The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Holidays In The Office

A Collection of Holiday Traditions from the Wacoan

6 months ago

By Skylla Mumana

As fall officially folds over to winter, the holiday season is now knocking at our doors. With each twinkling light and stuffed stocking there lies holiday traditions and celebrations that are unique to each family, household and individual person—and the Wacoan is no exception! So, without further ado, here are the Holiday Traditions of our wonderful office staff.

Michelle Johnson — Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“Going to ’The Nutcracker’ in town. The Waco Symphony Orchestra used to only do it every other year, but I’ve been so happy that they’ve been doing it every year, because my daughters and I have loved going, especially my youngest daughter. We go and we buy a nutcracker there so we have the nutcrackers that we picked out and we put the date on the bottom of it. So we remember, and we talk about them. We have them displayed in our house, so that’s kind of a tradition of ours leading up to.”

 

Are there any specific holiday decorations or ornaments that hold sentimental value for you?

“One of the special things that I got for my youngest was a nutcracker snow globe. So I put that out, and it’s really special. On the Christmas tree, the kids have always gotten something from their grandparents, so we go around and look at those. So that’s always fun too.”

 

Why celebrate the holidays?

“It’s bringing together family, traditions and memories of loved ones. I think that can be sad, but also it brings about vulnerability. I think memories are good. Even if it’s emotional or hard, it brings back what reminds you about family that is special.”

Emily Ober — Assistant Editor

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“It’s more of a Thanksgiving tradition but we’ll carry it over to Christmas, but we’ll have Fritos and bean dip as we’re preparing Christmas dinner. My dad would watch NASCAR while making Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and have Fritos and bean dip, so it’s just something that we’ve continued.”

 

Are there any specific holiday decorations or ornaments that hold sentimental value for you?

“I collect nutcrackers. I always get out my little army of nutcrackers. So I have those out and I spread them around. I also have this old glass porcelain village. My parents had it since I was a kid, so I still drag it out.”

 

Why celebrate the holidays?

“It’s just a time where you just get to leave real life and have a moment to just relax, end the year and have time with family. You don’t have to worry about everything else.”

Brittney Ross — Production Director

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“When my husband and I got married, my mom and dad made us a 12 days of Christmas activity. It’s following the book, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. My mom hand stitched all of these ornaments for each day, and then, my dad made a little wooden Christmas tree. So every night leading up to Christmas we read the book with our kids and let them put up one ornament on the tree.”

 

Are there any specific holiday decorations or ornaments that hold sentimental value for you?

“Another 12 days of Christmas that we do is that every night we have a Christmas movie we watch with a Christmas themed snack and a drink, each night leading up to Christmas. Sometimes we let the kids stay up and watch with us, sometimes not just because they’re young so they still go to bed pretty early.”

 

Do you have a favorite holiday movie, song or book that you enjoy revisiting each year?

“So when my kids are in the car, it is a repeat of Mickey Mouse’s Jingle Bells. My favorite Christmas movie is ‘Home Alone’. My kids are young, so typically they watch animated films, but this year they both sat and watched ‘Home Alone’. My daughter started cracking up. That just made it so much better for me watching her understand what was happening.”

Polly Brown — Office Manager

Are there any specific foods or recipes that are a must-have during your holiday gatherings?

“Every year we try to do a different food theme. Last year’s theme was Mexican food.”

 

Do you have a favorite holiday movie, song or book that you enjoy revisiting each year?

“‘Santa Clause: The Movie’ with Dudley Moore. It’s a weird one. My favorite song is from my church ‘Oh Holy Night’. I enjoy watching the movie every year, and I enjoy the song because I’ve played it in church before with an orchestra. I play the soprano sax. I had strings behind me for accompaniment, and an organ. It’s a very special song. ”

 

Why celebrate the holidays?

“It’s all about the true meaning of Christmas, which, for me, is the birth of Christ.”

Tori Hager — Advertising Coordinator

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“One of my favorites is that we have a family cookie recipe. It’s an old German cookie called Spitzbuben. Basically it’s a shortbread cookie that are diamond cut and you bake them with egg wash and crumbled pecans, and then you take two of them and put plum butter jelly between them. It’s a process, so it’s usually something that we all do together.”

 

Are there any specific holiday decorations or ornaments that hold sentimental value for you?

“It’s kind of silly, but it’s another German tradition. It’s this pickle ornament that gets hidden in the tree and then whoever finds it on Christmas morning gets a bonus present. It was one of my cousins who started it years and years ago. Everyone just had so much fun doing it that we kept doing it.”

 

Why celebrate the holidays?

“To me, it’s more just about spending time with my family and it’s about taking a break. Sometimes we just go-go-go so much due to work, school and sports so it’s nice to just have some downtime.”

Avery Ballmann- Editorial Intern

What is your favorite holiday tradition, and why does it hold special meaning for you?

“My favorite holiday tradition is driving around the Castle Heights neighborhood with my dad and sister looking at the Christmas lights. The houses in this neighborhood are gorgeous and their lights always look pretty.”

 

Are there any specific foods or recipes that are a must-have during your holiday gatherings?

“Definitely my mom’s Mexican hot chocolate. I don’t know what she puts in it but it cannot be replicated. Every time I drink it, it reminds me of the holidays.”

 

Are there any specific holiday decorations or ornaments that hold sentimental value for you? and what’s the story behind them?

“My favorite ornament at my mom’s house is the stacked gold glitter stars. They’re so simple but look really cool with the Christmas lights behind it. My favorite ornament at my dad’s house is the Santa that looks like a farmer. He wears overalls and straw hat while holding a watering can — the best part of this ornament is when you pull the string the Santa does a little jig like dance.”

Katie Bradshaw- Social Media Intern

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

“Ever since I can remember we’ve always spent Christmas Day with my mom’s side of the family. They live the closest to us, so that’s why we always spend it with them. We always have a Christmas Day lunch around 1 p.m. at my cousin Josh’s house. We’ll do kind of like a Thanksgiving style meal, but we’ll switch a few things up. We won’t do turkey, we’ll have ham or brisket of some sort. Or everyone will bring their favorite dish, and we always do white elephant and little games like that.”

 

Are there any specific foods or recipes that are a must-have during your holiday gatherings?

“My mom’s banana pudding is a must-have. It’s served warm, which is unusual. She takes it straight out of the oven and takes it to my cousin’s house. It’s a family recipe that we’ve had since she was a little kid. Everybody expects it there, everybody requests it there. It’s incredible.”

 

Why celebrate the holidays?

“It’s always fun to get together with family, especially as we’re all getting older and all of the kids are growing up. It’s nice getting to see everybody and just spend time with everyone, and catch up on things. Learn more about each other too, since we’re all so spread out nowadays. I’m Christian, so getting to celebrate Jesus is important to me and spending time with my family in church has always been fun.”

 

Everyone celebrates the holidays differently. Everyone brings their own unique family traditions, making it such a special time of the year. However you spend your holidays, whatever traditions you are partaking in for the tenth year, the twentieth year, or even the first year, we here at the Wacoan wish all of you nothing but joy and warmth this coming season.