Holiday Favorites From The Chamber Staff

Christmas time is full of joyful traditions, time spent with friends and family, and good food and treats. The Chamber staff want to share their Christmas favorites with you! We asked a series of questions about the season and each staff member’s answers are below.

Does your family have any fun holiday traditions?

Pam: “Adding ornaments to the Advent Calendar to count down the days until Christmas was a tradition growing up that extended into our daughter’s lives on the same advent calendar that my brother and I used over 50 years ago!”

Vicky: “All of my brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews get together at Christmas. We have lots of delicious appetizers and do a white elephant exchange. It’s a lot of fun when you have around 50 people playing.”

Paula: “Christmas breakfast with our children and grandchildren, then present opening!”

Gini: “My favorite tradition is that my immediate family cuts down a Christmas tree together each year.”

Kaylee: “My parents created stocking hunts every year. We would open presents, then there would be a clue in the tree to start our scavenger hunt. My parents would fill and hide our stockings on Christmas Eve once we were asleep, then they would hide clues around the house. My brother and I would go around the house to find the stockings. It was always something we looked forward to. Some years the clues would involve having to complete a challenge to get our next clue.”

Jenna: “On Christmas Eve every year, my family and I watch It’s a Wonderful Life and then on Christmas Day, we watch A Christmas Story!”

Katie: “At my Nana’s house, we have a hunt for the Christmas Pickle. It’s a pickle ornament that she hides somewhere in the tree. As you can imagine, it blends in really well. The family gathers around to try and find the pickle – whoever finds it first gets an extra Christmas gift!”

Christin: “Every year we make hot cocoa or get some Starbucks and go on a ‘Light Walk’ around our neighborhood. We started when we had to pull the kiddos in their Red Radio Flyer Wagon and still do it today… with only a few eye rolls from the teen.”


Do you have a favorite holiday side dish, meal, or menu item?

Pam: “My mother’s macaroni & cheese is a must-have at Christmas lunch.”

Vicky: “Every year we have Christmas morning breakfast which includes venison tenderloin, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, gravy, biscuits, and waffles.”

Paula: “Sweet potato casserole is my favorite.”

Gini: “Breakfast on Christmas morning – no matter what is on the menu!”

Kaylee: “Christmas breakfast! We’d have 1 ½ pieces of French toast cut up into triangles and stacked in the shape of a tree. Then it gets covered in green sprinkles and powdered sugar. The trunk of the tree was two sausage links, the eggs were cut into the shape of a star for the top of the tree, and the leftover eggs were presents under the tree. The meal was accompanied by Wassel, which we would only drink on Christmas.”

Jenna: “Green bean casserole is my fav!!”

Katie: “I love to snack, so I enjoy the finger foods and appetizers that our family typically has around at our holiday meals. Things like pigs in a blanket, brie bites, cheese ball, and more!”

Christin: “We make Hunter’s Breakfast for Christmas morning every year. It’s a breakfast casserole that I used to have at my house on Christmas morning growing up. And of course, we have to eat it while we listen to Kenny and Dolly’s Christmas album from 1984.”


Do you prefer white lights or colored lights?

Pam: “Outside and on our more formal trees, we use white lights. However, on the more fun trees we use colored lights. Our favorite ‘fun tree’ is known as our memory tree. It includes ornaments that my husband and I made growing up as well as those our daughters, now 29 and 23, made!”

Vicky: “Colored lights”

Paula: “White lights”

Gini: “White lights!”

Kaylee: “Warm white lights because it looks classic. The only place I ever had colored lights was on the tiny Christmas tree in my room and that was because it was what I was given and because they blinked.”

Jenna: “White lights!”

Katie: “I love the classic look of white lights. I think the warm white glow adds a nice, cozy ambiance to your living room while you sit by the fireplace.”

Christin: “White. Always.”


What is your favorite Christmas song?

Pam: “‘O Holy Night’” has been a favorite as long as I can remember.”

Vicky: “‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’”

Paula: “‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ or any song from Bing Crosby’s White Christmas album. One of my favorite childhood holiday memories is listening to that album on the living room stereo with my brothers and sister every Christmas while trying to figure out what was in every package under the tree.”

Gini: “‘The Night Before Christmas’ from Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas album circa 1993! Christmas to me is a celebration of how our God is so big and able – and this song speaks to how we can come as we are to feel the joy of the season! This album plays on repeat Christmas morning at our house!”

Kaylee: “‘Silent Night’”

Jenna: “‘Happy Xmas’ with John Lennon and Yoko Ono!”

Katie: “‘The Christmas Song’ is one of my favorites. It’s hard to choose! This song has always given me that warm Christmas feeling! There are so many good versions of it from artists new and old, so you get a new experience with every version.”

Christin: “‘Thistlehair the Christmas Bear’ by Alabama”


Do you prefer a real tree or an artificial tree?

Pam: “Live trees make for festive decorating, yet some ornaments are much too heavy for the branches, so that is where the artificial trees are a must. Yes, that means we typically have both live and artificial.”

Vicky: “Artificial”

Paula: “Artificial”

Gini: “Both! I love to go with my family to cut one down each year and I love looking back at how much my boys have changed over time.”

Kaylee: “Artificial”

Jenna: “Artificial”

Katie: “I like the smell and experience of getting a real tree, but I like the ease of my artificial tree. We can change the lights from white to colored with the press of a button! That’s a lifesaver when you have differing opinions in one household.”

Christin: “Artificial. Always.”


What’s your favorite Christmas movie that you watch every year?

Pam: Home Alone 1 is a must-see every year – and not only just during the holidays!”

Vicky: Elf

Paula: A Christmas Story”

Gini: “I’m not sure we have one that we watch each year, but I like the overall theme of The Grinch. We never know what someone else is going through and genuine kindness goes a long way.”

Kaylee: “My family would always watch The Santa Clause movies.”

Jenna: “It’s a tie for White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Katie: “I’ve seen The Santa Clause more times than I can count, and it never gets old! It’s a fun and nostalgic movie choice for me at Christmas time.”

Christin: “Elf. Always.”


What’s your favorite holiday dessert or sweet treat?

Pam: “Red velvet cake is not only delicious, but beautiful for Christmas lunch. Yet, we have a neighbor who makes the yummiest thumbprint cookies that I look forward to each year!”

Vicky: “I like German Chocolate Cake.”

Paula: “Iced Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies with sprinkles.”

Gini: “Anything chocolate!”

Kaylee: “Kaylee Crack (Homemade Hard Rock Candy)! My Nanney and I make it every year together and it starts the season off.”

Jenna: “Caramel corn – specifically that comes in those big tins!!”

Katie: “I like anything chocolate and peanut butter!”

Christin: “Peanut butter balls… also known as Buckeyes.”