Staff Holiday Traditions

Some of our staff share the holiday traditions spent with their families each year.
Some of our staff share the holiday traditions spent with their families each year.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at ADDISON – The Magazine of the North Dallas Corridor! By this time we hope that you have opened your new gifts, told grandma you LOVE that new sweater and by this time you should have memorized the movie Elf.

The holidays are a time of year to spend with your family and loved ones and with most families, tradition comes about every year when the calendar turns to December. So while you spend your holiday traditions with your family, we thought we would share some of the holiday traditions from some of the staff here at the magazine. You can even look back to our Holiday/Winter 2012-13 issue of the magazine to see some holiday traditions from prominent figures in the Corridor like Dana Larson, David Holl and Derek Blount.

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us and enjoy the rest of your Dec. 25!

Rodney Hand, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief

The Hand family has long been separating our holiday traditions in that we have Thanksgiving with my extended family and each Christmas we share Christmas with my wife’s extended family.

The festivities start off with my wife, my son, her three sisters, all their children and my wife’s parents attending Christmas Eve church service. Afterward, everyone comes back to our house where we typically have catered food and cocktails and deserts in a casual environment where people mingle, eat, drink and socialize.

On Christmas morning we wake up and we exchange gifts with each other and with my wife’s parents and open all the gifts under our tree. This is particularly exciting for my son who although does not believe in Santa, still loves the thrill of Christmas morning! As soon as all the gifts of been opened and all the glee has been had, we rush to my wife’s older sister’s home where we have a huge tradition country breakfast, complete with eggs, pancakes, waffles , sausage, biscuits, hash browns etc., and of course Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, etc.

By the end of this outing, usually an afternoon nap is involved and then Christmas night we have a formal dinner at my wife’s younger sister’s home, which includes cocktail hour and a reading of a selected Bible verse from one of the grandchildren, who rotate as the reader each year. After this last event, we all return to our respective homes (my in-laws with us) and if one can keep awake there is usually a screening of Christmas Vacation later that night. It is a wonderful time for all to count their blessings and feel the warmth of family. By the 26th, everyone from out of town typically returns home and life goes on as usual afterward …. until New Years’ Eve of course … then we start again … but that’s a different story.

Sharla DeFrancisco, Advertising Director

Each year our holiday traditions begin the day after Thanksgiving, with our family decorating the tree and our home. From our travels throughout the world we have purchased an ornament that represents the country, city or attraction we visited, starting with the very first one from 1979, a hand-painted snow skier made of wood that I brought back from a ski trip to Red River, New Mexico.   Other favorites are the Eiffel Tower from Paris, fishing boat from Greece, shining Star from Israel, porcelain bull fighters from Spain, sandcastle from Florida, hand-blown dolphin from Hawaii, Nutcracker from London,  traditional Santa made from wool from Scotland… and many more! As we hang each one on the tree, we enjoy reliving, talking and remembering  all the wonderful things about each trip and where we want to go next!

Then on Christmas Eve, we enjoy celebrating with friends and family by attending Christmas Eve services at our church then coming home for our annual neighborhood “progressive dinner.”  We live on a cul-de-sac and begin at one of the homes for appetizers, then continue to walk to the next and so on, for up to 7 courses, ending in dessert and après dinner drinks. It’s a wonderful way to spend time together and have an amazing Christmas feast!

Lastly, the holiday tradition of being awaken on Christmas morning by the youngest of my three children and seeing their excitement and hearing the screams of joy when opening their gifts, with Christmas music playing in the background, the smell of cinnamon buns throughout the house, and a fire in the fireplace, makes me stop and be truly grateful to have all of these traditions that bring so much joy during this special time of year!

Sam Nicholson, Managing Editor

Christmas is always a fun time of year for myself and my family. Although plans tend to fluctuate from year to year due to moving around and who happens to be in town this year (my sister, who now lives in Hawaii, will not be in town on Dec. 25, so we celebrated a couple of weeks ago). One of the holiday traditions always remains constant: Christmas Eve with my dad’s family.

My father is one of eight brothers and sisters and subsequently I have over 20 cousins, 40 second-cousins and even a few third-cousins. On Christmas Eve, most of the family comes to the same house every year to celebrate. Even after my grandmother passed away years ago, we still come together in the same house to celebrate. We drink beer, share a laugh and scoff at the Dallas Cowboys’ season, all while standing shoulder to shoulder inside the small house or shivering around a small fire on the patio outside.

Then Santa Claus arrives. The 20+ children all get ecstatic not knowing it is in fact my Uncle Howard behind that big white beer… Don’t worry the “bowl full of jelly” belly is 100 percent authentic. When I was younger I sat on his lap every year opening one gift and now 20+ years later I get to watch the little Nicholsons do the same.

The holidays are always a fun time of year and even though I don’t remember all the names of my relatives every year, it’s always a great time and spending Christmas with them always will put a smile on my face.

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