Our Favorite Holiday Traditions, 2011 Edition

December 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

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 marketing@fernbankmuseum.org and if we get enough responses, we’ll share those in a future blog post.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Smells Like Indigo Spirit 2011: A Year in Pictures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

%d bloggers like this: