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Spread The Christmas Cheer With Beef

santa-hat.jpg "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there." Just call me Santa Claus, as I'm giving away a couple of prizes to lucky BEEF Daily winners today and recapping an odd pairing of hot topics that were discussed this week -- Christmas recipes and 2012 economic predictions.

61fefhnht7l_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_.jpgToday's prizes include: One signed copy of "Levi's Lost Calf" and a $100 VISA Beef Bucks Gift card, courtesy of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Auxiliary!

Tuesday, I asked all of you to respond to the question: What is your favorite holiday dish, dessert or treat? My mouth was watering as I read through all of your recipes and ideas for Christmas goodies! I'm so excited to heat up the oven, bring out the mixer and get baking and cooking!

Our first winner of the day is John Ohm, who will receive a signed copy of "Levi's Lost Calf." Ohm writes, "We love to eat prime rib for the holiday. It was a tradition to cook turkey for Christmas, but several years ago, we surprised everyone with prime rib. Now, the kids all ask for prime rib for our Christmas dinner. As for desserts? Anything and everything; chocolate is my favorite!"

On Wednesday, we discussed the state of the economy, and I asked readers: Do you think the economy will rebound in 2012? This was a great discussion, and it was evident that many of you are concerned about the direction the U.S. is headed. The 2012 presidential election will play a key role in how things change in the years ahead. I appreciate your insights on this topic.

Our second winner of the day is Rick Pinkerman, who offered his two cents on the state of the economy. Pinkerman will take home $100 VISA Beef Bucks, courtesy of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary. He writes, “If you look at the grocery carts today, food is a very small portion of the grocery bill! I remember shopping when we purchased meat, bread, eggs, milk and maybe ketchup. Now, shoppers have their carts filled with soft drinks, ready-to-eat meals, soap, toothpaste, paper towels, utensils and numerous other items. As the price of meat, milk, eggs and bread increases, consumers need to consider purchasing needs and not wants. Yes, it is easy to grab a ready-to-eat product and take it home, but you are going to pay for that convenience. Challenge yourself to look at how many meals your family is eating out each month and check out how much you are spending on soft drinks, etc. Compare the prices of meat today vs. 50 years ago and then compare the compensation plans of today with those of that era! We should be thankful we have the very best food in the world.”

If you haven't been following the conversation this week, you might be wondering how the two topics are connected. This week, we have focused on alleviating hunger across the country and around the world with a new campaign called #GiveBeef. This was started by fellow cattle rancher Debbie Lyons Blythe, and you can learn more about it on Facebook here.

While we enjoy our full plates of delicious Christmas foods, and fill our stockings with wonderful Christmas presents, let's remember those in need this holiday season. Spread some Christmas cheer with a beef donation at a local food bank, soup kitchen or church. May you be blessed this holiday season and your home filled with joy! Stop back on Monday to participate in another beef giveaway, as well as to learn about an upcoming photo contest you are all going to love!