Friday Favorites: Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

 In Change Culture

Today’s Friday Favorites blog post is about all of our favorite family holiday traditions! Read on to learn what all of our team members look forward to during the holiday season:


Amy, Crafter of Strategic Communication

My family celebrates Christmas. In the  week before Christmas, my sister, my mom and I always make Christmas cookies while my dad watches basketball, then comes in and eats all the ones we mess up. On Christmas Eve we always spend time with my immediate family and grandma and eat dinner and look at Christmas lights. Then on the actual day we spend Christmas morning with my immediate family, then we do gifts and dinner with my grandma and her sisters who live near by.

Sara, Director of Digital Evangelism 

A couple of things, number one, because I am Swedish and my family is 100% Swedish, we make these sugar bruit cookies that are awesome and really good because they just remind me of my childhood every time I bite into one. They’re delicious. We sprinkle them with different colors and they’re awesome. The second things is that every Christmas Eve we have Chicago style deep dish pizza because that’s where my family’s from and even though the past couple of Christmases I’ve gone back to Boston, we get pizza shipped in, because we can do that. They’re still delicious. Those are our two Christmas traditions. 

John, Web Development/Production Artist

Our Christmas is a little different, like every year we don’t have a lot of hard line traditions, but my parent’s house in Livonia has sort of become home base for our holiday parties. So we have family from both sides come and we my parents have extended friends who don’t have as much family and they come too. We don’t have many little kids anymore so our Christmas is always kind of a party, more so than other people’s family Christmases. It’s always a good time. The one thing that my mom does, and this is something my grandma did too, but she makes really elaborate covered pretzels and I look forward to that more than anything. 

Ryan, Director of Change

My extended family gets together every year for Christmas, so my grandma, and my mom has 3 sisters and two brothers, and all of their kids. My cousin Eli’s family is the biggest, they have 4, and everyone else has like 2 kids. So we’ve just continued to get together as an extended family. Some years there’s 30, 35 or 40 people so that’s really fun to see a lot of family who, most of them are still in Michigan but some are from around the country. We do a gift exchange. It’s the one where you draw the numbers and go in the order of the numbers then you can steal somebody’s gift from the middle. The gifts are less than 25 dollars. Eli does the enforcement of the rules so if the gift isn’t gender neutral enough he threatens to ban people from the game, in a joking way.  

Kalli, Creative Director

My family also celebrates Christmas. we usually celebrate the weekend before Christmas, we do a get together with my extended, extended family who all live in the same area still, so my great aunts and uncles, and my cousins and my seconds cousins, and thirds. Like 40, maybe more or less, people also do the same gift exchange, it also gets very heated. Lots of aggressive trading. Then with my more immediate family, sense my brother and I are more grown up now, we get together to do presents with my brother and sister in law and parents. Then Christmas morning my mom makes the most wonderful breakfast pizza and it only comes once a years on Christmas morning, so it’s really a highlight of the holiday season for me. 

Lauren, Director of Details 

My family also celebrates Christmas and my favorite holiday tradition, which, unfortunately I didn’t get to participate in this year, is my family watches National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation while we decorate the Christmas tree. Then for Christmas eve, my mom’s extended family, so everyone who descended from my great grand parents come and we do gifts for the kids and everyone does some sort of wonderful game that everyone participates in, totally voluntary. then on Christmas morning my parents make cinnamon rolls which is my our big breakfast tradition that comes once a year. Sometimes it doesn’t come if no one wakes up in time, but it’s usually good. 

Morgan, Video Production Associate

My family alternates holidays between my mom’s side and my dad’s side, but my mom’s side of the family is in Florida so it’s always nice when we can go there for Christmas, but with my dad we meet with his whole extended family which is over 80 people, so it’s kind of crazy. Lots of cousins and big families. But my mom goes all out with chocolates, she gets five pound bags of melting chocolates and basically dips anything you can think of in chocolate, so we always have chocolates everywhere, like coming out of our ears. So we do that and decorate our Christmas tree. 

Haley, Organizer of Words & People

With most holidays we do two get-togethers, a day with my dad’s side, a day with my mom’s side. For Christmas, my mom’s side usually comes over to our house. We’re all Maltese-blooded and really crazy, so think of like stereotypical Italian or Greek crazy, really energetic people. That’s what us Maltese people are like, too. So usually we’ll play a really aggressive game of Catch Phrase, Balderdash, or Taboo. We always play weird games around the holidays. We’ll also usually play a hockey game with all my cousins on our lake when it freezes over. Then on Christmas Eve, with just my sister and my parents, we’ll all pick out a Christmas story to share and read aloud. That’s something I remember most growing up. And then another thing just leading up to Christmas that I always like is once we have the tree put up, we have a hollowed out ornament especially for our dog, Yogi. Every morning. we shake it and Yogi comes running because he knows Santa left a treat for him. So he always gets a treat in the morning and on Christmas day he also has his own stocking, sticks his nose in it, and pulls out his own treatsrawhide shoes are his favorite. We bring him in the living room and he’s like not allowed on the carpet any other time of the year.  

Jaclyn, Data & Analytics Associate

My dog has a stocking too. I have a very small family but we have our own traditions too. Every year, sense I was little my grandma would take my sister and I to go see the Nutcracker Ballet, which is one of my favorite things that we do. Then a week before Christmas we all make Christmas cookies and those are my two favorites that I can think of off the top of my head. 

Amanda, Chief Results Officer

We’re starting to make our own traditions as a family, Ryan and Amelia and I. For the last four years we’ve gone to get our Christmas tree with our friends the Triplets and now they’re one year old, Teddy. My mom and I have always made cookies together and that’s been a big part of how we celebrate. We also are really big on doing Christmas stockings, so everybody gets a stocking and not just kids. Amelia is very pumped about making cookies and I don’t know how many gingerbread houses she’s going to make this year. It might end up being 3. 

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