It’s that time of year, and we asked P1 Group associates to share their favorite fun holiday traditions. We hope their stories help put you in the spirit of the season!
Phil Van Hoecke, Pipe Fitter Foreman
The Van Hoecke family, including my brothers that are in town, have a standing golf tee time to golf at least nine holes no matter what the weather is like. This can get pretty crazy!
Tim Moore, Business Development Manager
We play family football the morning of Thanksgiving every year. The winner gets the traveling trophy. After we eat, we all walk down to watch the Plaza lighting ceremony. At Christmas, we always have a big brunch then go bowling. There’s also a traveling trophy for the winner and loser.
Vicki Jesse, Project Coordinator
Christmas is my favorite holiday, I’m already listening to the music [this was on November 8]. My husband and I host the annual Jesse Christmas party every year to get all the family together. We also love to bundle up and go look at all the Christmas lights and displays.
Steve Hinshaw, Industrial Operations Manager
We attend the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 11 pm (Church of the Resurrection). The service concludes with singing silent night by candlelight and every person in attendance holding a candle. When the service is over you can turn to those with you and wish them a Merry Christmas! The service lasts just over an hour so it is Christmas morning when it ends.
A Very Foodie Holiday
Check out the fantastic foodie adventure Vice President Glenn Shain and his family embark upon together each year.
As the kids around the table became adults and started to request an expression of adventure in the menu planning, Sue and I decided to venture out into the culinary world to ensure the kids would keep coming home for the holidays. The first year, we went overboard with a Tuscan Thanksgiving. It was a full seven-course meal prepared to feed an army. We put an Italian twist on the traditional Thanksgiving meal and paired each course with an appropriate wine from the old world. The next year we created a Southwestern Fiesta Feast complete with pork tamales, vegetable enchiladas, green chili stew and sweet potato succotash. Of course that feast was served with margaritas, Mexican beers and sipping tequilas.
The year I spent in Maine we chose to host Christmas as a Lobster and Seafood Extravaganza. We have done a Montana Mountain Chuck Wagon dinner, a Prairie Meets the Sea dinner and an Italian Pizza Shoppe complete with S’Mores Pizza for dessert. It has been a lot of fun selecting a theme, researching how to interpret that from a culinary aspect and pairing the alcohol with the meal. There has become a real anticipation throughout the family waiting for the announcement of the theme.
As the family has grown we honor our new members with the theme. Last year we produced an Hawaii Christmas for our new daughter-in-law who lived in Hawaii in her youth. This year we are hosting a Campfire Thanksgiving to recognize our future son-in-law who loves adventure and camping. The wines will be from Spain this year representing the Camino I walked this Spring.
The publication of the menu has become a keepsake. The meal preparation has become a team event. There is a lot of joy in the kitchen working together.
Andrew Tate, Proactive Solutions Consultant
Since my wife and I have been married (three years now) and are hosting a holiday, we mix it up and try a new food theme. Something out of the ordinary. So far we’ve done a French and Italian Christmas and a German Thanksgiving. This year we’re doing a Mexican Thanksgiving that will include a smoked chili lime turkey and plenty of cervesas!
Pam Frazey, Receptionist
Since I was a small child my Mom and Dad always bought us new PJs to wear on Christmas Eve. That was the only gift we got to open on Christmas Eve. I continued the tradition when my own children were born. My granddaughters’ ages are 9, 2.5 and 2, and their parents all receive PJs on Christmas Eve now. The men race to see who can open theirs first. In the past their PJs have been wrapped in saran wrap, or found by way of a scavenger hunt, or had to be opened with only their teeth. Every year is a new way. It makes for a lot of laughs and memories for the four generations who gather each Christmas Eve.
Victoria Hoffman, Marketing Communications Specialist
My favorite part of the holidays is Black Friday, but not for the shopping. With all the holiday hustle still before me, I spend the Friday after Thanksgiving putting up our Christmas tree, listening to holiday tunes, sipping nog, watching my favorite holiday movies and just keeping things chill. As a rule I don’t get out of my pajamas that day.
The “Non-tradition Tradition”
Collections Caller Amanda Cox says her family tradition happened by accident.
Growing up we learned it is very cost effective to reuse boxes/containers. A couple items that were in abundance at all times were the cylinder oatmeal cans and Velveeta boxes.
When I was a freshman in high school the drug store in town always ran a coupon on the Santa figurine they were selling that year. On my way home from school, Mom would have me get four of the Santa figures each year (three siblings and myself).
Most of these Santa figures fit into the Velveeta box perfectly so after a couple years it became a tradition for there to be four rectangular boxes under the tree each containing a Santa figurine.
Mom would say, “This is not a tradition, don’t expect a Santa every year.”
So after about five years, it was called the “non-tradition, tradition” when the Velveeta boxes were found and the Santa item was opened.
Some years the Santa did not fit in the Velveeta box so it was more of a hunt while we wondered “is this the year that the Santa tradition ends?”
Nope, there he is!
But the Velveeta box still needed to be in there somewhere with a different trinket inside, sometimes a single gift sometimes four similar items.
As our family grew and grandkids got older, we do more grab bag, name draw, or Christmas games, but there is always a Velveeta box and there are always Santa figurines because it’s the “non-tradition, tradition".
Trevor Payne, Helpdesk Technician
There is a limited release seasonal beer by Samuel Smith’s. Brewed at Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England, it is called Winter Welcome Ale and comes out around Thanksgiving. It is fun to look forward to because each year the artwork is different. Some say the art on the label is a reflection of the taste and alcohol content of each batch. I enjoy it with family at Thanksgiving Dinner and sometimes Christmas if there is any left. Along with the artwork is a quote from William Shakespeare: “Blessing of your heart you brew good ale.”
Cliff Pray, Project Manager
One of our holiday traditions is consistently setting off the smoke alarm in the middle of the night from the turkey! Oh, and lots of Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls while watching the Macy’s day parade.