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Baker's Dozen: Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Women's Initiative Newsletter
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We asked our women attorneys to share their favorite holiday traditions that they look forward to each year, as well as some tips to get through the holiday season. Happy holidays!

My family is starting a new tradition this year. With various holiday commitments with our in-laws, my siblings and I are not always together on Christmas Day. One night a week or so before Christmas, we are all getting together with spouses and kids to read and watch "The Polar Express," drink hot chocolate, and exchange gifts and stockings.

Sarah Casey, Of Counsel, New Orleans

I told my kids they could only get three items from Santa based on the theory that the Baby Jesus only got three gifts. I saved several of their letters to Santa – some of them are hysterical!

Denise W. Killebrew, Shareholder, Birmingham

The women in my office have a "wine and wrap" party each year where we gather to drink wine and help wrap each other's gifts.

Angie Davis, Shareholder, Memphis

My husband and, when she is visiting, my mother, cook the bulk of the Thanksgiving meal. They usually leave me one dish to cook each year – green beans almandine! As the primary breadwinner in my family, I am incredibly grateful for their support when it comes to cooking and preparing. I still do the shopping for gifts during the Christmas season, but the division of tasks during the holidays is critical to sanity and a good marriage!

Kyra F. Howell, Attorney, Chattanooga

My family holiday tradition is that my family has participated in a live nativity scene at our church every year since before our children were born. My son and daughter were both Baby Jesus as infants. Last year, my son was Joseph, my daughter was the angel, my husband was a Roman soldier, and I was Lydia, the seller of purple cloths in city of Bethlehem.

My work team has a tradition of trimming a Christmas tree in my office the week after Thanksgiving. Then, we have a second celebration and exchange gifts the week before Christmas. It makes for a really festive month.

Christy Tosh Crider, Shareholder, Nashville

I spent hundreds of dollars each year having ornate Christmas cards made (oh, yeah – if they required bows, extra heavy stock paper, adhesive items, special envelopes, and extra postage, I was all over them!). I decided a couple of years ago to cut my Christmas costs. Costco has a super-cute selection of Christmas cards, gets them done in short order, they're good quality, and my seemingly ever-growing Christmas card list of 100+ now costs less than $100.

Blair B. Evans, Of Counsel, Memphis

A few years ago, my mom was preparing a huge holiday meal, the main course for which is always brisket with lots of filling sides like latkes and kugel. In typical Jewish mother form, she decided to roast a chicken at the last minute, just in case there wasn't enough food. It went untouched (who would eat chicken, when you can have brisket?), but provided a lot of comic relief. Now, at every holiday meal, we have a "back-up chicken," and if we don't eat it, it makes great leftovers!

Michelle F. Zaltsberg, Associate, Orlando

Don't you just hate it when you go out the week before Christmas to buy presents for your family and have no idea what they want? You end up making strange, usually expensive purchases just to have something to wrap for under the tree. My latest attempt to avoid this conundrum is to require the members of my immediate family (all adults) to bring to Thanksgiving dinner a list of things they would like for Christmas. They are not allowed to sit down to dinner until they deliver their list that has enough items on it for every other person to have at least one idea. I encourage them to list things with various price ranges and to keep a list throughout the year for those "aha!" moments when they think of something they would really like, but promptly forget it a week later.

Martha A. Hartley, Shareholder, Orlando

Every year we debut a new game for the adult members of the family to play. This year, it's "What Do You Meme?" It also makes a really good hostess gift.

The Container Store has the cutest, most affordable wrapping paper, tags, and ribbons. Use BoxFox for quick, but well-curated gifts for people who you don’t know really well or for clients. In the two months leading up to Christmas, when I find something I really like that is a one-size-fits-all (earrings, candle, cookbook, etc.), I buy two so I can use at least one as a gift. Around Christmas, Veuve Cliquot does a promotion with bottles wrapped in something fun and orange. I usually buy four – three for hostess gifts and one for me!

For the holiday season, I try to donate as much as possible. I use Pickup Please because they will come to your house. Bonus – your house is less cluttered for guests.

Erin E. Pelleteri, Shareholder, New Orleans

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