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Holiday Traditions


The holidays are a time to slow down and spend time with those we love, creating the traditions that we will reflect back on as the most precious times of our lives.

When my children were young, we lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, so one of our favorite family, holiday traditions was piling into the car on Christmas Eve with a thermos of hot chocolate and some blankets to view the beautiful luminaria and Christmas light displays that decorated the city. In New Mexico, luminarias or farolitas are a Christmas tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Their displays decorate neighborhoods, golf courses, and churches. Viewing a display of luminarias, is a treat for the eye that brings a peaceful feeling to the mind. There is a simplicity to their glow that is magical. The good news is they are easy to make and a fun way to decorate your home, lighting a path for Santa and his sleigh.

If you’d like to give it a try, here are two videos that might be helpful:

If making luminarias is a Southwestern tradition you would rather not attempt, there are plenty of spectacular Christmas lights to view here in Reno and Sparks:

My children have all grown into three wonderful, young adults now, and I am enjoying seeing some of those old traditions passed on to my grandchildren. However, I remind myself that it is the ways that I choose to spend my time today that will be a reflection in the future. We are never too old to create new family traditions.

Some of our other employees shared their traditions as well:

• Trisha: When my kids were young we would take the light rail from our town into downtown Portland to see Santa at Santa Land in Macy’s. They had a whole floor that had everything to do with Santa and it was a blast. They had a monorail for kids that the kids loved to ride on (a million times).

• Natalie: One of our Christmas traditions is to help my mom make that evenings Christmas dinner. One thing we always keep the same and love making are bonuelos. Which are a Hispanic sugary, deep fried tortilla with its own special syrup!

• Noelle: My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was every single year on Christmas Eve I would go to my Nana’s house and help her put up the Christmas tree. Every year I would make or buy her a special Christmas ornament to place on the tree. My Nana even has Christmas ornaments from when I was a baby. She places each other her children’s, grandchildren’s, and now great grandchild’s first raddles on her Christmas tree.

• Missy: When my children were in grade school and middle school, Santa would write them a note and attach it to the gift he brought them. His note would tell them how good they were throughout the year. He would also point out when they weren’t so good, and he would let them know he expects them to be better the following year. Every year my kids looked forward to Santa’s note and couldn’t wait to read what he wrote.


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