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COLUMBIA'S EVERYDAY VOICES SHARE SOME PERSONAL HOLIDAY CHEER

Jessica Rourke—blogging on arts & culture

  • a gift you wanted but never received: “I've just always wanted a puppy on Christmas Day... with a really great red ribbon tied around his neck.  I hope my husband doesn't read this, because he has full-on puppy fever, and will use this as an excuse to get  a puppy for our family.”
  • must-have holiday foods: “Russian tea cakes, sugar cookies shaped as candy canes, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, roast beef dinners, and breakfast casserole on Christmas morning.”
  • artificial or real tree? “We always get a big, beautiful, live tree for the living room. We love sourcing ours from Draft Tree Farm in Lexington on the day after Thanksgiving. And now that we have a daughter, she gets her own little Leland Cyprus Tree. And then a white one in the dining room, and a mini  faux one in the den, and a faux one on the screen porch... basically we end up with some sort of tree in each room! ‘Tis the Season!”

Holly Heaton—blogging on food

  • family traditions: “As a little girl, I was always concerned for Santa's health. So many cookies! So, every Christmas Eve, my family made a salad and left it out for Santa Claus— with a note reminding him to eat all of his veggies.”
  • must-have holiday foods: “Christmas morning always started  off with bacon, muffins, and mimosas. When my siblings and I weren't old enough to drink, my parents ensured we felt special by serving us Sprite and orange juice in champagne glasses.”
  • special decorations: “My dad has a giant box full of ornaments that we've made in school over the years. My sister made an angel to put on top of the tree in the second grade. She is now almost 25 and the same angel, tattered and faded, still sits on top of our tree  each year.”

Jessica Lathren—blogging on arts & culture

  • a gift you wanted but never received: “When I was a kid, I always wanted the Hungry Hungry Hippos game. I never got it, but you better believe I bought it for my kids when they were little.”
  • special decorations: “I have a holiday ornament that my grandmother bought me in 1979. It depicts a little girl, dressed in a winter coat, feeding some birds in the snow. It's very special to me, and I remember my Nana fondly each time  I see it on the tree.”
  • favorite holiday memory: “I recall leaving my Nana and Papa's house after Christmas Eve dinner and staring up at the very dark, cold, rural-Georgia sky looking for Santa's sleigh. There was a mix of hoping to see it flying up there and hoping we weren't up so late that we'd be passed by. I was probably six or seven, but I can remember that exact feeling like it was yesterday.”

Cole Connor—blogging on musicfavorite holiday movie:

  • “My family likes to watch The Christmas Story, but to be honest,  I've seen it too many times to watch it again. Ah, not again!”
  • favorite holiday memory: “It's always been the looks on people's faces when they open gifts. Being around people you love and giving them gifts you know they want is a feeling like no other.”
  • favorite gift: “My favorite gift would have to be a go-cart. Our parents walked my step-brother and me behind the house to find the shiny speedsters staring at us. We wore those things out. Jumping hills. Crashing. Running into ditches. Nosebleeds. The works.”

Shanika Pichey—blogging on arts & culture

  • best gifts you ever received: “Barbie Dream House. And the game Dream Phone.”
  • a gift you wanted but never received: “Too many to list (I'm still waiting, Santa…)”
  • must-have holiday foods: “Egg Nog. Only time I want it. My sister and I waited too long to get it one Christmas. We drove around to every store that was open on Christmas Day to find some. No egg nog, but a least we made a memory and now we laugh at how ridiculous we were thinking we'd luck out.”
  • favorite holiday movie: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! I was always a fan of the Grinch.”

Bethany Tisdale—blogging on food

  • best gift you ever received: “One year, I opened a small box from my brother to discover an index card and a pen. I was very confused, and then I saw the card had a name scribbled on it—“Lance Bass.” You know, of N*SYNC fame. My brother had apparently seen Bass at a coffee shop and gotten an autograph for me. We laughed so hard that Christmas morning as he told the story of meeting Lance Bass. It remains the weirdest and most delightful Christmas gift I’ve ever received.”
  • favorite holiday movie: “The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best Christmas movie of all time. I will not hear any rebuttals. This is fact.”

What are your favorite holidays traditions? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter! Just tag @figcolumbia.

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