Whether you have celebrated a Christmas tradition for years, or if this is the first year, we hope you find time to connect with those you love. We asked our MBU community to share their Christmas traditions and how they celebrate this holiday season.
Taira Schertz, Director of Student Life
Christmas tradition: We don’t put our kids’ names on their Christmas packages, instead we make up names, so they don’t know which ones are theirs. This year we used Haydn, Ellie, and Hunter, but they don’t know if they are actually their packages or we switched their names. I guess they will find out Christmas morning!
Amy Harrison, Assistant Professor & Graduate Program Director
Christmas tradition: As a new stepparent, I have been big on establishing traditions. Ours is a new family so developing these traditions early has been challenging but rewarding. Each year, we go to Santa’s Magical Kingdom in Eureka, Missouri to see the Christmas lights. We spend time baking cookies for the teachers and we pick out a unique ornament for our tree. My family also keeps our Christmas tree up until January 7 to honor and pray for Christians around the world. It’s a good opportunity to teach our kids about other Christian groups that celebrate Christmas on January 7, not December 25 (i.e., Egypt, Ethiopia, Russia, Serbia).
Melanie Bishop, Associate Vice President for Graduate Affairs
Christmas tradition: “For the last 20 years, every time my family goes on a trip, we get a Christmas tree ornament. Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments from all over the United States and it is so much fun reliving the memories we made as we place each ornament on the tree. On Christmas Eve, my mom reads the Christmas story from the Bible. She has done this since my sons and their cousins were little. When they were little, the kids would dress up like the nativity scene and they would act it out as she read the story. During December, we watch movies together as a family. We always make sure to watch the Polar Express, Die Hard, and Disney’s Christmas Carol. On Christmas Eve, my family attends a church service. On Christmas Day, we give my sons, who are now teenagers, Lego sets. They used to love putting together Lego sets when they were little, so we continue getting them a small set every year.”
Amber Pyatt, Founding Dean of Nursing
Christmas tradition: “Each Christmas Eve our family stays the night at my grandparent’s house. I have stayed the night there every Christmas Eve since I was born. We make dinner Christmas Eve night and then open gifts with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. We usually watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. When we wake up on Christmas morning we all open presents. Even at 36 years old, I have always been the person who hands out Christmas presents to everyone.
Ben Lion, Vice President for Student Development
Christmas tradition: “My father’s family immigrated from the Netherlands as a child and my wife is also 100% Dutch so we try to incorporate fun Dutch traditions around Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of our favorite treats to share with the kids is a Stroopwafel (syrup waffle). Each year, we make them from scratch. Stroopwafels are very similar to thin waffles, but you can also find them carried in many grocery stores. It’s a great treat to share around a fire with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.”