The one beautiful thing about this time of year is all the holiday celebrations.  Have you ever wondered how some of our members celebrate?  Even here in America there is such a blend of cultures and traditions.  Let’s take a trip around the world…



Bunty & Bhavy Sethi

“Diwali (festival of lights) is one of the biggest festivals for us, more so because a very special day for Sikhs falls on the same day as well called ‘bandi chord divas’.  Our family tradition on this day is that we all get together to light candles and pray for a good year ahead.  We visit our Sikh temple, get dressed in traditional wear, eat loads of sweets, and have a meal with our loved ones.  Our daughter danced this year for Diwali celebrations.”


Madeleine Welsh

“Since I moved here, I guess I could say going to the Christmas markets that pop up everywhere!  And enjoying gluhwein, a mulled wine, with friends!  With my family, though…I would probably say the little family dinner we have on Christmas.  My dad is an excellent cook!”


Sarah Hodgkinson

“Once Ema’s school show is over we put our tree up.  Ema does all our decorating prior to the tree going up (we get a real tree each year).  We have a family tradition of making milk chocolate chip cookies on Christmas Eve every year and take them to all our neighbors.  We figure that way, no matter what route Santa arrives at our house, he’ll be in a good mood since our cookies are the best!”


Tony Rivellino

“Usually we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve with a traditional family dinner that consists of mainly fish dishes of cod, tuna, and shrimp because we don’t eat meat that day.  As you know, us Italians love our food!”


Mark & Nicole Saylor

“This year, we added a new Colombian Christmas tradition: Little Candles Day!  We decorated bags and lit up our curb with flameless candles in the bags.  We’re sure it was totally different from how Cristian celebrated in Colombia, but he seemed to appreciate the attempt!  He demonstrated in great detail how to stamp out a fire when your bag or box catches fire.  He said our little lights were safer, but not as exciting.  As for annual family traditions…on December 1st we hang up 24 socks.  Each day, we read a small section of the Christmas story from the Bible, and one of the kids gets to open a sock with a small gift inside (candy, quarters, mini Nerf gun, etc.).  The kids absolutely love this tradition!”


Sean & Jolie Cina

“Portia and Myles’ favorite tradition is saying the prayers over the Hanukkah menorah candles all together and getting presents.”


Maria Gad

“My family celebrates on January 7th.  We are Coptic Orthodox and have liturgy until midnight, then we have a big meal with Egyptian food, which is a lot like Greek food.  One of my favorite dishes is stuffed grape leaves.”


Angelo Mantione

“Coming from a strict upbringing, family is always together on Christmas!  My father makes the sauce and makes baked pasta, veal and chicken cutlets!  Then, we relax, open our gifts, and have coffee and desserts.  We drink our homemade wine and enjoy each other’s company!”


Amy Moon

“We usually have a Korean tree with an Asian angel in a hanbok (a traditional Korean dress).  We hang Korean happy pockets (rainbow striped pouches) as ornaments and have hot pepper lights.  Matty’s mom and uncle came from Korea.  We play YUT, a traditional game where you toss little sticks in the air to move around a gameboard.”

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