Happy Holidays! MSC employees share their favorite family traditions for this special time of the year. We love learning more about our colleagues and their family’s traditions and some great ideas for new traditions of your own.
Julie Marshall – We always have a real Christmas tree. My husband and I always had one growing up, and for us- Christmas wouldn’t be the same without that intoxicating pine smell! In my small northeast Ohio hometown, there was one local tree farm that we would go to every year to chop down our family tree- Wilcox Tree Farm in LaGrange, Ohio. When I met my husband, (who was born and raised in a town an hour away from mine) as I was getting to know him, I found out that he worked that tree farm as a teenager. Our paths probably crossed before we even knew each other! Wilcox Tree Farm will always hold a special place in our heart during this time of year and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same for the Marshalls without a real tree! The first Christmas we had with our (now three-year-old) daughter, we got a little excited at the tree lot and got a Griswold-size tree. We had to cut about a foot off of the top to make it fit! It was a fun memory made, and it was the most majestic tree we’ve ever had!
Rae Marie Czuhai – Christmas is all about family and friends for me! For the first time since my children have been born, they are going to miss one of our longest-standing Christmas traditions, The Robbins’ Christmas Party!! It has been a little traumatic for all of us but it is for a sweet and fun reason. John and his girlfriend Katie, have planned a trip out of town for Caroline to see one of her favorite performers. It was such a thoughtful gesture on John’s part but still a little bittersweet for Momma! I told them that I have always heard that you need to skip a tradition so that it becomes sweeter the next time that you experience it. I will let y’all know how that works out for me after Saturday night!
Allison Haley – My dad was one of ten kids in his family, so Christmas was crazy when he was growing up. To keep their gifts separated under the tree his parents made boxes with their name written on them that their gifts were placed in. The special thing about these boxes is… they had the same box every year. They were told to not break the box (which could be hard considering 8 of the ten were boys) because they had to use the same box year after year! When I was born my dad made a box for me to carry on the tradition and the same when my sister was born. Every year our boxes were filled with fruit, candy and daily necessity items (as when my dad was a kid that was basically what their gifts were) and our presents were put around our boxes. Getting up on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left in our boxes was always so fun (We didn’t run for the toys first, we always went through the boxes first), but the reality is you always knew it would be the same thing. My sister and I still have our boxes and we still have my dad’s box. It is so nostalgic to get them out and see them year after year. It is amazing the meaning a 61, 39, & 33-year-old box can be to someone.
Sara Tate – I have to say, I am pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas. Everything from old, traditional Christmas music, to basic white Christmas lights, to the old, classic Christmas movies like “It’s A Wonderful Life.” There’s nothing I would trade for our family’s traditions. Decorating Christmas cookies with my sister, eating my mom’s sausage balls on the couch while we open gifts. Christmas Eve dinner at my Nanny’s, Christmas day lunch at my Grandma’s. While many things in life are constantly changing, there’s something special about keeping Christmas the same. My Grandma’s tree has looked the same every year for my entire life (and probably my dad’s!) with tinsel and cotton on every branch!
Ashley Uptegraft – My family is Jewish and we celebrate Hanukkah! The first night of Hanukkah starts this Sunday night (there are 8 nights total!) and we usually have a big party at my grandparents’ house with all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles. We get together early in the day and make a TON of latkes (potato pancakes!) and then we finally all sit down to eat and drink and catch up! After dinner, we light the menorah and typically have a few family friends over so they can experience and understand the holiday! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with friends and family 💙💙
Jordan Godwin – Growing up, Christmas Eve was always my favorite day of the year. Since before I could remember, my dad and I spent the entire day together running various errands and last-minute shopping. In true tradition, we always had the same schedule: Leave the house at 4am, go to the YMCA to swim, breakfast at McDonald’s, and then supporting the same local stores every year – they all knew to look for my dad and me on December 24th! We would then stop by my Grandmother’s to hang out and eat Holiday treats before ending the day with a Christmas Eve Dinner with extended family. Even though the day rarely changed, I always looked forward to spending the day with my dad. Now that I’m grown, and out of the house, my Christmas Eve memories with my dad are some of my most treasured memories. Though the day was never elaborate or outstanding, the quality time spent with my dad can never be replaced.
Bailey Weaver – I love all of the holidays, however, Christmas is definitely my favorite! Ever since I can remember, we always do lunch with my dad’s side of the family and dinner with my mom’s side. I’m so blessed to be able to see my entire family all in one day and over two delicious meals!! Every year we take group photos and this is hands down, my favorite tradition! I love looking at each year and seeing our families grow! These pictures are from last year and I’m excited to take this year’s picture!
Martha Avant – Every year my family has many traditions that I look forward to but my favorite has to be our Annual Christmas Party. I am from a very large family and this get-together is always the highlight of the season. We enjoy delicious homemade food, fun gift exchanges and each other’s company! It can be hard throughout the year to find the time to see each other but we all understand the importance being with each other when the holidays are here.
Micaela Arnett – Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and always has been! My mom and grandparents have always made it so special for my brothers and I. Something funny that my mom still insists us kids do is take a picture in front of the Christmas tree so she can make a photo ornament for that year. I’ll include my favorites. Sing it with me, It’s a…family tradition!!!
We hope that you have had a special time this holiday with your family and friends! Do you have a great tradition that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you! Tag us in your post or leave us a note here!
Happy New Year!
Your MSC Team