Faculty, Staff Share Their Holiday Traditions

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The Whistle asked Tech faculty and staff members to share their favorite holiday traditions. Read on to find out what your colleagues said.  

Even though I own “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on DVD, there’s nothing like catching it when it’s shown on TV in December. I have to say it’s my all-time favorite Christmas movie.  

Amelia Pavlik, Communications & Marketing

In my family, Dec. 1 marks the first day of advent and the first day we can open our advent calendar that has one piece of chocolate for each day until Dec. 24. My grandmother and her sister started the tradition with my mother and cousins, and then it continued on with my generation. Now, I get to carry on the tradition with my chocolate-loving daughter.   

Alynne Grace Prather, International Education

My family goes to my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve night, and she always cooks spaghetti with her secret recipe meat sauce, Italian bread and what we call “Sombrero sandwiches.” These are toasted hamburger buns with melted American cheese, onions, green peppers and chili on top. This may not sound like a Christmas or holiday meal, but I look forward to it more than just about anything I do for the Christmas season.

Deric Shaw, Georgia Tech Research Institute

As a Puerto Rican, I love participating in parrandas, which are a lot like Christmas caroling, in December and January. A parranda is when a small group of friends gather together and surprise another friend with songs.  

— Luis Ocasio, Registrar

My favorite holiday tradition is to take a drive with my family to see Christmas lights. Last year we drove out to Life University to see their display, followed by a stop for a peppermint ice cream on the way home.

— Laura Hammond, Management

For the last several years, my wife and two sons and I have enjoyed a long walk in the woods behind our house after a hearty Christmas breakfast. We all pull on our knee-high boots and walk for an hour or so, splashing through creeks and low-lying areas with abandon. This is all a wonderful setup for a nice afternoon nap while the turkey smokes in the Big Green Egg.    

— Bill Todd, Management

One of my favorite memories is using a hair dryer to blow tinsel up to the highest branches of the 18-foot Christmas tree in my parents cathedral ceiling living room. I think we blew as much off the tree as we blew onto it!  

— Rebecca Bacon, International Education

The first time Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” plays on the radio after Thanksgiving, I smile. That is one of the happiest songs of all time!   

Lisa Conley, Global Learning Center

As a kid, I always looked forward to the dinner celebration of New Year’s Eve (both the Lunar Chinese New Year and the Gregorian calendar) where the whole family will sit around the table to enjoy the communal cooking and eating of a hot pot. Ideally, the pot is kept hot by a portable stove (gas or electrical), placed as a center piece in the dinning table, with equal distance to all dinners for conversation and participation. Everyone places ingredients such as leafy vegetables, thinly sliced meats or seafood and fish balls into the sizzling boiling broth in the hot pot to cook them quickly. They then use a straining ladle to “fish” out the goodies and dump them into their individual bowls.

Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Computing

My favorite tradition is spending one day over the holiday break skiing with my two daughters, usually in the Northeast.  

Wayne Whiteman, Mechanical Engineering

Spending time with my daughters and their husbands, decorating the tree, going to see the Nutcracker and having some time to relax over the holidays. When my children were little I used to always take them to see the Lights of Life at Life University in Marietta.  

Rosario Gerhardt, Materials Science & Engineering



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Amelia Pavlik
  • Created:12/14/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016


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