Connecting with Holiday Traditions in 2020


There has been nothing normal about this year, and the holidays are no exception. We all find ourselves missing gatherings with extended family and friends and are trying to fill the void. Remembering holiday traditions is a great way to celebrate the season, and remind ourselves of what the holidays mean to us.

We all have memories from holidays gone by, and many of us have continued these meaningful family traditions as we’ve grown. This year, we decided to ask our team what kind of memories and traditions they hold dear, love to remember, or just bring a smile to their face during the holidays. We hope you enjoy them, and we hope you enjoy celebrating or creating some memories of your own – it is still possible – even in a year as strange as this one!


Steve Cooke – General Manager
When I was little, we would go to my Great Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Paul’s home for New Year’s Day, and they lived in southern Delaware. There I was introduced to the southern New Year’s tradition of eating Black-eyed peas, collard greens and rice for good luck and fortune in the coming year. The rice and peas signify coins, and the collard greens represent dollar bills. When I moved to Atlanta, GA, it was much more common of a tradition than here in the Mid-Atlantic, and over the 18 years that I lived there, it became a ritual every year. We’re actually growing our own collard greens and black-eyed peas, so we’re sure to have them at the end of each year, but it’s harder to find a local source for rice.

Rachel Spitler – Wellness Team Member
My tradition was playing holiday pranks on my Mom, with my little sister . My favorite memory is when we found some sparkly yarn in my Mom’s craft box and used it to tie a small pickle to the ceiling of her bedroom. My Mom didn’t notice it for more than a month.  When she finally found it, she said “I wondered why my room smelled like a pickle!”.

Denise Allen – Grocery Team Leader
I think most people traditionally pull out their Christmas decorations the weekend of Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if that was always the case for us, but I loved when mom would take out the ornaments and tell me about each one; ‘Aunt Lyn sewed these, Grandma Barbara gave me this one, you made this when you were 4, and so forth. I will always enjoy hearing the story behind each one and I hope I can remember them all when it comes time for me to tell my daughter!

Lindsay Denny – Marketing Brand Manager
We always have Monkey Brains for Christmas morning breakfast. Monkey Bread (as it is otherwise known) is cut-up biscuit dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with caramel sauce and baked in a bundt pan. When my nephew was young, he had some at our house and loved it. He asked for some more of those Monkey “Brains”, and the name stuck. Even though he’s now grown with four kids of his own, we think of him every Christmas morning!

Sean Corbell – Produce Team Member
My mom always decorated, put on music, wrapped presents, and generally made Christmas special for my childhood.  As an adult, I learned how much work that is, and now our holiday tradition is to try and give her a worry-free Christmas by doing as much of that work for her as possible.  Then we get to enjoy it all together, without taking advantage of her!  This usually involves a lot of wine as well.

Kari Souder – Marketing Education / Owner Services
We have sausage gravy and waffles for breakfast on Christmas morning. Every year, for over 40 years, the waffles have been made in the same waffle iron. It originally belonged to my Dad’s grandmother.

Ian Suter – Grocery Team Member
A Christmas tradition my family has is hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle gets a prize.

Mackenzie Jenkins – Produce Assistant Team Leader
Every year my Dad writes christmas cards to all our friends and family who live in the area near their house. On the envelope of each card he draws intricate christmas and holiday pictures and colors them in with colored pencils. When I was young, I would always help him color his drawings and then we would go together to drop them off in everyone’s mailboxes. This year I wrote my own Christmas cards and on some of the envelopes I drew little christmas drawings just like my dad does!

A.J. Litwin – Wine and Beer Team Member
My family holiday tradition is watching the 1982 animated film The Snowman, an adaptation of the eponymous picture book by Raymond Briggs. When I was a small child, I found a stuffed animal of the Snowman in a toy store & begged my mom to buy it for me. She hesitantly agreed (I had plenty of toys as it was) & it became my favorite stuffed animal I ever owned. I brought it everywhere with me- like Linus & his security blanket from Peanuts. I still have the stuffed animal; now threadbare, its beaded eyes chipped away & the emerald green dye of its hat & scarf well faded. Watching the short film always reminds me of the magic of the holiday season & makes me thankful to spend meaningful time with family.

Stephen Miller – Grocery Team Member
My folks would mix oats and glitter and tell me it was special food for Santa’s reindeer. On Christmas Eve, we would throw this mixture onto the roof to give Rudolph and company a little snack!

Ty Greenough – Grocery Team Member
My family bakes a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas and sings “Happy Birthday”!!