As humans, we love traditions and stories, and the holidays are the best time for making both. Here are a few traditions and memorable experiences from our team.
Thelma Ruiz, Fulfillment
The best part of Thanksgiving and Christmas is getting together with family and friends.
We have a traditional Thanksgiving meal and add my family’s favorite dessert–Orange Pecan Salad. You make orange jello (but only use one cup of water); after it sets up, add cool whip, pecans, and little pieces of orange and blend it with a hand mixer. Add marshmallows and fold them in.
For Christmas, we follow my family’s traditions on Christmas Eve and my daughter-in-law’s traditions on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we get together to make tamales, champurradas, and buñuelos. There’s lots of talking and laughing as we work together sharing stories and memories. Making the food is as fun as eating it. My daughter-in-law gets matching pajamas for everyone for Christmas Day, and we take a family photo in our pajamas.
Kat Radmall, Shipping
For Thanksgiving, we always make my great-grandmother’s caramel apple pie recipe. We make it on a large cookie sheet with homemade apple pie filling from the apple tree in our backyard. We add stripes of my grandmother’s homemade caramel and a cream cheese sauce made by my dad. Making it is a whole family ordeal!
For Christmas, we always have a party on the 24th of December hosted by my grandmother. Dinner is crab legs, bison hamburgers, or a soup of some kind. My grandparents always make the main course and we bring dessert or side salads. After dinner, we have a gift exchange with my cousins and the grandparents. It’s either a white elephant or we draw names and play a game to see who gets their gift first. My grandmother also gives every grandkid a themed gift. Last year we all got a mug and hot chocolate.
Steve Williams, Maintenance/Production
One of my most memorable Christmases was when a rabid dog delayed Santa. In my family, the only presents came from Santa, so there was nothing under the tree until Christmas morning. But one year we woke up to find nothing under the tree. As it turns out, my mom had kept the presents hidden outside in the car and a rabid dog had decided to hang out in our front yard. Mom couldn’t go outside to get the presents because the dog may have attacked her. I was old enough to know the secret about Santa, but some of my younger brothers and sisters were confused by the situation. The dog eventually left so Santa could make his delivery, but it did result in some siblings learning about Santa a little early.
Alex King, Fulfillment
One of our family traditions is to make peanut butter blossom cookies and lasagna on Christmas Eve. Peanut butter blossom cookies are peanut butter cookies (using my great grandmother’s recipe) and putting a chocolate kiss in the center right when you take them out of the oven. The heat from the cookies melts the kiss. We keep the lasagna in the fridge and bake it for our family dinner on Christmas Day instead of cooking ham or turkey.
Stuart Jimenez, IT
My family’s holiday (and winter) traditions include homemade tamales and Abuelita chocolate. My mother-in-law makes the tamales entirely from scratch and wraps them up in corn leaves. Abuelita chocolate comes in a hexagon-shaped box and has six round bricks of chocolate that can be broken into seven pizza-shaped pieces. You break apart the brick and melt the pieces in milk. My family makes it in a big pot on the stove. The number of pieces and amount of milk depends on how much you can drink and how strong you like it. Some people will add other ingredients, but we only use milk and Abuelita. It is comparable to hot chocolate but is very unique.
Rylan Davis, Production
One of my family’s holiday traditions is to do the Twelve Days of Christmas. We pick a neighbor and give them a gift each day related to the poem. We do our best to keep it anonymous and sometimes need to change our strategy—going early morning, late at night, or not ringing the doorbell—to avoid the neighbors who really want to catch us. We’ve had a few close calls, but so far we’ve never been caught.
Cidnee Shopay, Fulfillment
Santa gets bored doing the same thing every year, so we try to mix things up and keep the kids on their toes. One year we moved Christmas into a different room on Christmas morning and the kids thought Santa forgot them until they realized everything was in a different room. Another year we stayed in Heber for a couple of days leading up to Christmas and Santa didn’t come to the hotel where we were staying. We went home on Christmas Day to find that Santa had visited our house while we were gone.
Annette Williams, Sales
My family wasn’t well off growing up and the highlight of my Christmas as a kid was getting a stocking with an apple, orange, ribbon candy, nuts, and a candy cane. I pictured Santa having an orchard at the North Pole with the biggest, best-tasting apples and oranges.
The year I desperately wanted (and doubted I would receive) a bike, I woke up in the middle of the night when I heard noises in the kitchen. Thinking it was Santa, I tiptoed to the kitchen to investigate and saw my dad putting bikes together. We got bikes from Santa in the morning and I was confused. I wanted to still believe in Santa, so I told myself that maybe Santa brought the bikes in boxes for my dad to put together. It wasn’t a very convincing story and I had doubts about Santa from then on.
Brooke Pearson, Fulfillment
My most memorable Thanksgiving was the year my dad got a new Jeep. My parents live in a rural area outside of Las Vegas with lots of open space and natural streams that cover beds of quicksand (the official scientific name may be different). We borrowed my dad’s Jeep to go exploring and the Jeep began to sink in quicksand while we were crossing a relatively shallow stream (it was only about 6 inches deep). It eventually stopped moving and began to sink surprisingly fast. When the water started coming into the Jeep, we jumped out and waded to safety. We watched in horror from a solid spot of land as the jeep continued to sink until most of it was buried in sand and the six-inch deep water reached part of the roll cage. We hitchhiked home and had to tell my dad what happened, but there is a happy ending. About five months later, my parents’ neighbor managed to get the Jeep out, washed it up, wrapped it with a big red bow on top, and dropped it off at my parents’ house.