The Happy Holidays Contest – Your Chance to Win $100 For You and Your Favorite Charity!

The Happy Holidays ContestWin a $100 for Submitting Your Holiday Tip to The Burns Real Estate Group!

We Will Make a $100 Donation to Your Favorite Charity Too!

Everyone is invited to share great holiday tips to help all of us get through this fast-paced season.  The winner will receive a $100  gift card, and the runner up will win a  holiday gift basket including coupons and gift cards to get you through the holiday season!  The Burns Real Estate Group will also make a donation to the winner’s favorite charity. Your chance to win starts November 10!

Share Your Tales of Turkeys, Secret Ingredients and More!

Everyone has a  great tip or two for handling the stresses of the holidays, and we hope that  holding this contest will be an incentive for sharing those  ideas.  Perhaps you have a tip about how to have a great holiday party, a secret recipe, even a lesson learned  from a turkey gone wrong!  Everyone wins in this contest:

  • Let's Talk Turkey!We all get to read and share ideas.
  • Someone enjoys some extra cash ($100!).
  • A great holiday gift basket including a gift certificate for a free haircut  by hair stylist Megan Cornell will be given away.
  • A deserving charity receives a donation.
  • And someone gets bragging rights! Storrs Commitment Year Round

With our continuing committment to the Storrs , Mansfield, Coventry, Tolland, Columbia, Hebron, Glastonbury, SouthWindsor and Manchester areas and all the communities surrounding these towns, Tom and I wanted to be sure this contest included a donation to a charity.  We are strong supporters and advocates of those with disabilities and caregivers who often devote much of their lives to help and care for their loved ones.  We also support a number of local and statewide charities as well as youth sports, school organizations and community events like the Mansfield CT Festival on the Green.  Last year, The Burns Real Estate Group ran a successful food drive during the holidays and we will again be making donations to the local Connecticut food bank this holiday season.

How to Enter for Your Chance to Win

In order to participate in The Happy Holidays Contest,  please leave your best holiday tip in the comments below.  You can also call Tom or me to stop by our office and drop off your entry.  Our office, located at 1066 Storrs Road in Storrs CT,  is open by appointment – so  please call ahead at 860-429-2853 before dropping off your entry or food bank donation. (We’re often out of the office meeting clients and showing properties!)

  • Comment Below to EnterSubmit your tip, recipe or story as a comment below.
  • Enter as often as you like, submitting each in a new comment.
  • On the shy side? Call us at 860-429-2853  and I will submit it for you,  send me an email at, or you can drop off your submission at our Storrs office.
  • The winner and one runner-up will be selected on  Monday, December 28th.

The best tips will be selected by The Burns Real Estate Group and two additional judges.

Happy Holidays to everyone…please enter often and have fun!
– Tom and Elaine Burns

20 thoughts on “The Happy Holidays Contest – Your Chance to Win $100 For You and Your Favorite Charity!

  1. Have each guest bring their favorite dish; this way your guest are personally involved and it doesn’t make for an difficult evening for yourself.

  2. Play a game as part of our evening. Select a word, and let everyone know the word as they arrive. Give everyone 5 stickers. If you get someone to say the word, you take their sticker. Whoever has the most stickers at the end of the night wins a prize.

  3. How to Have the Best Holiday:
    One of the most important tips I ever learned is that your family would rather have you spend time with them on holidays instead of you slaving away by yourself at a holiday meal all day. There are lots of ways to reduce your work load, increase your family time, and have a great meal too. Keep it simple, ask for help from your family and most of all, enjoy yourself and time with your loved ones! Holidays with family don’t last forever, and should be cherished, not stressed over.

  4. Last year we went to Old Sturbridge Village, MA for Thanksgiving Day and it was so awesome we are repeating it again this year! It was a great way to spend the holiday! Last year we had a great dinner at the Publick House, at Sturbridge, after strolling in the park. This year we will have the Thanksgiving dinner at the OSV. It is beautiful!

  5. My mom cooks the best turkey by soaking the bird for a couple of days in wine before cooking it. Then, she decorates it with canned fruits: pineapple, cherries, peaches, etc. It looks beautiful, very festive, and it tastes wonderful!

  6. This tip came in from Heather McDonald:
    Always remember to double check the ends of the Christmas lights before hanging them – you don’t want to have to restring your house because the end in your hand can’t plug in!

  7. Shop the clearance sales throughout the year so that you can have an Emergency Present stash so you’re not caught empty handed for that unexpected gift-bearer.

  8. I feel everyday should be Christmas, we should always be kind help the elderly, poor and sick. Have that extra smile and carry it with you, have a listening ear for the person struggling you can make a difference in a life. Potluck is the greatest it makes everyone attending a part of the ocassion and its always a great conversation on the creativeness of the meals and all the goodies for the holidays, also love spread it around.

  9. Laughter holiday story my daughter and I and the two twins were getting the turkey ready for dressing, we asked one of the twins to get the windex and start getting the house ready well!!!!!!! always trying to keep the family involved in the choires that come wth christmas when we were not looking he sprayed the turkey down with windex thinking I will clean this turkey real well. Oh my God my daughter and I were in awe what are we going to do on Christmas without a turkey we raced and starting washing it down and had to save this Turkey. We had no choice we dressed it served it and ate it. Well none of the guests knew. My daughter Mindy and I would just laugh every time we looked at one another praying that no one would get sick. This story has stayed with us every holiday the twins Robert & Nick are now 15. Laughter can get you through some precious moments. Love to my family Happy Holidays

  10. Holiday Pretzels
    1 Bag small pretzels
    1 Bag hershey Kisses
    1 Bag M&M
    Pre Heat Oven to: 150 degrees
    Place pretzels in a single layer on a cookie tray. Top each pretzel with a hershey kiss. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the chocolate is soft but not completley melted. Remove from over and place an M&M in the center of each kiss and press lightly down. Allow to cool…serve and enjoy.

  11. Favorite Christmas recipe, you say? This one has been served for the last 15 years- always a favorite!!
    Gingerbread Trifle (With Lemon Cream and Cherry Sauce) Recipe #228844
    Been making this one since 1997 when it first made its appearance in BH&G Holiday Cooking.
    by Julie B’s Hive

    40 min | 40 min prep

    SERVES 10

    * 1 (14 ounce) package gingerbread mix


    * 1/2 cup brown sugar
    * 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
    * 1 1/2 cups frozen pitted tart cherries
    * 1 (29 ounce) can pears, drained and sliced


    * 1 cup whipping cream
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * 1 cup purchased prepared lemon pudding

    1. Make gingerbread according to directions. When cool enough to handle cut into 1-in cubes.
    2. MAKE CHERRY SAUCE: combine brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Stir in cranberry juice cocktail. Add frozen cherries. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly then cook an additional 2 minutes. Cover and cool without stirring. NOTE: this mixture can be made up to three days ahead, covered and refrigerated until needed.
    4. Beat whipping cream and vanilla just till soft peaks form. Fold in lemon pudding. Stir gently until combined.
    5. TO ASSEMBLE:.
    6. Spoon 1/3 the lemon cream into a trifle dish. Add 1/3 the cherry sauce. Top with half the pears and 1/2 the gingerbread.
    7. Repeat this layer once and top with remaining 1/3 cherry sauce.
    8. Keep refrigerated.

    I usually use more of the lemon creme mixture to be generous. It’s easy, looks great, and taste delicious.
    Merry Christmas!

  12. This Rcipe was submitted by Kim Kamm!

    Potato Filling (A Pennsylvania Dutch Treat) – Delicious!

    4 or 5 fairly large potatoes
    1 cup diced celery
    1//2 cup diced onion
    1/4 lb of butter
    4 slices of bread (cubed)
    1 or 2 eggs

    Pare potatoes, cut, and cover with water and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
    Boil until soft. Saute celery and onion in 1/4 lb of butter until slightly
    soft. Add cubed bread and steam together. Cover pan (you can moisten the
    bread with slight amount of water from potatoes).
    Drain liquid from potatoes (save some of the water). Add sautéed celery,
    onions, bread. Mix well. If too stiff, add some of the potato water you
    saved. Put in 11/2 quart greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 30
    minutes or until brown. (Before putting in oven, put slices of butter –
    about 1 tablespoon – on top of mixture).

  13. This Holiday Story was submitted by Beverly German.

    “One of my fondest holiday memories that I would like to share with you now”

    Two Christmas’s ago, my son was the President of our Lake Association. It was at the December Board Meeting that a vote was passed by a “Board of Scrooges”, to put a lien on a neighbor’s home, for delinquent Association dues. We did not know the lady personally, but had heard stories of her misfortune. She had recently lost her husband to cancer, her home burned to the ground, and she was a single parent with 3 young children, and very little disposable income, living in a makeshift trailer.

    My son, Christopher, pleaded with the Board to delay any property liens until the Christmas season had passed. The Board remained unmoved at his Christian ideals. With lien paperwork ready to go, the Board voted that the lien be placed on her property December 23rd! Since he could not reverse the Board’s vote, (Presidents have no vote) he decided to take the matter into his own hands. He immediately began contacting vendors for donations. He got insulation for her trailer donated by Home Depot, a turkey was donated by Stop and Shop, and food donations were made by various neighbors who had heard of his good deed. A local contractor volunteered to install the insulation and make any immediate repairs the trailer needed, to insure a warm safe Christmas for her and her family. Age appropriate toys and gifts were donated for the whole family and a “secret Santa” even paid the arrears lien! Food, neighbors and toys all were packed, ear muff to ear muff, into a big, open bed truck. As we drove up the hill to her home, jingle bells were jingling and carolers were singing, as we slowly pulled into her driveway. A procession of about 20 people, like ants in a row, marched up her frozen, snow covered path with boxes, bags and Christmas stocking, loudly singing, “We Wish You a Merry Chritstmas”. As we all attemepted to pack ourselves into her tiny trailer to dispense our gifts; her surprised face brought tears and smiles to all in the room. At that moment, my son turned to me and with a big warm hug, said, “Mom, this is my best Christmas ever”. The warm glow of the kind hearted deed followed me for weeks, and gave me yet another reason to be proud and happy with the kind of man my son had turned out to be.
    May you and yours feel the love and warmth that I have known this holiday season”.

  14. This Holiday tip came from John Peskin!

    “Best tip others love, is I get 12 Reeses Peanut Butter Cup (packages), the cost is a whopping $29! I individually wrap and bow the 12. Put under the tree. Voila. 12 instant gifts, others who are on a budget should try!”

  15. This recipe was submitted by Jill Harvey

    Pecan Dainties

    1 egg white
    dash salt
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups pecan halves

    Beat the egg white with salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar in 2 additions, beating lightly after each. Stir in nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove immediately and cool on rack. Makes about 3 dozen and freezes well.

  16. Sent in by Judy Defresne –

    Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies
    In case anyone is looking for some Christmas Cookie recipes – you might like this one

    Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

    1 cup of water
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup of sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup or brown sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 cup nuts
    2 cups of dried fruit
    1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

    Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, Check the Cuervoagain, to be sure it is of the highest quality, Pour one level cup and drink.

    Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter In a large fluffy bowl.

    Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it’s best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another Cup just in case.

    Turn off the mixerer thingy.

    Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup Of dried fruit.

    Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

    Mix on the turner.

    If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry It loose with a drewscriver.

    Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

    Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves A sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

    Add one table.

    Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can Find.

    Greash the oven.

    Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall Over.

    Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

    Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.

    Cherry Mistmas !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *