Holiday Traditions – From Our Family to Yours

Published by Heather Fesmire in Bucks Country GardensChristmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. We hang up lights, place ornaments on the tree, bake cookies, and open presents. Most of all, we create long-standing traditions with our families and friends that bring out the spirit of the holidays. Our Bucks Country Gardens Family wants to share a few of their holiday traditions! Maybe our traditions will become a part of yours.

Dakoda Carlson | Front End Sales
A Full Day of Traditions

My family and I have a “Christmas Eve” tradition that we partake in every year. To start off the day, my siblings and I exchange our gifts to each other. That’s always the most exhilarating thing to happen, considering that my brother continuously nags me all December that he wants to exchange gifts early. Then we set out for our Christmas Eve lunch/dinner. A traditional Christmas Eve dinner you may say, at a little Japanese restaurant in Chalfont. For some odd reason, after dinner we tend to wander over to shop at this thrift store right next door. By now, we have to head home to get ready for our Christmas Eve service at Church. This year, we are going around lighting candles for Silent Night. Wish us luck; we have a tendency of lighting people’s hair on fire. After the service, we exchange more gifts, put on our new pajamas (that we receive that day), and finish the night with a viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a very simple and subtle tradition, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Emily Stresen-Reuter | Front End Sales
Oma’s Spritz Cookies

One of the Stresen-Reuter family traditions is my Oma’s spritz cookies. My Oma used to make spritz cookies every year around the holidays for our whole family. And now my mom and I make them every year together since my Oma passed away in 2005. These cookies have been in our family for 42 years. A year without spritz is a year without Christmas.


Emily’s Spritz Cookies.

Another one of our big family traditions is opening our Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve night. After opening them, we make hot cocoa and drive around to see the Christmas lights around Perkasie.

Ann Buckwalter | Greenhouse Assistant
Christmas Carols & Pudding

Every year on Christmas Eve we sing Christmas carols. My aunt played piano beautifully and we would all sing along. We did not just sing the first verse. Oh no… we sang every verse! It was more fun that way because many songs are full stories, such as Good King Wenceslas. A few years ago my aunt passed away. She is missed in many ways, but none more than when we celebrated Christmas. No one else plays piano, so to keep the tradition alive we will gather around a computer and bring up carols to sing along with. We usually sing until midnight and then go chat with the animals. As you know… they all talk at midnight on Christmas Eve.

THE Christmas Pudding – Traditionally a mix of dried fruits, nuts, sugar, and suit packed into a small dish and steamed until it becomes a dense, black pudding. Mom makes it every few years in a huge batch and freezes all but one. It is a very labor-intensive dish.

Christmas Day the pudding slowly steams. At dessert time a small amount of brandy is warmed and poured over the plated pudding. A small sprig of fresh holly is set in the top and the pudding is lit. It’s quite a spectacle brought flaming to the table. Only one set of curtains has ever been lost to the stunt. Everyone accepts a small serving with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Only mom really likes to eat it, though we demand it every year.


Ann’s Christmas Pudding on fire.

Robyn Zupanc | Front End Sales
Potatoes in Honor of Dad

Our family cooks Christmas dinner together. My dad is in charge of making the mashed potatoes. He always drops a few down the disposal when his glasses fog up and he starts giggling. Since he is now in a nursing home, we purposely throw a few potatoes down the disposal in his honor.

Heather Fesmire | Digital Marketing Assistant
The Pickle Present

Our heritage means everything in our family. Ever since I was little, we would have our German tradition of the pickle present. The shimmering green pickle would delicately be taken out of the box by my parents while we were fast asleep and would be hidden precariously deep within the Christmas tree branches. My brother and I would wake up on Christmas morning ready to go. Sometimes dangerously, my brother and I would fight each other down the stairs. And as tradition goes, whoever found the pickle in the tree first would get the pickle present. I swear my brother had stealth vision because he would always emerge the winner. I did win a few times, but every year on Christmas we break out the pickle… even today, as adults. Luckily we didn’t get ourselves in a pickle.


A Christmas Pickle Tradition.

Diane Harrington | Lifestyle Sales
The Long Way Home

One of my favorite traditions that I enjoyed with my family was driving home from family gatherings and taking the long way home to see all the different lights and outdoor decorations. It was so magical to see the different lights as a child.

Bri Gibson | Front End Sales
When the Clock Strikes Midnight

On Christmas Eve after getting together with family, we come home and finalize everything for the big day. We put on our pajamas and gather around to read “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas.” All of us take turns reading pages, sometimes using silly voices or making up new words for the story. Since we are a family of night owls, the night is just beginning… After reading, we all (including our dog Maggie) take a short walk into the town center to watch the clock strike midnight. Christmas has finally arrived! We then take pictures (of course we’re still wearing our pajamas) in front of the town Christmas tree and Santa’s house. When finished, we walk back home, put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, then go to bed.


From left to right: Missy, Maggie, & Bri Gibson.

Nancy McIlvaine | Garden Supply Manager
Pollyannas & Gift Wrap

This tradition comes from my husband John’s family. John comes from a large family, being the oldest of 8 kids. Now that everyone is grown and everyone has kids and kids have kids… you get the idea, we do pollyannas. Thanksgiving Day is the start of this tradition. After dinner we get to pull a name from the basket. The name we pulled is kept a secret till Christmas Day when we do the exchange.

It does not end there… we also have a gift-wrapping contest. The best wrapped gift wins! If you win it is mostly bragging rights. But if a small child wins, there are extra little prizes (like a Candy Cane, etc.). One year his brother wrapped Christmas lights around his gift. Guess you know who won that year!

We all gather in the living room and we start with the youngest gift giver who then passes their present around the gathered circle of family. The youngest declares hot or cold as the gift nears their Pollyanna recipient. When it is hot the pollyanna is found… and so on until everyone gets their gifts. It’s all about family time…. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Thank you for letting us share our traditions with all of you!

Written by:

Heather Fesmire | Digital Marketing Assistant
Bucks Country Gardens Employees 2017