Treasured Traditions

So, this is Christmas — time for sipping hot chocolate in front of the tree, eating one too many rolls at dinner, and indulging in holiday traditions with family and friends. This season, the staff of Evansville Living reflects on our own seasonal traditions, from the good, the bad, and the ugly to the downright hysterical.

Happy holidays from Evansville Living!

Editor and Publisher Kristen Tucker
“Christmas Eve is particularly festive in our family, celebrated with a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and treats. Growing up in the Reeder household, our spread featured caviar (cheap), Norwegian gjetost, spinach artichoke dip in a Hawaiian bread bowl, and shrimp. Todd’s family, too, always hosted a big family party on Christmas Eve, featuring what seemed like hundreds of shrimp on ice in a big crystal bowl, along with many containers of a concoction called ‘Granny’s Punch.’ We’ll have shrimp again this year and a really nice charcuterie board, and we won’t forget a ‘few’ bottles of champagne.”

Sales and Marketing Coordinator Alec Kratzer
“Every year, I watch ‘The Polar Express’ movie. I always watch it at midnight on Christmas Eve, because it shares the same time and setting as the plot of the film. ‘The Polar Express’ was my favorite Christmas movie as a child, and I feel a great sense of nostalgia every time I watch it.”

Senior Graphic Designer Casey Scarbrough
“My grandmother used to make one of the three of us grandkids read aloud the Christmas story from the Bible to the whole family before we opened presents. We were supposed to rotate the reader each year, but every year my cousin and I would swear we’d just read it last year or the year before and the job would fall to my sister (the youngest).”

Staff Writer Dallas Carter
“Christmas morning is typically the time for energy and excitement, but my family’s best traditions always fell on Christmas Eve. Before rushing out the door for the candlelight service at our church, my brother and I each were allowed to choose and unwrap one of our presents from under the tree. After church — while playing with our new gifts — we would snuggle up on the couch with my parents and read a pop-up, interactive version of ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ from my mom’s first Christmas in 1969. We still read the book every year.”

Senior Account Executive Jessica Hoffman
“I enjoy making sugar cookies with my daughter. It’s the same recipe my family used to make cookies when I was a kid.”

Distribution and Circulation Manager Gregg Martin
“(I enjoy) posting a video recording, which was recorded about eight years ago, of my percussion trio playing ‘The First Noel’ on Facebook on Christmas day. Those three fine lads from Evansville did a great job!”

Managing Editor Jodi Keen
“My favorite holiday tradition is the Christmas poem that my mom’s family had going for about 10 years. We all seemed to do the stupidest things, so we started chronicling our misadventures and reading them as a poem each Christmas. The family then voted on who had the worst year, and the winner received the ‘Horse’s Heinie Award’ — a trophy topped with the back end of a horse. It grew to legendary stature in our extended family: Alliances were created, loved ones informed on each other, and no one’s secret was safe. I swear we all love each other.”

Senior Account Executive Jennifer Rhoades
“I have a collection of North Pole Village pieces that we decorate the mantel with, and we’ve added more pieces to the collection that cover the top of our piano. They always make our living room look so festive and bright this time of year.”

Graphic Designer Morgan Dean
“Ever since I can remember, my mom has made homemade pasta and chicken parmesan for Christmas dinner. I look forward to enjoying this meal with my family every year!”

Staff Writer Riley Guerzini
“Of a long list of family Christmas traditions (which you can read about in the November/December 2021 issue of Evansville Living), the most memorable, and maybe most painful, tradition we have is every member of our large family opening each gift individually on Christmas morning as my mom takes pictures. This may not seem that bad, but with 10 siblings, opening presents can take up to four hours.”

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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