As we wrapped up 2016 (and also wrapped lots of presents!) and prepared to usher in the New Year, we took some time to share amongst our team everyone’s favorite holiday traditions.
Some of the responses were so special that we wanted to share them with you here. Enjoy!
“Two years ago my wife was pregnant with our second child. We had a sonogram appointment on Christmas Eve and had the doctor write [the gender] on a piece of paper and place it in a box which we wrapped up and placed under our tree to open the next morning. On Christmas morning we saved it for last and allowed our older daughter to open it up and reveal that we were to have another baby girl, the excitement knowing that she was going to be a big sister and the smile on all of our faces is a memory I will not soon forget.” -Michael Eckert
“Going to service on Christmas Eve was always something special for my family when I was growing up. Obviously as a kid, the anticipation of Santa coming was an awesome feeling but looking back on it, the part I remember most fondly was the happiness and togetherness of my family. To this day, when I think of those times, I smile and now with two kids of my own, getting to watch Christmas through their eyes brings me pure joy.” -Brian Schiele
“Decorating the tree with my family, always was and still is my favorite part of Christmas. Everyone has their own special ornaments (1st Christmas, Jets, etc.) and my parents have ornaments from the year they were married 76’ and other ones from early 80’s that are beautiful, they don’t make them like that anymore.” -Kevin Murphy
“I have so many Christmas memories, but there is one in particular that sticks out to me. When we were younger we were used to seeing so many Christmas gifts under the tree that we became accustomed to it. A few years ago we decided to change our tradition. Instead of spending money on gifts for each other we decided to donate the money that would have been spent on those gifts to Operation Smile to support the surgical care of one child. A few weeks later we received a card back from Operation smile with the child’s name thanking us for our help. That donation has not only helped us be grateful for what we have, but has created a new tradition within our family.” -Timothy Leck
“Christmas, to me, means family. Every year growing up, and even now that my siblings and I are all married and have children of our own, it is a true blessing to come together, and spend time with one another. It is especially touching to watch all of the cousins play with each other. They all truly care for one another.” -Thomas Rakeman
There are so many ways to express and experience joy and gratefulness. We would love to hear about your favorite family traditions! Please feel free to comment and tell us your story below.