How We Celebrate The Holidays

If you don’t work on a monthly magazine, consider yourself lucky—when it comes to the holidays. You see, to meet our deadlines, we work months in advance. So, holidays are sort of spoiled for us: we’ve already “done” Christmas and Hanukkah. But, still, when the actual holidays arrive—and not just copy about them—well, we manage to enjoy ourselves. Here is what we do:

“The Claus clan takes Christmas seriously: the tree goes up after Thanksgiving and stays there until New Year’s. We always make my Grandma Claus’s Päppar Kakörs. Could there be a more original Christmas cookie recipe? My daughters have been helping me bake the annual batch since they were toddlers—and, I trust, will eventually bake them for their own children.”
Nancy L. Claus, Features Editor

“This is my first year celebrating Christmas at my in-laws’. For my whole life, I was always against opening presents on Christmas Eve—to me, that’s like eating a huge turkey dinner on the day before Thanksgiving. But, in my new husband’s family, they do all their celebrating on Christmas Eve—the party, the big meal, the presents. It’s going to be totally bizarre for me when Christmas Day rolls around and all the celebrating is already over!”
Marisa LaScala, Articles Editor

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“I always shop at the last minute and have to pay for rush delivery. Last year, my mother came over from Japan and we went to Lord & Taylor for Black Friday sales. She found some really good deals, so this year we are going again.”
Aiko Masazumi, Creative Director

“We usually spend Christmas Eve baking cookies or making pizzelles from my Mom’s recipe, watching Christmas movies, visiting, wrapping presents. Christmas Day I usually cook a big dinner with a traditional ham as well as some Italian ‘accents,’ like baked rigatoni or lasagna, stuffed mushrooms—the whole shebang.”
Carol Caffin, Chief Copy Editor

“Christmas is a lot of work. My husband goes to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to buy the best Polish delicatessen food and fresh meat and sweets. Everything is Polish that day. Our Christmas dinner is borscht with mushroom ravioli, cabbage and vegetable salads, fried fish, and bigos, a stew consisting of sauerkraut, sweet cabbage, sausage, and dried mushrooms. It takes two days to cook.”
Marta Kujawa, Assistant to the Art Department

“This year, I’m going to Poland! My family there is planning a big reunion with extended family.”
Halina Sabath, Deputy Creative Director

“Christmas has always been a double holiday in my family, because my sister was born on Christmas morning. She’s always been a good sport about having her birthday eclipsed by someone a bit more famous born on the same day a couple thousand years earlier.”
Robert Schork, Senior Editor

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“Instead of buying presents for everyone, we pick names out of a hat and buy presents for one person. There’s a Secret Santa for the kids, and a separate one for the grandkids. It’d be way too much to buy a present for every niece, cousin, and brother. There’s a lot of food, and we do a lot of eating.”
John Bruno Turiano, Managing Editor

And as for me? My family and I will celebrate Hanukkah at my sister-in-law’s house, and her partner will—as always—cook up a big batch of latkes. I’ll try to eat my share only.

Happy Holidays!

Esther Davidowitz

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