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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday traditions continue

How do you celebrate the holidays with your family? Do you honor the same traditions year after year or do you recreate new ones as times change? Here's what a few more of our colleagues have to say:

Jule Taylor, assistant, alumni career services:

"A tradition from my past…No matter how cold or snowy, my family’s Christmas began with midnight mass in the beautiful church of my childhood, St. Francis. My family and all of our Kentucky relatives would assemble just before midnight in the elegant, old church. The year a new priest came to town, my grandmother, who volunteered tirelessly for the church for 50 years, called to remind the priest that hearing the Ava Maria was an important part of the service to her. I still think of the Ava Maria as my grandmother’s song, and I think of my grandmother doing her part to be sure a tradition she loved remained a part of the night that meant so much to all of us."

Kate Gregory, coordinator, regional volunteer programs:

"Although we no longer live in the same city, my brother and I always watch The Year Without a Santa Claus, a stop motion animated movie from the ‘70s, and text each other during it. On Christmas Day, my family watches The Godfather.
The day after Christmas, my father’s side gathers for a big Gregory Christmas dinner. With three generations of Oxford and Emory alumni and staff at the table, the conversation inevitably turns to the latest Emory news."

Michelle Valigursky, assistant director of marketing communications:

"When my boys were little, we always began the season on Thanksgiving by writing out our holiday cards after the turkey began to bake. While the Macy's parade marched down the avenue, we'd begin another time-honored tradition at home: the building of the candy mansion. Each year the house seemed to grow larger and take longer to finish, but our creations were the centerpiece of many a holiday photo and a true joy for every child who visited the house. The best moments were the unexpected ones - catching my toddler son licking the house's candy cane fence, discovering a nephew peeling off red licorice roof tiles for a quick snack, and witnessing ear-to-ear smiles of the little ones who would sit on the floor in front of these candyland dream homes making up stories about the families who lived inside. Before Christmas each year, we donate these sweet homes to children's hospitals to spread the holiday cheer."

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