Amanda Glazar, Director, Adult Learning & Outcomes
The holidays have always been a special time of the year for me. I have a large family and we have developed many traditions throughout the years. There are so many that it is hard to narrow down to just one, so here are few of my favorite memories:
• Homemade waffles and apple syrup on Christmas morning
• Watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story with my Jewish husband
• Santa sightings on Christmas Eve with all of my cousins, nieces and nephews
• Searching for the Christmas Pickle ornament (each year it is hidden by a different family member and the one who finds it always got a special prize on Christmas Eve)
• Christmas shopping the day after with my mom to buy gifts on sale for the next year
• The few times that we had an actual White Christmas in Baltimore
• Our large cousins Christmas dinner/reunion to catch up with extended family members
• Taking my dog Maddie to meet Santa!
Allison Kickel, Director, Education Partnerships:
The holidays of my past are typically filled with lots of food, lots of family and lots of nostalgia. When my husband and I were living in Taiwan we desperately missed the excitement and anticipation that seems to surround everyone between Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the good things that go with it. In an effort to bring thoughts and feelings of home to someplace over 8,000 miles away, my very kind mother and mother-in-law shipped us a fully decorated and lit three foot Christmas tree and baked and built gingerbread houses for us to decorate. It made us feel a little more at home in a foreign land.
Stephen Lewis, General Manager:
My most memorable Christmas story happened when I was five or six years old. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. My Mom, brother, sister, and I delivered the Washington Post newspaper to help cover the bills. One Christmas morning, my brother and sister woke me up as usual at about 4:30 am. But instead of telling me to get dressed for the paper route, they just said, “Merry Christmas – stay warm and sleep in, because we’re delivering your papers for you!” As a first grader, I thought that was the nicest, most generous gift in the world. It still warms my heart today.
Stacey Hansen, Program Manager
One of my favorite holiday memories is from about six years ago. It was a heavy snow season in Colorado and it had just snowed on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day my brothers, my husband and I thought it would be fun to play some football and go sledding. Yes four adults playing in the snow. We quickly realized we were not gaining much speed on the hill and had the best idea ever, throw on skis, harness up the dogs and have them pull us up the hill. While a brilliant idea in theory, not great in practice. Family dogs do not turn into seasoned sled dogs instantly. Let’s just say we did not go anywhere. While this idea was an epic fail, I still have amazing pictures from this day and it has remained one of my favorite holiday memories.
Jessica Weathers, Administrative Specialist
My most memorable experience was from Christmas 2012. I coordinated with my son’s step-mother (in Illinois) to surprise him for Christmas. She packed a suitcase for him, and we didn’t tell him that we were taking a trip. I picked him up Christmas morning and told him we were flying to Colorado to spend Christmas with my boyfriend and his two children. He was thrilled! Two weeks prior to Christmas, I shipped all of his NERF weapons because my boyfriend and I were going to initiate a NERF fight with all three kids as payback for all the times they shot darts at us without warning. After playing with new robots, video cameras and an acoustic guitar, my boyfriend and I geared up for the fight and surprised the kids with a NERF war. This went on the entire week and a half we spent in Colorado in between picking up packing peanuts and eating way too much food. Best Christmas ever! When we unpacked the Christmas tree this year, a NERF dart fell out reminding us of all the fun we had last year.
Amanda Hodges, Director, Program Management
I have quite a few wonderful holiday memories, but the one that sticks out to me now is spending my first Christmas in Colorado with my brother and sister-in-law at Vail. We had all recently moved to Colorado from Minnesota and didn’t have any family to spend the holiday with. We decided to go to Vail on Christmas day and had an incredible time on the mountain. We’ve now made it a tradition to head to the mountains over the holidays and spend them doing what we love, with whom we love!
Andrea Funk, Program Manager
For years, every Christmas Eve I would go to a friend’s house where we’d gorge ourselves on soup and appetizers while drinking tons of craft beer. Around 11:30pm, we would all head down to the basement to play ‘round the world ping pong. This game consists of the party dividing into two teams on each end of the table. The first person in line serves the ball to the first person in line on the other team, after which they must run around the table to the other side until they're up again. This results in people tripping, running into walls and laughing so hard your face hurts. If you miss the ball, you are out and must wait until the next game. The last person standing (a term used loosely) is the winner. In the years I’ve played, I only ever won one game and it was totally worth it!
John McCormick, Program Coordinator
My most memorable Holiday experience was Christmas of 2010, which was the first Christmas I spent away from my family. My sisters and I usually go home for Christmas to celebrate as a family, but I had just recently moved to Vail and was scheduled to start work the week of Christmas (and work on Christmas Day) so going home was not an option. I was unsure of the best way to spend my time having just moved to a new state, by myself, with no friends or family around. I started my job a few days before Christmas and met my new co-workers, many of whom where in the same situation as I was. A few of us decided to organize a Christmas potluck dinner and gift exchange, which turned out to be a fantastic way to get to know each other and celebrate Christmas together. Even though I didn't get to spend the day with my family, I made a new group of great friends who I remain close with to this day