Holiday Blog Hop #Giveaway & Holiday Traditions

Welcome to the 2011 Holiday Blog Hop. We’re having some fun during this crazy holiday time talking music, movies, and more. Best of all, we’re giving away over $80.00 worth of prizes!

Two days. Tuesday December 13 and Wednesday December 14, 2011. Four blogs each day. All you have to do is show up and comment on each blog to be entered for the grand prize drawing of eight e-books and a $40 Amazon Gift Card! Just in time for the holiday season!

Day One December 13th:

Lynn Rush:
Kendall Grey:
Caridad Piñeiro:
Rebecca Zanetti:

Day Two December 14th:

Rachel Firasek:
Ciara Knight:
Lisa Kessler:
Jean Murray:

Guidelines for the Blog Hop!

Open internationally

Contest runs from 2am (Eastern Standard Time) Tuesday December 13th, 2011 to Midnight (Eastern Standard Time) Wednesday December 14th, 2011. Winner announced Monday December 19th, 2011 on all of the blogs in the hop.

Winner: You will have ten days (10) to contact us to claim your prize: (lynnrush at cox dot net) Failure to contact us within allotted time will forfeit your prize. We can then choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.

To earn the twenty-five (25) entries toward the grand prize you must comment on each of the eight blogs participating in the Holiday Blog Hop.

Please remember it is illegal to sell, forward, give away or copy electronic books in anyway. Doing so violates copyright.

If you are unable to leave comments on the blogs due to lack of internet connectivity/availability, you may enter via email to LynnRush at cox dot net.

And now for my holiday traditions!

I love the holiday season! Starting with Thanksgiving and going all the way to Christmas, the holiday season for me is filled with family, friends and remembering something very important: How blessed I am in life.

So, first it’s a wonderful time with family at Thanksgiving and this year we headed out a little early to get our Christmas tree. Every year we head to the Anne Ellen Tree Farm. It’s a lovely and peaceful time, traipsing through the fields to find the perfect tree to take home. After we find it and chop it down, we buy a couple of ornaments to commemorate that year’s visit.

Then we head home and as time allows, trim the tree and also set up a Christmas village. Both are so much fun.

For the tree, we sift through the ornaments, recalling the Christmases of the past. It’s fun to see what we thought was important that year as we always try to get ornaments that reflect what was going on in our lives that year. So there are ornaments about graduations or getting licenses. Others we bought on vacations and with the flavor of where we’ve been to remind us of those good times and wonderful places. You’ll see one of our favorites (the naked butt Christmas family) in the slide show below (or you can check out the album by clicking here!).

This is the ornament we call the naked butt Christmas family. I bought the ornament when I was able to visit Peru many years ago and we love its simplicity and humor!

Naked Butt Family

But the tree isn’t the only thing we do to prep for Christmas! We also put up a village. The pieces in the village have been collected from various places and stores. We pick the pieces when they appeal to us, so it’s a mix of all different kinds of buildings, people and other assorted objects. We try to add a little something every year and it’s always fun to try a new look and layout for the village.

Created with flickr slideshow.

After the tree and village are up, we decorate the outside of the house and the other rooms to get ready for Christmas Eve. Since hubby is Italian and I’m Cuban, Christmas Eve is a mix of the Italian Seven Fishes and a traditional Cuban meal. As you can imagine, tons of food, but the best part is having lots of family and friends around the table to share in the celebration. Here’s a photo of what the tables look like on Christmas Eve.

I won’t even tell you how long it takes to cook all the food and do all the clean-up, but no matter what, it’s worth it to be able to share the love of family and friends on such a special night. To me, that love is the true spirit of Christmas!

Thank you for visiting. Please visit my other friends and fellow authors on the blog hop and leave comments in order to earn points toward the giveaway!

47 thoughts on “Holiday Blog Hop #Giveaway & Holiday Traditions”

  2. Isn’t Christmas a fantastic time of year? There are so many lovely traditions to do with your family. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your christmas memories with us. I love your picutes. I dont think i could pick a favorite one if i tried. 😉 Thank you for sharing! Happy holidays! Wishing you all the best!
    I commented on all the blogs.

  4. Very beautiful post and picture! One of my favorite traditions is to decorate my house.

    Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

  5. I love your Christmas village and the way you pick your Christmas tree decorations. 🙂

    Ours sort of depend on what we want the tree to look like…

  6. My grandparents started a tradition of a Christmas Morning stocking at the breakfast table. It usually had oranges and fresh dates, things they found hard to get in the 1920’s living in Chicago. It now has morphed to soaps and gels and all kinds of things.

    One Christmas, there was a snowstorm and no one could go out and do shopping. My grandmother had to make do with what she had on hand. She had some sausages, made some hot crossed buns, and had canned pineapple. She put red and green sugar sprinkles on the pineapple slices and fried them lightly.

    We do that today, to remind us to make do (not that we need that much reminder this year), and that even when you don’t have all the trappings of Christmas, you can still celebrate.

    It just isn’t Christmas morning without it.

  7. What a cute ornament from Peru. I wished I had seen some like that when I was there. Wrong time of the year though.

    When I was a child we would make decorations and fix up old ones every year with Christmas music playing and treats.

  8. One of my favorite traditions is to decorate our Christmas tree. We have one really large in our living room, but I also have a smaller artifical one in my room with ornaments that I collected from all over the world

  9. My favorite tradition growing up was going to my grandparents house each Christmas Eve. We would have dinner, the whole family (including their 11 children, in-laws, grandkids, & a few great-grandkids, along with a few other various family &/or friends so it was crowded) would then all get quiet when my grandfather would read the story of the first Christmas aloud. This was what made Christmas for me.

  10. Wow! I have two Christmas Villages, but they’re nowhere near as large or as spectacular as yours. Just lovely! Your village is my dream village. 🙂

    Your table set ups are wonderful too!

  11. Hi Caridad,
    thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway and i hope that you and your family have a Happy Holiday Season.

    your house looks beautiful! here at my house we have alot of the same tradition that you do except we have a fake tree due to allergies in some of the kids. usually we try and put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving,we have a bit of a crowd that lives here so there are a lot of decorations. there is myself, my mother, my sister and her daughter and my brother(temp.).
    i collect village pieces and hand blown glass ornaments, mom collects antique and procelin and my sister collects porcelin santa clause’s that stand between 8″ and 3′. needless to say it looks like the elves workshop blew up on our house. LOL! a few years ago my niece was diagnosed with diabitis, she loved the advent calenders and cried because she couldn’t have them. so i started a new one for her where she would get 24 small gifts instead of candy. none of them are all that special, all come from the dollar store or some where similar but she now has her christmas ornament collection started too. 🙂 no matter what we make sure everyone gets to put all of their important ornaments on the tree and the rest we send with my sister and mom to work so they can use them there.

  12. I agree with you Caridad… no matter how much work I put into preparations for my family for Christmas I always know that by the end it’s worth all the memories that were made.

  13. The best thing about holidays is getting to see family, you might not see much the rest of the year. The incredible food is a close second.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  14. It sounds like you have a very festive Christmas! We always choose a new ornament based on something we have done together that year, and always attend the candlelight Christmas Eve service at a very small local church. Merry Christmas!

  15. What a great post! I agree that love is the spirit of Christmas 🙂 My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night and opening presents on Christmas Eve. (My dad’s birthday is Christmas Eve….I think that’s why we open presents then lol)

  16. What a great post! I agree that love is the spirit of Christmas 🙂 My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night and opening presents on Christmas Eve. (My dad’s birthday is Christmas Eve….I think that’s why we open presents then lol)

  17. I love the pictures – thanks so much for sharing your traditions! My husband (also an Italian) and I started picking up Christmas tree ornaments whenever we visited somewhere new. Now we have a bunch of those from all over the world…along with the home-made ones from our kids. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  18. Wow~I love all of your holiday decor! I’d love to go “all out” one year…these pics are great inspiration to make that happen!

    I don’t have a village to set up, but I do collect old fashioned Santas. That’s my favorite part of decorating…arranging them all on the mantle & around the living room.Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  19. My mom gives me a Christmas mouse every year. It usually has some kind of significance to the year I have had or something my son has done (last year he was a pirate for halloween so my mouse was a pirate on a ship decorated for Christmas)… Besides my family the mice are the things I would grab is there was ever a fire. Happy Holidays!

  20. We used to buy my daughter *now 20* at least one SnowBaby Christmas ornament every year. When she was 14 I put them all on the tree, took the tree down after Christmas and haven’t seen them since. They were all in their own little boxes and packed away nice and neat. It makes me sad every year when I open the containers and they aren’t there but I always remember how beautiful the tree was with them on it.

  21. I love your family tradition. I remember the first time I was invited to an Italian Christmas Eve Seven fishes dinner. I was so totally overwhelmed with all the food that I couldn’t wait for the invite the next year

  22. It’s wonderful that you go all out decorating for Christmas. Unfortunately I lost all my decorations along with my home and my massive book collection to the EF5 tornado that hit my hometown back in May. I had all of your The Calling books and recommended them highly to everyone and unfortunately they are gone. So now I’m starting over. I live with my youngest daughter and her family now and she has a lot of decorations up. I had given my oldest daughter a village but she lost everything too so we are both starting again. I can’t really complain, too much anyway, we all made it out alive and if you could see the debris we crawled out of you wouldn’t have thought we would. So as a family we have a lot to celebrate, we still have each other. I hope you have a joyous and safe holiday season.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  23. Your village is awesome; I have a friend who does something very similar to you, been doing it for years. She has decorations that date to when she was very young, to the birth of her daughter and from some friends who just love her village. She has a church, a store, a library and tons of houses; lights, ice rink, snow… Just beautiful!

  24. Great post Caridad!!!

    We do something like this on Thanksgiving-Eve! 🙂 My parents divorced when I was a kid, so my kids have grandparents all over the place.

    Our Thanksgiving-Eve dinner is the only holiday meal where ALL of the relatives are together and we always have a wonderful time…

    Thanks for sharing your pictures too!!!

    Lisa 🙂

  25. I noticed your Avon fiber optic village with the train. I added that to my collection of fiber optics this year. Your village is much bigger then mine I just started & only have 3 houses. I love all the decorations. Your daughter is a mini you. Loved the photos.–Rachel

  26. Wow!! I love the holiday village that you have put together, and the table is so beautiful.
    I would have to say that my favorite is my ornaments on my tree. Its started with my older son, went on with the younger one too, and now is something I do with my grandbabies. Each year I would buy a Christmas ornament for my kids as they were growing up. Well now since they are grown, There ornaments have been retired from my tree and now used on there own family tree. So now each year I buy one ornament for each of my grandbabies. And I love the look on there faces, when they come to my house and search for the new ornaments. And then they start naming all of there ornaments and it is just great to see the joy in there faces.
    Thank you for sharing your special holiday traditions with all of us.


  27. Hi Caridad,

    What a beautiful village and the table settings make me envious of your creativity and the festivities.

    My family has several small traditions for the holiday season. Like most we pick out one ornament each year for the tree. We also have an open house for family and friends shortly before Christmas.

    Thanks for Sharing and Happy Holidays!
    ~Poison Rose

  28. What lovely family traditions, Caridad.

    I try to give my kid’s a new ornament that depicts something special that happened during the year. We call it our memory tree,

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  29. Great traditions,incredible tables. Food sounds yummy. We have a traditional Polish dinner for Christmas Eve.

  30. I love the decorations. My mom used to do a large village under her tree when my sisters and I were growning up. Then she got cats and grandkids started coming and it was just not practicle. I really miss it though. If I had the room at my home I do my village myself.

  31. I just love your traditions. It’s neat to see just how different we all are. The best part of what you’ve shown us, to me, are the tables! Oh my, just to have so many family members and friends to cook for and to share the season with? Wow….I just love it. Of course, there’s quite a bit to our family as well, but nothing as ‘dressed up’ as what you’ve shown above. I do hope you all have a wonderful Christmas again this year! Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us!

  32. Simply beautiful. I love to hear about how others celebrate the holidays.
    This year we are missing a few of our family members but we know they are looking down on us with love.

    Merry Christmas.

  33. Love the pics. My tradition is that every year my boys decorate the tree. I have 4 under 10 and we have had some interesting trees!!

  34. What a fun post with heartwarming pictures! I have to say my favorite is your Christmas eve table 🙂

    Wishing you all the merriness and joy of the season!

  35. LOVE THIS! Wow. You put a lot of work into decorating. It looks beautiful. I’m so lame this year. Not much decorating….But now I’m feeling a bit inspired!

  36. Wow! Ya’ll go all out! Lovely table settings. Love the naked butt family ornament.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    Have a safe and joyous holiday season.

  37. Wow, what a set up!! Your village looks alot like one my Mom used to have. All 4 of my children get new ornaments every year, so that when they are on their own they have something to start with that will mean something to them. Enjoy the cooking! That is quite alot of work:)

  38. What beautiful pictures! Wow, those are a lot of place settings. 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous Christmas.

  39. A beautiful post! I love everything you do for Christmas, all the traditions and your ornaments. Beautiful pictures, too.

  40. I’m a little teary eyed reading this post. Christmas used to be like this for me. 🙂 Now, I struggle to just get through December. You can see all the love you put into it. Great post, Caridad!

  41. My mom (now gone) used to buy one new ornament every year. I was able to get most of them after she passed and it’s wonderful looking through them all as we decorate the tree. My favorites have to be my boys’ first ornaments, though. 🙂


  42. Wow, you guys don’t skimp at all on Christmas, do you? Those pictures are amazing. My favorite one is the dining table all dressed up. Beautiful! Your naked butt family ornament is great. I think every family has at least one ornament with a…reputation. Ha!

    Thanks for doing this holiday blog hop with me and the other amazing authors! Such fun. 🙂

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