Monday, December 22, 2008

LILL Team Holiday Traditions

With this week being Christmas and the start of Hanukkah, the much anticipated holiday season is in full bloom. We here at LILL thought it would help to get you in the holiday spirit by sharing our holiday traditions with you.

"We have a fun tradition that began when my oldest brother was born - we take a family picture every year dressed up in our winter jackets with axe in hand next to our fake Christmas tree like we cut it down. We have a pic of the family every year. They are all now in a book at my parents. It is pretty fun to look at and see how we changed through the years and how the coats were passed down - poor Bob always got the hand me downs :-).... Some of the teen years we all looked "thrilled" to be taking the pics and I have some really great hair in the late 80's :-)" - Jen Velarde, President of 1154 LILL

"I buy an ornament each year that reflects something significant that happened in our lives that year. For example, this year I’m looking to get a (wedding) bell or a ring for our engagement…and I always write the date on it." - Mandy, Design Director

"Every year, my mom buys all of the girls new pajamas. We open them Christmas Eve and then wear them to bed that night." - Laurie, Creative Services

"We always watch A Christmas Story before dinner. After dinner, and before opening presents, my uncle takes all of the cousins out to look at lights around the neighborhood. When we get back the grownups have had a minute to relax and then we open gifts." - Sarah, Store Operations

"I do that Cheeseburgers and milk shake picnic in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. It’s so nice to have an informal meal under all the pretty lights plus it’s cute to listen to the kids to guess about what Santa will bring the next morning." - Rachel, Creative Services Manager

"Our family tradition started with my Mom, she would give us a new ornament each year, one year it might be made of glass the next year it maybe made of plastic, I can remember being so excited, waiting to see what my ornament would look like, what color, I don’t have all the ornaments, that she gave, I do have a few that I was able to hold on to thought the years and they are on my tree at home today." - Donna, Parts and Pieces Department

"For the extended family Christmas dinner, we forgo the entree because everybody brings such great appetizers. There is no formal dinner sit-down, the extended family eats buffet style from the appetizers each of the eight families brings. Of course, you cannot get in the door without Christmas cookies.
We also have a gift give away. In addition to the secret Santa gift, everyone brings a wrapped gift costing no more than $20. The gifts are placed in a pile. All the gift-give-away participants is given a number picked from a hat. Person number one picks a gift and unwraps it. Person number two can either “steal” from person number one or pick an unopened gift. Anyone one having a gift stolen can steal from any of the opened gifts or open a new gift. This goes on until everyone has a gift.
We implemented several rules. You can only have your choice stolen three times. We have outlawed Chia pets and candles. This is turning out to be the most popular part of the evening. You would think that there would be a lot of animosity built up by having your sister steal a gift you wanted but it is in good fun. In addition, the gifts are pretty cheesy. I am still trying to get rid of the Ginsu Knives my wife picked and nobody would steal." Mike, Production Director

"My family’s holiday tradition is an annual Holiday Bingo party. I don’t know what gave my mom the idea the first time, but it was so much fun that we’ve been doing it for probably 15 years. My mom buys little gifts and wraps them up so you can’t tell what they are, and when you win a round of bingo you get to pick a prize – and you never know if you’re going to get something good or something not so good. Last year I got stuck with a key chain of a tiny foam flip-flop... It started out with about ten people, but every time someone new comes, they want to come back the next year – so the crowd gets bigger every year!" - Liz, Accounting Manager

"My mom always gives my brother and me a Christmas ornament each year. Whenever possible she finds one that somehow relates to events that occurred during the year for us—for instance, I got a porcelain rabbit purchased in Vermont the year we took a family vacation there and a carved wooden English Bobby the year I spent in London in college. It’s a wonderful tradition because now my brother and I each have a fantastic collection of ornaments, each of which conjures up a memory of the year we received it. So... thanks mom!" - Kate, LILL on Location Director

"Ever since I've been with my husband we have his brother and wife (who happens to also be my best friend!) come over to our house on Christmas Eve after Grandma's dinner and present opening extravaganza. Every year I hide a "Christmas Pickle" in the tree. The brothers fight to find it. Whoever finds it gets to open the first present and play Santa. Now we have kids so it gets to be more fun than ever!
My birthday is also on Christmas, so we stay up until midnight and then my husband and in-laws/friends present me with my b-day gift at 12:01. They count down the minutes 'til my birthday. I love it, it makes me feel so special." Amy, Web Store Manager

Thanks for sharing in your holiday traditions.
If any of you LILL fans have a tradition you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it! Send it to:

LILL wishes you all a joyful holiday season and a wonderful new year to come!