What We Love Most About the Holidays

December 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm , by

Our staff here at Ladies’ Home Journal is not just incredibly talented, hard-working and yes, nice (hear that, Santa?), but they’re also a sentimental bunch. So we’ve shared some of our favorite rituals, memories and traditions below—just for fun.

Ever since I got my French bulldog, Smuckers, two years ago, my obsession is designing holiday cards featuring him in festive garb. (I use tinyprints.com.) Last year he was an elf (a pretty angry-looking one); this year he’s dressed as Peeved (left), one of Santa’s lesser-known reindeer. Lest you feel too sorry for him, note that he was paid handsomely in cheese cubes for enduring the three-minute photo shoot. And if you think this makes me a little bit crazy, well…you might be right. But with a face like that, how can I resist? —Jessica Brown, features editor

When my son, Oliver, was 3 we gave him his first Duplo blocks. He loved them so much it started a holiday tradition, and we still give him a Lego set each year. He’s 19 now! —Jeffrey Saks, creative director

When I was little, my parents had one Christmas record that we played over and over: The Andy Williams Christmas Album. Now I have it on CD, and I love listening to it (no matter how uncool) because it brings back good memories of opening presents with my brothers. —Kate Lawler, executive editor

What I love most about the holidays is that my 85-year-old mom is vibrant, happy and healthy and is still around to share this special season with us. —Sally Lee, editor-in-chief

I always feel grateful at Christmastime (when I’m not cursing the crazy crowds, that is) that I live in New York City. This time of year is pure magic in the Big Apple! —Lorraine Glennon, senior books & articles editor

Ever since I’ve outgrown toys, I’m all about the cookies this time of year. Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Las Posadas. Whatever. I’m totally interfaith and multicultural in the month of December. Whoever/whatever you celebrate, I will eat your cookies. And, no matter how Grinchy I get in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the Charlie Brown Christmas album by Vince Guaraldi always brings a smile to my face. (And gets me dancing like a Peanut.) —Ron Kelly, managing editor

For me, it’s decorating the house. This year I’ve tapped into my inner Martha Stewart by putting a Christmas tree in every major room. My big helper is my 3-year-old, who likes to hang all the ornaments on the same branch. Sigh. —Susan Pocharski, entertainment director

During the holidays, I love to visit Holiday Lane on the 9th floor in Macy’s Herald Square. When I was a little girl, my grandpa used to work at Macy’s. I’d love to visit him during the holidays so I could escape to a magical winter wonderland as I played in the elegant and whimsical displays. My grandpa is no longer with us, but on the 9th floor I become enveloped in the holiday magic and for a moment feel like I’m visiting him again. —Rosie Rotondi, beauty and fashion intern

One of my favorite holiday traditions is having Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. We don’t eat them any other time of the year, and I’m sure it started so that my mom didn’t have to get up and cook a big breakfast. But it’s just not Christmas without those gooey rolls—and fighting over who gets to ice them (and then lick the knife). —Amanda Wolfe, senior editor

My favorite thing about the holidays is decorating the tree. That box of ornaments is a history book of my life. There are some that I made for my late grandma when I was a little girl, the hokey “Our First Christmas Together” ornaments we got when my husband first moved in with me, the “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments with pics of my little ones and even Santa on the beach representing our honeymoon. I can’t wait to pass some of those ornaments on to my girls when they have trees of their own. —Sue Erneta, fashion editor

For me, it’s all about singing! I can’t get through all the verses of “Silent Night” at a candlelight service without getting teary. But the most fun is regaling my adorable, dimpled 3-year-old nephew, Buzz, with my spirited renditions of “Rudolph,” “Let It Snow,” and my favorite duet with my sister: “Pine Cones and Holly Berries/It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Hear the Osmonds’ classic 1970s version here and sing along!  —Julie Bain, health director

In the past it’s been cookies, games, presents and spending Christmas day in my PJ’s (in that order). This year, I’m just excited to see my baby’s reaction to all the holiday hoopla. —Erica Metzger, beauty director

I grew up in Tampa, where we were lucky if it was even a little chilly on Christmas Day. I remember my sisters and me riding our new bikes in tank tops and flip-flops. Now that I live in New York, I love that the city turns into a winter wonderland with carolers and pop-up shops and ice skating rinks—it really feels like the movies. But because I’ll always be a Florida girl, I look forward to getting off the plane next week in Tampa, seeing my family and stowing my coat and scarf. The forecast says 76 and sunny! —Amelia Harnish, editorial assistant

What I love most: having a week off work without constantly answering emails and texts from photo shoots. —Clare Lissaman, photo director

Move over, Grinch. My new favorite holiday character is the Christmas Commandant, aka my 5-year-old son, Scott. Around this time of year, he transforms from mild-mannered kindergartner to deck-the-halls drill sergeant: Get that tree! Decorate it! Do it now, Maggot!!! Seriously, though, Scott loves all our Christmas ornaments—even the ugly ones that never meant anything to me have sentimental value for him: “Look! I remember this one!” he’ll say, his voice full of wonder, holding up some hideous plastic bauble I got with a full tank of gas 10 years ago. His appreciation softens my Scroogelike attitude and gets me to appreciate the little things, even when they’re far from perfect. God bless us, every one. —Louise Sloan, senior articles editor

What I love about the holidays—here’s a list:
• Giving my nephews gifts
• Listening to the only Mariah Carey song that I like
• Watching A Christmas Story repeatedly
• Having coffee and opening presents with my parents and sister
• Getting together with friends who are in town from the West Coast.
• Going to Rolfs, the crazily decorated bar near my house, as many times as I can. Love those creepy dolls! —Gabrielle Porcaro, associate fashion editor

My family has always been big on decorating the house at Christmastime. From the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom, every inch gets decked. But this year for the first time, I had my very own apartment to do. So instead of helping my family, I raided the decorations and asked if I could take some for myself. It felt like a pretty big step decorating my apartment for Christmas and I must say, it looks pretty darn good! —Carisa McLaughlin, intern

On Christmas Eve we pack up the car with presents and drive to Boston to be with our cousins on Christmas day. They know how to celebrate. Their whole house is a showcase, decorated with lights and garlands. Their tree is spectacular. We love to be with them. We can be ourselves, laze around, have conversations about anything that comes to mind, eat too much, nap or read a book, and watch silly movies. There is nothing better than being with family! —Vivette Porges, photo associate

My favorite thing to do at the holidays is watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s one of the few things in life that never lets me down, always makes me happy and still feels totally genuine and comforting year after year. I have it on DVD, but I feel like it doesn’t count unless I catch it on TV in December, when the rest of the country is watching with me. —Lauren Piro, editorial assistant

I love getting to see my family during the holidays, but I’m always really excited to see our dog, Sadie. She’s getting older and slower, but she still gets a burst of energy the first time I walk through the door. Plus, I bought her a doggie snuggie for Christmas so I can’t wait for her to try it on! —Sonia Harmon, assistant editor

What I most appreciate about the holidays is that for some reason that I have never been able to completely grasp, strangers will say hello, smile, wish you well, hold the door . . . all simple things but meaningful expressions of caring. I work in New York City, so I know that you get what you give. If you smile, people will smile back. If you say “thank you” to someone, he or she will often reply, “You’re quite welcome.” The Big Apple has a reputation for toughness, but I have never found that to be 100 percent the case 100 percent of the time. Still, around the holidays people warm up and act like neighbors. I welcome the change and would like to see it year-round. —Tom Claire, associate managing editor

To all our LHJ friends and families, we hope your holidays are merry and bright!

2 Responses to “What We Love Most About the Holidays”

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