The Best Way to Save Money this Holiday Season and an INCREDIBLE Sweepstakes!

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!  It is my favorite time of year and I am so looking forward to all of the traditions our family does together.  We are getting our tree on Wednesday which is the highlight for the kids and I can’t wait to decorate it!

I’m super excited to share with you the BEST way to save money this year at your favorite stores and restaurants.  I also have an AMAZING sweepstakes at the end of this post, don’t miss out!  This post is sponsored by RetailMeNot!!

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This year we have been extremely organized (for the first time ever:) as we prepare for the holidays.  I wanted to make sure to get as much shopping done as possible for our loved one’s Christmas gifts before our baby girl arrives!  Besides just wanting to be organized and save time with our shopping, with the expense (oh self-employment health insurance;) of a new little one coming we REALLY wanted to make sure to save as much money as possible!

RetailMeNot has been EXACTLY what we needed to both save time and money (hallelujah) this holiday season. Now we can focus on the really important stuff—> time together!  It seriously is the best because you can search for everything that you need in just ONE place (on their website or app).  You don’t have to search all over for the best deals on different websites/newspapers/apps etc because now you can find it all on RetailMeNot!

These two have been quite the good shoppers this year.  They LOVE being involved and picking out what we get for our family members, their grandparents and our friends.  We were able to get a bunch of stuff for family at Macy’s 25% off deal below with our RetailMeNot app!

Last year it was just Andrew and me for Christmas.  I can’t believe that this year there will be THREE kiddos with us for Christmas.  The baby’s matching pajamas are washed and ready to be worn with her big brother and sister on Christmas Eve!  I think one of the main reasons the kids have been so excited for their sister to come is because they know that once she is here, that means Christmas is just DAYS away haha.  I can’t wait to see them all together on Christmas morning.

Just know I’ll probably be tearing up all day long with gratitude.

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With our shopping this year, we just jump on the free RetailMeNot app and find the discounts at our favorite stores and then head out to shop!  It’s as easy as that. I’m a huge fan of Old Navy and this deal on RetailMeNot made my heart happy.  PS RetailMeNot also has a BLOG HERE that has some awesome gift guides with trending products if you are in need of great ideas and awesome deals for your people:)

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The RetailMeNot app can even alert you with any of the nearby offers that you can redeem from your phone right at checkout!  I seriously love it for BOTH my online and in-store shopping!

PS I am in love with all of the winter accessories at Old Navy right now!  They make the best stocking stuffers or gifts for friends etc.

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All of our shopping required a pit stop for some refueling:)  We found deals on the RetailMeNot app for free drinks at Starbucks. I had the peppermint hot chocolate and it was everything I could have dreamed of.  Andrew went with the salted caramel hot chocolate and he loved his too!  I love the food deals that you can find on RetailMeNot because all of this holiday shopping works up quite the appetite.

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All Brooke could think about was this cute snowman.  Our children make all of their food decisions based on presentation.  It doesn’t matter what it is, if the item is decorated cute and includes sprinkles or frosting, they will eat it.  Now to just add sprinkles to some spinach and brussels sprouts.

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We got a lot of our shopping done at Kohl’s too while using the 15% off coupon that we found on RetailMeNot!  Don’t forget—>  you can also get cash back offers on RetailMeNot!  Combine cash back offers with codes to get an even better deal… claim up to $30 cash back in one click!

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Whether you need gifts, decorations, electronics, clothing or beauty products… RetailMeNot has your back and can help you to save big time!

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Somehow Brooke can always find the toy section in any store and flash me her big puppy dog eyes making it really hard for me to say no:)  Loved getting great deals on toys this year for the kids!

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I hope you have a blast shopping this year for your loved ones and if you need anyone to wrap presents for you… I’m your woman ha.  Andrew thinks I’m so strange because I love wrapping presents so much.  Enjoy finding amazing deals on RetailMeNot for Macy’s, JCPenney, World Market, Shutterfly, Hotels.com, Hobby Lobby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Michael’s, Bath & Body Works and SO many of my other favorites stores:)

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Time for an amazing SWEEPSTAKES!!!!  You do not want to miss out on this one!

RetailMeNot is offering up to $1,000 to one lucky winner.  Click HERE to sign up for RetailMeNot and to enter the sweepstakes.  By entering you could also win a $25, $50, or $100 gift card!

Don’t forget to download the RetailMeNot app or visit their website to get huge savings on everything you need this holiday season (and the rest of the year too)!  Share the savings you find (so we can all copy you:) on social media with this—>  #DealBrag

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Real or fake Christmas tree?

-Before I met Andrew I had a fake one that I loved but he is VERY (extremely) passionate about having a real Christmas tree so that is what we do now.  I absolutely LOVE the smell of our house with a real tree!

Do you do more of your shopping at the store or online?!

What is your FAVORITE tradition this time of year (or one of your favorites… I’m always looking for new ones to add to the list)!

Who has a race before the end of 2017?  What was your FAVORITE race in 2017?!

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51 comments

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This is so awesome! I just entered AND downloaded the app. Thanks for letting us know about this! I am always looking for good deals, but not sure where to start. Next weekend I plan to do a big donation purge of my closet. I hope you are feeling great!!
Hugs,
Amanda

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Oh great Amanda!! What a great idea to do a donation of things from your closet, I want to do that too! Thanks so much and I hope your Tuesday is a wonderful one!

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Thanks so much for sharing! I love Kohl’s, and I’m excited to try this app!

My favorite tradition this time of year is going on at least one night run in Highland Park (in the Dallas area) to look at all of the wonderful Christmas lights. They do it BIG up there, and it’s so beautiful. I’ve always wanted to go on a carriage ride through the streets, but it’s a little expensive to go all by myself. I’m still holding out hope that one day I’ll find the man who is going to love me forever, and he can take me.

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Ugh I wish I knew about RetailMeNot before I did my shopping! Definitely going to use it for the last few items on my list. I typically do a mix of both online and in store shopping. Now that I live in New Jersey but my parents live in Chicago, I’ve been exclusively shopping online for my family. This way it’s at their house so I don’t have to cram it into suitcases :)

Also real trees for the WIN! I love their scent and how it makes the home smell like Christmas.

My favorite race of 2017 was either the Perfect 10 Miler in October or the most recent Turkey Trot I did. The Turkey Trot was mostly because my boyfriend ran it with me and I was really proud of him for it even though I can run a 5k at a faster pace but whatever. The Perfect 10 Miler was really important for me. It was something I was aiming for and had a goal of finishing under 100 minutes (10 min/mile pace). I crushed my goal by running in 96 minutes! Granted that’s not fast for some people but I wasn’t running consistently until June of this year so I was really happy with it! Now to crush my two big goals in 2018…

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I am completely with you on loving to wrap presents!
We always had a fake tree growing up and now most apartments I’ve lived in don’t allow real trees so the fake tree tradition continues but I would definitely do a real one if I could!
I’m trying to start some new traditions this year since it’s my daughter’s first Christmas, but haven’t gotten my act together much. She’ll have matching outfits with her cousin who is a year older but that’s about it so far.
I didn’t do many races in 2017, but of the couple I did my favorite was a 7 miler at 14 weeks pregnant!

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7 miler at 14 weeks pregnant… YOU GO GIRL! I love it:) I am so excited for you to have this first Christmas with your daughter.. nothing better! Thanks Abby and I hope your day is a great one!

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I love Kohls, I will definitely be checking this out! I’ve heard great things about it before.

We have fake trees but we have three of them (full size!)! Our house is decked out, we love Christmas over here!

We do most of our shopping online but we do go to the store every now and then :-)

I am so excited about your baby girl, I feel like she will be here any day! Every morning I pop on here right away to see if you’ve gone into labor yet! I hope you’re feeling good today, Janae!

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Thank you so much Torrie! I really appreciate it and hopefully I have that ‘labor post’ up soon ahhhh! THREE TREES… I want to come over:) I love it! Hope you are having a great morning!

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Fake tree. I live on my own and my tree is broken down into 3 easy-to-manage pieces. I can store and carry it easily on my own. And it is pre-lit! I had it up before Thanksgiving. Ha.

I used to like shopping. Ever since reading Marie Kondo’s book and realizing that I just don’t like “stuff”, my life has become so much better! It’s freeing in a way. That said, I totally understand the appeal for people. I do LOVE to window shop. Especially this time of year – it gets me in the mood of the season and everything is so festive!

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I will have to keep RetailMeNot in mind for next year, I pretty much dominated all of my Christmas shopping already!
We have a fake tree…I used to be obsessed with real trees but after reading an article one year about how many bugs are in them – no more! I am a super clean freak and bugs in my house just doesn’t work for me!
I do way more shopping online..I don’t like crowds!
One of my favorite traditions is opening my stocking with my husband first thing Christmas morning! Maybe one day we will do this with our kids..none yet!

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Real tree all the way! The smell of pine is a huge part of what is special about Christmas for me, so I can’t imagine not having a real tree. That be said, we now have multiple trees in our house – the real/main one will be bought this weekend. We have a silver one in our living room because that whole room is decorated in silver/white/red. And now the kids want ones in their rooms as well.

I do most of our shopping on-line. I just don’t have the time or patience for going to the stores (and a lot of what the kids want aren’t available in local stores). But in the past, I always got their stocking stuffers in person, but this year I have done a little of that online too, but will go out and get some in person. And once 95% of our shopping is done, I’ll go out to some stores and browse – the pressure is off, and I just look to see if I see anything unique and quirky.

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Seriously, you can’t beat the smell of real pine! I LOVE that you guys have a few trees in your house, I LOVE that! Such a great idea:) Love your shopping method too… you’ve got this all figured out! Enjoy your day Jessey!

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Real tree all the way!!!!!!! Same circumstance here b4 my husband i had always had a fake/artificial tree and he turned me on to the real tree and there just isn’t any turning back. Looks a million times better too don’t you think??

I do 90% of my shopping online. It is just easier. I rather save the time from standing in lines and fighting crowds etc. and use that time elsewhere. I am also about 90% done with my Christmas shopping as well. :)

I have a 10K race this weekend & then a 5K & a Half-Marathon next weekend December 9th & 10th. This will be my 5th Half-Marathon!!! I’m also currently training for my first Full Marathon in January and also dying to know if i got into the Chicago Marathon…..eeeekkkk come on December!!!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!! Excited to see your new baby!!!

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HEY JESSICA!!! GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEKEND… you are a busy running woman this month:) I am so excited for you! Please let me know how the races go and which full are you doing in January? Thank you so much Jessica and way to go on getting most of your shopping done already! I hope you have a beautiful day!

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I’m going to do the Louisiana Marathon. Just praying for decent weather. It is quite unpredictable here.

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Oh that is so exciting!!! I hope the weather is perfect for you:)

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I have the Jeff Galloway “Double G” right before Christmas! I’m so excited! He’s my e-coach and so supportive of me as a runwalkrunner. It is a great time to run in Atlanta! And Gold Medalist Billy Mills is a guest speaker there at the expo! Can’t wait! Hope you have a great day!

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Janae! I have missed reading your blog. I had to stop when I had surgery for exertional compartment syndrome at the end of August bc I had to stop running for a couple of months. I’m excited to be back today and to download this app! I just got it and see that they have a Tijuana Flats discount that made me excited for lunch time!

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KRISTINA!!! OH GIRL, I am so so sorry about what you’ve been going through the last few months! So are you back running today!?! WAHOOOO!!! Enjoy the RetailMeNot discount you found today:) So good to hear from you!

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I’m not back to running today, BUT I hope to be back to running this week! I get my stitches removed tomorrow (fingers crossed) and hope I’ll be cleared to run at the same time! FINGERS CROSSED!!! :)

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Just downloaded the app – thanks for the recommendation!

I love a real Christmas tree, but it’s just too hard with our three jerk cats. They like to eat it…..and it’s a huge pain to clean up then. So fake it is.

I do absolutely all of our Christmas shopping online if I can help it. There is not much more that stresses me out in this life than stores in December.

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We always have had a fake tree….easy cleanup! And I love making egg nog French toast…the only way I will consume egg nog!
My favorite race this year was my half in June in Leipers Fork Tn…..hot, hilly, but amazing!!

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I had a real tree for many years, but one year it fell over 3 times and we had to wire it to the wall, so now it’s a fake tree!

I am definitely an online shopper :) I’m not a fan of huge crowds, especially while shopping.

One of my fav traditions is getting hot chocolate and driving around to look at Christmas lights. We also do take out Chinese with my inlaws for Christmas Eve, and it’s so low key and relaxing, I love it!

I am racing CIM this weekend. My Achilles is acting crazy, so I’m taking this week off, which I’ve never done before a race so fingers crossed that it all works out this weekend!

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GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND MARISSA!!! I am so excited for you to run CIM! I hope your achilles is 100% on race day… I once took a full week off before a marathon because of the same type of issue and on race day I felt like a million bucks! You’ve got this! I am going to copy your hot chocolate and Christmas lights tradition this year:) I hope you have a great day!!

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Thanks Janae, I love things like Target Cartwheel and anything else that will save money. Every bit helps!

I love a real tree but my cat was really a pain in the neck about drinking out of the water basin so I switched to artificial. Now I have a different cat and she eats all plants and can’t leave our fake tree alone so I’m hesitant to try again. Missy dog never bothered any tree in the house.

I’m half online and half in person shopper. I like smaller stores and holiday markets and those generally have to be done in person. I also start early so I’m not caught in crowds, which I don’t do well in.

We make it a point to watch the Christmas cartoons that we loved growing up. Charlie Brown Christmas and the Year Without a Santa Claus rank up top. Yes, the graphics are cheesy but they’re still awesome to watch. (with hot chocolate, of course)

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This year we’ve done most of our shopping online. I have a love/hate relationship with online shopping. It’s supper convenient but I feel like it takes some of the fun out of Christmas shopping.

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I’m all about the real tree, except for a couple of years when we were remodeling or had some other serious confined space issue, so we have a smallish fake one.

I do a big outlet shopping weekend, a (few) Target trips, and mayyyybe a trip to the mall, but I much prefer online shopping.

I could not bring myself to do elf-on-the-shelf, so I invented a tradition with my kids: I hide a Christmas decoration (a squirrel) every night, and whoever finds it each night gets a treat. It’s sort of an advent calendar replacement, though they love those, too.

I’m running the REHOBOTH BEACH HALF this weekend!!! Celebrating my birthday, outlet shopping, and running–this is how I kick off the holiday season :)

Can’t wait to see your 3 kiddos all in their cute jammies!!

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Okay, I LOVE your squirrel tradition… that is so much fun! I want to copy you, I’ve never been an elf-on-the-shelf person either. AHHHHH HAPPY BIRTHDAY this weekend and have a blast at your half-marathon… sounds like the best way to celebrate. Let me know how it goes! Thanks Corey and have a beautiful day!

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Oh cool! I’ve actually used it quite a bit when I look for online coupon codes but didn’t know they had an app. Just downloaded! :) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year. We do quite a bit; we just put our tree up this past weekend and made our salt dough ornaments. The kids’ school has a tree trimming and asks that we create ornaments as a family and bring it to share, so it works out great. All four of us love the process of working with the dough, and then painting it after we bake it. I’m also looking forward to giving the kids’ their advent calendar soon, making rolled sugar cookies/gingerbread men together, and decorating gingerbread houses. I think we’re going to tackle baking our own houses this year. We’ll see how it turns out. Haha. Have a great day, Janae!

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We have a fake one – (live in a condo) but might get a real one as well this year as he really wants a real tree.

I end up doing a fair bit of shopping online but really, I just like to bake for the holidays…and gift the baking.

Favourite tradition – Christmas decorating. I love decorating for Christmas.. he puts up the lights, we like to make our own candles in mason jars and making the place feel like Christmas. I found white block letters at Michaels the craft store and painted the letters with red acrylic paint (I really wanted to spell the word joy and couldn’t find a sign I liked ha). We just want to make it cozy and be homebodies for the holidays. And then candy cane hot chocolate with eggnog and whatever else we might feel like adding to it:). And I love to bake – my girl friend and I usually get together sometime in Dec an we bake cookies to exchange/ gift etc and we make a day of it..(or a really long afternoon.

Done racing for the year, but have signed up for other races next year. I would have to say doing my first 100km this past year was definitely nesting.

Have a great day!

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I do all of my shopping where the best deals are whether that is online or in store. I’ve found recently, especially with free shipping it’s online. Retailmenot looks awesome though, I’ve never used it but now I’m thinking I’ll look into it!

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I always grew up cutting down our own trees but after living overseas for a few years I got used to the benefit of putting up my fake tree really early. I LOVE Christmas and like to decorate on Nov 1. But I am considering going back to a real one someday l, I miss the smell!

I am totally an online shopper. In fact I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping! Living in Alaska we get used to ordering things!

We have so many traditions but actually one of my favorite we aren’t doing this year. Normally in November I start making cookie dough balls that I freeze in gallon ziplock bags. Then for one week in December I bake over 700 cookies. It’s a ton of work but then we load them up on plates and spend a day wearing Santa hats And driving around to all our friends to drop them off. We drink cocoa and listen to xmas music. It usually takes 4-5 hours and we make upwards of 35 stops but it’s so much fun. We get to surprise our friends and spend a quick moment with them which sometimes doesn’t otherwise happen in the busy holiday season!

This year I have a 6 month old so we decided not to do this but I think I’m going to miss it! I’ll have get ready to bring it back next year!

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OVER 700 cookies… Kayse, that is amazing! I love that you have done that and you have brightened so many people’s day! I love it and next year will be perfect to start up again! I love that you live in Alaska, that is one of Andrew’s favorite places in the world! I hope you have a beautiful day with your 6 month old:)

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Online shopping! Speaking of that, looking for a nice red/orange polish to order with my next amazon, love the one you have one, can you please share ? Thanks!

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HEY!!! Thank you so so much! So mine is actually gel polish that I have done at the salon! Next time I am there I will ask! I hope your day is a beautiful one!

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I definitely do more shopping online. Hello, Amazon Prime! Definitely going to give RetailMeNot a try.

Absolute favorite thing for me is pulling out all my mom’s candy recipes. I make a TON (see this post http://mcmomentsandmemories.blogspot.com/2009/12/friday-foodie-christmas-baking-edition.html) and give away about 90% of it.

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I need your white chocolate chex mix right this second. You have the BEST recipes… oh and I want the sweet potato crunch. Can I just come over and have you bake for me!?!?

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Wish you were close enough – I’d add you to my list of friends who get a tray!

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I’m not a runner but I just want to say that I really admire you for your grace and maturity in the face of really painful life challenges and your commitment to Brooke and her wellbeing. Your daughter (s!) are so lucky to have you.

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Wow, Abby… your comment just made my day. I can’t thank you enough for what you said. I hope you are having a beautiful day and thanks for taking the time to brighten my day:)

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OHHHH, some of my Christmas gift for my husband this year is a group of related items I can probably find at Kohls–when I am home tonight and have time I will have to sign up for the app, and see what cash back and discount deals I can snag! His birthday was a month and a half ago (and we got married just 6 weeks before that), so over the last few months I have had to spend a LOT of money–every penny I can save with Christmas shopping will be so helpful!

You asked about races before the end of the year. On Sunday I am running another 5K! I got Tom to sign up for it with me and to be cool with doing run/walk intervals with me (I have arthritis in my right knee and need to practice “knee safety” before going ALL OUT with my return to running…so intervals it is!). The 5K is a holiday-themed run, and instead of race t-shirts apparently all participants get santa suit onesies. But I know Tom won’t go for that (and I am picky about my clothes in all athletic pursuits–everything has to fit me well or else I get super grumpy over clothing and then the whole experience). SO, as a treat, I ordered matching holiday long-sleeved t-shirts from Brooks. I think they arrive in the mail today or tomorrow. I am so excited!

And then I am running a 5K on New Years Day, and my goal for 2018 is to run one 5K per month–and practice knee safety with run/walk intervals (with the hope of feeling baller enough to *safely* increase my running intervals to 2:1 run:walk intervals by the end of the year) and just celebrate the love of running in a low-stakes, high-passion sort of a way. Not the loftiest of goals for someone who ran a LOT before injuries & degenerative conditions set in, but a goal that makes me happy all the same. :)

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We don’t celebrate Christmas with presents, the Dutch Sinterklaas will be visiting our house on December 5th. It is a tradition that every present comes with a rhyme. We do most of our gift shopping online. I’m racing a 15 k on December 10th, and if I feel like it a 10 k on the 23rd. The 15 k has a long, high (for Holland) bridge. Training is going well, we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed for nice fall weather. Real tree, my husband and daughter are going to pick one out. I really like seeing all the ornaments again after a year in the attic. My parents give our children a new ornament every year. When they have their own tree they’ll have something to hang from it’s branches. A lot of these ornaments are made by my mom. I love this tradition she started, I hope to do the same when we get grandkids. And I’m looking forward to changing the plain dishes for the Christmas dishes, they make every meal feel festive.

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Eva, thank you so much for sharing! I love hearing about your traditions! GOOD LUCK at your races in December, I’m so excited for you! Please let me know how it goes and I hope you have perfect weather!

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We lived in the Netherlands for a year and loved Sinterklaas! The kids thought pepernoten and chocolate letters were the best.

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When I first saw the picture of Brooke holding up stocking stuffers in Old Navy I thought Knox was next to her with scarves and clothes on his head. It’s a mannequin!

Every year I make “Finn Bisquit” which is a braided cardamom bread that is absolutely delicious-especially on Christmas morning. The first loaves of the season are usually made around Thanksgiving (I’m waiting a week though this year since Thanksgiving was so early!).

Real tree, all the way.

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I want some Finn Bisquit… that sounds amazing! Such a great tradition Kelly!

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Love Retailmenot!! We did all our Christmas shopping on Black Friday and online!!! No waiting in crazy lines and we actually got some sleep! I do miss going to the stores but the older (ok 33 is not that old) I love shopping at home, with my slippers on, fireplace lit and sipping on hot chocolate! We got a ton at Kohls this year and you have to love the Kohls cash!!!

REAL tree, love going to cut it down but when I got married my husband was all about the fake tree and it was white!! FINALLY after almost 6 years of marriage we are turning that tree into a snowman and we will finally have a real tree!!!

Can’t wait to start baking. I have my grandparents Italian cookie recipe!! Doesn’t get better than that! And I have an 8K before Christmas!!!!

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We’ve had a fake tree the last few years. While I definitely miss the smell of a real one, I don’t miss how messy it is! I also do most of my shopping online. I’d much rather pick a package up from my front steps than be in a crazy busy mall. Haha I think that’s what I get from working retail one too many Christmas’s!

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You’re very convincing :) I signed up! We’ve always done fake tree when we even do a tree. I can’t imagine a fresh tree… I hear stories of spiders and bugs coming with fresh trees!

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First let me say that I love the Hannah pjs! My boys loved them and I have been able to pass them down to my sister’s kids because they hold up so well!!
We have a fake tree because we have very high ceilings and found a great deal after Christmas one year on a 12.5′ tree. We would go broke buying that big of a tree each year! Plus living in Florida, we have seen that a lot of places spray their trees green! I assume it’s because of the heat???
I have done a lot more shopping online this year because of the things my kids are asking for–plus it is easier!!
My favorite tradition that my mom actually started, is to have a cookie exchange. My mom’s friends brought the same cookies every year so I knew what to look forward to! Now I do it with my friends, we bake a dozen for each person attending so you end up with all different cookies and not all the crazy work that would go into that! You just have to make a bunch of one particular kind!
I have 2 more races before the end of the year–1/2 marathon on the 10th and 15K on the 17th but this is our racing season!!
Have a great Christmas season and can’t wait to hear all about your baby girl!

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Great sweepstakes. Ty!

Are we guessing baby due dates? I pick nov 30!

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