We asked our Augusta Family staff and contributors their favorite holiday tradition and here is what they said:

Dustin Turner (Feature Writer)
On Christmas morning, my dad and stepmother come to our house to watch our daughter (now 12) open her presents— all while drinking coffee and eating my wife’s heirloom recipe red velvet cake. Then we spend the afternoon in Ehrhardt, S.C., on Jamie’s family’s horse farm with family.

Meredith Flory (Raising Readers, Inspiration Station)
We open one “Christmas Eve” present that has a family theme like a new picture book or board game.

Cammie Jones II
We adopt a family who needs a little extra help at Christmas and shop for them with two other families. We then deliver the gifts and all the food needed for a holiday meal to the family on Christmas Eve.

Randy Pace (Cover Photographer)
On Christmas Eve we have family over to eat and exchange gifts. Having all of our relatives come together is just awesome!

Lisa Dorn (Director of Sales)
It’s making our family-recipe Honey Spice Snap cookies. We make them for our family but also love to give them as gifts.  We have been known to ship them across seas to relatives!

Kim Beavers (Eating well with Kim)
One tradition my husband and I started was placing an envelope on our Christmas tree each year that contained a surprise family adventure for the following year like a camping trip or going to Yellowstone Park.

Doressa Hawes (Sales)
On Christmas Eve all my siblings and our families get together at mom’s house to for our Christmas party celebration. Sometimes the party is themed, such as the celebration of the Savior’s birth, and we sing, play games, eat and exchange gifts.

Dana Harris (Feature Writer)
Mom would make her famous homemade eggnog and bake Christmas cookies as we all listened to Christmas carols on our floor model stereo on dad’s birthday which was on Christmas Eve.

Ron Eaker (Ask the Doctor)
Every year we decorate a separate tree with ornaments that our two daughters made in school while growing up, along with ornaments representing all the pets we have had over the years.

Michael Rushbrook (Art Director)
My family holiday tradition is watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Love this Christmas movie.

Paige Tucker (Mom to Mom)
We sing “Happy Birthday, baby Jesus” on Christmas Eve! We bake the same cake and decorate it with my daughter’s play nativity set, then blow out a candle to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Mary Porter Vann (Sales)
My children always “have to have” Anne Marie’s Broccoli Casserole, my tenderloin recipe and always chocolate desserts… Let’s not forget English peas with mushrooms and butter! And we must not forget the Christmas Eve service!

Renee Williams (Feature Writer)
We make a special baked French toast on Christmas morning. Egg-rich challah bread makes it super fluffy, and we have a choice of three toppings: strawberry-citrus sauce, maple-walnut butter (my favorite) or caramel-apple cream.

Kimberly Stewart (Marketing/Circulation)
Every year my family gets to together for Christmas Eve brunch that lasts all day. We all bring food. I usually bring the shrimp and grits. Everyone’s favorite dish is my mom’s salmon croquettes.

Every year since I was little, my mom would put a bottle of cranberry juice and a cherry cheesecake under the Christmas tree with a bow. She still does to this day!

Aimee Serafin (Editor)
My husband makes his secret recipe eggnog that we put in mason jars and I decorate with fresh magnolia or spruce clippings and ribbon. Then we deliver the jars to friends and neighbors. Another favorite is attending the Christmas Eve Candlelight service!

Karen Gordon (Mom to Mom)
My siblings and I engage in a silly dance contest at every single family function. I always receive honorable mention.

This article appears in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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