Welcome to #TMITuesday! This week, we’re getting into the holiday spirit and recounting our favorite holiday traditions, from pranks to presents.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
My mom loves to prank people with the gift to/from tags, so it’s something I always look forward to. For example, one year in high school there was a gift for me “from” a boy who had a huge crush on me, but who I didn’t like at all. As soon as I went to open it my mom started laughing hysterically, and it turned out to be a box of underwear.
Clearly, this was not from the boy, but she thought it was hilarious and probably laughed for 15 minutes straight. I’ve also “received” gifts from our family dogs, famous celebrities, and dead presidents. It’s a little thing, but it makes the gift opening experience more fun and memorable.
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
Every December, I make “Chocolate and Fresh Cream Truffles,” the recipe for which was published in the New York Times in 1989. They are celestial treats that humans do not deserve, and with a name that does not do them justice. Their decadence requires a minimum of a day and a half as well as a multi-step process to create.
My tradition involves starting the truffle-making process while watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers — a deeply sexist musical from 1954 that I didn’t realize was deeply sexist until many years after I fell in love with it. A story based on the ancient Roman tale The Rape of the Sabine Women, the musical is a treasure if you can get past the whole mountain-men-kidnapping-women theme, and the first song titled “Bless Yore Beautiful Hide,” in which Howard Keel charms his way through a rural town, looking for a bride, with lyrics such as “I don’t know your name but I’m a-stakin’ my claim, lest your eyes is crossed.”
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
Growing up, our biggest holiday celebration was always December 24, not December 25. This was primarily due to scheduling (I had siblings who would do the 24th with us, then the 25th with their in-laws), but I also think that ‘Nochebuena,’ the big dinner that takes place on Christmas Eve in the Philippines, Latin American countries, and Spain, may have played some influence.
The Christmas Eve dinner was always where all the stops would get pulled out and we’d dress the nicest; we would even open presents after dinner instead of waiting for Christmas day itself. The 25th was always spent lounging around, eating whatever tasty leftovers we could get from the night prior.
While the American Nochebuena didn’t have the midnight fireworks I remember from Christmases spent in the Philippines, I still looked forward to the 24th more than the 25th.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
My family is very small and doesn’t do much for the holidays, so in recent years I celebrate with my boyfriend, Taylor, and his family instead. They have a tradition of throwing a big party on Christmas Eve with family, friends, and Santa Clause! Someone in the family dresses up as Santa (somehow the children never figure it out) in full costume, complete with a sack of gifts for all the kids. When Santa calls each child up to get their present they have to sing a Christmas carol in front of the entire party. It’s a fun tradition that typically turns into everyone singing along.
One year someone thought it would be funny to put a gift of mine in Santa’s gift bag, so I had to sit on his lap and sing a Christmas carol too. I was completely unprepared but, fortunately, I had a few cocktails already and was up for the challenge.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
I don’t know if other families do this or not, but one tradition we had growing up was taking turns “being Santa” on Christmas morning. It basically involves wearing a Santa hat and giving out a round of gifts to everyone. While much more novel as a kid, it’s still a great way to spread out the gift giving evenly among everyone who attends.
It’s also a way for kids to practice a little patience—when it’s your turn to be Santa, you don’t give yourself a gift. You only get one gift per round, so you have to wait as everyone else opens their gift each round. It’s not the wildest tradition, but we still do it to this day.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
My favorite holiday tradition is to give my brother a joke gift. Since I do it every year it requires me to get more creative with packaging etc. year over year to make it somewhat effective. I also get him a real gift but will carefully squeeze in the joke gift before or after the real one.
This back fired on me a couple of years ago though. I had gotten him a new skateboard deck which was pretty obvious from the shape of the wrapped box. Without me knowing, he had carefully unwrapped the box and snuck a deck that he had gotten for me into the same box. When we were exchanging gifts, he acted like he didn’t get me anything at all. Then when he went to open his deck and he pulled two out of the box I was dumbfounded because I had wrapped it myself.
Once I realized what was going on I almost fell over laughing, what goes around comes around!