Staff picks: What is your favorite holiday tradition?


With the holidays under way, our staff is excited to spend them with their loved ones. Holiday cheer is in the air, so check out some of our favorite holiday traditions and consider adding them to your holiday bucket list this year.

Sydney Stoneback, visual design assistant, said:

“Every year for Christmas my family and I travel up to Minnesota for a few weeks. My favorite part of the whole trip is that on Christmas Eve my aunt puts together a big breakfast and we all play pond hockey. Since my family and I are the only ones that don’t live in the north, it’s pretty comedic to watch us attempt to skate around without wiping out every minute.”

Madelyn Rinka, news editor, said:

“My family and I always bake a ton of Christmas cookies. We usually end up with ten or so dozen from thumbprints, to meltaways, to decorated sugar cookies. It’s a great way to spend time with family, have some fun in the kitchen and load up on cookie dough!”

Simone Viera, business manager, said:

“My favorite holiday tradition is going home to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and going to the beach on Christmas day.”

Diego Galvez, sports editor, said:

“My favorite holiday tradition is watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with my whole family. We gather around the TV the day prior to Christmas and watch it together. My whole family likes that movie and we have done that for as long as I can remember.”

Jenna Kopec, co-editor-in-chief, said:

“My favorite holiday tradition is baking Thanksgiving pies with my grandmother. I’m not really much for cooking but this is the one time of year I never pass it up. She started teaching me when I was really young and even though I know the recipes by now, I know it’d be really weird to try to accomplish without her.”

Gabrielle Thompson, features editor, said:

“My mom and I always set up the Christmas tree and decorate the house with Christmas decor the day after Thanksgiving. We usually blast Christmas music and dance around the house. I love spending time with my mom and celebrating the holidays.”

Christina McLaughlin, opinions editor, said:

“My favorite holiday tradition is to sing the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ before dessert with my family and trade gifts with them. It’s a great way for us all to come together and de-stress while catching up with each other during the holiday season. When we hand out the presents, we open them youngest to oldest and it’s a way to all just spread our love to each other and celebrate our holiday cheer. Before dessert, we all sing a particular verse of this song in our beautifully tone-deaf voices. It’s a truly fun moment in our family and something I look forward to every year.”

Skylyr Vanderveer, multimedia manager, said:

“Christmas Eve dinner at my grandmother’s house has to be my favorite holiday tradition. My relatives from all across the country travel to her small house in North Jersey. We eat good food, tell funny stories and somehow always end the night by playing a game of Apples to Apples. It’s always nice to spend quality time with my family during the holidays.”

Jeweliana Register, arts and entertainment editor, said:

“There’s a state park about twenty minutes from my town that always goes all out with Christmas lights and holiday décor. My family likes to take my niece and nephew to visit Santa there, where kids can roast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate with him. There’s also lots of little shops that sell fun gifts and tree ornaments, so we usually buy one for each year we go. There’s a ton of great photo opportunities and it’s just always a great time with family.”

Kiara Baptiste, distribution manager, said:

“While it isn’t much of a tradition, my dad and I have this reindeer that has trouble standing up because it has uneven legs. Each year my dad suggests that we just throw it away and get a new one but I always tell him we should keep it. That wobbly reindeer grew to be part of the holidays to me, even though we spend way too much time getting it to stand on its own.”

Carli Lutz, chief of visual design, said:

“Every Christmas, I watch Polar Express and drink hot chocolate with my nephew. It’s something we’ve been doing since he was like 3 years old and it’s our favorite Christmas movie to watch together. He’s 14 now and it’s still something we make a point to do together.”

Michaela Greer, co-editor-in-chief, said:

“We don’t have very many Christmas traditions in my family besides going to church but anyone who knows me knows that Christmas is my season. Each year, I choose a color scheme for the tree and decorations, spend hours wrapping gifts and making homemade bows and force my family to sit through Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ It’s just not Christmas for me unless I’ve seen that movie.”

Nicole Chavannes, copy editor, said:

“My dad and I have several movies that we like to watch together throughout the season, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas unless we’ve watched them all. I love snuggling under a warm blanket with some hot chocolate and watching ‘The Family Stone,’ ‘White Christmas’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ every year. I also love when my whole family gets together to sit around our firepit in the backyard roasting marshmallows and singing Christmas carols. Those are probably my two favorite holiday traditions.”