Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hickory Farms brings the Holidays to our Troops and a Give-away!

When I received the e-mail from Hickory Farms asking me to help
promote their FREE military shipping and Operation Gratitude, which
helps send delicious Hickory Farms gifts to our Troops and families in need, I
almost did not open it. Afterall, I'd just finished placing a huge order to ship to
the Ranger and his buddies so I assumed the e-mail was just confirmation of my
order. It's like Hickory Farms and their marketing department are psychic! I mean,
who doesn't love Hickory Farms? I can't imagine celebrating the holidays without it!
Hickory Farms and I go waaaaay back! My first memory of them is from
the summer of 1976... I was ten years old and it was the first time I could
remember being in the states. Prior to that, (and again shortly thereafter)
our family lived in Germany where the Captain was stationed for nearly
all of his twenty years of service to the US Army. Don't misunderstand me,
because there is nothing in this world I'd trade for being born and raised
in Germany... It was the best life! However, there were no malls and there
was no Hickory Farms. So imagine the wonder of being dropped into the
middle of White Lakes Mall in Topeka and seeing mile-long ribbons of
savory Hickory Farms sausage wrapped around the very first Icee machine
you have ever seen. It was wild. And, tasty! And... I loved every minute of it!
Of course, Hickory Farms has evolved and no longer offers beef rope by the
yard... But even better, today Hickory Farms offers high-quality gifts packed
full of sweet nibbles and classic savory meats and cheeses that everyone can
be proud to include in their holiday feasting celebrations. Hickory Farms has
long been a part of our holiday traditions and, ever since the Ranger began
deploying around the holidays, I always ensure Hickory Farms makes it into the
packages we send him to share with his battle brothers. So what about you...?
What goodies always make your holidays more special? Is it Hickory Farms
or something else that confirms the holiday season is finally here?
How we spend and celebrate the holidays changes over the years... When your
children are little and you're trying to keep them from filling up on cheese and
crackers so they'll have room for the turkey you got up at five o'clock in the
morning to prepare, you wish for the day they're all grown up. Then, when
they're all grown up and your child spends the last four holidays in Afghanistan,
you realize you would give anything to have cheese and cracker problems again...
Nevertheless, while the way we celebrate our holidays and who we celebrate with may change, memories of our past holidays and hopes for future holidays spent together again is what keep me moving long... And, I'm thankful again this year that traditional American companies like Hickory Farms is not only still around after sixty-one years, but also that they continue to innovate their products and take the lead to support our men and women in uniform.
By offering FREE oversease shipping and by donating products to our troops, Hickory Farms ensures that every solider can have a little bit of home for the holidays no matter where in the world their job takes them. So if you're a military mom or dad, brother or sister, aunt, uncle, grandma or grandpa or just love someone in the military, send them Hickory Farms! And, if you're just ordering for your own holiday, be sure to consider one of the many Hickory Farms gift packages partnered with Operation Gratitude that come with the promise from Hickory Farms to donate back to our troops!
Heck! You don't have to buy anything to help send delicious Hickory Farms to our troops... Simply Like Hickory Farms on Facebook and for every 1,000 likes, Hickory Farms will donate $100 to Operation Gratitude!
Now, about that Give-away I promised...
Simply leave a comment telling me about your favorite holiday tradition, food-related or not and you'll be entered to win a Home for the Holidays gift box valued at $55.50 and so generously provided by the good people at Hickory Farms. Be sure to include your e-mail address along with your city and state. 
In consideration for my mention, Hickory Farms sent me the same, which I promptly turned around to Afghanistan just yesterday!
For extra entries, Tweet, mention my give-away on your own blog or Facebook page and tell me you did it! Winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday December 4th!
Although it's been a terribly sad week for our family and the holidays certainly won't be the same, (again) without our Ranger here to celebrate with us, there is still so much we have to be thankful for. I am comforted by amazing parents, the love of a good man, two fine sons and more friends than I deserve. I delight in the joys of your holidays and wish you the best life has to offer, with love.


  1. Nice pictures :)

    My favorite holiday memory/tradition is baking cookies and fudge, packaging them up as gifts!

  2. I just love your blog!

    My favorite holiday memory/tradition is making plates of goodies for the neighbors and then we make special ones to deliver to the childrens hospital.

    Holly (

  3. After Thanksgiving dinner is over and everyone is back home we all put away the fall decor and then put up our Christmas tree to start the decorating for the holidays.
    Thanksgiving is a sad time for me now as my sister passed away the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009, my brother passed away last October, and his wife passed away last Thanksgiving as well as a lifelong friend. Also 2 cousins passed away around that time.
    However my youngest daughter is hosting a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house. She and her sister have made fun things to do plans and lots of food. Then comes the extra fun part of our tradition of putting up the Christmas tree.
    When I was a child we all loaded up in the mule and wagon and went for a ride on our country roads. It was so much fun to sit at the back and hang our feet down and swing them back and forth as we traveled singing along the way.
    Hope your Holidays are full of much love and many blessings.

  4. There are so many holiday favorites, it's hard to narrow it down to just one. LOL!
    But I absolutely LOVE seeing the joy on the faces of my children during this magical time!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I pray blessings upon each and every one of you!!

    Sonya Z - Colorado

  5. As our 2 children get older, holiday traditions change but that is GOOD! Many years ago, my 10 year old cousin (I was like....14!) watched my mom take the innards out of the turkey before she put it in the oven and he said "Is That The THROAT?!" (It was the neck) and she said YES :)
    She put them all in a pan and boiled them up for broth so we always say "It is time to Boil The Throat!" .....guess you had to be there :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. It's hands down watching Christmas movies while baking gingerbread men. Happy Thanksgiving :)

  7. My favorite memory is baking cookies with my grandma every year.

    Jenny M. Indiana (

  8. My favorite holiday tradition is actually going to see a movie every Thanksgiving with the family. We always choose a family movie and for many years that has been watching the Harry Potter series. This year, because money is tight, we are renting Brave on Redbox :)

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving Janet! :)

  9. My favorite holiday tradition is shopping for a child chosen from our community Tree of Hope. It seems to put the holidays in the right of thankfulness.

    M. Phillips
    Star, NC

  10. Yum! :-)

    My fave tradition is making fun of my Mom's Christmas ornaments. As mean as that sounds, it's all in good fun and doesn't hurt her feelings at all. We tell her you don't have to save every ugly ornament any friend you've ever had gave you or made for you. :-) She doesn't put them all on the tree, but can't bear to part with them. It's always a nice jog down memory lane and reminds her of old or new stories that she shares with us.

    Of course the past couple of years we've teased my dad that his LED Christmas lights on the tree inside are bright enough that he's blinding people on Google Earth.

    Amanda H in VA

  11. I am so sorry about your sweet Bing.

    I remember making candy, fudge and cookies with my mom and nana.


  12. I'm not entering the giveaway. Just wanted to say what a nice thing that Hickory Farms (and you) are doing for the troops.
    Such a nice post Janet. Though there were empty chairs at your Thanksgiving I know the hearts were full.

  13. Our tradition is getting and trimming the tree together
    debbie jackson
    djackson1958 at hotmail dot com

  14. posted on fb

  15. Hi Janet! My most favorite holiday tradition when I was little was going to visit the Christmas house with my Grandparents. It was so magical and special. Every year it was a different theme. I wish it was still around so I could take my little ones. We have started our own tradition of going to the zoo lights. My kids love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Beaverton Oregon

  16. So sorry to hear about your Bing--many times he made me laugh out loud with what you would write about him!

    My favorite tradition would be going out with my husband and two boys and picking out our Christmas tree. We love doing it and always have hot chocolate when we get back home. I know how fast time goes and I treasure the time I have with them now.

    Thank you and Hickory Farms!!

  17. My favorite Holiday tradition was making sugar cookies with my grandmother...we would make over 1,500 cookies to give away to friends and neighbors. She passed away a few months ago and I miss her so much. I will keep that tradition alive at my house this year. Wish me luck.

  18. My fave holiday tradition is making and decorating sugar & gingerbread cookies :)
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  19. Having grown up in a military town, I have sent many care packages to our service men and women stationed abroad. However, my favorite memory is making carmel corn with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. i still give friends carmel corn for Christmas!

  20. Our favorite tradition is baking cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa, my kids love it!

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. When I married my husbands parents were dead. We made our own memories and had kids. Our holidays are with our kids. That means more than gifts.

  23. We always get new pajamas on Christmas Eve.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

  24. My favorite Christmas tradition is going caroling with my family and relatives on Christmas Eve. It's always a great time! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

  25. I tweeted :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

  26. i am sorry to hear of you loss! one thing that stands out to me is that we had a cat growing up, and he would climb the tree! i love the memories of trimming the tree!

    judy gardner greensboro, nc

  27. My favorite memories were making cookies and goodies while listening to Christmas songs and singing along! Hickory Farms has always been a part of the holiday goodies for me. Sadly there is no money in the budget for luxuries anymore, but I sure do miss a plateful of sliced Beef Summer Sausage and Smoked Cheddar Cheese! I have tried other (cheaper) brands and didn't like them at all. A least I still have the memories!
    Tucson, AZ

  28. My favorite holiday tradition is just being with my family. We are usually so busy, so it is nice to just be together.

  29. I liked our holiday tradition where we string popcorn & put on christmas tree together

  30. i tweeted:
    coupon.artis @ gmail dot com
    Las Cruces, N.M.

  31. My favorite holiday tradition is to take the kids caroling in the neighborhood
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net


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