Holiday Traditions Part III

December 15, 2023

Video Transcript

Speakers: Catherine Scott, Director of Innovation. Casey Martin, Head of Lower School. Candie Esch, Marketing & Communications Director

Please share with us your favorite holiday traditions and why they're your favorites.

Candie Esch: My favorite holiday tradition is from my mom. So when we were little, she would buy us a special Christmas ornament every year and she would give one to each of us on Christmas Eve. So me and my two younger brothers and that made Christmas Eve really special for us. And it also made us feel like we had something to look forward to on Christmas Eve instead of just looking forward to Christmas. So every year she would write our name and the date on the ornament. This was something she started when I was a baby. So I have ornaments all the way back from the year that I was born. And so when I grew up and became an adult and moved out of the house, she gave me the full box of ornaments for me to start my own Christmas tree collection with. And it's also something that I've done with my own Children and they love it. So it's, it's really something special that we do together as a family and it makes decorating the Christmas tree a lot more special than just getting out a random box of ornaments. So they really lovingly unwrap each one of these special pieces that they've been given each year and they are able to sort of think about the memories of what happened that year. And sometimes we'll try to piece together something special about the year and, and connect it back to the ornament. So like the year that Finn was born, he got a special ornament that represented his birth and the year that my stepdaughter started driving, we got her a car ornament and so we try to connect it back to milestones in their life. And that way as they're decorating the tree, they get to think back on all these things that have happened and we get to talk about the memories of their lives and they try to guess what their ornament for the coming year is going to be. And it's just a really cool thing that we do as a family. And they also get to look back at all the ornaments from my life and my childhood that go all the way back to the early eighties and look at those. And we get to talk about my childhood also. So it's really special and I'm looking forward to giving them their box when they grow up and move away from home and watching the tradition continue with my own grandchildren.

Catherine Scott: We would every year buy new Christmas books and then we would keep them all in a basket downstairs in the living room with the Christmas tree. It became part of the decor. And then every night before the girls would go to bed, they get to pick a book. We'd sit by the Christmas tree and we'd be together as a family and we would read the book and it's still one of their very favorite traditions to talk about. The books just became part of the decor that we put out every year and it was something they really looked forward to. So hopefully you'll find out something that maybe you guys want to do. And if you have any questions, you know, you can always reach out. Thanks.

Casey Martin: When I think of holiday traditions, I think back to where I grew up. So I've been in Dallas for 7.5 years and I moved here from Washington DC. So I've been in urban environments for quite some time, but I actually grew up in a very small town, very rural town in, uh, Pennsylvania. And my family's house is actually pretty far outside of that town as well. So when I go home, I really do hope that there's snow, for just a short period of time. I don't care for the cold weather at all. But I really like going for a walk on my parents' property in the snow, looking for birds or deer or along the river or the ponds and just kind of get in touch with nature. Something that I feel like I don't get to do in the hustle and bustle of, living kind of the urban life. So, you know, it's a great time to reflect and have that moment of, of solitude and quiet. There's nothing more quiet really than being in the woods with snow. So, you know, some might find it a little bit silly but the longer I have lived away from, that environment, the more I look forward to this tradition of going back home and taking that time to take that long walk in the woods. And I use it to be restorative and contemplative. And, yeah, so if I didn't have a chance to do that, I would miss it and, and I definitely look forward to it this year as well.

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