When I think back to when I was a child, all of my holiday memories are happy ones. Wonderful meals, Christmas carols playing and family gatherings made for a very special time of year.
One of the traditions that I enjoyed the most was the search for the perfect Christmas tree. My grandparents lived on a 100-acre farm and it was a tradition to go into the forest to hunt for and cut down the perfect tree. The entire family would join – aunts, uncles, cousins – and we’d make a day of it.
Some of the grandkids would ride in the bucket of my grandfather’s tractor and others would be pulled in a sled behind a snowmobile. The cold weather and snow didn’t stop us; in fact it made it even more fun!
After the perfect trees were found, they’d be loaded into the tractor bucket and brought back to the farm house. My grandmother would have hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies waiting for us. Nothing warmed rosy cheeks and cold hands better than Grandma’s treats.
Now that I have my own children, the tradition of cutting down a tree is one that I have carried on. Although we no longer have a family farm, there are several tree farms in our area that offer a great experience. Its lots of fun to hop on the back of a tractor-pulled wagon and go out into the forest and find the perfect (or not-so-perfect) tree that will grace our home for the season. It’s that time of year for my family and I to go out and get our tree and I can hardly wait to make the trip.
What holiday traditions have you carried on since your childhood?
Quicker than you can say, “Jack Frost,” 2012 has flown by and the holidays are now upon us. Although this time of year brings about the hustle and bustle of gift giving for friends, family and acquaintances, it is always fun to take in the colorful lights, decorations, trimmings, music and celebrations of the season.
Dairy Queen® operators are also getting into the holiday spirit by not only offering delicious seasonal products such as the Candy Cane Chill Blizzard® Treat or Candy Cane Royal™ Shake, but also with festive, interactive window clings that allow customers to “RiDQulize” themselves at our locations. We have already seen and heard from a few customers who have taken photos of themselves interacting with these fun and unique displays and posted them to our Facebook page or “tweeted” about them.
In the spirit of the holidays, we’d love to have more of our raving fans shoot and post their “RiDQulized” photos to either our DQ Facebook (Facebook.com/DairyQueen), Twitter (@DairyQueen#RiDQulize) or Instagram (RiDQlize) pages. Have fun, be merry, be creative and who knows, Santa might just give you a something a little extra in your stocking this year.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your holiday shopping done and stop by your local DQ store to “RiDQulize” yourself before the holidays pass you by.
From all of us to all of you, have a safe and cheerful holiday season!
In the spirit of the holiday season, we offered a free Reindeer Bites Blizzard® Treat to any customer who visited their local Dairy Queen® location with a live reindeer on Christmas Eve. And sure enough, on Dec. 24, “Dancer” and her owner, Tammy, paid a visit the DQ store in South Lyon, Mich. The appearance was covered by the local TV news, and not only did Tammy receive her free Blizzard Treat as promised, but her six grandchildren did as well.
Last holiday season, I wrote about Larry Lion, one of my favorite childhood toys I received at Christmas. This year, as I sit and ponder past Christmas memories, I remember receiving a fantastic game one year called “Battling Tops” that I absolutely loved to play with my family.
Battling Tops was relatively simplistic in design and strategy made by the geniuses at Mattel. It consisted of a shallow, bowl-shaped playing surface and tops with such names as “Dizzy Dean,” “Hurricane Hank,” “Cyclone Steve” and “Tricky Nicky” which you wound around a string and the players would pull or “rip” their strings to propel their tops onto the playing surface or “arena”. I loved watching the tops dance and buzz around knocking each other all over the place. The last top standing won the round and that player would receive a point. The first player to win 10 rounds reigned supreme.
A few years ago, after seeing other classic games of my youth such as “Kurplunk,” and “Operation,” reappear in the isles of toy stores, I hoped to find “Battling Tops” on the shelves there as well so I could introduce the game to my two boys. However, after seemingly endless searches that resulted in nothing but disappointment, I continued my hunt via the Internet. After searching for awhile, I found an original version of the game for sale on Ebay for aboout $100. To my dismay, I figured I would have to just continue telling my boys how much fun it was and hoping one day Mattel would again reissue it.
Recently, my youngest son informed me that his elementary school was having a “garage sale” as a fundraiser and asked for some money to purchase an item or two. Thinking he’d buy the typical stuffed animal or other such item, I sent him off to school with a couple of bucks. When I got home that evening, he was waiting for me at the door with a huge smile on his face. He quickly grabbed his back pack and from it, unveiled his purchase – “Battling Tops” for the bargain basement price of $.50. It didn’t take us long to get set it up and begin play. Since that day we have had some great games filled with a ton laughter and fun. It’s been great to relive some of the same memories I had as a child with my family.
How about you? Have any games from your past that you have introduced to your family?
We wish you and yours all the joys and memories this holiday season brings!
UUGGGHHH. There isn’t much I hate more than Christmas shopping. The pressure of getting the right gift is like a gorilla sitting on my chest. I get nervous and can’t breathe. What if it’s not the right size, shape, color, frequency, game, flavor, style, amount, character… you get the picture. But then, as if an angel appeared at my door and told me to just trust, a Christmas tree showed up in the lobby of our office. I was greeted by Santa and some carolers proclaiming the good news. The good news of the American Dairy Queen Corporation toy drive, that is!
It’s all so simple! All I have to do is take a tag off the tree and that one single little piece of paper relieves all my stress. I know exactly what I need to buy. I need a Costco gift card, I need a pair of size 3T snow pants and I need some mittens, preferably pink. All of a sudden, I can’t wait to get to the mall. The thought of being able to do something nice for someone else that is so easy makes me giddy (well, that or the 13 candy canes I ate). At any rate, I was off like Dasher and Dancer, Donner and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, and finally Donner and Blitzen. And since I’m already at the mall, I guess I may as well finish up shopping. Gift receipt please!
**Each year ADQ is proud to help families within our community by participating in toy and coat drives, adopting families, and volunteering with local charities throughout the year. Thank you for all of your generosity in your own communities throughout the year!
Legal Disclaimer: To ensure our legal team does not have a collective heart attack, all the DQ® products used below are appropriately trademarked as DQ Blizzard® Treat, DQ GrillBurger®, Brownie EarthQuake®, MooLatté®Frozen Blended Coffee, FlameThrower®GrillBurger, Dilly®Bar, and Arctic Rush®Slush.
On the first day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… An ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the second day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the third day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the fourth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Four FlameThrower GrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the fifth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrower GrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the sixth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrower GrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the seventh day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrower GrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the eighth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Eight Dilly Bars, seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrower GrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the ninth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… nine Crispy Chicken Wraps, eight Dilly Bars, seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrowerGrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the tenth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Ten Banana Splits, nine Crispy Chicken Wraps, eight Dilly Bars, seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrowerGrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Eleven Premium Fruit Smoothies, ten Banana Splits, nine Crispy Chicken Wraps, eight Dilly Bars, seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrowerGrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, DQ gave to me… Twelve MooLatté Drinks , eleven Premium Fruit Smoothies, ten Banana Splits, nine Crispy Chicken Wraps, eight Dilly Bars, seven BrownieEarthQuakes, six ArcticRush Slushes. Five. Onion. Riiings… Four FlameThrowerGrillBurgers, three chicken salads, two Blizzard Treats and an ice cream cake decorated with a Christmas tree.
As a mom trying to buy Christmas gifts on a limited budget, for many years I was one of those crazy people who would get up at 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving to shop for Black Friday bargains. My kids are grown now, and the idea of standing in line in a dark, freezing-cold toy store parking lot to score a $5 Furby has lost most of its appeal. Lately I’ve switched my post-Thanksgiving shopping to online and never looked back. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I can knock out my gift list from comfort of my own home (jammies optional).
Today, “Cyber Monday,” is the day when online shoppers like me get serious about ordering Christmas gifts. And while I always knew DQ® gift cards make can’t-miss gifts, for some reason I thought I had to visit a DQ location to buy them. It wasn’t until today, when our own Webmaster Jamie enlightened me, that learned I can order DQ gift cards online at DQ.com. I can choose an amount, choose a design, and even add a personalized message. And I can do it all without leaving the house.
Although… now that I think about it, if I order gift cards online, then I can’t get a Blizzard® Treat for myself while I’m there.
Excuse me, I need to go change out of my jammies now…
Although the holidays can be expensive and filled with stress–lots of last minute shopping, trying to figure out what the annual holiday greeting card to friends and family should look like, who should get one and trying to mail them before the first of the year–I still love the holidays. I always have and always will. I love the lights, the decorations, the music, the specials on TV, the tree and trimmings, all the homemade goodies, family gatherings and, yes, I still love the presents… giving as well as receiving them.
As a child I remember, as many children do, dreaming of all of the things under the tree and counting the presents, shaking them and trying to figure out what was in each of them. Even though it seemed like it took forever to come, Christmas was always over way too quickly and it wasn’t long before we slipped back into our normal, everyday routines of school and work.
Tonight as I put my two boys to bed, they asked me “Dad, what was your favorite present you ever got at Christmas?” After thinking for a second or two, I smiled and told them it was a stuffed lion, “Larry Lion” to be exact. He was made back in the late 1960s by Mattel and he could talk. If you pulled his string, his mouth would move and could say things such as, “I’m king of the jungle” and “I’m a very, very, very brave lion.” Oh, and he would also roar. I think I got Larry when I was around three years old and I remember how petrified I was of him at first because he seemed so real and that freaked me out. I quickly overcame my fear of Larry and we became best friends. I know that my mom still has him tucked away somewhere in a closet and the last time I ran across him, he still talked.
Telling my boys about “Larry Lion” made me smile and it brought back all of the wonderful Christmas memories of years ago. Before this holiday season slips away, and the stress of trying to fit everything in before that magical day, please take a moment and share with us your all-time favorite gift or treasured memory “from Christmas’ long, long ago.”
We wish you and yours all the joys and memories this holiday season brings!
Who doesn’t have one of those impossible-to-buy-for people on their holiday gift list? Dad may not need another tie, and Aunt Shirley may still have several unopened packages of perfumed bath salts from Christmases past, but we’re willing to bet that just about everyone on your list has a favorite Blizzard® flavor. And while we don’t recommend trying to gift wrap a Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups Blizzard Treat (my Dad’s favorite) or tuck a Chicken Strip Basket into someone’s stocking, why not wrap a DQ® gift card in one of these creative ways:
♦ Fold the card inside a cloth napkin (there are lots of instructions for fancy napkin folds available online) and tie it with a festive ribbon.
♦ Tuck the gift card inside the pocket of a new shirt, into a wallet, or a hide it in a pair of gloves or new socks.
♦ Place the card like a photo inside a picture frame.
♦ Hide the card in a big box full of packing peanuts, or in multiple layers of bubble wrap to add bulk, before wrapping the whole thing in holiday paper. Another variation on this one is to package the gift card in a small box and wrap it, then put that box inside a bigger box and wrap that one, repeating as many times as you have boxes, wrap and the motivation.
(Carolyn says her kids inevitably wrap at least one of the boxes entirely in duct tape. We recommend using that suggestion only on gifts intended for people who have above-average manual dexterity, and/or highly developed senses of humor, in order to avoid having the duct-taped box hurled at your head.)
♦ Make your own envelope by unfolding a regular paper envelope and gluing it onto a piece of fabric, fancy paper or gift wrap. Trim the excess from around the edges, then re-fold the envelope and glue it back together. Once it’s dry, put the gift card inside and seal the envelope with a holiday sticker.
♦ When you purchase your gift card, ask for an empty paper take-out bag. Wrap the gift card in tissue, place it inside the bag, fold the top of the bag over and tape it closed. Or, ask for a DQ paper cup and lid, put the card inside the cup, add the lid and top it with a bow.
♦ Or, re-use and re-wrap last year’s tie box, substituting the gift card for the tie. Dad will be glad you did!
A few years back, my husband and I got up at 4:30 a.m. to go stand in line at the local Circuit City store the day after Thanksgiving so that we could get some fabulous electronic gadget for one of our fabulous children. Traffic was heavy and it was frigid that night/early morning with temps in the negative 30s Fahrenheit.
We got there a little before 5 a.m., which is when the doors were to open, and saw a line of shoppers from the front of the store out to the street. No parking spaces anywhere. By the time we got to the store the people in line had crushed inside already. I dropped my husband off at the door, while I went off to find a parking spot. My husband met me before I had made it halfway to the store. Nothing was available, and he’d learned that people had begun lining up at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night. What?! We just laughed and went out for breakfast.
I have terrific memories of shopping the day after Thanksgiving as a teen or later with my kids and my mother-in-law, who just loved the crazy crowds. We’d always stop for an Orange Julius® drink, a perfect pick-me-up after long morning of shopping madness. Sometimes we’d find a bargain or two that was just right, but we never managed to finish our shopping. I still like to go out, but now it’s later in the day, when the shops are a bit quieter and there are still deals to be had.