Only thing missing is a side of waffle fries

So. Today is a bit of an exciting day around here because Microsoft has given me five Xbox consoles to give away to my readers, just in time for the holidays. And I’ll just go ahead and get the disclosure part of this out of the way: this is a sponsored giveaway. I do not do this sort of thing very often. Actually, only once before (and trust me, it drives my ad network totally nuts. Hi, FM!), but this seemed like something you guys would be really interested in and, hello, FIVE XBOXES. FOR FREE.

I’ll admit that all I knew about an Xbox before about a week ago was that my cousin GEORGE!, the one who lived in our basement for the summer of 2007, had one running at all times in his room. Along with three other gaming systems, two computers, a television, the ceiling fan, and who knows what else because our electric bill the first month he lived here was four times what it normally was. Oddly, he thinks it was that electric bill that has caused the rift that now exists between us. But it’s not. That rift has to do with something entirely unrelated to that electric bill, and because I’m not going to get into that mess here, I’ll just give him a two word hint: TOPLESS INTRUDER.

Fast forward to last week: we wanted to know as much as we could about the Xbox before we gave one away, so Jon went out and bought one, plus a few driving games as those are really the only ones I like to play. And he got this really awesome one that rewards aggressive, dangerous driving, and the more poles you hit and crashes you cause, the faster you hit that ramp and fly 70 feet into the air and land on top of that taco truck, the higher your score. Which to me is what Heaven will look like.

Have I ever told you about how I bought a brand new Honda Civic in 1999, and within the first five months of owning it I had to get the brakes replaced? Not because the brakes were defective, BUT BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I DRIVE. Every day I earn points by stopping closer and closer to the car in front of me, and sometimes I can get it down to millimeters. Just ask Jon and the gray hair in his beard.

As part of this giveaway Microsoft wanted me to share my “Ultimate Staycation” with you guys, and don’t worry, I just punched myself in the face for even writing that word. If they had asked me to use the word “solutioneering” I’m not so sure I could have mustered the strength.

And well, I get to live my ultimate staycation pretty much every day. Meaning, once we put both the kids down for the night, Jon and I curl up in bed with the two dogs, a cocktail, and an episode of either really excellent television or really awful television, the stuff in between is too boring. Like, either an episode of “The Wire” or something about plastic surgery gone horribly wrong. I suppose watching the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris might be an amazing way to spend an evening, but COME ON. You should see some of these nose jobs.

I think this may be Jon’s idea of an ultimate staycation:

So. Here is how this thing works, and no, I had nothing to do with these rules so don’t scream at me:

1. You must be 18 or over to enter.

2. You must live in the US.

3. You must read these rules.

4. Five commenters will be selected as winners. Please include your idea of an “Ultimate Staycation” in your comment, and y’all, keep it clean even if it does somehow include your balls.

Note: you must be signed in to leave a comment. If you sign up for multiple user accounts and try to enter under different profiles, you will be disqualified.

5. Comments will be open until tomorrow December 2, 2009 at 9PM Eastern.

6. Winners will be chosen randomly using

7. Winners will be announced on Friday.

8. Prize is an “Ultimate Xbox Bundle” which includes 1 – Xbox console, 3 – Family Fun Games, 1 – Gold Subscription to Xbox (1 Year) – Estimated package value $499

Ready, set, go!

PS. Here are the Xbox avatars we created for ourselves complete with my trademark grumpiness:

  • beccadean

    My stay-cation: going out to breakfast, coming home and napping, reading in bed, shopping, going to the dog park, thai takeout, red wine, and bad tv.

  • Tami C

    Ultimate Staycation? Hubby at home, being lazy all day, (no laundry!) Watching old movies on TV, (He would be reading a volkswagen magazine) Ordering in chinese food, no kids, and a six pack of Corona Light! Perfect!!!

  • Cristinatr

    Our staycation paradise would be to be snowed in, with plenty of food, warmth, power, and fun.

  • kvalgard

    My ultimate staycation is spending all summer at the lake with my kids, my husband, and my dog.

  • ctomek

    My ultimate staycation is pretty simple: laptop, dish network, wine, chocolate, and my dog. Mmmm mmmm good!

  • tinyzero

    Just had mine: A walk to the farmer’s market with the dog (he carries our veggies home in his backpack). Then snuggling up with my guy in our crazy big bed with our crazy big dog. Plus a couple mochas, my laptop and some arrested development (the guy has never watched it… the situation must be rectified).

  • Jeremy

    First and foremost… I would request my “staycation” to be paid time off from work. Be able to sleep in, wear my pajamas all day, play various games on my computer and perhaps fancy/new XBox, have access to all types of delicious food/desserts, and not be disturbed by anybody. Just time all to myself. I think that would be wonderful :)

  • beccalyn

    My ultimate staycation would be a weekend with my husband and little guy where all the local tourist attractions were miraculously empty and we could hit the zoo, the aquarium, and a couple of museums. Then, my kid would go to sleep early and sleep through the night so my husband and I could have some much-needed hang out/trash TV time.

  • JillJessee

    hanging out with my husband and puppy dog

  • basketcat

    Ultimate staycation? Big snowstorm, no way to leave the house, snuggling with my husband, son, and dog watching movies, playing Wii games, eating homemade soup and freshly baked bread, making cookies and eating as many as we want.

  • KT

    My ultimate staycation would involve the kids being with nearby relatives and having real adult time!
    We’d watch movies and tv series that are rated PG-13 and up, order pizza and have Xbox and Wii playoffs.

    If we’re going for fantasy staycation, I’d have a team of housecleaners come in for a deep clean, and I’d call in a masseuse for an hour and a half massage.

    That’d be great.

  • AshevilleSue

    My ultimate staycation requires summertime, warm breezes, friends, music, having a bikini body (total imagination here) drinking margaritas around the pool while our six year old splashes about and the dog, Hazel, actually stops her incessant barking!

    Boy would my little guy like an X-Box

  • cooma

    Ultimate staycation day 2 idea:
    Keep kids at home this time, lots of pillow/blanket forts, dessert for dinner, movie time, and lots of snuggles.

  • mkerrigan

    Ultimate staycation scenario:

    2 weeks off from work. Daughter away at grandparent’s house. Able to watch whatever I want on the t.v. (no Nick Jr.). Catch up on dvr list. Eat nothing but pizza and chocolate. Sleep until noon.

  • gaile

    Ultimate staycation: Blanket, beer, books :) Lub it.

  • RollingDoughnut

    My ultimate staycation would be a full day of hockey on TV, followed by Xbox during the intermissions.

  • meowsk

    My husband and I cuddled up on the couch with our cat Lucy. Films with good cinematography. And of course Katamari on the xBox.

  • lisabagg

    NO kids, a hotel room downtown, a great dinner out, and then a bottle of wine to take back to the room.

  • BrookeA

    Sitting by our fire pit with a glass of red wine, surrounded by family and friends. Also, it should not be winter.

    Awesome giveaway :)

  • Mama Bowers

    Ultimate staycation? Totally corny, meaning staying at home, in my jammies, watching DVR’d shows all day and playing video games with the husband while my kids run wild and watch too many movies.

    And NO cleaning whatsoever! And takeout. Mmmm.

  • StarkeMadd

    My ultimate staycation would revolve around my bed.

    Heavenly morning, noon and evening naps; eating forbidden crumbly cookies while cocooned in my own private comforter fort; reading books and magazines that have been gathering dust on my bedside table for that “later” that never seems to arrive.

    *Sigh* I need more time off.

  • Texas momma

    sleep, sleep, and more sleep!!! how sad is that?

  • romesick

    My ultimate Staycation (ugh…that gave me hives!) would include a bottle of Limoncello, my man, a bunch of movies like Sideways and Roman Holiday and Under the Tuscan Sun (and maybe some he likes, too), snacks, and a comfortable bed with fluffy pillows and a down comforter. Perhaps a hot tub, too.

  • gecsp

    Lots of newcastle and my original NES.

  • wonoje

    My ultimate staycation is pretty simple.
    - no worries
    surrounded by
    - good books
    - good movies
    - and good people!

    And of course, some hot, buttery popcorn!

  • prunesmith

    My ultimate staycation? Me, and someone I love spending time with. Could be my best friend, my boyfriend, my sister, or my parents. Some good books, good movies, and lots of delicious snacky foods like popcorn and diet coke. Perhaps a fire in the fireplace and some snuggly blankets…oh, and nothing at all to worry about. Nothing on my mind at all. Perfect!

  • sipde23

    My Staycation would consist of motorcycle riding with my Granddaughter and then coming home, making a big pot of soup and playing with the new Xbox that we win!

  • Averil9787

    I think the bf would enjoy this immensely.

    My perfect staycation really depends on the time of year. In the winter it invloves skiing in the day and cuddling with the aformentioned bf and a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire at night. Warmer months call for boating or hiking followed by a backyard bbq and catching up on sportscenter. :)

  • ropellaj

    My ultimate staycation would involve pizza, wine, and an entire season of a TV show that I’ve been meaning to watch. I’d shut off my phone and not have to speak a single word to anyone the entire night. Excellent.

  • emdogg

    My ultimate staycation: Mint Oreo ice cream, a season of Dexter, and cuddling with my hubby and puppy on the couch.

  • cybercita

    i live in manhattan, so staycation opportunities abound. mine would include taking cabs everywhere to get a break from the subway, eating at restaurants i can’t normally can’t afford {babbo, per se, bouley. masa, etc.} and a broadway show or three.

  • villamaxwell

    A stack of good books, chocolate, bubblebath and some good Jane Austen movies. Unfortunately, being the only girl in a houseful of big guys, this rarely happens! Maybe I could make this happen in they had a new Xbox to capture their attention! Theresa

  • bberry

    How awesome would it be to win this?
    For my staycation…I’m gonna go with a warm house, about 5 good movies, tons of pizza and beverages…and chocolate. With the hubs and daughter of course.

  • arthureliz

    My staycation would involve the new Harry Potter movie and a starbucks coffee. Oh, a xbox 360 would be awesome…

  • murrietmama

    My ultimate staycation would include lots of games with the kiddos, scooter rides to the park and baking lots of cookies and cakes. plus, there would be no fighting at all between my 3 kids. perfect!

  • ferriz

    My ultimate staycation involves:

    -BBQ chicken pizza
    -Tub of mocha almond fudge icecream
    -Joss Whedon marathon (Buffy, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible… no, I was not a huge Angel fan…)

    All while chilling in my pjs (or undies).

    :: dreams ::

  • Joanna Turtle

    The ultimate staycation involves a pool in the backyard, 95 degrees and sunny. There would be grilling, margaritas and loud music. My phone would not work, my computer would crash and all those little flyers that get rubberbanded to my door would be forced down the throats of the delivery person. Ahhh, staycation.

    You’d think x-box wouldn’t want us to use a word that rhymed with Playstation.

  • adi82

    A “staycation” just means you don’t actually travel outside of your city right? In that case, I’d stay in a nice spa resort here in Austin. I’d get multiple spa treatments (couples massage anyone?), eat good food, do a little window shopping downtown, read good books that have been neglected at home, sip wine and coffee {separately of course}, go for long walks, maybe see a movie, and pretty much just RELAX away from home. Too many distractions at home. Wow, this is sounding really good right about now! Any chance you’re giving away an “ultimate staycation” as well? :)

  • burge98

    Staaaaaaaaaycations – or any cations are good, in my opinion. My ultimate staycation involved a lot of Bejeweled Blitz, some Real Housewives of Anywhere But Here, and Cheetos. Oh, and my BF… but mostly Cheetos. ;)

  • aniapetunia

    Mine would be:
    Kids at the parentals
    3 feet of snow so the kids had to stay even longer than expected
    A big, crackling fire
    Sushi Chef at our house ready to prepare whatever our hearts will desire
    A few close friends that will bring a lot of booze
    A couple of rounds of Texas Hold’em
    More booze
    Then maybe a classic movie like Pulp Fiction where I can repeat the lines and no one chastises me for it.

  • I am laurieb

    My parents taking the kids for a weekend and my husband and I reading books and drinking wine. Actually any time that my folks take the kids for a couple of days is the ultimate “staycation.”

  • elizabethb

    Ultimate Staycation: Kids at my mom’s house, Fuzzy pajamas, unlimited calorie-free Ben & Jerry’s (this is “ultimate” right??) Husband willing to be couch potato with me watching John Hughes movies until all hours.

  • pcajigal

    Love the column, Heather. The tweets crack me up. Ultimate staycation? My son and I hanging at the house in the evenings, playing OUR NEW XBOX FROM DOOCE, and taking day trips over to Orlando (just an hour away from us!) to ride stuff at Disney and Universal. But mostly playing on OUR NEW XBOX FROM DOOCE.


  • googhie

    My ultimate “staycation” would be a marathon of the entire show “Weeds”, having someone I trust take care of the kids, dogs and husband.

  • daisymae

    My staycation would still involve my kittehs, my bed, some fluffy comforters, SNOW, hot cocoa, quiet kids and a doting hubby. : ) ah, to dream

  • dimberly

    Staying home all day. Enjoying leftover pizza for breakfast, leftover some-kind-of-baked-pasta for lunch. I would make bread in the afternoon, and I would have started it the night before. It’s a dreary raining day, just the kind I like.

    I have a stack of books to choose from, and maybe a movie or two waiting for me. We order in Thai food for dinner, and the perfect wine has been sitting in the fridge all day.

    Steven and I probably couldn’t have a more enjoyable day. I love you S.

  • stgillian

    Wine. Pizza. So far I’m not being very original.

    I’m not a big stay in the house all day kind of person, so it would have to involve some long walks around the neighborhood, a trip to our local zoo and aquarium, and a couple of movies.

    Funny how, after having kids, your idea of a good day changes!

  • megnstuff

    Incredible giveaway! My plugged in geeky husband would love this!

    Our idea of a perfect staycation would be a week or two or three of no phone calls from his job or from our family, no projects (we are slowly renovating our house DIY style) and a free on call babysitter.

    We would spend the days playing with the kids and our evenings on the couch catching up on our Netflix cue or have the free babysitter watch the kids so we could go out and watch a movie in the cinema (does that still count as a staycation?!) I don’t remember the last time we actually went to a movie in the cinema.

    Following the movie marathons, my husband would be playing video games until wee hours of the morning saving the world from aliens and Nazis while I got 12 hours of sleep each night.

    (my perfect staycation only exists if days became stretched from 24 hours to 36 hours!)

    That would be our ultimate staycation-throw an x-box in there and it would put it over the top!

  • jwalk

    My ultimate staycation is when my awesome husband takes our children to his parents and leaves me home alone with nothing but thai takeout menus, icecream and netflix. I’d stay up all night and sleep all day like my body was meant to do. But then I’d probably ruin it by tearing down a wall in the kitchen or some other massive home improvement project and making 400 trips to Home Depot.

  • melissamac

    My ultimate staycation would include uninterrupted time with my husband, good food, no dishes and a beautiful view.