Our Holiday Plans: The MSA Team Shares Their Favorite Traditions
As our personal plans begin to form for the upcoming holidays, we’ve found ourselves feeling more and more excited with each passing day! We’re hard at work creating the best possible experience for our readers—including our gift guides, our daily giveaways, and our upcoming annual Better Than Black Friday event.
In addition to the guides and events we have planned for the holidays here at MSA, each member of our team has their own special wintertime traditions. While holiday festivities will look a little different this year, we’ll still be sticking to some of our most beloved traditions. Read on to get to know our team a little better, and feel free to share your favorite holiday traditions in the comments!
The MSA Team’s Holiday Plans (With Some COVID-Friendly Tweaks)
Our team was recently reflecting on their most cherished holiday traditions, and we wanted to share them with you. From hosting Friendsgiving to baking sugar cookies, shopping for a Christmas tree or, well, eating, our favorite traditions are the true highlight of the season! Here are our team’s answers to the question, “What’s your favorite tradition for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or winter?”
Megan, Senior Writer:
“A real Christmas Tree! I grew up with a fake one but my husband, Will, has always made sure we go pick out a super fragrant real-life tree each year now to make up for lost time!”
Andy, Photo Director
“We typically do Friendsgiving, a full weekend gathering of 25-30 friends and family on the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year would have been our 9th annual Friendsgiving, but we are opting to be safe and instead, we are planning to do a full day Zoom where friends can pop in and out whenever they can so we can keep a bit of the tradition going. Also, wrapping presents to Vince Guaraldi Trio’s Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack.”
Christen, Copywriter & Editor:
“Making fresh-squeezed orange juice on Christmas Eve morning. My husband and his sister started this tradition when they were kids, and those of us who have joined the family since have kept the tradition. There’s not much of an explanation behind it; it’s just delicious and fun!”
Want to stock up on oranges so you can make your own “fresh squeezed?” Check out our list of the Best Fruit of the Month Clubs.
Sara, Content Manager:
“Normally I head over to my grandmother’s for dinner, who at 90, still insists on hosting. However, this year we’re all staying home and planning on a family virtual gift exchange.”
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for yourself this year and need a hand? See what Lindsey thought of Home Chef’s Thanksgiving Sides.
Sarah, Channel Manager:
“My family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas so I always look forward to my mom making latkes and our extended family coming over for Christmas Eve. Does wrapping all your presents in a panic on Christmas Eve count as a tradition? My mom also makes pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck. If I’m nearby, I still swing by to have some for dinner (although mine now includes fake sausage instead of pork).”
“My mom and I have been collecting Disney ornaments for the last 30 years, and each year we are on the lookout for a new one. It’s like our own little scavenger hunt. We then get super sentimental about the collection as we decorate the tree each year. I also do an annual holiday day with close friends – holiday markets, hot chocolate in hand, Secret Santa, and then decorating sugar cookies with Home Alone on in the background.”
Are you also a Disney-lover? Here are the MSA team’s top Disney+ picks.
Dan, Lead Engineer
“Growing up, my family always used to do Virginia Country Ham biscuits, ambrosia salad, deviled eggs, and She Crab soup as our Christmas eve dinner. It’s such a weird combo but I loved it. We’d then all open one gift after dinner before going to bed. I don’t get to do that as much now that I’m in New Jersey and surrounded by my in-laws but the few times we are in Virginia for Christmas, we keep the tradition alive with my side of the family.”
Lacey, Product Manager:
“My favorite holiday tradition is filling up all four of our Christmas stockings with small gifts and treats. It’s low pressure as far as finding gifts, and super fun! I like to stick with candy and little blind box toys and such, and the kids always enjoy it. Last year I knit four coordinating stockings to hang on our mantle, one for each of us, and I love that it makes the living room feel super cozy.”
Who else has hand-knit items as part of their holiday decorations? We love the yarn sent in KnitCrate!
Mallory, Community Manager
“I love doing all of the cliché New York City holiday activities: visiting the big tree at Rockefeller Centre, ice skating in Central Park, browsing the holiday windows on 5th Avenue, and even drinking spiked hot chocolate in an igloo at 230 Fifth. The city is truly magical this time of year!”
“Watching the Lions lose on Thanksgiving Day!”
Did you know ESPN+ has a subscription bundle with Hulu and Disney+? See the MSA team’s watch picks here.
“On Christmas Eve, we host an island of lost toys party for everyone who hasn’t gone home for the holiday. We make a ton of appetizers and cocktails and have a blast.
For Hanukkah, I always make way too many latkes and we eat them for a week (even though they are best fresh)!”
Adriane, Head of People:
“Sugar cookie making and contests with my family!”
Thinking of starting your own cookie-baking tradition? Visit our list of the best subscriptions for foodies and find which baking box is right for you!
What are your favorite holiday traditions? How will you be keeping them going strong this year?