Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Post by
November 17, 2023

The holidays are a time for traditions! From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the end of the year is full of activities that we remember dearly, year after year.

Check out what our team is looking forward to this holiday season.

Zoe-Cookies-border

Zoe’s Favorite Tradition:

Cookie Making

“Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has gotten together a few weeks before Christmas, and we make a mass amount of Christmas cookies and other holiday treats, like peanut butter balls. Everyone pitches in, and we spend hours baking and decorating, listening to Christmas music, watching our favorite holiday movies and maybe even indulging in a few of the sweet treats.”

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Olivia’s Favorite Tradition:

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas

“Every Christmas morning, after we exchange presents, we snuggle in and watch the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas special. Appearances by Little Richard, Grace Jones, Cher and the Del Rubio Triples are a can’t miss! I think the reason this stands out to me is that Pee Wee has been one of those things that both my husband and I grew up loving, and it’s been fun to continue the playhouse weirdness for our fam.”

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Michelle’s Favorite Tradition:

Reading The Night Before Christmas

“I remember this tradition starting back when I was little, sitting around the Christmas tree with my two brothers. Our dad would read The Night Before Christmas right before bed. It was always a way to settle down the anticipation of Christmas morning. It is now a tradition that we carry on with our children, and it really touches my heart.”

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Matt’s Favorite Tradition:

A Hoppin’ Holiday

“Each year, my bandmates and I gather for an intimate holiday dinner. These dinners are rich with laughter and gratitude. There are gifts, sure—and they’re always thoughtful—but the real point of our gathering is to celebrate the gift of friendship, fun and creativity that we each find in one another throughout the year. Often, around the same time, we’ll do a one final performance, kissing off one year, and welcoming the next—with wide-open arms, and turned-to-11 amps.”

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Jonathan’s Favorite Tradition:

Sip, Savor and Surf

“The holidays always meant summer holidays for my family in Australia, so our traditions are a little different. Christmas Eve was spent with extra long happy hour(s)—cold beer and champagne with our favorite nibbles and treats, followed by freshly shucked oysters and king prawns (jumbo shrimp without the oxymoron). If we were lucky enough to be on the coast, Christmas Day meant time at the beach with a Chrissy day swim or surf.”

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Jasmine’s Favorite Tradition:

Tamale Making

“Every couple of years, my family gets together before the holiday to make enough tamales not only for our Christmas meal, but that last well into the year. We set up stations assembly-line style—one person spreads masa onto the husk, another person spreads the meat onto the masa, and then another person folds them up. They go into large pots and, with the quantity we make, cook in about an hour and a half to two hours on the stove. We can buy/make tamales any time of year, but this gathering of our family to prepare them for the holiday has always held a special place in my heart. Tamales freeze extremely well and will hold for up to six months. You can get closer to a year out of them if you vacuum seal them!”

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Erin’s Favorite Tradition:

Christmas Eve Eve Coneys

“My family has a Christmas Eve Eve tradition of dinner at Coney Island. It’s still unclear when and why this started, but it’s usually the moment it truly starts to feel like Christmas for me. While it’s always packed that night, it’s worth the wait for some famous coneys and a glass bottle of Coke. Afterwards, growing up we’d go see the Santa light display next door and then drive to find some other pretty Christmas lights to see, then ending back home with a classic holiday movie and hot chocolate. I’ve always loved the uniqueness of celebrating this day, and am excited for our girls to join in on the fun now too!”

Chelsea-Gingerbreadman-Border

Chelsea’s Favorite Tradition:

Markets and Munchies

“The past few years I’ve gone to the Carmel Christkindlmarket (a German-inspired Christmas market with food, ice skating, hot drinks and arts and crafts). I hope to keep this as a fun tradition—and collect a German style hand-carved wooden animal each year.

Since childhood, I’ve always looked forward to the week of Christmas where we made cookies and stocked up on all kinds of festive snacks to enjoy while the Christmas movies were on repeat. My great grandma also used to send out her 12-inch tall, decorated gingerbread cookies from Michigan. I now have some of her cookie cutters and her recipe, and hope to keep making these in the years to come.”

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Bridget’s Favorite Tradition:

A Very Tiki Christmas with the Griswolds

“Every year, on Christmas Eve, my husband makes a few Painkiller Tiki Cocktails, complete with our Tiki mugs of course, and we watch Christmas Vacation. Why? Well, we’re not really sure how we settled into this tradition, but it’s become our favorite. Because what says Christmas more than a few fancy tropical umbrella drinks, Cousin Eddie in his leisure suit and the dog just hacking on a bone?”

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Angie’s Favorite Tradition:

Personalized Ornaments

“One of my favorite holiday traditions started 15 years ago when our parents gave us a collection of ornaments that marked special events in our lives. The first year, my ornaments included keepsake crafts that I had made as a youngster; photos of our new family cat, Kitty; and a horse ornament to mark a volunteer trip that my mom and I had taken to Red Cedar that summer. Often, we will hand-make ornaments so when we visit each others homes for the holidays, we are reminded of family pets, weddings, retirements, graduations, engagements, new homes, new babies and more.

The tradition started the same year that Kitty showed up at our door and he passed a few days before Christmas last year, so I will treasure those ornaments of our little buddy more this year.”

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