Archive for December, 2011
As we put the finishing touches on this year, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back over the many wonderful highlights of 2011, told through photos.
Of course, this is only a small sampling of the exhibitions, films, events and memorable moments from this year. And what a wonderful year we had, thanks in large part to all of you.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2012!
—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing
Last year on this blog we shared a few of our staff’s favorite holiday traditions in honor of the holiday-inspired exhibition and programming series Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World.
Just as Winter Wonderland has returned for a triumphant 2nd year, we are happy to give you another round of some of our favorite holiday traditions. Enjoy!
Every Christmas Eve my family watches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We used to beg to open one gift before we went to bed when we were little so it has become a must. On Christmas Day there’s an unwritten rule among my brothers, cousins and I: we try to eat the most food, drink the most spiked punch, and win the most brownie points with my Grandparents as humanly possible. It’s always a treat to have everyone together in Pennsylvania as we live all over the country.
Natalie Keen, Assistant Manager of Member Relations
Thanksgiving is now a costume event with my family. It stems from my resentment towards my mother from when I was 10 and she made me wear a pilgrim costume to her friend’s thanksgiving dinner. About 10 years ago, she and I were laughing about it and she said, “okay make me a pilgrim costume and I will wear it.” So I did. Now every year, she comes as a pilgrim. Also when my niece was born, I made her a costume so that she was the can of cranberry sauce and another year she came as the sweet potato casserole.
Dorothy Love, Assistant Manager of Development
Growing up my mother would play guitar and sing to us. Having been sung to all his life, my older brother John developed an affinity for the guitar and country music early on. When he was very little, he would sing and strum his plastic bat as if it were a guitar. Eventually he graduated to a toy guitar and then a real guitar. Today he lives in Nashville and is a computer programmer by day and a country musician by night. Now my brother plays the guitar each year at Christmas when we all sing Christmas carols.
Marisa Crissey, Communications Design Director
I don’t recall a winter season without my favorite holiday treat, Cheese Daisies. My mother made Cheese Daisies every December from a recipe in one of her favorite cookbooks, the “Charleston Receipts” collected by the Junior League of Charleston 1950. Faithful to the tradition today, I am delighted to share the recipe with you.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 ½ cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper (a dash more if you want more kick!)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- Pecan halves
Cream butter and cheese together. Sift red pepper and salt with flour, then slowly add to the butter and cheese mixture. Knead until creamed together and smooth. Chill for ½ hour. Roll out and cut with a small biscuit cutter or simply pinch a coin size of dough and roll in your hand. Gently press with a pecan half. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Yields 24 biscuits.
Leslie Rutkowski, Vice President of Development
My favorite holiday tradition is the gathering of my family. As long as I can remember, we have gathered Christmas Eve for a dual celebration—Christmas and my grandpa’s birthday. My grandpa is one of double-digit siblings and he has passed along the commitment to gather the entire family to his 9 children and all the grandchildren. Though some of my aunts & uncles thought we’d have to split into our immediate family groups, they have passed along the commitment to their children. Now, there are over 50 of us to gather… and for most holidays we can all make it. I’m looking forward to Christmas with my family this year and hopeful for Wisconsin snow while we’re there!
Lynn Anders, Education Programs Manager—Animal Programs
If you have a tradition you’d like to share, please e-mail it along with your full name to firstname.lastname@example.org and if we get enough responses, we’ll share those in a future blog post.
—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing