Staff Picks: Holiday Traditions

They say the holidays bring out the kids in us. Even though we may have learned the Jolly Old Elf isn’t really real years ago, tell us there’s a Christmas pickle on the tree and suddenly elbows fly. In the spirit of the holidays (and pickles), Pulse staffers shared their favorite—and in some cases most unusual—traditions that bring back memories of holidays past. Share yours with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below.

“There are two foods we have only at Christmastime every year—my dad’s epically delicious deviled eggs and my nan’s incredible Swedish meatballs. I have yet to try a better version of either anywhere! Aside from the satisfaction of tasting these treats after waiting all year long, my sister and I roll up our sleeves and help with the prep which makes for great laughs and memories.

My husband and I started hosting our family and friends on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago, so that’s a new tradition I love, too. Good company, food, drink and the warm glow of Christmas lights is all I need!”

— alyssa grant, director of advertising

“Baking, shopping and ugly sweater contests are among a few of my favorite holiday traditions. I love anything that boosts the holiday spirit and allows me to enjoy time with those I love most!”

— meaghan mckeaver, assistant to the director of advertising

“We rent a bus because there are 40 of us. Last year we went from house to house. We had apps at one house, salad at the next, entrée at the third house and dessert and presents at the last. Last year, the bus was stocked and a blast with Christmas carols and kids playing their school instruments. Fun!”

— gina thorton, suffolk county account executive 

“Our Jamaican Christmas tradition includes drinking Sorrel. It’s made primarily with dried sorrel (a meadow plant), ginger, sugar and Jamaican overproof white rum. We also make a Jamaican-style Christmas cake (called black cake) made with fruit soaked in rum for months before Christmas. Traditional Christmas Day breakfast includes ackee (Jamaica’s national fruit) and saltfish served with traditional side dishes like breadfruit, fried plantains, fried dumplings and boiled bananas. Traditional Christmas dinner usually includes dishes like fried fish, curry chicken, curry goat, oxtail and served with rice and peas.”

— navia watson, senior account executive

“The holidays are always filled with visits with family and friends, delicious food and LOTS of wine. But my major tradition is that every year we go to our local fire station house on the weekend after Thanksgiving. We spend a good hour looking at trees until we find the perfect one then off to home we go. The decorations (and more wine) come out and our Christmas journey begins.”

— jessica suarino, nassau county account executive

“Every year, my family and I travel to Baiting Hollow to cut down our Christmas tree. There’s something magical about the thrill of the hunt, the chill in the air and the memories that last forever. We end the night with pizza (Sicilian slices) and hot chocolate by the fireplace. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

— mary demaio, web editor

“Making a massive family and friend feast. I adore cooking and baking from scratch and I tend to start preparing days ahead and make enough food for an army. My house has an open-door policy during the holidays and everyone is welcome to come. I usually have over 15 kids and 15 adults in the house for a feast. As much as the thought of the clean up the day after gives me anxiety, when I see the house full of laughter and food I know I wouldn’t change it for the world.

— jennifer diel, nassau county account executive