What is your favorite holiday tradition?

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“We always let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve and it’s usually matching PJs.”


My great-uncle and I build and decorate a gingerbread house together every year. It is the highlight of my Christmas season and he enjoys it as well!”


drawing of a RV

“Ready the motorhome for a trip to Disney or Dollywood for Christmas.”


“Going to our church’s candlelight service and then coming home to a tortellini dinner.”


bowl of tortellini
4 women kneeling around a yellow table

“My family’s favorite holiday tradition is meeting at DeSoto State Park for Thanksgiving. My grandparents lived in Fort Payne, Ala. and as the family grew the overflow started staying at DeSoto. My grandmother died in 2000 and now 20-plus years later my family still goes to DeSoto for Thanksgiving. We rent lodge rooms and cabins and have a wonderful time hiking the trails, eating at their beautiful lodge and building campfires, etc. Since we have a few that went to that other school, we make sure to split up before the Iron Bowl!”


“As a family with a 5-year-old and a baby, we are still feeling out our own traditions. We’re fortunate to host our family’s Thanksgiving. My in-laws
and my parents come over for a meal prepared by all. It may not seem like the most exciting ‘tradition’ per se, but to have both sides of our family come together to celebrate is a blessing. And as a house divided, I’ll always cherish any extra Auburn influence over my children from my mom, Diane Hines ’76.”


AU Gingerbread house graphic

“I started a Christmas Eve tradition with my own now-adult children of letting them open a Christmas ornament (or the like) that has the year and their initials/name on it (even if I wrote it on the bottom myself). They loved seeing them every year when it came time to decorate. And when they got married, they got to take their personal collection so they had ornaments/decor to start with. They still get them and now I also have the same tradition for the six grandchildren! Needless to say, there are a few Auburn-themed ones in the mix!”


“My kids bake a cake on Christmas Eve and then we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus on Christmas morning before opening any presents!”
chocolate cake with sprinkles

“Throughout the year we keep a jar on our kitchen island, along with paper and pen, and each person in the family can write down ‘small memories/wins/ happies’ throughout the year and add to the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we sit down with bubbly (fruit cocktail for the kiddos) and take turns pulling memories from the jar and recalling our happy times from the year.”