Thursday, November 3, 2011

GIVEAWAY(S) !! CAKE, COOKIES & some more!

Those of you who have been reading this blog of mine, for a while, will clearly know my favourite month of any year! It's December! Even though we are just in November and when people are gearing up for Thankgiving, I'm waiting for the day after Thanksgiving so that the FM stations starts playing Christmas Carols 24/7 ! I am waiting for it to snow when I listen to 'I'm dreaming of a White Christmas' since I've always pictured Christmas to be full of snow on evergreens and sloping roofs of houses. Cannot blame me, blame the Christmas cards we get in India ;-)
DSC05168

Anyway, I'm back ,after almost a one month break. So much happened in between. I got back to Minneapolis on 19th October and the very next day we got the keys to our own Condo in Downtown Minneapolis :-) Then the remaining days of October was busy spent packing up, teaching a class of 25 at the same place where I taught before I left for India in July & finally moving to our new place on 28th October. From 28th till yesterday, it was just unpacking and days without internet. I must say, I never missed being online, catching up with my friends because I was so busy planning where to place our new furniture, crockery etc in our brand new home! The only thing that was giving me company was F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I love that show! I really wish they ran forever! :)
Fruit Cake

Now, let's get back to the topic, shall we? Well, some of you have baked it at home beofre and I have baked it many many times including last month for a Magazine shoot. That's the best thing to bake during Christmas.Any guesses what that thing could be? No? It's my Christmas Fruit cake, people! Yes, I am giving away a 6 inch Ria-baked Christmas Fruit Cake for ONE lucky reader of mine! Don't forget to make a claim for it because I can honestly say, that's the best Fruit Cake you will ever ever eat! My Amma, a hater of Fruit Cakes claims it to be the best :-) So that's going to be Giveaway no.1 :-)
The Gingerbread Man!

Hmmm, now since it's gonna be Christmas time and we all since atleast some of us love Gingerbread Man, I'm giving away a dozen of  Ria-baked Gingerbread Man, yes with full decor on them to another ONE lucky reader of mine. That's Giveaway no.2 :-)

IPad cover
                                                        (Photo courtesy -Anu Menon)
So a few months back, Anu and I were chatting away on Twitter and as we discussed life and other things, she asked me if she could join me in my monthly giveaways (which I have not been doing for a while!).I was so happy about the offer and I instantly agreed! As you all know, I am a big fan of everything handmade and all things homemade! Anu knew that and therefore offered me an IPad Crochet cover which she stitched to be given away for my dear readers! How cool is that? Very cool! So that's going to be the Giveaway no. 3 :-)

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For entering the giveaway :
1. Tell me your best memories of Christmas or even the month of December! Is it your wedding anniversary? Is it your birthday? My Grandmother's birthday was on December 25 th! :) Whatever it is, tell me...don't worry, your chances of winning the above mentioned 3 things does NOT depend on the length of your stories, but definitely it's content :) So write away!

2. Like my page on Facebook  and leave another comment saying so, which gives you an extra chance to win! :-) [ I have to get something cleared out here after reading a comment below.This is just for pure fun, this option! You can totally skip it. I had double thoughts while putting this up but went again just to see how many of you actually do that! If it were for me, I wouldn't like a page just because I want to win a cake or a cookie but only if I really like that page's extension on Facebook. For me, in many cases, I never realised that my favourite blogs had a page on Facebook until they mentioned it on their blogs mostly during giveaways! It did help me at many instances because I get to interact with the author directly over their pages on FB :-)So please decide how you want things to be :-)No hard feelings and no way are you gonna lose your chance to win something I am giving away! I am doing this for you and it will always always always be for you, I am not expecting anything in return :-) This is not a camouflage to get more followers :-)  I did think of taking off this option after reading the comment but decided not to do so because I didn't want to sit back and pretend as if I never wrote a thing like that! I hate pretense! :-)]

3. Now,tell me, what would you really like to win! I have to pick 3 winners and I'm  hoping that it would help me :-)

This giveaway is only for the US residents (rather for an address in US, so you can win it for a cousin, friend or even a pet! :-) This giveaway ends on December 10th.

ALL THE BEST!

49 Comments:

Divya Vikram said...

Love! your page on Facebook!!

Divya Vikram said...

I would love to win the Ria-baked famous Christmas cake!!

Divya Vikram said...

Best memories of Christmas back at home - We used to set up the Christmas tree and a crib along with my sisters and cousins. It was a weekend ritual and each person had different duties. We even grew a garden around the crib using mustard seeds. I loved to see it growing bigger each day. My mom used to wrap some lovely presents and place it under the tree. We invited all our friends over on Christmas day and pick a gift and unwrap the gift. Another memory, is waking up at midnight and wearing new clothes and going to church. Miss all those carefree and exciting days!

Shireen Sequeira said...

Hi Ria,

As usual I love your blog & your recipes and yes, your fruit cake has been my favourite too. Planning to soak the fruits in a few days. December is always a special month for me, not just because 'tis the season to be jolly or because I celebrate my birthday, but most importantly my dear cousin celebrates it too on the 8th of Dec. When we were together in Mangalore she was always with me through thick & thin and now she is married, settled in Minnesota & has just had her 3rd baby on Nov 1st! What more, she's a huge fan of your blog as well, so while I know there will be a huge number of people vying for that coveted giveaway, it would be a meaningful gift if I could win it for her. It will be a little something to make her day more special :)

Thank you!

Cheers!
Shireen

PS: I already like you on FB!

Manju said...

Hi Ria,
My best memory of the month of Dec is obviously celebrating our Wedding Anniversary and this year its going be even more special as we have a new little member at home to add to our joys and celebrations!
After our Anniversary comes Christmas and then New Years eve. SO all in all Dec is celebration month for us.

Now if I were given a chance to make a wish , I'd wish to get an IceCream maker this year :-) So thats what I would want to win.

I have 'liked' your facebook page too.

Anu Menon said...

I'd love to win your fruitcake - because it's my hubby's favourite thing in the world during Christmas!!! Last year i was in India and I bought him 2 packs from his favourite store this time maybe i'll get lucky :)

Gopika Ram said...

Heyy Ria.. Welcome back.. Congrats on the brand new Condo!! Wow.. I know how exciting it would feel to arrange, decide and decorate your home :) You have been away only for a month? Really? I felt it was longer.

Anyways, great giveaways dear. I love all three of them. I would love the Ria baked xmas cake for sure. :)

Xmas memories reminds me of my sweet home at tvm during xmas. We used to hang the star early December, wait at night for the little groups of kids/adults coming at night in groups singing the xmas carols and dressed as xmas fathers, drinking wine and eating yummy cake at our neighbors house and roaming around the city to see the decorations. Gosh, this list is not gonna end. I miss home and miss all the fun I had..

Niv Mani said...

December... mixed bag,
on the negative.. lost my dad in this month 9 yrs ago..
The plus part..
My Mom's birthday month & 63 yrs later my son Ishaan comes along to share hers! The best birthday gift I cd have given her to make up for all the 'fruitcakey' stuff i've put her thru!
..I love Fruitcake Ria, Feel free to call me Crazy! Here's my hat tossed into the fruitcake ring!

ANU said...

wow awesome dear...love all the recipes here.....and am already following you!

Nitha said...

Liked your page on facebook... :)

Nitha said...

Thinking of December first thing that comes to my mind is Christmas vacations :) And after coming here to US - Its the snow and all the beautiful decors around..

Nitha said...

Finally... I would like to win the Ria special baked christmas cake :)

Boi Polloi said...

Well, it's not a Christmas memory, but something else. My birthday is December 27th, and was pretty much forgotten as I grew up, because all my friends were on holiday with their families. This meant I really never had a birthday party, not even with my family (it's hard to say that "well, we'll just have cake on Christmas" really counts). It wasn't until recently - now that I'm 37 - that I've been able to actually get people together to celebrate with me - for JUST my Birthday. It's nice to no longer be forgotten, y'know?

Also, those gingerbread men taunt me with their tastiness... :)

miniverghese said...

I clearly feel you have the best blog on the block.Always respected you for your amazing recipes.you do not have to tell us to like your facebook page.I will like it anyways.but by u yourself asking for it,your blog just lost value atleast for me(i know it does not matter to you).i thought you were a class apart.but you too fall in the same category.people will like you blog because it has class,not because you will give them fruit cake or cookies(thats just a camouflage to get more followers)...but you are in such a position that you do not have to do that.I did not expect this from you .all that apart i still love your blog..but little less respect.your well wisher and a person who hates it when someone tells me to follow their blogs or like their facebook page

Arc said...

Congrats on the condo! My fav memories of Dec is that at work people used to jolly and nice! Missing working soo much now that I'm a full time mom

Priya said...

Glad to see u back RIa, beautiful bakes..

Ria Mathew said...

Dear Mini,

Thanks for your honest opinion. I just had to clear what I meant by writing that on my blog :-)Just wanted to make a point here, I am not doing this giveaway as a camouflage to get more readers/followers. I'd rather have honest, quality readers who actually read what I write here than the ones who just directly go to the comment section to leave a comment reading there's a giveaway on the post title!

I have always felt that the people who connect to me through this space has been very supportive & honest and I feel blessed for that, really! I am so much for quality than quantity so my giveaways are definitely not a gig for getting more (read quantity) followers.

Just felt a pinch in my heart when you felt otherwise. All said, I am really happy you told me what you felt, see, I do have quality readers! :)

After reading your comment here, I went across to my FB page just to see what's happening over there and it's so funny to realise that the people who have 'liked' the page there since the last 2 days, 99% of them did not leave a comment here! So you guys, always leaves me surprised! Thanks :-)

-A Satisfied blogger

Karthika said...

Making Kudil, hanging a big star infront before Christmas and Biryani Lunch spread on Christmas Day....

Vats Ams said...

Hey Ria,
Firtly,Congrats for the new house.Buying a home for ownself is a great milestone in one's life. So it must be a truly emotional & very happy moment for you.My hearfelt warm wishes to you.

December is a month which brings lots of childhood memories.After the summer break,it was the next longest vacation for us.So as kids we were always looking forward to it.Also that was the time when we used to play the game "Christmas Friend" between relatives as well as friends.Game is simple....write down the players names in chits & then each of us picks one chit.Whosever name comes in the chit is called secret christmas friend for that person.On the day of Christmas,we secretly give presents to that person.Even though seeing presents make us happy,we also try to find out who gave us the gift.So your giveway announcement brings back those sweet memories of my childhood.(oops...I am getting emotional)This itself is like winning something special.Next big thing for me is that my daughter was born in end of november & entire december was a big roller coaster of emotions & it was during that month I learnt to grow as an adult.
So December is a special month for me always.The decorations around,the music,everything sets the holiday mood.

Thanks for providing this space for letting my memories out.

Vats Ams said...

Oh well.... thats why I would like to win your yummy giveaway.My kids will also jump out of joy like me.

miniverghese said...

Hi Ria
I am sorry, I really did not mean to hurt your feelings.I misunderstood your intentions.I am not a blogger,but Iam a blog junkie,follow a lot of blogs and I have seen how other blogs put up these conditions like...you have to follow my facebook page. you have to follow me on google..you have to leave a comment...( I know its their personal choice) but it angers me. for example if you notice aparna from Diverse kitchen Has just completed 4 years of blogging.which is amazing milestone.but she has just 270 google followers and 500 twitter followers and few very bad blogs have much more than that,thanks to their giveaways,events and conditions.I feel that is unfair.That was the message i was trying to put across.
You could have just told me to mind my own business,but you did not.Thats why you and your blog ...a class apart :)
Carry on the good work Ria,you are meant to do great things in life
mini

Ria Mathew said...

Dear Mini,

Now, there's no need for you to be sorry! Like I said above, there's no hard feelings involved.I got what you meant but I just wanted to clear that out just in case anyone else thought the same :-) I'm sure Aparna will be happy to see what you wrote here :)

My reward comes in when you guys share your thoughts about the recipes you try out from here, when you write to me about your experiences, when you tell me your stories and when you ask me for suggestions to help you out with decorating your kids' birthday cake /your anniversary cake etc. It clearly shows the trust/faith you have in me as a person even though most of us have not met each other!! :D

I just meant this blog to be an online recipe diary, in the beginning! HA! :-) Now,I love where this space is taking me to...simply LOVE it!

Thanks!

-Me.

merlin-spectrum.. said...

Dear Ria,

i wanted to meet u :) but...ur recipes are amazing n too easy to try out...i m spellbound wen i go through ur blog n make it sure to chk evryday n try out new recipes :)))

December is my favorite month because from 1st dec dere is a star at my home n i enjoy it the most :))) den my bday on 3rd, its winter (my favorite season again :D ) and spending my time in kitchen making variety of snacks, cakes, etc etc. for all....n enjoying each n every moment....its all colors whrvr u see...x'mas tree, late nite church, lightings, crackers n all....and the best part is we get cakes as gift wich is mostly plum cakes :D n we keep searching for different flavor cake to eat...x'mas season is the best season :))) its celebration time all around, carol singing all around...Jim Reeves songs playing everywhr...variety of desserts all around...cookies, candies n all the yummy stuff :))))

this time its my first x'mas with my husband :)))

x'mas season wishes for u in advance...Happy Baking my mentor :)) upload the recipe of watever u bake for dis season :)) ur recipe makes smile many ppl all around :)))

Keep Rocking!!

Lots of Love
Merlin Philip

Priti said...

Hi Ria,

I have to say I completely agree with Mini. I would have not brought this up but I was just happy to see someone thinks the same way as I do. Your's is a blog that I read very regularly, I havent missed a single update and love you and ur blog a lot!!! Hugs to u for that!!! :)

I have noticed this 'trend' everywhere on blogs these days...of having giveaways and asking to 'like' the facebook page for entering it and I feel its like a bribe - 'u do this for me and get this in exchange'. Honestly, what's the point in getting fake 'likes' just for a chance to win a book, some cookies or cake. If someone really likes ur blog like I do they'll like ur page without it being a condition just like the 99% people who u liked u in past 2 days without paticipating in the giveaway.

The very fact that Mini and I mention this here shows how ur blog has a special place in our hearts and we feel close enough to u to speak our hearts out, the credit goes to u and we love you for that and most definately 'like' you blog, giveaway or not! :)

I can be excluded from the giveaway, thanks for sharing ur life and recipes with us and please continue to do so, that's the real giveaway from u that we all win everytime and thanks a lot for that!

Ria Mathew said...

Hello Priti,

Thanks :) Why do you want to be excluded from the giveaway? Is it because you don't live in US or is it because you think I wouldn't include you in the giveaway for what you shared with me? :)

Boy! Am I glad I gave you all that option? YES! :-)

-Me.

Justbeanme said...

Oh boy ..This is the season of giving and i feel this is the best season for doing giveaways.Seriously nothing is free in this world and if it is then its not worth it!! Except the free natural things :) We should appreciate when someone takes the pain to make goodies for someone unknown who is linked in very special way -A blog ,instead of seeing the negative in it!!Is there really anything negative in it!!I have personally met Ria and i find her too humble for the talent she carries!! and as a reader love to hear from her always and really appreciated when she was back home just for fun... she still remembered to feed her blog!!! I dont know how fan force will increase with a giveaway, the followers or the FB friends or the one's who already like the page will know abt the giveaways rgt??It is the word of mouth which will bring readers to the blog and if they love the stuff no one can dare to stop them from liking it!!! Among the 1000 plus followers only three get to get the goodies!! So it just for fun!! Dec is the season of giving love joys and goodies to the known n unknown!!Ria keep up the good work!!I followed u after i saw wht stuff in this blog and the beautifully done props and pictures and after meeting u in person i am speechless!! Girl this is getting too emotional now!! Stopping here!!
BTW i will buy a ipad 2 just for the pouch and will be always jealous of the one who wins the cake!! :) Our Christmas was always about to find ways to abstract money from our parents and use the same money to buy them gifts :),i rem we three sisters used to tell lies about new projects in school and get the money from them.Now also that habit has not died... as now i dont have job, i tell stories to hubby dear and then surprise him with a gift!!Love seeing her reaction and of-course i eagerly wait for wht he has for me n the twins!!Ria how can i get the cake.... i actually was thinking to wait untill the last date and post my memories after reading others :)(then it wont be mine memories rgt, whatever i would have increased my chances to win, he-he just kidding!!)
i couldn't resist so i say it out-loud-!! I want to win it , i want to win it-In an adamant tone here!!!
I wann it, I wann it-Like a 1 yr old baby!
Or i am a Tiramisu here-Pick me up

Priti said...

Hey Ria,

Thanks for everything. I shall opt out from the giveaway because I was not going to participate in it I just happened to read the comments as I thought it would be interesting to read different memories associated with Christmas and Mini's comment touched a cord.

Justbeanme,

I might not know Ria personally but have been knowing her through this blog long enough to know how talented yet humble she is and we all love her for that! I also agree with you that 'nothing is free in this world' - in the blogosphere the 'give' and 'get' is purely love and passion for the art of cooking/baking from the giver and the receiver. It is something difficult to explain but can be easily felt. However, when it starts taking a ugly turn as in some cases where the love is demanded and becomes a 'condition' than an option for a giveaway things lose their very purpose. I also believe that Ria does not need to and didnt mean to be like some others who would host giveaway for personal means but I felt like telling her what's happening these days only because I felt she would really understand and take it positively and I am glad she did because my love and admiration for her has increased far more than before and by bringing up this issue we just cleared something which others might have not brought out but would have had in their minds.

msn said...

We spend Christmas in Lake tahoe, CA every year and I have a lot of beautiful memories ! I love watching the snowfall ,drinking my hot cup of tea with Christmas songs playing softly in the background,while everybody else is sleeping soundly after a long day of skiing. I love making yummy pancakes and hot chocolate for my family when they wake up. I love making snowman with my kids and using all kinds of crazy stuff to decorate it with. I love the look on my kids faces when they see that Santa knows where they r staying in Tahoe and have left them gifts. I love everything about christmas!!! and cant wait for December to come!

msn said...

My husband loves fruit cake(and so do I) , and hence I would love to win that!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Even though I am of a different faith, one month I so look forward to is December...Cause its the season for giving and getting --
Most of all its the joy of being one with the holiday spirit- Lighted trees and Jingle bells songs..Checking out the glorious Christmas tree at Rockefeller center in NYC while people down below on the rink are skating along.. Snow-capped houses and snow-topped trees that makes one think its a winter wonderland.. Lighted Christmas trees by the windows and with angels perched high above, that makes one hope and believe that everything is quite all-right with the world -- These are a few of my favorite things about Christmas/December. Its magical!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

I am a fan of your FB fanpage for a long time now. :)

Cool Lassi(e) said...

I am not very picky. I like all that is offered. He he..

Deepa said...

Hey..i was waiting for ur updates..glad u are back.My fav thing about X'mas has to be the carols,the weather and lastly its the christmas spirit.
I have tried a good christmas cake from Mishmash and its really good..so i would like to try ur cake to compare...Hope i win!!

anN-series said...

Hi Ria,

I have been following your blog for quite sometime now. I really like your writing style and of course the food featured here.

December for me (or my whole family) is special because of my niece. All our family members were awaiting the birth of our niece..she was (and still is) so special that we had thought of her name even before the sex of the baby was confirmed. my sister hoped that she would be born on 24/25 dec...however she came 10 days ahead of schedule. she had to be kept in an incubator because she was extremely tiny to withstand the dutch winter. the whole family was worried abt her, especially wen after a few days my sister was discharged and the baby wasnt. finally it was on 24 Dec eve that Isabel came home for the first time...so she became a Christmas baby (well...in a way :P)

this Christmas will be special as it will be my first christmas with my boyfriend as 'husband and wife'.. :D

so thats my christmas story...sorry it was extremely long..looking fwd to ur christmas recipies... :)

Justbeanme said...

I stumbled on Ria's blog a year back only and I met Ria only because of her blogging skills :),BTW i wanted to meet this someone very badly because of the way she writes,clicks and makes things and the talents this young girl carried and i have never seen her being rude!!!She is in the city were i stay so it was easy :)
And yes after i saw two comments i just reacted to say she wont have that ugly part of give and take business :),just like u guys reacted to THE GIVEAWAY thinking she might BE like others( i guess her reply in a way proved that she is not) ,so dear blog readers i too reacted saying "No she is different"!!!.
She really has the best bunch of readers :).She is not a friend friend of mine,she is way younger to me, i met her becox i wanted to meet this so called blogger!Anyways....i only reacted as reader and i too am not a blogger and read only few quality blogs!!sorry if my words were rude!! This is the season of joys... Lets celebrate

vineetha said...

Have been checking ur blog every now and then for updates afer ur previous posts,just wanted to know if there is anymore news from Kannur,good to see u back again ..

Ann Crystal said...

One of my fondest Christmas memory is the first Christmas I celebrated after moving to the US. Loved the snow and all other Christmas fun here.

Would love to get the fruit cake!

nina matthew said...

my fondest memory in december was when i adopted my little girl and brought her home for the first time....i don't know who gave birth to her or when she was born but i am so glad that a little angel entered our life on that wonderful day...so i ll never ever forget 17th Dec 2009 11;00am....

swoop said...

2 years ago in Dec one day i saw my dad s eyes being puffy ...checked him and he had pedal edema too....being a doctor i know, that its not normal and got him checked out thoroughly and we diagnosed him with an impending renal failure and at that stage with just medications and without dialysis , he got well in 6 months...that was the day when dad told me he s proud of me and that was the day i decided i had to make him happy and that he should see me married and i agreed to get married ad today i m in the US and i m a housewife...i no longer work as a doctor...no longer save lives...but i m content that i did something for my dad and thats why its such an important day for me

Jayz said...

Dear Ria,
Would love to share my memories of december with you,as its the favourite month of the year for me.
Starting from the 1st of december i would have a christmassy air around me and i love the excitement and anticipation building up to the christmas day.
Besides the homemade wine,rich plumcakes,gifts and the sound of carols in the air,my most fav thing ought to be the decorating part.It was just my job and i'd happily put up the crib,the stars and oh my favourite.. the christmas tree with the delicate trinkets and stuff that i so carefully chose.I did this, year after year all by myself besides my big brothers snide remarks like "dont u realize that nobody hardy notices??"..duh..there no SANTA!!" :) well that sums up christmas for me.

Magpie said...

OOoh gingerbread cookies baked by you! Count me in! December is my favourite month too! Apart from Christmas its my wedding anniversary and the little monkey's birthday time too :)
Hope you are all settled in your new home Ria SO want to see it!

Mamalicious said...

Hi Ria, reading your post made me feel nostalgic. It brought back so many memories of X'mas at home. Home decorations, X'mas trees and making the huge star from scratch.. Carolling around the village, X'mas program at the village club.. so much.My dad's b'day is on X'mas day too, so its always been doubly special for us. We would celebrate midnight mass in this quaint little chapel on the hill after which we all had a fellowship with coffee and cake. Then next few days were spent partying at home with friends and family.. amazing times :). I really miss those times, but thank you for making me remember. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy season ahead!

Mamalicious said...

I have been following your FB page for awhile now :)

Nisha S. said...

Awwwwww, it's so nice of you to write that clarification.
Just goes to show how pure your intentions are & how honest & humble you as a person are. Kudos.

Arc said...

Dear Ria,

Just read the comments on your post. I too agree with Mini and the other comment on "like" in FB. I don't log on much to FB as I am a busy mom and I do think FB and Twitter to be a waste of my time. I do love your blog and I would read it without any incentive as I enjoy it. I have tried a few recipes from your blog and have loved. Thanks for taking out the time and doing blogging. I don't "follow" blogs as in I don't subscribe to feeds but I do frequent my fav blogs .. and yours being on of them. I too am from Kerala residing in US and it gives me immense pleasure to see a fellow mallu doing well.

I know that I have already left a comment and probably have very little chance of winning the giveaway...but your christmas cake is soo tempting..reminds me of my home..kochi.

Thanks a bunch & Merry Christmas to you!

swathi said...

just the festivities around make december special,having my daughter at home and its for them that i would like to win what im not so good at doing.

vineetha said...

My best memory of December is my school days.In our school before Christmas we used to pick a Christmas friend like a draw in each class and every one gets a friend which is kept as secret until the Christmas day celebration at school,till that time we write letters anonymously to make our friend go crazy and to confuse them and at the end we give a gift to that friend,it was fun.Missing those good old days.

Blessy said...

My best memories are the Christmas Carols we used to sing at school half way from November onwards. I loved it :) Also I remember creating the huge Christmas tree @ school. Loved it :) Above all, its the birthday of my SAVIOR .....

Blessy said...

Congratzz on the Pachakarani title and also on the latest publication in Vanitha.... Made your 'Chatti Pathiri' recipe for a gathering and got rave reviews. Thanks a ton and Happy Christmas to you ...

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