Season’s Greetings from the City of Heath!
The Holiday Season is a special time of year for creating memories with family and friends that often center around treasured traditions. I thought it would be fun to share with you my favorite Holiday traditions as well as those of my colleagues on City Council, so here they are:
My favorite memory of the entire holiday season is the big crowds who came through our house at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My father, Lance Holland, was a very giving and inclusive person. It was “come one, come all” at our house. If you didn’t have a place to go, you came to our house and you were welcomed with open arms. We still have an annual party in between Thanksgiving and Christmas called “Overs” (for “leftovers”). Everyone brings a dish and we have a party!
Justin A. Holland
Mayor Pro Tem
Although we cherish the time we spend with our extended families, our favorite Christmas tradition is setting a day that is devoted to just our family of five. Although this rarely lands on December 25, we make arrangements with Santa to deliver presents early. It always starts with homemade sticky buns and the Christmas story, read from the Bible.
Heath City Council – Place 1
The magic of Christmas will always be a part of our family, and I know a part of our daughters’ Christmas when they have a family! On Christmas Eve, after church, all the “girls” put on our matching “Christmas PJ’s”. We each open one gift. On Christmas morning, the girls gather on the stairs and wait for the ok to come see what wonderful goodies were left by Santa (Yes, they do so even in their 20’s). We start with our stockings. (And of course there’s coffee, pastries and CHAMPAGNE!) We then take a break for breakfast. Then it’s back to the tree for opening gifts, which will take until at least noon. (Realize they never got up later than 7 a.m.; now it’s more like 8 or 9.) We will always believe in the Magic of Christmas!
Heath City Council – Place 3
Although a lot of holiday traditions change with each new generation, there has been one consistent tradition in my family for as long as anyone can remember–Christmas Eve Chili. Every Christmas Eve my entire family gets together and enjoys a big pot of chili, cheesy grits, and homemade tamales. Besides the great food, I like Christmas Eve the best because all we do is attend a worship service and eat. Christmas Eve is the only day in December that doesn’t feel overshadowed by shopping lists, opening presents, or hurrying to the next event. It’s just a simple day where we worship Christ, spend a relaxing time with family, and enjoy a big bowl of Texas Red. Merry Christmas!
Heath City Council – Place 4
Our Christmas celebration always begins with a Candlelight Service at Lakepointe Church with family and friends. Afterwards, we gather at our house, which is also open to folks who have out-of-town family they can’t be with. I love watching the eyes of my three sons light up after the service because they know they get to open one present, which will be treasured until they open the rest in the morning. (The very early, early morning.) But I do hate putting together those John Deer tractors!
Heath City Council – Place 5
My favorite traditions include the Heath Holiday in the Park where we enjoy the Christmas Tree Lighting, choirs and miniature train ride. We attended the event to watch my girls sing when they were in the Amy Parks choir starting in 1994. Last year, we took my granddaughters! I also look forward to the Antigua Bay Homeowners Association Christmas party to catch up with neighbors and hear about the year’s adventures.
Heath City Council – Place 6
Finally, there are two traditions in our family that I would consider my favorites. First, each Christmas Eve before we open any presents, we get the family together and read the story of Christ’s birth from the book of Luke. I always want us to remember the reason we are celebrating.
Second, each New Year’s Eve, we take the family out to dinner and ask each person to share the best thing that happened to them during the past year. It’s a great way to recap the year and remember all God’s blessings.
I hope some of these traditions resonate with activities in your own home, or that maybe you may find a new idea or two to try. But however you choose to celebrate, my hope is that your Christmas will be filled with joy and happiness, and shared with your family and friends.