An Activation Christmas
You probably know that Activation Products is a family business. Ten years ago, I started this company with two of my seven children. Our team has grown a lot since then but we like to think of our staff as family, too. This Christmas I thought it would be fun for a few of our team members to share their favorite family traditions with you — our extended Activation Family. Read right to the end… I think the last one is really fun and unusual!
What are your favorite things to do with your loved ones during the holidays? Leave us a comment below!
I grew up in Australia and Christmas there is a lot like it is here, with the focus on family and eating good food. Santa’s sleigh was rumoured to be pulled by 6 white ‘boomers’ (kangaroos) and we all felt sorry for him in the heat with that suit!
Now, living in Canada, our family is very new (with our son just 19 months old) and we are still setting up Christmas traditions. I get very excited about having a real Christmas tree. It can be gloomy outside, so having sparkling lights and pretty greenery really helps me get through.
The morning is one of opening presents and eating pancakes and fun breakfast things and playing with toys on the floor in front of the fire. The afternoon is when we make the short journey to my husband’s parents farm where an amazing Christmas feast is served with the whole family. He comes from a family of 7 brothers and sisters so we have started doing a “gift-hat” where we each pull a name from a hat. We are very mindful of expressing gratitude for each gift given. We feel that the ‘magic’ of the season can be experienced through playing, joy, lights and music and the sharing of meals and gifts with people with love. That’s something I really love about how we do Christmas.
-Alix Clark, Video Blogger
For the last 20 years on Christmas Eve, my family has upheld the same traditions. We make homemade hot chocolate and travel to a nearby town where the Christmas lights are extraordinary. We spend the evening driving up and down the streets, never missing a house and reminiscing about our all-time favourite houses. We make the drive home and then spend the evening opening presents and watching our favourite Christmas movies. This tradition always makes me appreciate the small family I have and reminds me to feel grateful for the small things that don’t cost any money!
-Sarah, Graphic Designer
Growing up, one of my favourite activities during the holidays was decorating the Christmas tree. My parents would get the tree ready with lights and tinsel, then my sisters and I would decorate with our Christmas ornaments. I remember so much joy and laughter while we were decorating. Now that I’m older with a family of my own, we have created our own Christmas tree decorating tradition. Every year, our town has a Santa Claus parade and we plan our entire day around the parade and decorating. My husband and I get the tree up and ready with lights before the parade, and afterward, we pop popcorn, make hot chocolate and decorate the tree with our two boys while listening to Christmas music. I love tree-decorating day almost as much as Christmas day itself!
-Tara, Finance Operator
My kids are all grown up now, but one thing we still do together every year is go to Hockley Valley to cut down our own Christmas tree. Everyone gets all bundled up and I throw some gloves and a bow saw in the trunk of the car and we head off to spend the day together. There are sleigh rides and hot chocolate and a campfire and all that holiday stuff. My kids always seem to bicker over which tree to choose but in the end, we find one that everyone likes. I cut it down and we cart it back to the car, tie it to the roof and head home to drink egg nog while we decorate it.
When I was a wee munchkin, every Christmas eve my mother would hide a pickle in our Christmas tree. The person (or child, really — I don’t think my dad was competing) who found the pickle got to open a gift before bed. 14 years of my life went by without me ever thinking twice about how weird this tradition was.
It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school that I found out this wasn’t a thing every family did.
“Your family doesn’t do the pickle thing?”
Literally, everyone I’ve ever met:
“No. That’s so weird!”
I talked to my mom and did a little research — apparently it’s a German tradition (my mom is German). Anyways, I’m 23 now and we’re still doing the pickle thing. The sad thing is, as I write this, I‘m realising that “pickle hunting” is a skill I have 20+ years experience in. Know anyone hiring?