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Permission to Cheat on Holiday Cookies and Other Allowances and a $200 Giveaway

 This post is sponsored by RetailMeNot. All of the holiday allowances in this post help save time and cushion my sanity to preserve this season so that I’m enjoying it rather than scrambling to perform in it. They also happen to include savings from Retail Me Not so that my wallet gets cushioned too.

“I’m all ready for the holidays and there’s nothing for me to do except sit back and listen to Bing Crosby on repeat until December 25″…said no one ever. December can be an ironic month for many–the intention to gather, slow down and enjoy our bounty can often just create pressure that makes us feel stretched, stressed and anything but bountiful.

I, of course, don’t hide the fact that I love this time of year. We create bucket lists, plan holiday adventures and get dizzy with excitement over parties and decorating and watching loved ones to open gifts that we put our hearts into. But I wouldn’t enjoy it if my expectations didn’t come with the cushion of allowances I give myself–to simplify where I can and use as many resources available so that celebrating the season doesn’t mean stretching ourselves thin or feeling guilty for what we did or didn’t do.

Whether it’s scratching the homemade meal you planned and ordering pizza instead for Polar-Express-and-living-room-fort night or laughing at the fact that you never found the time to finish the homemade gift you planned for your sister so you ordered her those red shoes she’s had her eye on instead (20% off though, so yay!), RetailMeNot basically serves as the hubbub of savings for you this season with thousands of coupons, deals, cash back offers (that can be combined with codes!) and discount e-gift cards. Instead of rummaging through old mail for that pizza coupon you may have saved or scrolling through e-mails for holiday deal offers, RetailMeNot puts all the best deals and savings out there in one easy-to-find spot. We used deals we found on RetailMeNot for all of these holiday allowances this year:

1. Permission to knock off both “Decorate a Gingerbread House” and “Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza” with a pack of store bought gingersnaps and some candy. 

Pssttt: here’s a little tip. World Market has these dangerously delicious gingersnaps that serve as the perfect blank canvases for frosting and sprinkles. They also have the best pack of Christmas cookie candies I’ve found, all packaged in one easy-to-store container.

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While we love baking cookies, not everyone does–not to mention the mess. So if you’re looking for a cookie cheat, this is the perfect solution. RetailMeNot has several current offers for World Market right now from food (so many great specialty holiday food items there!) to gifts.

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2. Permission to order out as many nights as you please in December.

Hear ye, hear ye: If you have fed your family from January to November and they’re all still standing, your job is done. You put in your time, you did your deed, here’s your gold star. They just enjoyed the most extravagant spread of food for the year on Thanksgiving, they’ll be fine with whatever from here on out. This month, you have the freedom to order pizza, subs, sushi and count them all as “special holiday meals.” In fact, let the kids eat on T.V. trays while watching Home Alone–they’ll love it.

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We never remember to keep the coupons in our mail-outs for local restaurants, so we use RetailMeNot to find great food deals…like 25% off for Papa Johns the other night.

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3. Permission to be a sentimental heap at the holidays. Oh, this one’s hard for me–I always feel like I have to rein in the feels because mine are wild stallions. Whoa, horsey! But, you know what? It’s the holidays, and if I want to roll into a fetal position and cry it out at the ending of Family Stone or go all mushy gushy over the Hallmark ornaments that remind me of my kids’ first Christmases, then so be it.

(little Goodnight Moon…Nella’s pick at the Hallmark store with a $5-off-$10-purchase code we found on RetailMeNot)

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I have a heart, and I intend to let it bleed all the emotions this holiday.

4. Permission to celebrate however you like.

Don’t like telling your kids the whole Santa story? Very well then. Take Santa to the moon? Very well then too. Elf on the Shelf stresses you out? Honey, you’re in good company. Two hours of Elf on a Shelf preparation for the lego tower in the shape of the Empire State building you made him build last night? High five, you go girl. There are so many ways to celebrate the season and opportunities for both wonder and imagination as well as simplicity and gratitude. You find what works best for your family, what draws you together, what makes you come alive, what aligns with your values and your beliefs. This season is about love, and whether or not you sprinkle magic glitter all over it really doesn’t matter. Each of our traditions are unique and tell a different story, and that’s what makes the holidays so colorful. No matter what my neighbor believes or how many holiday ideas I read about online, I give myself permission to create our own family memories in the language of love we speak.

Ours happens to come with a side of glitter.

(The kids fell in love with this teeny tiny bottle of magic reindeer dust, another Hallmark deal on RetailMeNot).
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5. Permission to not get the most thoughtful/unique/homemade/perfect gift. 

Listen, I love to find unique “Wow!” gifts just as much as the next person, but that puts a lot of pressure on the giver, and sometimes receivers aren’t into handmade pottery mugs like I am. There’s nothing wrong with an easy click-to-buy gift card. I buy gift cards for my nieces because I was a teen girl once and know that shopping for makeup in Sephora at that age with money that isn’t earmarked for books/gas/paying your mom back is the golden ticket. And we buy gift cards for teachers because I was a teacher once and know that a go-buy-something-fun-that’s-not-related-to-your-classroom nudge is a huge hug from parents. RetailMeNot has a large collection of discounted e-gift cards that you can send to loved ones far away without facing the post office, or you can print off and creatively package for someone near.

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And now that you’ve given yourself permission to enjoy these holidays in whatever fashion works for you, here’s a little bonus gift from our friends at RetailMeNot: They’re offering $200 to one lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, click here to sign up for RetailMeNot, browse their website and comment back on this post with the deal you’re excited to use for holiday shopping this year!

You can download the RetailMeNot app to save on everything, and when you snag a great deal, share your savings on social media with #DealBrag.

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Now I’m going to give myself permission to lie on my couch for twenty minutes and finish this book I’ve reading.


Leave a Comment
  1. My son’s birthday is Nov. 28, i.e. right before the Christmas season starts, and as a nod to both that year’s birthday AND Christmas, every year in early December, we go to the mall, take pictures with Santa, then go into the Hallmark store right across from him, and pick up the adorably decorated number ornament that corresponds to his age each Christmas. This year it’ll be 5! So I’m excited to use the Hallmark coupon this year. 😊

  2. I never buy anything online without checking RetailMeNot first! I was nodding my head on the Papa John’s discount code. Between the Papa John’s offers codes we use and racking up reward points on their app, we get great deals and sometimes free pizza for those crazy nights. RetailMeNot and ebates are my always-use-when-ordering-online websites!!!

  3. I really love their Shutterfly deals for holiday cards

  4. Probably the Talbots or also Target- $5 off $50! Sounds good to me!

  5. Is too many to name a legit answer? Love RetailMeNot for shopping and dining!

  6. Heather Boyd says:

    I am excited to use the 10% off deal for World Market so I can get some of those adorable holiday gingersnaps and the decorating kit!

  7. signed up & totally gonna put the American eagle & toys r us discounts to good use asap!

  8. I’ll be using the 15% off deal at Cole Haan to get my husband some shoes he’s been eyeing, and I’m on the hunt for princess dresses for the dress up station we’re making for our nieces for Christmas, so I’m sure I’ll find a deal on those too!

  9. I’m excited to use Lowes and Wayfair deals for our home renovation that’s my Christmas gift this year!

  10. margaret lyons says:

    Looking forward to using the Target deal!

  11. I LOVE your level of holiday spirit!! Love it!! Target is one of my favorites for holiday shopping and the other 364 days. Cheers!

  12. i could use the Target $5 off of $50!

  13. I’ve use RetailMeNot for years, but didn’t know about gift cards. Genius! I’ m ordering these right away! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Lindsay Kearns says:

    I’m excited to use the Target coupon for $5 off of $50 to go nuts in their “stocking stuffer” aisle. I have three little boys who, like their mama, adore all things mini, and putting together their stockings is among my favorite Christmas activities. SO glad to see your family is indulging in all the festiveness of the season without heaping on the extra stress of doing it all “perfectly”.

  15. Laurie A Bailey says:

    Love the Bath and Body works deals on Retail me not!

  16. Lauren Zeigler says:

    I would use as many of the HSN coupons that the site would allow!
    They have some really good deals this time of year.

  17. I have been wanting a new pair of boots and the LL Bean cash back reward would be great for that.

  18. I signed up! And now I am filling up my cart at Vera Bradley for 30% off!

  19. 25% off Fossil!

  20. JessicA Bell says:

    I’ll definitely be going to World Market to get some of the gingerbread cookies and using the coupon on Retail me not!

  21. Restuarant deals!

  22. wendy greenspan says:

    love the amazon shopping – wide variety of things to buy
    happy holidays

  23. Thanks for the invitation to join RetailMeNot…just saw a coupon for a camera at Kohls that will be perfect for my sweet grand daughter

  24. Blue Apron is always a good one! Love that retail me not has it on there!

  25. Cristy Mullin says:

    I LOVE RETAILMENOT! I use it often for Kohls and always check it out when stocking up on kids clothes at stores like Old Navy!

  26. Ooh that Hallmark deal is fantastic for those little holiday themed treats! Can’t wait to take my son to find a little special something! :)

  27. Definitely Target and gift cards!!!!

  28. I will most definitely be using the Target 30% off plus free shipping. My goal is to do all my Christmas shopping online this year.

  29. I’m wanting all the things at Plow and Hearth, so $15 back from them would be great!

  30. Michelle W says:

    I love the 30% off Target home goods. Such good stuff.

  31. Dana Rodriguez says:

    I love the Victoria’s Secret Bra, Panty & Lingerie Bag Bundle for $55. I always check RetailMeNot for codes!

  32. Coupon coding my way to some cheaper holiday cards. Yes, please and thank you Shutterfly.

  33. Crystal Kupper says:

    Half off at Domino’s pizza, woohoo!

  34. Carol borchardt says:

    Love RetailMeNot! How did I not already know about the gift card deals? Super excited about the Alamo Drafthouse cards!

  35. 70% Off 12 Days of Deals Amazon Sale is my go too!!!!!

  36. I am most excited to use the Up to 20% Off & Free Shipping $200+ at World Market, I always find great gifts there!

  37. Rebecca M says:

    Toy R us would be so helpful!

  38. Kristin A. says:

    I try to always search for coupon codes when shopping online and have scored some pretty good ones in the past thanks to RetailMeNot. As I was scrolling through just now I found a cash back offer for Home Depot. We’ve got a lot of home projects going on right now, so that one is quite intriguing. Thanks for the chance to win!

  39. Jennifer S. says:

    ohhhhh, gotta always go with Target first! And I might finally try Blue Apron.

  40. Susanna Austin says:

    I’ll totally be doing the $5 off $10+ at Hallmark deal! Thank you for mentioning it! I love Retailmenot and always check it!

  41. I like the Up to 20% Off & Free Shipping $200+ at Cost Plus market – they have so many wonderful gift ideas.

  42. Definitely the Target coupon!!

  43. Cash back on gift cards?! You just made my Christmas shopping dreams come true.

  44. I always check Retail Me Not before my shopping trips both on line and in store. My favorite coupons there are Kohl’s. I can stack them and often there is free shipping and I can do better than going into the store. Such a time saver.

  45. I just browsed and plan to use it at LL Bean to knock off a few items on my Mom’s wish list!

  46. Lisa Brown says:

    I am excited to use the Kohl’s 25% Off + Double Points deal for holiday shopping.
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  47. I am going to use the Alex and Ani deal for my mother. It is almost as if every piece is already personalized!

  48. 50% Off AEO deft going to use for christmas shopping 🎅🎅🎅


  49. Heather S says:

    I like the 20% off small appliance coupon at Best Buy. Thank you for always sharing such great content.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    With a 7 year old, 23 month old, and 8 month old I will definitely put the Papa John’s coupon to use! Haha I try to feed them lovely homemade meals most of the time….but on a busy weeknight olives count as a vegetable right :) Merry Christmas!

  51. I’d love the 20% off the world market deal.

  52. Already love retailmenot and what could be better than using it for a deal at Target!

  53. Catherine Hanlon says:

    25% off at Kohls !!!!!

  54. Lots of deals but I like the target deal

  55. JEN hARMAN says:

    Well my eyes are always drawn to the clothing stores I like, and although that makes me feel a tad guilty, I am creating a rock star Christmas for my family of 6, so what about me?? I have my eye on a cute, cute parka from American Eagle! Fingers crossed!

  56. Kristin Goodson says:

    I like the Victoria’s Secret deal of 50% off select Pink apparel.

  57. Janelle K says:


  58. Ticketmaster! Concerts, plays, sports… can’t go wrong!!!

  59. I have a baby shower gift to buy for an out-of-state baby shower so the $10 cash back on $80 online purchase for Babies R Us will be a great savings.

  60. Mindy mercurio says:

    Buying stocking stuffers at world market!!

  61. Emily Smith says:

    I’m excited to use the stackable discount codes on toys at Kohl’s. I’m hoping to finish my gift shopping this weekend.

  62. I am excited for the 20% off deal at Macy’s.

  63. Janelle Vanderveen says:

    So many GREAT options! Probably Toys R Us as I prepare for baby #1!

  64. Oh Minted! So perfect right now for me!

  65. I am excited for the 25% off deal at Kohl’s!

  66. I use RetailMeNot every time I go shopping. I already have the app and love that it alerts me about the sales, discounts and coupons as soon as I walk into a store as well as surrounding stores in the area. Just this weekend, I used my 20% from RetailMeNot for Kohls. Awesome!

  67. Loving the target deal most excited to shop for our kids.

  68. manda shank says:

    I like the current overstock deal.

  69. BestBuy has 20% the Kindle Fire 8G. Husband wants one, and might be able to get it with this deal!

  70. Monica street says:

    I’m a Kohl’s freak so I’m constantly checking to see if there are any coupon codes out. ALWAYS.

  71. This is going to be so helpful when I’m shopping for my schoolbooks at Barnes and Noble!

  72. I like the 50% off photo cards and stationary deal at Walgreens. This is great for the holidays.

  73. already a retailmenot member, i’m liking the CVS $20 off $40 offer

  74. the pottery barn discount is my favorite

  75. I’m so excited for the barnes and noble deal!

  76. I would use the $20 off $100 at Dick’s Sporting Goods!

  77. excited to use Old Navy’s deal!

  78. Pottery Barn for sure!

  79. I just signed up!! I would use the Kohls 25% off!

  80. i love this post! your permission posts are absolutely wonderful. i really needed to hear that “if you’ve fed your family from january to november” bit. thank you, thank you, and merry christmas too!

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