Daniel Staten
Staten the Facts

Staten the Facts

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It's so hard to believe that this year is rapidly coming to a close. One of my favorite things about this time of year is tradition. Each family has their own things they do that make the holidays memorable.

For me, there's a few things we do every year.

Dad's Christmas Shopping Blitz

Each year, my Dad has a slight habit of waiting until the very last minute to complete his Christmas shopping. It usually involves heading out around 7 PM and hitting up the mall's Victoria Secret, a sporting goods store and drug store for candy. I don't think he's ever walked away disappointed or without what he went for! That's pretty impressive. Nonetheless, we always look forward to "flash shopping" with Dad!

Cinderella's Castle in the background of a snowy Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom inside Walt Disney World.

Christmas Eve Festivities

Christmas Eve can bring a myriad of activities. If the neighbors show up, we usually crack open the liquor cabinet for the things we haven't used all year! My Dad is gifty with his bottles of Jack Daniel's. We usually try something new as well – last year it was Skinny Girl Margaritas straight from a pouch. I refuse to ever consume one again.

Our family might differ from others in that we open a majority of our gifts from each other on Christmas Eve as well. When we were younger, each Christmas Day we would drive to see our grandparents, aunts and uncles several hours away. I think that's where our tradition stems from. Since then, we've kept doing it and I like it that way. Christmas morning is when we open our gifts from "Santa."

Food always plays a big part in Christmas Eve. My Mom's recipes for snickerdoodle cookies and "snowball" cookies is the best ever! We consume several batches over the course of the holidays. Coca-Cola in a glass bottle is another thing we don't go without. Through the years, we've added some dishes, most recently delicious turkey meatballs that we cook in the crock pot. Ham biscuits, veggies and homemade ranch dip and deviled eggs. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Mickey and Minnie float down Main Street during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is my favorite Christmas movie. Followed closely by Four Christmases. There are so many quotable lines from beginning to end. It helps that my Dad is vaguely reminiscent of Clark Griswold. Some years we order pizza and watch, other nights it's more spontaneous. Either way, it's one of my favorite traditions. This year, I picked up a Clark Griswold t-shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch.

No matter what your traditions are, I hope you have the opportunity to reflect on the things you're thankful for and how 2015 can be the best year ever!

A digital version of our Christmas card this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!