How The Center Spends the Holidays

Once Halloween passes, the shift in the atmosphere is palpable, the holiday season approaches! Families gather together after time apart or spend special time together. No matter what holiday you and your family celebrate together, this time of year is filled with traditions. Whether it’s decorating your house, eating certain kinds of food, traveling, baking, or singing, holiday traditions bring people together and help foster cherished memories. The Center team is no different. We have holiday traditions we share with our families each year. Here are some of our favorites:

Sandy Adams keeps her family on the same traditions path that she and her brother shared as children. No Christmas decorations are put up until AFTER Sandy’s birthday on the 14th of December, that’s when the season can officially begin in her household! Her kids exchange presents on Christmas Eve, just as Sandy and her brother did growing up.

Do you love Christmas cookies? How about 600 of them?! Jennie Bauder and her family (kids included!) hone their baking skills each year and make a varied sort of delicious cookies to give as gifts to extended families, teachers, neighbors, and the mailman.

Speaking of cookies, Melissa Parkins and her family have a cookie-decorating contest each year. Nothing like a good ‘ol competition to start off the Holiday! Her family also celebrates Christmas Eve with a Mexican twist, including enchiladas galore!

 Jennie Bauder

Jennie Bauder

 Melissa Parkins

Melissa Parkins

Gerri Harmer and her extended family have taken Christmas celebration to a whole new level! They get together mid-Summer and celebrate Christmas in July - and they love it! Gerri shares, “Our family has grown so large we can’t fit in the house and weather always tends to be an issue for those that travel.  Our family has a great sense of humor so Christmas in July was perfect for us. We hang out at the lake with travelers camping nearby arriving by car or boat.” This year they even had t-shirts made.

Kimberly Wyman describes her tradition with her children as including, “Grabbing a hot chocolate with the kids and preparing our holiday gift list! Beyond gifts for grandmas and grandpas, our list includes baking cookies for fire fighters and police officers, toys for local families, tamale baskets for families in Guatemala & live stock for Ethiopian families. Involving the children and fostering a love of giving worldwide is a passion of ours.”

 Gerri Harmer

Gerri Harmer

 Kimberly Wyman

Kimberly Wyman

Partner Matt Chope, and girlfriend Kim Schultes, started a new tradition this year during Thanksgiving. They donned red noses and makeup and joined the Clown Corps in the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit.

New member to our team, Clare Lilek, describes her family tradition: “Every Christmas, since moving from our hometown of Chicago, my family and I travel back to Chicago to see our extended family. On Christmas Eve we go to church at Holy Name Cathedral, have dinner at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (it’s amazing!), and spend the rest of the evening watching a movie in our hotel. It’s wonderful!”

 Matt Chope

Matt Chope

 Clare Lilek

Clare Lilek

For your viewing enjoyment, Raya Chope and her family get together each year and sing Christmas songs and carols in both English AND German! Raya claims in her family, there’s never a dull moment. From the video, that seems about right!

What are some of the traditions that you and your family will share together this holiday season? Whatever your traditions, all of us here at The Center wish you and your family a Happy Holiday!