Elise Ivy

Any holiday traditions?

My family’s holiday traditions include celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas. We typically give eight small gifts for Hanukkah, one gift on Christmas Eve, and a big gift on Christmas Day. In addition, we sponsor a family in need so that they can also enjoy gifts at the holidays.

Favorite holiday food?

I really love all of the food during the holiday season, but I think my two favorites are pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.

Wishes for the New Year?

Oh, this is a tough one because I have so many wishes. Universally, I wish for happiness for all beings.

Leah Williams

Any holiday traditions?

It’s a holiday tradition for me, my siblings, and our families to always spend Christmas together, no matter where we have to travel to do so.

Favorite holiday food?

My sister’s mac and cheese (she uses a secret blend of cheeses and she won’t tell anyone what it is) and red velvet cake.

Wishes for the New Year?

Joy, peace, and all good things!

Sharon Faetsch

Any holiday traditions?

Santa always tucks a gingerbread man into every stocking, and we get to eat them for breakfast on Christmas morning!

Favorite holiday ornament?

Anything my kids have made…and they’ve made a lot! 

Favorite holiday food?

My favorite holiday food is actually a beverage—egg nog!

Amy Stran

Any holiday traditions?

We always have Christmas at my parents’. They’ve lived in the same house since I was three, so it will always be home for the holidays.

Favorite holiday food?

Bring on the sweet potato casserole!

Wishes for the New Year?

That we’re blessed with another happy, healthy year!

Katie McGee

When do you start decorating for the holidays?

Holiday decorations start going up the day after Thanksgiving.

Favorite holiday ornament?

The ones that have been passed down over generations. Jason and I also have several that we’ve had since we were babies. The moment you take them out of the box, Christmas memories begin!

Favorite holiday food?

My nanny’s sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, mawny’s (my grandmother’s) mushrooms, and spicy cocktail meatballs. These are holiday staples in our house. 

Cathy Pedrayes

Pumpkin pie or apple pie?

Pumpkin.

Do you set up a real or artificial tree?

Artificial. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always celebrated Hanukah, Christmas, Noche Buena, and the Day of Enlightenment or Three Kings’ Day. As a result, my décor is a little mixed!

Best childhood holiday memory?

One Christmas, while we went through our usual “go-to-bed” and “I-can’t-sleep” routine, all of a sudden our neighborhood lost power. We went outside to see what was going on, and up in the air was a little red light. My mom said, “That’s Rudolph! Santa is passing over our house, get in bed, hurry!” So I ran upstairs and hopped in bed. We never really figured out what happened that night, but it was magical. 

Courtney Khondabi

Pumpkin pie or apple pie?

Can I choose both?

Do you set up a real or artificial tree?

Artificial. It is so easy, and I use candles to bring the real tree smells into my home.

Will you host or travel for the holiday this year?

I am hosting for the first time ever! My entire family is coming to visit, including my two young nieces. I can’t wait to make it magical for them!