The Holiday season sparks joy and magical feelings for those who celebrate due to us taking a break from every day stresses. Here at EFST we find the importance of holiday traditions is a way we bond ourselves to friends, family and our communities. At this time of year we can express what is most important to us and build unity! Some of our team members have shared their personal Christmas traditions. We wish you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season.
"Christmas always seems like a crazy time. Growing up, we would always spend each Christmas Eve having dinner with our grandparents and then spend the day with them after opening gifts on Christmas morning. There was just something magical about Grandma & Grandpa Putney's house at Christmas time. We made some modifications, but now with children of my own my husband and I make sure that we spend time with all of our extended family. Christmas Eve we spend with my family at my dad's and Christmas day we spend at home with Ryan's family. Throughout December we add in additional Christmas gatherings with aunts, cousins, etc. Our family loves Iowa Hawkeye football, so if they are headed somewhere warm to play in a Bowl Game, you can almost bet that we are following them!
"Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday/time of the year. Being a military family, we move a lot and typically do not find ourselves home with our families during this time of year. Within the last 9 years we have celebrated Christmas in 4 different states. Although our location changes frequently, our traditions do not! Our family believes in the magic of Elf on the Shelf. We enjoy handwriting letters and cards to family and include our favorite family photos of the year. One of our favorite traditions is driving around our community listening to Christmas music and viewing Christmas lights. We always attend Squadron Christmas parties where we have a large feast, win prizes, and visit with Santa!
Every Christmas Eve is when we bake Christmas cookies, package them up to deliver to friends and Gate Guards at base. We conclude Christmas eve with Face Timing grandparents in NY to open presents. We spend the evening drinking hot cocoa, reading The Night Before Christmas, making reindeer food and filling up Santa’s plate with cookies and glass full of cold milk!
We spend Christmas day in our jammies enjoying our time as a family. Even though our location changes a lot we stick with traditions. The biggest tradition that could not be broken is teaching our child the magic of giving. When entering stores, we always make sure to have money in our pockets to give to charities such as Salvation Army! We find Toys of tots and/or adopt a family in need. My family and I wish you all a Very Merry (healthy) Christmas!"
Laura Geer, Marketing Assistant/Head Instructor
"When our children were young as a family we enjoyed Caroling with some other families. We’d dressed warm, take blankets if it was extra cold. Afterwards we gather with those other families have hot chocolate and play games.
As the kids started growing and leaving home, my husband and I would continue to find friends who enjoyed Caroling. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays."