Holiday Traditions We’d Love to Share!
Traditions… why do we even bother? Is it the memory we love? The commitment to our family? Our heritage? What is it about those special moments we work so hard to include in our events?
Since our staff is our family, we changed the subject away from this wintery weather to find out what some of our staff enjoys for traditions with their families… have you ever thought about your favorite moments? Check out some below and let us know yours! We’d LOVE to introduce our staff and kiddos to some fun and exciting holiday traditions!
Rachel- Iowa Marketing Director
My favorite holiday tradition is going to church and out to eat at Hibachi Grill with my parents, siblings, and now fiancé, and son! This is my favorite holiday tradition because we’ve been doing this over 15 years and it’s a day full of love, laughter, and joy. It reminds me of how blessed I am to have a wonderful family who support each other through thick and thin.
Meagan- Minnesota Regional Director
Our Annual Christmas Cookie Party! My grandma, all 6 of her girls (1 being my aunt who married into the family), all 11 grandchildren, and now all 7 great grandchildren, get together and play games, drink, and exchange cookies. It used to be including my grandma’s cousins and their families too… but we are Ukrainian, so the family got way too massive to host. Now, we put together a menu of what we are planning to make, and then place an “order” of either a half order (6) or a full (dozen) with each person. From there we make the cookies, package them up, and make extra for the tray. My Baba (Ukrainian for Grandma) and aunties all cook, we plan activities, and we have a big fest! Usually we do a competition- one year it was gingerbread houses, the next it was basement roller skating.
Man, I love the holidays! It is so hard to pick just one tradition, but one that I started when I had my kids was, every Christmas Eve they have a special Christmas Eve box that always has a new pair of cozy Christmas jammies in it, a Christmas book, popcorn and a snack, and hot cocoa. They get to open that box at the end of the evening, put on their new cozy jammies, make our hot cocoa, make the popcorn and then we snuggle up to watch a Christmas movie and read their Christmas book before going to bed to wait for Santa to come. It gives us a chance to really soak in the family time and enjoy one another’s company! I hope we never stop doing this!
Louie- Executive Director of Corporate Expansion
Every Christmas we have is themed. On Thanksgiving, while the extended family is together, we would throw a list of countries into a hat and draw 3. Then, each member of the family would vote on which country they would like theme Christmas around. Once the decision was made, each family would contribute a main dish and a side or two from that specific country and our Christmas lunch would be comprised of a smorgasbord of good eats! The kids would get together and craft an ornament relating to the country. We’d play games from the country and if some were feeling ambitious, they’d even dress up! This was a tradition that started long before I and eventually, we made it around the world. Without any countries left choose from, we had to get creative and move to different themes like “A Wild West Christmas” or “A Wild Game Christmas” or “School Lunch Christmas”. We even had “The Office” themed Christmas! That’s right… Kevin’s Chili, the everything Pretzel and even a Stapler in a Jell-O mold.
Kristin- Nebraska Family Liaison
We celebrate Chrismukkah by honoring the generations before us with stories, which is always such a blast! It’s a fight between my brothers and me who will get to talk more this year and light a candle! My mom, however, is just so strange, but she has ALWAYS done a taco bar. She sets up everything for the whole family to come over and play a game of Aggravation after we all celebrate together. It’s the BEST time for our competitive spirits to come out.
Jamie- Iowa Regional Director
Me and my girls do cookie baking day! Then, we package them up and go around and drop off little packages to all our friends and neighbors. It gives us so much joy to say “hello” to our neighbors and shows the girls that we can give back easily.
Every December, my girls, their grandma and I all go see the Polar Express at the iMax theater! You can NEVER see it enough times.
My brother has a really ugly ornament he won in a spelling bee in 2nd grade. Every year I take it off the tree and hide it. Every year he finds it and puts it back on. We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years!
Betsy- Minnesota Enrollment Specialist
Each day in our family, we add ornaments to the tree as an advent calendar. It makes for a fun for our family to celebrate this small tradition together that makes a big impact. We also ride around looking at lights every holiday season while listening to and singing as a family.
Ever experienced one of those moments you know you’ll cherish forever?? Most of them come from or will develop into traditions like these above. We are so fortunate for all of the time we get to spend with our families and fortunate families, like yours, allow us the grace to take a couple of days off each year and celebrate and enjoy moments like these. Thank you for that! We hope you find time to share with us some of your fun family traditions! Our teachers do so many activities around every holiday, we would enjoy hearing and integrating your traditions into our curriculum! Don’t be shy… tell us more!