favorite holiday memory is from 2014. All of my 7 kids (adults) went together and got me (their somewhat technologically challenged mom) a laptop computer. Trying to show me how to use it made for lots of smiles and laughs.

  259. Laurie Moulaison says

    Well,currently it is getting colder. I feed a couple stray kitties outside. So if I get to win a gift card,I am going to purchase a self heating cat bed to put in the cat house(looks like little dog house) which I put the food in to keep dry. One of the kitties has taken it over and sleeps in there but wont let me near enough to pick it up. So I want the kitty to be warm. It gets so very cold in Maine

    • Shelby says

      ..I love your thoughts, and I am glad to read I am not the only one that is taking care of and feeding those little ‘ forgotten furries’….we have a special kitty house, with a bed, blankies and heat lamp for them. God bless you !

  260. Darlene Peterson says

    My least favorite Christmas memory was two years ago. I came down with the flu and pneumonia just the day before Christmas eve. We were set to entertain 15 (all family members), and maybe for the first time in my life I was prepared ahead. The doctor allowed me to recoup at home as long as family was there, I am so grateful for my 3 daughters-in-law who took over. From the picture I see we had a great time. I don’t remember any of it. On new years eve I had to renew my driver’s license so for the next 4 years I’ll be reminded of just how bad I looked.

  261. sharon says

    My favorite holiday memories are those of the huge family get togethers we would have over Christmas holidays, in south Louisiana. They would be held outdoors on a large wooded lot out in the country, with all of my cousins and aunts and uncles, about a hundred in all, from early in the morning til sundown. They were days of fun, lots of great food, and love of family.

  262. Joanne says

    While growing up we always waited to open presents on Christmas morning. A lot of chaos, but so much fun with my four siblings. Mom always made the best poppy seed rolls, too. Now, I do all of the Holiday baking for my family and some friends. I love watching my little man open his presents and seeing that beautiful smile!
    Thank you for the awesome giveaway, and Merry Christmas to you!

  263. Margaret T Breese says

    I have a sad memory and a happy feeling with Christmas- I miss my mom’s homemade stuffing.My mom would combine 2 recipes,but never told us what was from WHICH recipe!!!!! I have an inkling,but her’s was the best.My mom passed away in 2007….:(

    My happy feeling each Christmas is the cooking I do for family gatherings.LOL, I’ve been “informed” that the brownies I made for Thanksgiving are now my way of getting in the house,surpassing my Dutch apple pie!!!! No brownies, no being let in….LOL!!!!!

    *hugs*

    LadyM

  264. Toni says

    Growing up our tradition was to open our immediate family gifts on Christmas Eve, and my Mother always made pimento cheese to serve on rye bread. We had ham and other fixings too, but my favorite was always the pimento cheese. Of course all the wonderful decorated cutout cookies were So Good as well.

  265. Lisa says

    My favorite memory is ditching the dollhouse and making homes for my dolls in the branches of the Christmas tree!! If only I was as easily amused as I was then:)

  266. Dana Hutchinson says

    I love the holidays and the food that comes along with them. Appetizers are my favorite, just nit picking every time you walk by. Football on the tube and maybe just maybe throwing some cards afterwards with some holiday cheers of course!

  267. Carmen Wood says

    What I love most about our family holiday gathering is that even though we always serve the traditional foods – turkey, stuffing, yams, pumpkin pie – each family also brings something new and exciting to try. The only problem is we sometimes like the new dishes so much that we have to add them to the regular annual menu! We’ve got quite a buffet going!

  268. Michele A. Moore says

    Since I’ll be 70 on December 11, I have many Christmases to remember…one of my favorite for Christmas was looking into my stocking to find the gold coins (foil covered chocolate) that Santa had left. No matter if I was naughty or nice, Santa always brought those “gold coins!”

  269. Sally says

    When I was a little girl I used to leave cookies and a note for Santa and carrots for the reindeer . Santa always left me a note in reply. One year I realized that “Santa’s” handwriting and my dad’s handwriting were exactly the same! I don’t think I ever told my dad.

  270. Terza Norton says

    I make Sunburst Lemon Bars several times a year now. They are my coworkers favorite and she eats them even when I make them gluten free. The recipe is so good that no one thinks that they are gluten free. It is my favorite pot luck recipe.

  271. Janet Mallett says

    Love Christmas baking of any sort. I want to bake and decorate out of my comfort zone and build confidence in my baking skills.

  272. Anne Gamble says

    The one that sticks out most in my mind was when my first-born child walked for the first time – on Christmas Day!

  273. Linda S says

    Being Italian my favorite Christmas tradition is celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve. Great childhood memories carried on for generations! Love your blog and all your recipes. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

  274. Shelby says

    …….Christmas memories….there are some that will stay with me . I recall one Christmas when I was a struggling ( working ) single parent . and I had picked my then small daughters up from daycare…and when I arrived home, I found a HUGE , beautiful real Christmas tree on my front doorstep. Along with an envelop that contained a $100.00 gift card, for gifts or Christmas supper for my two young daughters and myself. Of course, teary eyes and a grateful heart , feeling blessed. Years later, I would provide a special Christmas for a single mom who had a young son that desired a bike for Christmas…and it was provided, …paying blessings forward , even when its is NOT at Christmas is the way we stay in touch with our Father , and He in turn…provides us with what we need, require…and more.

  275. Brenda says

    Favorite Holiday Memory: the year my sister woke everyone in the house saying she heard Santa–and it was 3:00 AM. My parents had just gone to bed
    Favorite Holiday Food: it’s a toss up between eggnog (which no one else in my family likes) and the Christmas cookies (especially the new recipes I try each year)

  276. Rosalie watson says

    We always got a book of lifesavers in our stockings which I carried on the tradition with my kids. My oldest son is 28 yrs old and lives in another state but still wants his lifesaver book!

  277. Jeanette says

    The Holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas are times to be Thankful! It can be a lonely time for some. If you are widowed or if, you don’t have family and don’t feel that anyone cares, please smile at the next person of any age , that you see. A smile can make someone else’s spirits lift, if only for a moment and possibly yours too.

  278. Cathy says

    My family travels a lot, so we’ve only had Christmas at home maybe three or four times, but my brother and I still made the most of it. In 5th grade, we went to Austria to ski during Christmas. We didn’t have a Christmas tree, so we spent the whole day scavenging for paper and colored pencils. We taped together countless A4 sheets of paper and drew a gigantic Christmas tree, which we then taped onto the wall. Voila – we had a Christmas tree.

  279. Lisa G. says

    One of my favorite holiday memories is when one year we had gotten a Wii game and my mother-in-law, who all the grandchildren called Maw Maw, came to our house. We were trying to show her how to play the bowling game, but she didn’t listen, she just played and beat everybody! We all had so much fun with her, we laughed so hard! Gosh, we miss her.

  280. Gail Brown says

    I never thought I liked yams, they were covered in brown sugar and marshmallows on my mother in law’s holiday table. Now that I’ve started eating a more Paleo diet, I love yams and sweet potatoes baked, fried, roasted and in soups. Love your new recipe index too!

  281. Judy Ball says

    Went to my 1st Christmas party this yr this afternoon. The Lovely lucky Ladies of Walkerton Indiana, part of the Red Hat Society of the World, were our hostesses. I didn’t win a 50/50 or a basket full of prizes raffle but I did win a big container of beautiful bows n ribbons and my daughter won a metal Santa Claus that sticks into the ground. Very happy day. But best of all it was shared with well over 100 red hatters from all over Indiana.

  282. Starla says

    I absolutely love the recipe index. It makes finding things so much easier! Well to be honest, I lost my precious 80 year old Nana on May 2nd of this year, 14 days shy of her 81st birthday. The holidays are a bit sad at the moment because I have never had to be without her. She was like my mom,dad, grandparents all in one. I am so blessed to have had her with me 24 years of my life and I will cherish them forever. We used to get together on Christmas Eve with the family and open presents and we would have a ton of finger foods, yummy drinks and delicious desserts. Then on Christmas Day we would have a dinner for everyone. I am currently struggling with even trying to put up the tree now that she isn’t with me but I know she would want me to continue on and keep going.. so thats what I am trying to do! xo

  283. Jane Housewright says

    Every Christmas (back in the 50’s and 60’s) my mom would buy and set out in a pretty dish- ribbon candy. It was so thin; not like you buy today. The colors and the smells added a lovely dimension to the holidays.

  284. Mary Stauber says

    My favorite holiday memory is baking Christmas cookies with my mom, it was a week long process, at the end of the week we would box up the cookies to give as presents. Dad would take some into work on Christmas to share with those who had to work on the holiday. (Several ladies said they liked to work on Christmas so the could partake in mom’s cookies!)

  285. Dolly Stevens says

    My favorite memory is baking homemade butter cookies with my mom when I was little. You know the OLD screw top tin dough holder u put the discs in?? Well mine never were right and hers were perfect!( of course) when they were done she said the pretty ones were mine!! Only a mom would do that. She kept that cookie device in my very first lunchbox. When she passed I got it from the closet , along with the recipe and still make them 34 yrs later…. And miss her and our fun to this day! Thanks for letting me share!! Have a blessed holiday

  286. Sharon Albrecht says

    One of our favorite Holiday traditions is to watch ‘White Christmas’ while decorating our tree. It’s now a family sing-a-long since my girls have learned all the words over the years. Merry Christmas to you!

  287. Lisa Bateman says

    My favorite memory is making fudge with Mama every year (if it wasn’t raining. You can’t made fudge in Louisiana when it rains). It was my job to stir the fudge, so she would put a chair in front counter for me to stand on. She’d take over when it got to hard for me to stir. Then when it was all in the pan, she would give me the spoon and bowl. Of course, she would always leave a little in the bowl. She’s no longer here, but I still remember those special times.

  288. Chery says

    My father was the one that made the divinity and all of the Christmas candy, it was his specialty, then in our Christmas stockings we got fruit, nuts and his homemade candy. I still think of that every Christmas and wonder why kids these days expect more than the simple joys, like I had as a child.

  289. sharon koons says

    When my girls were little we would put the Christmas tree up and on Christmas eve they would sleep under the tree.. They are all grown now and my husband has gone to be with the Lord, our tree still goes up but now only gifts are under the tree.. Time goes by very fast . Enjoy your children and remember the good.. God is Good!! Merry Christmas

  290. Donna Tolson says

    Favorite holiday food is dressing. My mother and mother-in-law both made great dressing, however they different. I hope one day my dressing is as good as theirs.

  291. Sheila Korsmo says

    My favorite holiday food would have to be the Pecan Pie. I just love it!!!! Makes me wonder…why do we wait till the holiday season to make this wonderful pie???

  292. mary s. says

    We kind of skip the holidays, hubs birthday near Halloween only child the first week of November..so I spoil them both in rocktober and November with lots of surprises and gifts and love love and more love..Come December I am gearing up for cold weather, wet or snowing, people are starving here so I get warm undies, sox and womens undies and also gift cards for teens in foster care and now over 18 living in transintional housing..We are broke by Hanukkah and Christmas but do have a feast at the beach with kids I have known since kindergarten and thank God for our many blessings…..ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  293. tammy says

    My favorite memory is my mom always turned the garage into a “holiday workshop”, we would make decorations, plate cookies, and get them ready to send out.

  294. Jennifer I. says

    I guess my favorite Christmas memory is waiting for Santa to come down our street on the firetruck & watching my youngest get excited to see Santa (he’s the only one of my three who still believes). My favorite holiday food would have to be my grandma’s homemade jam cake. I wish she was still around to make it.

  295. Julia Rain says

    When, I was little my older sister used to ring “jingle bells” late at night on Christmas eve so I would think Santa had come! I do that every year for the kids, even now that they’ve grown! We still track Santa on NORAD’s site, too! Our favorite holiday meal is traditional Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts. Yule Log and Mince Pie too for dessert! we look forward to it all year!

  296. Sandra kalousek says

    When my grown children were younger, we hid their presents all over the house and they had to,find them using clues. They still talk about how much they enjoyed it.

  297. Emma Moore says

    My favorite Christmas was when all my family would be together at my parents house. My mother would ake all kinds of cakes and pies, cookies. When the other children ( adults and married )came home we would have so much fun. Along with their children. We would stay up really late play games, sing carols and just talk. My parents would tell us stories about when they were first married and about their childhood. Wonderful Christmas’s. My parents have passed away with a sister, brother.
    Love your blog. HAve a Merry Christmas.

  298. Betsy says

    My favorite holiday memory is of me and my 2 older sisters at Christmas. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but we were all very happy kids. Instead of stockings full of presents and treats, mother would decorate small boxes for each of us and fill with fruit and nuts to put out by the fireplace. We loved it and actually thought everyone did this! I was the youngest of the 3, and me and my middle sister would always hold a pillow up to our faces to hide our view of the Christmas tree on Christmas morning as we walked by to our older sister’s room to wake her up to go open presents. We didn’t want to see all the presents before she saw them with us! So sweet, now that I think back to those days.

  299. La Vonne Henderson says

    I got a picture of 2 if my grandchildren in Atlanta visiting Santa. My 4 yr old granddaughter was happy and excited. My 7month old grandson was sound asleep in Santa’s lap. He represents how I feel about the holidays- I wish I could sleep through them!

  300. karen marie says

    Short on time so I’ll be quick. Home-made lasagna for Christmas eve dinner, after shopping for and decorating the tree, was a yearly tradition throughout my childhood. It’s still not really Christmas without lasagna.

    Pick me! Pick me!

    Happy holidays to all.

  301. Brenda Brown says

    My favorite holiday food is definitely the candy. Every December I make peanut butter fudge, cracker candy, sugar cookies with peppermint icing. YUM!! It’s the only time of year that I make candy/cookies. The people at work and home start asking when it’s coming just before Thanksgiving because they know it’s almost time.

  302. Nancy Rogers says

    Favorite holiday tradition was going to Christmas eve service singing Silent Night at the end of the service. All the lights in the sanctuary would be turned off and we all held lighted candles.

  303. Rosie Pacheco says

    My Christmas memories always revolve around Tamales…when I was kid, my job was to put the black olives in the tamales. My Mom and Aunts handled the spreading of the masa, ladling the filling and stacking the tamales. It wasn’t until my twenties that I moved up to masa spreader! Now I am the holder of the tradition and recipes as my mom and aunts are now gone. It was and is a lot of work…but I still remember them gathered around the kitchen table talking, gossiping and laughing while making the best tamales I ever tasted! 🙂

  304. Dawn L says

    My favorite Christmas time memories is baking cookies & goodies with my daughter (she is getting married in 6 months where has the time gone) my niece & my boyfriend’s son. You get so much quality time with them & you get to pass on the joy of being in the kitchen. (About to have 3-4 major spinal surgeries so I’m probably not going to get the chance to bake this Christmas). But the memories bring a huge smile to my face

  305. Sally Barnhart says

    I love christmas with my 2 grown daughters and love cooking for them… but I also cherish the memories of christmas’s in my childhood. Miss all my family now as they are all spread across the country, and one brother in Ecuedor.

  306. Dale Nastuk says

    Hi Mary, I really love your recipes and recipe book.
    My most favorite memory of Christmas is my Dad shaking some old cow bells on Christmas eve and saying better get to bed Santa is on his way. Also a 30 pound turkey he ordered from a farm that year since we had lots of people for dinner
    For Christmas dinner everyone’s favorite food is Dad’s turkey stuffing which is made with Miracle Whip salad dressing and contains walnuts and apples. Ever since he found the recipe we don’t try any other. Also my Mom’s pumpkin pie. It just never turns out the same when I make it. She did forget the amount of sugar in it but I figured that out by taste. It could be the oven since when we bought this house we found out the oven heated way too hot. My birthday is the day after Christmas. I missed Christmas by 90 minutes that year. Of course getting together with family is the best. Merry Christmas

  307. Karin A. says

    I loved going to my grandma’s house when I was a kid where everything seemed magical ….. the twinkling bubble lights on the tree, the gaily wrapped gifts, and the smells of baking in the air. In the evening you could look out through a frosty window pane and see the ice skaters on the rink across the street……………..The family was all together. It was wonderful.

  308. Lisa Schuck says

    One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is of our family going to midnight mass and celebrating the Posadas. I loved how our Mexican church community would reenact the night the savior was born and how they were looking for a place to stay. The music was beautiful with the Mariachi’s playing and everyone singing along. My siblings and I were only little kids, but to us being a part of the church celebration was what Christmas was truly about. Afterwards we would go home and have fresh tamales or Mexican bread with Mexican hot chocolate before going to bed. To this day I wish I could go back to those wonderful times . . . Feliz Navidad!

  309. Andrea Gardner says

    Merry Early Christmas Mary: I love your e-mail recipes. …just saw the Pecan slab pie recipe & can’t wait to make it for Christmas Day. The reason for my excitement is your use of brown sugar and maple sugar instead of corn syrup plus I love pecan pie & don’t eat it anymore.
    I am smiling & really looking forward to Christmas, decorating, the “whole enchilada” for the first time since my husband went to heaven 4 1/2 yrs ago. My son, my wonderful DiL and our first grandson, Bennett, 16 mos old, will be home for Christmas from SC and the entire family will be celebrating Jesus’ birth together.

  310. Kristin F. says

    My favorite holiday food? Well…it’s hands down bing cherry fruit salad! We have it at every family dinner….it’s delicious and I’ve never seen anything better on the table, I mean, who doesn’t love bing cherries?!

  311. April was in CA now MA says

    My favorite holiday thing this year is that my dad is here for a visit and will be staying until Christmas! We’re so excited to have him here, after losing my second-mom earlier this year things have been rough for him being many states away and alone. We’re all having a wonderful time. <3

  312. Jeneen Townsend says

    My favorite memory is watching my children open presents and being thankful to experience there joy to see what they got!!! This year I will be celebrating graduating with my Masters degree.

  313. Marcia Scott says

    I’ve already printed a recipe off those neat little cards you have now, nice… We have a litter of 8 puppies that make me smile and pick up lots of poop every day.

  314. Sue Shafer says

    I look forward to your emails every week . Love to hear what’s going on in your & Jeffery life. Want to take this time to wish you two a
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! Love your recipes. Keep them coming!!! Love, Sue Shafer

  315. Blue says

    Christmas has always been a mixed bag for me as my childhood was not desirable.. and I’m so glad I survived it, just. As an adult, it didn’t get easier I wish I could say, but again, I’m blessed to stoll be surviving. I lost all my long term memories in my last head injury but I always kept diaries all my life, a way to say, at least to me, that I was here. I mattered.. one entry, age 7, I had been beaten badly and was hospitalized over Christmas. Since it was so bad as I was vomiting blood, they kept me in isolation. Local children from some school came by and painted a Christmas scene from their country and spelled it on each door. Mine was Sweden! The painting was so cheery , so colorful, I loved it and vowed to myself– someday, I’ll go. It cheered me up so. Well, one day a child snuck in to see me, I suppose I had been crying.. something not allowed at home, he brought his supper. I was on iv ! But he had steak and mashed potatoes. . Oh my gosh. I’d never been allowed food like that. He shared his Christmas Eve meal with me, telling me stories of his siblings. What a wonderful family. They loved each other. He hugged me the best he could, I had so many casts and such. And said to me, “God loves you.. don’t cry. Keep good cheer. Sleep well” .. and then he left. What a blessing .. I wrote it all down.. and hugged my book. For one Christmas, I was loved, unconditionally. Tho I don’t remember much.. I have bits of the moment imbedded deep in me. I think, it’s been my lesson, to be kind to others.. to pay it forward. . Because kind hearts prevail. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays..
    …”Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh”
    Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, for giving
    us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.