We asked you to tell us about your family’s holiday tradition. We received many great responses, and we picked Amy N. as the winner. She will receive a $200 gas card. Here is her family tradition, followed by some runner-up entries.
"We have taught our children to choose one of their personal toys to donate to the Salvation Army. The toy cannot be broken or excessively used. We want our children to experience the joy of giving from the heart and of themselves in a personal way."
We also thought we’d share some other entries, both for their fun and for their longevity among the families that practice them.
"Our family begins our Christmas celebration one week before the holidays arrive by gathering at Bushie Great’s home and making a polish treat called pierogies, which are dumpling pockets filled with either sauerkraut and bacon or cheesy mashed potatoes. This year we had four generations, from nine years to eighty-two years young working together, and created over two hundred pierogies that we all share. On Christmas Eve morning we gather at a local McDonald’s restaurant for breakfast. This we do in memory of our daughter, Lori Ann, who loved eating at McDonalds. She was killed sixteen years ago and we know that each year she joins us in fun as we either spill our orange juice, loose our orders or napkins fall on the floor around us. On Christmas Day evening all twelve of us gather at our home for supper, opening gifts and finally watching a movie with a warm fire in the fireplace."
"I grew up in an Italian household. Christmas Eve was always the "Feast of the Fishes." While many Italians celebrate with seven different fish dishes, my family celebrated with nine -- to represent a novena in the Catholic Church. As a child I did not care for most of the dishes presented but grew to like some in later years. My children, now all adults, were the same way and now we all enjoy a number of both traditional and non-traditional dishes. The meal has evolved through the years and now mostly takes place in my home with my husband, children, friends, and occasionally other family members, who make the trip to Jacksonville from South Florida. Some staples from my childhood include a whiting salad, a shrimp cocktail, or scampi and fried smelts (which the kids like but I never developed a taste for). We also include scallops, crab, salmon, or whatever looks good at the seafood counter when we shop."
My family always participates in the Angel Tree for the holidays. We pick at least 2 "angels" (but we usually end up with a lot more!) and shop for the gifts together. It’s a wonderful reminder of the blessings we have and how we can share a small piece of it with others less fortunate. It’s a great feeling knowing that a child is going to have presents to open for Christmas -- as all children should experience the excitement and joy of the holidays.
Thanks again for your great submissions. And don’t forget to check out our next contest, Suggestions For Employers.