There's no time quite like the holiday season to bring out the uniqueness of your family's traditions – and we love nothing more than learning about the super specific, super original holiday rituals that are kiddo-centric. Whether it's a recipe from your childhood you always cook Christmas Eve or an activity that channels a cultural reference from your S.O.'s hometown, we love learning about how you do the holidays. Here, we talk to Troop Danrie parents about how they make the holidays their own.
New Traditions Stick
"We are a Christmakkah family! Since 2020 we have turned all our holiday traditions upside down and retreat to our house in East Hampton to cozy up and relax just the four of us. We make hot chocolate and drive around our neighborhood checking out everyone’s Christmas decor. We make way too many latkes and repurpose them in different ways for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and wear our pjs all day on Christmas putting together toys and playing with all the goodies Santa brought on his sleigh. After years of traveling with small kids for the holidays, COVID forced us to try something different and we ended up loving it and made it our new tradition!" - Julia Zaborowski-Casper, mom and Founder of Danrie.
Scotland Comes Stateside
"Living in a multi-generational home and being married to a Scotsman forces us to have many holiday traditions. We took our favorites from our families, cultures, and religions and added our touch. We make latkes, light candles, and sing our favorite Hanukkah songs. We decorate the fireplace mantle with wreaths, twinkle lights, and the Elf on the Shelf (who, of course, moves and hides all over the house), read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve, and cook a delicious homemade dinner for Christmas. We fill stockings with bamboo toothbrushes (my mother-in-law is a dentist, and I hate plastic) and leave almond milk, homemade vegan gingerbread cookies, and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer. And, ever since I spent my first Christmas in Scotland with my husband, we sing "The 12 Days of Christmas" at Christmas dinner, with each person getting a different verse to sing." - Abby K. Cannon, mom and Founder of Abby's Food Court.
Gingerbread House Building, But Make it Beauty
"Immediately after Thanksgiving, we have Christmas music playing in the house every morning. My husband loves this season as much as I do and our kids love dancing to any music, so they're also fully invested. We always decorate a gingerbread house together every year, which is fun, but the perfectionist in me is stressed because I want it to come out looking beautiful, and with kids, that is hard! But it's a cute little activity, and Delfina loves eating the decorations as we go. Sandro got involved this year and was super cute, but he just wanted to "knock it down" the whole time, so that was challenging! We also started a tradition last year where we go to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and get hot cocoa at Ralph's. Seeing Delfina's face the first year, looking at the tree, and tasting hot cocoa for the first time was one of the most magical memories — I'll never forget it — and we are so excited to take Sandro this year!" - Carly Cardellino, mom and beauty expert.
"Last year was the first year we taught my daughter how to 'sebae,' a kind of bowing that children do as an act of respect towards their elders on the first morning of the New Year in Korean culture. When bowing, she says: “sae hae bok manhee badeuseyo” which means “please receive many New Year blessings.” She loves it because she can make the rounds to her grand-aunt, her great grandma, grandma, mom & dad and receive “bok”, aka luck, in the form of cash that she puts in her piggy bank." - Monique Meneses, co-founder iota.
The Great Big Give-Back
Truly, a Gift Horse
"My daughter and I are keen riders, so we see the horses on Christmas Day. We take champagne for the humans and Guinness and carrots for the horses!" - Nicola Elliot, mom and Creative Director/Founder, NEOM Organics
Holidays Done Early
"Given how hectic the holiday season is, our family always prefers to travel in early December before the holiday craze and then stay home for the holidays. We celebrate Hanukkah as a family, light the menorah, and open presents together. For Christmas, we like to keep cozy in our P.J.s, make pancakes, drink hot chocolate, and watch holiday movies all day." Juliette Caspi, mom co-Founder, ClarkCaspi PR Agency. Photo by Annie Barson Photography.
"Our family holiday tradition is to book it out of the cold and head to crisp, fresh, dreamy desert life in Palm Springs, California. The spot has special meaning to us. My grandmother, Sidia, owned a home there, my parents honeymooned there, I got married there (and named my daughter after the hotel), my bro got engaged there, and the list goes on! We post up in a ranch-style home and relish in our desert routines. We wake up super early, enjoy the most delightful 10,000-step walks, indulge in a waffle breakfast at Cheeky's, come home, hike or swim, make lunch, and then go shopping or for an early outdoor dinner. I work like crazy all year, so this time is food for my soul, and I crave it all year round!" - Erin Kleinberg, mom and Founder of SIDIA, Co-founder Métier Creative + Coveteur.
"Although we are Jewish, we still celebrate Christmas with a tree and a visit from Santa. On Christmas Eve, we dress the entire family, even our dog, in matching Hanukkah pajamas and all sit around and eat latkes while doing a White Elephant gift exchange. If we are home in Florida or visiting family in Georgia, we may light a fire and get cozy!" - Bette Ann Fialkov, mom and Head of Entertainment & Culture, Hims & Hers.
Rockin’ Around the...Fireplace!
"During Covid, we moved to Topanga Canyon, where it gets 20 degrees colder than other parts in L.A. We're fortunate enough to have a wood burning fireplace. Each afternoon my daughter and I get the fire going and spend the early evening warming up by it. It's pretty cool to see how she's so mesmerized by the flames and the whole process." Leo Livshetz, dad and Founder, Unhide.
"My family is from Iceland and each year the Icelandic Yule Lads visit our home, one each of the 13 nights leading up to Christmas Eve. Every night we read about the Yule Lad who is coming to visit that night and we put a favorite shoe in the window. If we’ve been good (and we always are!) the Yule Lad leaves a small treat or gift for us to find in our shoe in the morning (naughty kids get a potato). On Christmas Eve, which is when we open our presents, we always get at least one piece of clothing (to appease the Yule Cat) and we exchange books as part of Jolabokaflod or the 'Christmas Book Flood."' - Cody McBurnett mom and Danrie's Creative Director.
A 'Charlie Brown' Christmas
"I always grew up celebrating Christmas by going to church on Christmas Eve and then opening gifts while eating breakfast in our pajamas on Christmas morning. Part of our Christmas traditions is to watch Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas (usually before the holiday but also on Christmas Morning). My husband has always celebrated the holiday on Christmas Eve, so we always make our way to see his family at night for dinner, featuring some wonderful Filipino dishes, and dessert, where there's always at least one Yule log! It's been so fun to blend our traditions for an extended celebration and share them with our son, RJ. Our general holiday theme is definitely family, food, and relaxation." - Kerry Gaffney-Flores mom and Danrie's Chief of Staff.
To Each, Their Own
"We’re a Hanukkah and Christmas family in our house! It’s a tradition in my family that every child gets their own menorah. My brother and I made ours in preschool and my mom still lights them, 30+ years later! My daughter Morgan is obsessed with all things dogs so she proudly lights a Dachshund menorah and loves to sing the Dreidel song. For Christmas, we always travel to Connecticut to celebrate with my husband’s family. We pack up all of the gifts and Santa finds us at Grandma’s house. We celebrate Christmas morning with pancakes and mimosas!" Corie McCabe, mom and Danrie's VP of Marketing.