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LadyLUX & Friends share their favorite holiday memories

The holidays hold a special meaning to everyone. They are filled with memories and traditions that are unique to each person, whether it is driving to grandma’s house for honey-baked ham and spiced cider on Christmas Day, or taking that annual trip to the mountains with friends for snowboarding and catching up on stories while sitting by the fireplace. These blissful occasions are why we get so eager to see our loved ones during the holiday season, knowing our hearts will soon be filled with joy from being around our friends and family.

But more importantly, the holidays are about giving. Beyond gift shopping for friends and family, it is important to reach out to those who are less fortunate than us, especially during these trying times. It can be as simple as donating your barely worn winterwear to the Salvation Army, buying a few canned foods at the market and offering them to your local shelter, or following what some of our blogger friends are recommending below. There is no greater feeling than knowing you made a difference in someone else’s life.

In this spirit, we asked some of our favorite style bloggers what the holidays mean to them and what traditions they are most looking forward to. Each of these sites which we admire, come from all different parts of the world, penning the blogs we anticipate reading every morning. They, too, share LadyLUX’s passion for paying it forward and offer us different ways in which we can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline.

Dena- Tres Chic Now

Dena of TresChicNow.com
Twitter: @DenaRochelle + @TresChicNow
What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
The thing I'm looking forward to most this holiday season is spending it at home in LA (we usually travel to see extended family) and seeing my 2-year-old son wake up Christmas morning to the surprises that Santa will leave under our tree.

Jamie Stone

Jamie Stone of QueenoftheQuarterLifeCrisis.com
Twitter: @ItsJamieStone
What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
What I'm looking forward to the most this holiday season is seeing my family. I moved to Los Angeles about a year and a half ago from New York, and I realized how much I used to take seeing them for granted! I have a little 2-year-old nephew now, and he's growing by the minute; I can't wait to spend some time with him and do the simple things like watching movies and telling him about Santa Claus.

Anne Sage

Anne Sage of AnneSage.com
Twitter: @CitySage + @RueMagazine
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
Online: If you have a blog, even a small one, do a blog post sharing a close-to-your-heart cause with your readers. You never know whom that post will touch, and word-of-mouth is the best way to galvanize others!

Offline: Think ‘local': It's a bit of a buzzword these days, but supporting locally owned businesses is not only a great way to keep your backyard economy thriving, it's also a balm to your soul to get out and interact with your neighbors this time of year. Everyone benefits!

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition is my family's pancake breakfast on Christmas. My dad officially makes the best pancakes in the entire world, but since the family has grown and spread all over the country, we only eat them when all gathered together on Christmas morning. They're a special treat to begin with, but the fact that we only eat them once a year now makes them even better!

Reem Kanj

Reem Kanj of FiveFiveFabulous.com
Twitter: @ReemKanj
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
I think the best way people can give back this holiday is to be charitable by either volunteering at a local charity or, if possible, donating to a worthy cause. This time of year is all about giving, so if we remember others outside our families then it will help at least one more person in this world.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
This holiday season I'm looking forward to relaxing and taking some time off work. It means I can spend time with loved ones, as my schedule doesn't normally allow for this to happen. I’m taking full advantage of being able to spend every day with family and very close friends.

Megan Belles n Rebelles

Megan of BellesandRebelles.blogspot.com
Twitter: @BELLESnREBELLES
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition is BY FAR my family trip to St. Martin. It is the one time of year that my entire family gets together. I get to see my grandmother, cousins, parents, sisters and brother…PLUS enjoy some serious R&R and fun in the sun!

Marie Denee

Marie Denee of TheCurvyFashionista.MarieDenee.com
Twitter: @MarieDenee
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
There are so many ways that each person can give back to his or her community. Regardless of each person’s financial situation, giving back does not always have to equal financial giving. I think that donating canned goods, volunteering at shelter homes and donating clothing are ways that each person can selflessly donate to the less fortunate!

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Because I used to work in retail, getting home for Christmas always seemed and was impossible! What we ended up doing was celebrating Christmas on New Year’s Eve! Now, each year we do this and the rest of our extended family now joins in on our fun! This year, we are taking a thematic approach and celebrating Newquay (England style) by dressing up in costume! Doesn’t hurt that we get to take advantage of the after-holiday sales!

Julie Thigpen
Julie Thigpen of BelleMaison23.com
Twitter: @ModernChicHome

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Every year, my husband and I go to my parents’ house early on Christmas morning, along with my brother and my sister’s family. We open presents and create a huge mess in the living room, which is especially fun with my (four) young nieces and nephews running around. Although I’m 30 years old, I still get the same butterflies and excitement on Christmas morning as I did when I was a child. This is one holiday tradition I hope to continue carrying on for years to come!

Jasmin Howell
Jasmin Howell of FriendinFashion.BlogSpot.com
Twitter: @FriendinFashion

What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
I adore the work Oxfam does, particularly around the holiday season. Oxfam Unwrapped offers unique and quirky gift ideas that help transform the lives of those living in poverty.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
I absolutely LOVE cooking for loved ones during the holiday season. Unfortunately I'll be away from home this year, travelling in Japan, but ordinarily, I love spending the week leading up to Christmas preparing a feast which includes roast and ALL the trimmings and then sitting down and having a meal with family and loved ones.

Mary Hall- Recessionista

Mary Hall of TheRecessionista.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Recessionista

What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
I've posted a couple of things on the blog—one is giving your Coke rewards to Toys For Tots so needy kids can get toys for the holidays.
Another idea is always to donate your old coats to the Salvation Army or local homeless shelters to help clothe those most in need.

What is your favorite holiday memory?
The Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas morning as a kid—getting a new doll and my Easy-Bake Oven as a little girl.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Putting out cookies for Santa and writing him a letter on Christmas Eve when I was a kid./p>

Sydne Summer

Sydne Summer of ThinkThruFashion.com
Twitter: @SydneSummer + @ttFashion
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
One of my favorite gifts to give is an animal sponsorship from Best Friends Animal Society. It’s only $25 and the person you give it to gets updates on how the dog, cat or even horse is doing all year long.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
I have such an insanely busy schedule that I'm looking forward to just relaxing with my family. We'll be in San Diego, and I can't wait to walk the dogs on the beach and see Santa on top of the lifeguard station. It’s a very California Christmas, spent in cozy flannel shirts, leggings and Uggs.

Monica Class-n-Fab
Monica of Monichika2.wordpress.com
Twitter: @ClassnFab
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
There are so many ways of giving back. My hubby and I like playing Secret Santa to random people. We pay for their food at a restaurant or pay for their gas. I also like the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. The best part is that you can do it online, perfect for my busy fashionistas. But let’s not forget the gift of time, and, of course, the much underrated power of a smile. You never know whose day you are making by giving them a huge warm smile.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I come from a Latin family, so we have many traditions. My personal favorite is ‘Posadas.' They are basically a daily party from Dec. 16 till Christmas Eve. It starts with a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's journey in search of shelter; everyone participates either as Mary and Joseph’s side (typically outside) or the innkeeper’s side. After that, the party begins with food, drink, music, and friends and family.

What is your favorite holiday memory?
It had to be Christmas morning. Everyone can agree that as a child there is no better feeling than seeing your Christmas present in your living room and thinking ‘Wow, Santa was here.’
What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
I adore everything about the holidays, from shopping for presents to decorations! But I think just hanging out with friends and family during this wonderful season is just AMAZING!!!

Olivia Phillips

Olivia Phillips of NewFavouriteThing.com
Twitter: @FavouriteThing

What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
There's a fantastic charity called Kids Company which hosts a giant Christmas party every year for thousands of vulnerable children in London. You can donate money to buy anything from the fairy lights to the brussels sprouts, and every child will go away with a present, too. I can't think of many nicer ways to give back this holiday season. Also check them out on Facebook.com/KidsCompany.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
I'm most looking forward to waking up on Christmas morning at my parents' house to the smell of my mum's delicious, rum-soaked fruitcake wafting upstairs, then feeling around at the base of my bed with my foot, eyes still shut, to see if Santa's filled my stocking with all things fun and frivolous! It's all these little traditions that make the day so special to me - everything from sitting in front of the fire eating my body weight in cheese to seeing my boyfriend's face light up when he opens his gift!

Paula Peeptoes

Paula of MyPeepToes.com
Twitter: @PeepToes

What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
Online: I am wishing Christmas through what I think is the best way, by sharing wonderful videos and images that awaken the Christmas spirit that often is forgotten. Spanish bloggers this year chose to get together to wish a happy Christmas to our readers through this fun holiday themed video:

Offline: Helping all those people who cannot celebrate Christmas as half as good as we can. There is not a better moment to deliver aid and happiness.

What is your favorite holiday memory?
My favorite Christmas memory is the nerves mixed with excitement and joy that my brothers and I used to experience on Christmas Eve when we were kids.

fashion class jet lag
Fashion Class & Jet Lag
Twitter: @FashionClassJet
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
While it may seem unbeknownst to many, I always find this question to be quite broad. And adding the Internet avenue has made it even larger. I know everyone is always running around during this time of the year, but during these trying times we need each other more than ever. Giving this holiday season could be as far as being patient while waiting in line, to being friendly and holding a door open for someone. A courteous smile.

Giving could also encompass volunteering a few hours at a soup kitchen to buying an inexpensive gift for a less-fortunate child who would be infinitely grateful. In regards to online, there are countless charities + organizations that are in need of monetary support. While the options suddenly seem overwhelming, the important thing is not to think too much about where to “give.” Do what you can; touch someone's life.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
This holiday season I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and being surrounded by the people who give the most love + support. Quiet time; snowy nights. Christmas cookies and yes, bright lights.

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Rob Poitras of FashionLuvr.com
Twitter: @FashionLuvr
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
I think a great way for people to give back is through their local Toys for Tots program. The organization is run very well and in almost every community across the U.S., you can find a place to drop off toys or donate your time. The website is very useful, and they even have a directory with each local Toys for Tots chapter so you can learn how to help out.

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?
Every holiday season I always look forward to seeing everyone in the community (both online and in my actual local community) taking time out of their lives to come together with family and friends. Everyone in the world is so uniquely different, but we all still share the same feeling of wanting to be close with people in our life. Even though the holidays have different meanings to all, we all share that the holidays do have a meaning.

elizabeth wahler

Elizabeth Wahler of LadyLUX.com
Twitter: @LUX4Good + @LadyLUX
What are some interesting ways people can participate in giving back this holiday season, online or offline?
There are so many amazing ways people can give back now, it's incredible. While saying goodbye to a year of mainly serving nonprofits and retail, I'm beyond thrilled to see the abundance in digital progress to better the nonprofit community, and the retail products available to the conscientious consumer.

Some of my favorite online philanthropic destinations to visit are:

Causecast.org is an inspired community of leaders and individuals, news and media, and tools used to take action such as donating, volunteering, petition-signing and creating original content to change the world.
Causecast Store, The Goods: Gifts that Give Back. An online store that helps you find gifts that give back—with more than 100 nonprofits, including the USO, Save the Children, and charity:water.

Vivanista.com is a site where women who believe in “Living well. Doing good.” Vivanista is the go-to community for philanthropic living and giving.

Vivanista.com is where I go whenever I want to know what's going on in the philanthropic communities via a digital channel, or reach out to when involved in a nonprofit event. Also, if I'm looking for solid information from women who have been there, done that, I know Vivanista will always have an excellent knowledge base. This group is 100 percent committed to their mission of “Living Well. Doing Good.” I couldn't ask for a better community to learn, share and grow with when it comes to being philanthropically minded.

Be sure to check out Vivanista.com's Holiday Gift Guide.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Every year, my family and I – both my mother’s and father's side, including all extended relatives – get together for a large Christmas Eve celebration at my parents’ house. This magical evening usually includes about 60-plus close family members and friends, carolers and Santa Claus, and is hosted in a room my mother transforms into either Santa's workshop or a winter wonderland.

It is a beautiful evening shared by all, and it's such a treat to see the children in their pajamas gathered around “Santa” while he reads “The Night Before Christmas.”

This night and tradition is my favorite event of the year.

With love this holiday season to you and yours,

Elizabeth aka LadyLUX

For our LadyLUX readers, what are you looking forward to this holiday season?

Tagged in: fashion blogs, christmas, style blogs, holiday charity,

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Purple Neon/ LadyLUX

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