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Holiday Magic and Memories (and a giveaway CAN 12/15) - Outside The Box

Holiday Magic and Memories (and a giveaway CAN 12/15)

Holiday Magic and Memories (and a giveaway CAN 12/15)

For ten years I was the “baby” of the house.  Christmas mornings are a pretty exciting time for a kid!  I remember waking up long before the sun came out and waking up my parents and my older brother so we could go see what surprises Santa had left us.  When I was very young everybody obliged and joined in my early morning Christmas spirit.  However, as I grew older they were less keen about getting up at what they considered such an unreasonable hour.  Of course, that didn’t stop me.  I would get out of bed and head on over to the Christmas tree by myself. As the rest of my family slept the morning away I would be playing with whatever fabulous gift Santa had left me. I was always an independent kid so it really wasn’t that big of a deal for me to spend that time alone but, to be honest, it would have been nice to have someone to share it with.

But that all changed with the birth of my much younger brother. He was every bit as eager, maybe even more, as I was to indulge in that early morning Christmas wonder.  Every Christmas morning he would sneak into my room before anyone else was awake and the two of us would go together and get a start on the day. I loved every minute of it. I was still young enough to get excited about it all but also old enough to appreciate how magical it was for my little brother.  Those are moments I shared with him that I will hold onto for a lifetime. Helping him figure out which gifts were his. Installing batteries and reading instructions. Being a big sister on Christmas morning was pretty awesome.

sears wishbook

Weeks before Christmas there was always another exciting day that I always loved and that, eventually, became a holiday tradition I shared with my little brother. That was the day that the Sears Wishbook arrived. I think this day has always been special for a lot of people but when you grow up on a farm with two TV channels this was a huge event! We weren’t bombarded with store displays and TV commercials. The Wishbook was our holiday gift guide. We spent hours poring over the pages, dog-earing pages and circling items that we hoped Santa, or mom and dad, would get for us (Barbie was always my favorite).  We also used it to pick out the gifts that we wanted to get for our family members. Every year mom and dad gave us each a small amount of money to buy gifts for each other. Finding the perfect gifts was one of my favorite parts of the holidays. Keeping those gifts a secret, however, was not always easy. We would get so excited about our ideas and our purchases that it was hard to contain them sometimes.

Christmas was always very special in our family when I was a kid. Despite not having a lot of money my parents always managed to make sure we were a little bit spoiled and we always celebrated with our extended family. It was a huge event that brought us all together. Having a much younger sibling to share it with and relive that childhood excitement made it even more special for me. And now I’m a mom with a little one of my own and we are making our own traditions.  Some of them are new and some of them are ones that my husband and I have carried forward from our childhoods. And once again being able to relive that Christmas magic through new eyes really is, well, magical.


Celebrate the Holidays (and win)

Sears Wish Book

I have a couple of exciting things to share with you!  First is an invitation to join us for the #SearsWishBook Twitter Party on November 27th. We will be talking about holiday memories and, of course, shopping, and you will have the chance to win a $100 Sears gift card.  You can find out all the details and RSVP here.

Next, I’m also stoked to be able to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a $50 Sears gift card as well! To enter just use the Rafflecopter form below.

Giveaway is open to Canadian residents age 18 and over.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This article has 153 comments

  1. One of my favorite holiday memories was when I was very young.  We lived in the country and Christmas Eve we were going to Grandma's house a few miles away.  Dad drove to the lake and we drove on the iced over lake to Grandmas – something that I don't believe we had ever done before.

  2. One of my favorite memories is decorating the 10 foot Christmas tree we got every year with my family, while watching our local Christmas Daddies.

  3. Chopping down our own Christmas tree and bringing it home to decorate.

  4. Mine is driving around with Mom and Dad Christmas Eve, listening to Christmas carols and admiring all the decorations and lights.

  5. Decorating tree with my dad

  6. Growing up we always my sisters, mother, grandmother and me all baked buttertarts, meat pies and so much together every Christmas. It was always fun to do.

  7. I have incredibly memories of making Christmas Morning Wifesaver with my mom every Christmas eve in our pajamas. I loved doing it with her.

  8. One of my favourite memories is the year I got my Barbie doll house and all the furniture for it, I snuck down around 4am and sat there playing with it until everyone else got up 🙂  I remember spending hours going through the Sears Wishbook!

  9. The first time we were snowbound in the house, we spend such quality time together, and were just enjoying each others company.

  10. Getting the big barbie house when i was 8…..My parents waited about 20 minutes after all the gifts had been open leaving me devastated for 20 minutes only to bring me into the garage to see it!

  11. One of my favorite holiday memories is telling my parents they were going to be grand parents by presenting them with best grandma/grandpa ornaments.

  12. Decorating the Christmas tree with my siblings as kids.

  13. One of my favourite holiday memories is as a child waiting for "Santa" to fill my stocking.  I would hang my stocking on my bedroom door and if I wasn't yet asleep, I could hear Santa filling my stocking!

  14. Every Christmas morning, my parents would make my brother and I wait at the top of the stairs while they took a picture. Must try and find some of those pictures. Loved your flashes from the past.

    Besos Sarah.

  15. Loved being a little girl and that magic of believing in Santa, and rushing down in the morning to see what he had left us, oh to be young again!!

  16. Playing an elf when my dad played Santa.

    Rafflecopter Name – Stephanie La Plante

  17. We went out to cut down a Christmas tree with my father in law and the kids and our dog. The snow was deep The kids were young and it is a very special memory for me since my father in law is no longer with us. He always put in the effort and the time. I loved that about him. 

  18. My favorite memory was leaving cookies and milk for Santa.

  19. getting the family together and baking. thanks

  20. The year I got my Cabbage Patch Kid was magical.

  21. Being a kid and waking up on christmas mornings to see all the presents under the tree

  22. When I was little all my relatives would get together to sing carols on Christmas Eve.

  23. My favourite memory is of going to my grandparents house on Christmas eve and spending the night playing with my cousins

  24. Getting a Barbie 

  25. The decorations.

  26. Dad use to bring home a bunch of trees he cut to share other families . We would get first pick. He would then put it up for us to decorate.

  27. One of my favorite holiday memories is waking up and unwrapping a Barbie Camper and Barbie Airplane!

  28. I still remember the excitement I had inside of me when I opened up the package in 1982 and inside was a baby powdered scented Cabbage Patch Doll named Mimi. She was the first of her kind, and I wanted her soooooooo bad. I had no idea I would get her, we were not that wealthy. Surprise…. my uncle got her for me.  🙂

  29. decorating the tree with my Dad. 

  30. decorating the christmas tree

  31. Decorating the tree with the whole family.

  32. when i was young the hospital let my dad come home for Christmas day! He had been in for many months and we didn't go see him much as so far away! So that was a special childhood Christmas memory for me!

  33. My brother and I would watch the sky for Santa and his sleigh. At some point, my dad would make banging noises so we thought Santa was on our roof. Dad would then jingle bells and, of course, snack on the milk and cookies.

  34.  My favorite holiday memory is taking my son for his first photo with Santa!

  35. getting a new bicycle as a child at Christmas

  36. My favourite memory was putting our cardboard fireplace together every year to hang our stockings on.

  37. Love having breakfast with my family christmas morning

  38. I remember the christmas my grandmother was able to come and stay with us.

  39. One of my favorite holidays was when my parents flew out both of our sets of grandparents from back east for christmas. All of our relatives lived back east when I was a kids so it was really nice to have them there

  40. And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

  41. having christmas in july, for a family reunion

  42. My husband proposed twelve years ago this Christmas Eve. It was special.

  43. My favourite Christmas memory is the one year we went to NB to spend Christmas with aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandma. 

  44. One of my favourite holiday memory was decorating the christmas tree with my family. I was responsible for the lower half of the tree and I remember always filling it up with tinsel!

  45. I remember going to the Christmas Eve service and coming home singing. 

  46. We had a boxer named Tammy when I was growing up and at the time this happened I was devastated but now its one of my favourite memories.  We would make gingerbread houses every year and my mom would put them on the mantle!  We went to church one Sunday and came home to find our houses smashed and half eaten by our boxer, Tammy! lol

    RAFFLECOPTER NAME is Anne Taylor

  47. Baking cakes for my brothers in my easy bake oven!

  48. My favourite holiday movie is Home Alone.  My kids love it we love it it's a family tradition to watch every year.  🙂 

  49. Ice skating with the family on the river behind my parents house every xmas afternoon.

  50. Spending the day with grandma and the whole family.

  51. my fav memory was receiving a 12" R2-D2 figure. it was super awesome

  52. Every year since I was born my grandpa has given me a holiday barbie, shes always the last thing I open and I cherish them. 

  53. Going carolling with my mum…even though i claimed to hate it at the time.

  54. Ice skating on Christmas eve with my parents as a kid 🙂

  55. Having a second Xmas on Boxing Day with extended family since I was little. Getting to share all our gifts and spend time together 

  56. One of my fave holiday memories was riding on a float in our Santa Clause parade.

  57. One of my favourite memories as a kid was the whole family decorating the tree and just having so much fun doing it.

  58. My favorite holiday memory is one Christmas when my son opened a Caillou movie.  He was sooooo excited.  Never had such an excited moment.

  59. Being young and believing and waiting for Santa to come and waiting to open presents of what Santa brought for my family
    My recent post Darnley Cascade and Crooks' Hollow Conservation Area

  60. Making cookies with my mom and putting them out with a glass of milk for santa and then adding carrots for the reindeer.

  61. The Christmas I told my dad he was going to be a grandfather for the first time – he passed away three weeks later (not the happy part), but seeing how thrilled he was at being a grandfather

  62. Getting new decorations for the tree

  63. decorating the tree with my parents

  64. one of my fav memories is being in England at a friend's house for Christmas and sharing it with her extended family

  65. would be my brothers and i sleeping in the same room and whoever woke up first woke the rest of us up to open presents (usually 5am lol)

  66. we always had fun decorating our tree and sneaking up early to open gifts!

  67. My favorite holiday memories are of my oma's cooking and baking.  She always made the most delicious cookies at Christmas and her trifle was to die for.

  68. Setting up the christmas tree with my mom and brother

  69. spending time with family

  70. billiondollarprincesss
    Sunday 30 November 2014, 1:56 pm

    When i got the cabbage patch doll i had been wanting!

  71. Getting the Sears Christmas Wish book and cutting out everything that I wanted.


  73. taking the kids to get their photo with santa

  74. Every year ,we would go in the woods with our father looking for a Christmas tree!!

  75. One of my favorite holiday memories is making collages of the gifts I wanted when I was a kid by cutting up the Sears Wishbook


  76. christmas dinner at my grandmas and grandpas!

  77. I have a bad memory, luckly we recorded a lot, there was one year when I was 4, I guess I got a lot of puzzles, and when I opened another one, I said oh nooo not another puzzle! it was too funny.

  78. We always went to Gramma's on Christmas Eve, and we exchanged gifts, played cards, and just spent that quality family time together! 🙂

  79. My fave memory is having the whole family together  & having fun

  80. Baking holiday cookies with my mom is one of my favourite memories!

  81. Going over to my uncles house, all my extended family would join us for the holidays every year

  82. One of my favorite memories was as a kid staying up all night to catch Santa Claus

  83. friends and family being together

  84. I remember the year my brother and I got our cabbage patch dolls. We were so excited!! I also loved when the Wishbook arrived!! 

  85. My favourite memory was watching my 1st grandchild at his first Christmas

  86. I liked decorating the tree

  87. My favourite holiday memory was the first time we stayed home for Christmas dinner. My parents used to bring me to our aunt's Christmas party but my sister and I never really enjoyed our time there because it was all adults and a few cousins that we never got along with. So, the first time my parents let us prepare the dinner and to have it in our home was a special one because we got to spend the evening with each other.

  88. Opening my gifts on Christmas day.

  89. My favorite memory is when we finished opening our presents my parents told me and my sister and brother to look in the tree.In the tree was 3 cards with our names on them, inside was tickets to Disneyland we left an hour later 🙂  

  90. my favourite holiday memory was when my parents came out to New York to spend it with me when I used to live there temporarily. We visited the Rockefeller tree, and spent time in my little apartment baking and just catching up.

  91. One of most memorable Christmases was when my youngest sister came home from the hospital. her bday is the 20th of Dec and she came home on Xmas Eve. I was 6 yrs old. 🙂

  92. One of mine is my niece's first christmas. She was almost a year old at the time and her response to everything was so sweet!

  93. My rafflecopter name is Suzi

  94. My favorite holiday memory is making apple pies with my mom. She would always make up big baskets of home baked goods for all of our relatives. 

  95. My fav holiday memory is staying up late watching the tree lights awaiting Santa's visit. 

  96. one year we made santa foot prints to the presents and the kids loved it

  97. My favourite is the whole family decorate the family tree together

  98. Waking up early and opening our stocking while we waited for our parents to wake up. 

  99. The year I got a beautiful baby doll in a fancy christening dress – I think I was 8!

  100. Receiving my first Nintendo when clearly my parents could not afford to buy it, so it was a grand surprise as a child.  Yep I cried!

  101. My favorite memory is decorating with my grandma. We used to get so crafty together!

  102. I got a BB Gun from my dad when I was 9 years old. I was so proud. 

  103. I love the decorations, all the good food and company this time of year! 

  104. Looking back now, I love that my parents put a ribbon across our bedroom doors. There were many memories made around that ribbon! Love it!

  105. when I was young a huge family gathering for christmas abut 40 in all, Aunts/Uncles and cousins

  106. One of my favourite Christmas memories is the year that my mom's side of the family and my dad's side all got together for Christmas at my house. I had all my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins together for the day and it was awesome!

  107. Going to see the Festival of Northern Lights after Christmas dinner. 

  108. Favorite memory of all time. I smoked for 27 years shortly after this story I quit as I got pregnant with my now 10 year old son Evan. Prior to Evan's birth – I travelled to Nova Scotia to spend Christmas with my Mom/Dad – 2 sisters and 2 brothers. As it turned out my Dad wanted to play *Poker for Smokes* – well short story – I lost 5 packs that I had previously bought for the trip. My Dad and 2 brothers had tears streaming down their face – laughter and gaiety over such a spontaneous and silly night. Will cherish the fun we had that night. I lost my Dad last January – so this story means even more to me. Not an advocate of smoking…but sharing a memory that I will never forget – as I will you Dad. Love and miss you. God bless. Eva 

  109. I always love doing the shortbread cookies with my daughter, she always did them in funny colours. LOL  

  110. My best is also my saddest, my moms last Christmas will always hold a special place in my heart. Images of her holding my five month old niece watching the Santa train going around the track under the tree will forever be etched in my mind. 

  111. getting my Philadelphia Flyers hockey sweater when I was 10

  112. Cutting down the tree with grandpa.

  113. the old Eaton's window was always beautifully decorated for Christmas – we used to make a special trip downtown to see it.

  114. Going to a Christmas Eve dinner show with my family for my birthday, and admiring Christmas lights after the show.

  115. My favourite holiday memories are always of spending time with my family.

  116. getting a Barbie doll

  117. Getting a doll house from Santa.

  118. That Christmas tree sure brings back some very fond memories!

  119. When my daughter was 3 she sang Dashing through the snow…but the words she used was "Bells on Butt Tails Ring, Making Spirits rise" well it made our spirits rise & from then on, thats how we all sang it 🙂

  120. A favourite Christmas memory was the year I got my first Cabbage Patch Kid – I wanted one so badly & my Mom told me that it may not happen that Christmas. I kept wishing & hoping that Santa would bring one & boy did my eyes light up that morning when I saw her waiting for me under the tree! Thanks for the chance to win!

  121. waiting for my aunt (she was always late by 2-3 hours) to open the gift, it was really sad on the moments but wow the excitation was at is summum lol

  122. Gayleen Moore-Lambert
    Wednesday 10 December 2014, 1:40 pm

    The year my dad came back from a tour in Egypt….A WEEK EARLY!  SURPRISE!  Best Christmas Ever!!!

  123. spending it with my grandmother 🙁

  124. We always had a long car ride to grandma's (5+hours). My older brother and I would fight but eventually, I was his 'pillow' and he'd nap on me… it is a lovely memory of being a kid in the backseat. 🙂 
    My recent post Walk Off The Earth, Shores of Erie International Wine Festival 2014

  125. I loved sitting with the family and unwrapping the gifts which had been in our stockings – the anticipation.  And getting up late at night with my eldest sister to dance in the tree lights.

  126. Giving birth to my daughter last year.

  127. Yes now having children I know the importance of family, love and traditions. When I was little I spent every Christmas Eve at my grandparents house and we had so much fun together, we waited until midnight and opened our gifts that is my favourite thing! I take my little ones to see their grandparents now and it just seems right. 

  128. My dad's last Christmas with us was special. Memories are truly important and I am glad we caught most of them on VHS tapes!! We like to pull them out now on Christmas and watch and laugh together!! So much fun! 🙂

  129. Our family always drove to Florida over the holiday time. We would spend days at Disney World and it was perfect. 

  130. The food every year yummy

  131. The unicorn snowglobe 🙂 My fave gift

  132. one year we made homemade gingerbread men and women cookies to hang on the tree. When we woke in the morning, the bodies were strewn all over the floor, and the heads were still on the tree. Oops. We made some more icing, and then gave the gingerbreads scarves!

  133. My mom working at  Simpsons and going to visit the Santa at Scarborough town centre with my brother, I had those fuzzy white boots back in the day, and I remember asking him if he was the real Santa 🙂

  134. I love delivering the presents and cards to family.  Wearing a Santa hat, and kind of pretending to be Santa was a great feeling that the Christmas Season brings.

  135. best holiday memory was the christmas my first born child was born..he came into this world 16 years ago christmas eve 

  136. My parents bought me a large beige beanbag chair. When I got up Christmas morning and it was under the tree, I thought Santa had left his sack of toys!! It's still a family joke to this day!

  137. I loved going to church on christmas eve with my cousins.  It was an old Anglican church that has the bell up in the tower. After the service was over we would get to play carols on the bells. 

  138. Opening presents together in the morning is a really fond memory

  139. Getting together with the entire family at the grandparents for a potluck. Such fun! Miss those days!

  140. I loved (and miss) Christmas at my grandma and grandpas house with all my cousins. my grandpa passed away almost 2 years ago and all my cousins are older (and married with their own kids)
    My recent post Mini pop Kids 12 CD release just in time for Christmas and #Giveaway

  141. Getting up in the morning and going to the tree with my parents and brother with all those amazing gifts!

  142. decorating the tree

  143. Getting a barbie for the first time !

  144. Giving my niece and nephews a trip to Disney World

  145. My fav memory was cutting down our own xmas tree!

  146. mine was baking with my mom every year i so miss that

  147. My favourite memory was when we had a big family Christmas dinner held in the basement and I got to play with my cousins. 

  148. Watching my mother try to wriggle my daughter into a Santa suit when she was just 7 months old. It was hilarious! 

  149. Taking my children to see all the beautiful lights and making ginger bread villages every year 

  150. Xmas at my grandmother's was the best. Oh those were the days…they used to spoil me and my siblings so much. I really miss that. Now my kids get to have all the fun hah!

  151. Going on a sleigh ride with my family in Christmas Eve! Thanks 🙂

  152. My favorite Holiday memory is singing Christmas carols on Christmas eve with my family.  We were not perfect by all means but we all had a ton of fun!

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