Several KC Employees graciously shared their Christmas traditions with The Flare Staff via e-mail recently. Here are some of those selections.
Cristi Ames – Workforce Development:
A favorite holiday memory for myself and my cousins comes thanks to my Grandfather. He would sneak me and my cousins out on Christmas afternoon and take us all to see a movie that we would normally not be allowed to go watch. For example, he took us all to go see “Jaws” and while me and my cousins would be screaming, my Grandfather slept through the entire movie. At the time we could not understand how he could sleep through an entire theater of screaming kids and some adults but as we each got our own children we figured it out. You get to where you can sleep anywhere and through anything!
Our Grandfather was our rock during our childhood and I wouldn’t trade him for anything, but he sure made us laugh a lot.
Susan Black, director of Watson Library
Wassail and Mexican style hot chocolate. So good!
Sarah Booker, math
Growing up, one of my family’s traditions was to open one gift on Christmas Eve. My brother and I were usually pretty antsy about wanting to open gifts, so this was a compromise. BUT, Mom got to choose which gift. It always seemed to be games we could play or books to read, so then we were busy the rest of the evening! (Smart Mom) My favorite tradition now is to attend a Christmas Eve service at my church (or wherever we are). I love singing the carols that tell the story of the birth of Jesus and seeing candles lit around the room to represent taking the light of Christ’s love out into the world.
Stephanie Laszik — English
On December 11, 1968, my Grandma was pregnant with my mom (the oldest of her siblings) and decorating the Christmas tree when she went into labor. My mom was born the next day, Dec. 12, 1968. Although my Grandma passed away when I was only four, my mom has upheld the tradition of putting up the tree on Dec. 12 every year since 1968.
Mo Lowman- Purchasing
In our house, I typically wrap 24 Christmas books. We open one every night and read it together. On Christmas Eve we open the final one, T’was the Night Before Christmas, and read it under the tree with a glass of egg nog.
Ashley Mason – Student Services
On Christmas Eve, my family gets to open one carefully chosen package: a new pair of pajamas! (My kids are all teens and 20-somethings, so they aren’t that thrilled about opening a pair of pjs… but I am keeping it alive.)
Jennifer Quine- Counseling
When I was a child, it was a tradition that no one could go into the living room until everyone in the family was together. My parents would go in first, light a fire in the fireplace, turn on the Christmas tree lights, start to play “Captain Kangaroos” Christmas album (a vinyl record) and slow cook ham on a griddle. Thinking of Christmas takes me right back to those sights, sounds and smells. My favorite Christmas morning was my 8th grade year. I slid the hallway pocket door open to the living room. Under the Christmas tree was a beautiful silver Bach Stradivarius trumpet! The brown leather case was open to expose the blue velvet liner. The Christmas lights were reflecting off the shining silver. The fire was crackling in the background. I don’t remember anything else about that Christmas…because nothing else mattered! I had my dream instrument and all was right with the world!
Karen Tutt — Education, KC-Longview
The Tutt family has their annual Christmas ping-pong tournament. It was a tradition that began long before Tom and I were married, but for the past 20 years, we’ve hosted it in our home. There used to be a trophy made from foil and a shirt with the winner’s names on it (those have not surfaced in years). It’s always great fun! We print a tournament bracket and fill it in as games are played. There’s lots of laughter, some shouts of anxiety, lots of food, and memories that last a lifetime.
Jan Washburn- Continuing Education
As a Christmas tradition, my brother Nicky and I always loved going across Dudley Road from our house to our Aunt Kate’s. We would trek through the woods and cross the stream if necessary to find the perfect Christmas tree. Then we would carry our prize tree home and set it up to decorate. Today, I live next door to Aunt Kate’s home and just down the road where Nicky and I lived with Daddy. I look out my window and can see the Old Dudley home place and also my old home place. So the Christmas spirit and holiday memories with family are with me each Christmas.