There’s no denying that the holidays season is about sharing stories and traditions—many would say it’s even the best part about the holidays. And one of the most exciting things about living in your new home at Glenmore and Highland Park will be the opportunity to establish new traditions.
With that in mind, we wanted to get into the spirit of things and share some of our traditions with you. From our home to yours, here are a few of the funny, quirky and heartwarming traditions that make the holidays extra-special for some of our team.
“No matter how old I get—I’m now 40—my Dad still does a Christmas stocking for me with a tangerine orange, chocolates and a magazine (sometimes a toothbrush).”
“One of our close friends started a tradition of having a boxing day soccer game every year at one of our local soccer fields. The soccer game took place, rain, snow or shine, and it wasn’t with one soccer ball, it was with three soccer balls. There were no rules and participation was highly encouraged from EVERYONE. Even man’s best friend. Offsides? Never! Too many men in the goal? No problem! Socializing on the field with your uncle about the pair of socks you got for Christmas? Yesiree! Sometimes we had more than a hundred people on the field at a time. Two volunteer referees/players were chosen to keep the game from getting too far from its boundaries. It was a great way for the little ones to run off some steam, take the dogs for a run and burn off that turkey dinner from the night before.”
“In our Korean-Canadian household, Christmas dinner includes lasagna. Of course, we have the traditional turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, etc. but somewhere in my childhood, a pan of lasagna with lots of gooey cheese appeared one Christmas dinner and it’s been a tradition ever since. Often, the lasagna is the second main course but it wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without it. One year, there was no lasagna and I still remember the disappointment. This year, I will be hosting Christmas dinner with the turkey and the works along with the lasagna plus my husband’s Persian lamb shanks. I guess this may be the start of another Holiday tradition. Bon Appetit.”
“Our holiday traditions are fairly standard. We have turkey dinner, visit with family and friends and open presents. There is however one unique Christmas tradition that my Dad and I adopted some years ago. It started out when my Dad, installing tile in our front entryway, discovered that his dress shoes sounded like tap shoes on the newly installed floor. I came home from university several months later for Christmas and the annual Rowlands’ Family Father Daughter Tap Off was born. We gather everyone around the front entrance and have an amateur tap off. Neither of us has ever taken a tap class but that doesn’t stop us. I can’t wait to see what costumes my Mom has found for us this year! Happy Holidays and Happy Dancing!”
“I grew up in South Africa. Canadians often find it hard to imagine, but for me the Christmas season meant packing up the car and heading to the beach where our family would vacation for five weeks. It would be mid-summer in South Africa—clear blue skies, 30°C plus every day and the warm Indian Ocean at our doorstep. Occasionally the skies would darken, the waves would rise up, and a massive thunder storm would arrive to drive us all indoors for a couple of hours. This was usually followed by an intense wave of humidity as the sun reappeared to dry everything out again. To me, the smell of sunscreen and my Grandmother’s Christmas fruitcake go hand-in-hand.”
For the past few years now, right before Christmas time, I make my famous chocolate covered pretzels! I really enjoy spending an evening with family and friends having a couple glasses of wine, listening to Christmas music and making these tasty little morsels, which I hand out as gifts for a lot of my friends and family to enjoy. They are most definitely appreciated.”
“My family’s big get-together is Christmas Eve. My father is Italian and my mother is French so we’ve come up with a bit of a hybrid tradition; we eat Bouillabaisse, a French fish soup, which covers off the Italian tradition of eating 13 kinds of fish and shellfish on Christmas Eve. We usually manage to get at least seven different types!”
“Neither my husband nor I have surviving parents and our siblings still live in Eastern Canada with their families. But we do have our own ‘real’ family living just up the street. He is from Austria and she, like my husband, grew up in Ontario. And for the past 31 Christmases we have celebrated together as a family. As the years passed and our children have grown, we have continued to celebrate this most special holiday together, turn by turn—one year at their home and the next year at ours…”
—Susan, Customer Service