By Regina Duffy
There weren’t many things to celebrate in 2020; however, one thing that we can certainly celebrate is that the holiday season has officially arrived. Despite difficult times, we can take some comfort in sharing some safe and festive holiday traditions and even re-living memories of holidays past.
Like most people, I have some things that I simply must do to commemorate this time of year. Beyond admiring the colorful light displays in my neighborhood and taking my kids to visit Santa at Arasapha Farms, I have a couple days that are dedicated to wrapping presents. It’s just me, a large peppermint mocha latte, and some Christmas classics playing in the background as I tackle a giant pile of presents on the living room floor. No interruptions.
While I can’t say that the wrapping job I do is a great, the process is fun and makes me feel so accomplished.
Are you still looking for some seasonal inspiration? I asked the Falvey Library staff to share some holiday traditions they celebrate as well as their favorite memories.
Sarah Wingo, English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature Librarian: “We don’t have a lot of super specific Christmas traditions, just cozy fires in the fireplace and decorating the Christmas tree. My birthday is December 6, and growing up we’d always decorate gingerbread houses at my birthday parties, the gingerbread my mom and I would bake and assemble ahead of time. This always felt like the start of the holiday season.”
Demian Katz, Director of Library Technology: “It’s kind of ridiculous, but one of my favorite holiday traditions is cleaning out my personal inbox. I maintain a website as a hobby, and I receive a lot of email throughout the year from people with feedback and suggestions, but I never have time to act on them until the holiday break. Every year, I frantically catch up on all those accumulated messages, vow that I will do a better job of keeping up with communication, and then fail completely until the next holiday break.”
Susan Turkel, Social Sciences Librarian: “[I remember the] Christmas break during my first year in college. While I was home, I had all four wisdom teeth removed! So, I spent a few days over the holiday home recovering – watching TV, eating soft food, ice pack held up to my face.” (This is a tough way to spend a holiday break!)
Linda Hauck, Business Librarian: “Every year my kids have performed in Swarthmore Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker which ran for two weekends in December. Parents were asked to volunteer to set up the theatre, apply makeup to the youngest dancers, and bake and serve fancy cookies at intermission. I’ve been baking Christmas cookies for the occasion for something like 12 years. I’ve had a lot of fun baking cookies to correspond to my daughter’s and son’s roles, including snowflakes, spice cookies, Christmas trees, linzer hearts, and springerle ginger nutcrackers. This year the performance has gone virtual. My daughter is off to college and son opted not to perform, which is just as well because while he still takes class, we don’t have the room in our home for him to dance full out on video. I’ll still be baking cookies to share with the dancers. Some of the other bakers and I will individually package them, and we are planning an outdoor drive by pick up. Sweet memories.”
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took time to share with us. On behalf of everyone at Falvey Memorial Library, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season, however you decide to celebrate this year.
Do you have any special traditions or memories? Drop your comments below to share some of your own holiday magic.