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!
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!