To begin, thanks to everyone for sharing!! From family to work, hope you will enjoy reading. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! Enjoy your celebrations!!!
Deborah Rollf At KU told us that the Student Accounts and Receivables Office kicks off the week before finals with a Secret Santa Exchange throughout the week and ends it with an office meal. It is strictly a voluntary thing and those who participate really enjoy it! Each day, participants receive a gift from their Secret Santa. The gifts are usually small things. We see a lots of candy, soda, coffee drinks, fuzzy socks, pens, etc. On the final day (Stop Day at KU), we close our office early then meet at a local restaurant to share a meal, socialize, relax, and receive the final gift of the week. It’s fun to hear people guess who they think their Secret Santa was!! We also invite our retired staff to join us, along with our system support staff and our directors. Merry Christmas from KU’s Student Accounts and Receivables Office!!
Keith Fitzsimmons from “The University of Kansas Medical Center” shares about his church’s annual Christmas pageant, where this year, he’s been promoted to “Head Wiseman”…
Crystal DeLong from Citizen One Student Loans says her family has a ping pong tournament in her Dad’s shed every year! Because she is currently 9 months pregnant, however, the family will gather at her house this year!! No ping pong at all, but she thinks the baby has been playing some in her tummy lately!! Merry Christmas!
Darcy Johnson at Emporia State says thankfully ESU is closed from December 21 until January 2. Her tradition is to say…this is finally the year that she’s going to get the house completely clean during her vacation…but in reality, she will spend the entire week+ cuddling and playing with the ruler of the house, Abby, who says, “What do you mean? I’m going to have to be stuck with Mommy for over an entire week???”
Diana VanDyke at Butler CC shares her family’s 40 year traditions.
Christmas Eve finds the family at grandma’s house with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins where we eat chili and oyster soup and more Christmas candy and cookies than should be allowed. Grandma picks someone to read the story of Jesus. We all sit quietly while someone reads from the Bible and remember that Christmas is about faith and love and a little baby that brought the world together. Then we exchange gifts and “help” the young ones play with all their toys before we all head back home. Christmas Morning we get up early and open presents at our house, then after farm chores with extra Christmas treats for all the animals, we go to my parent’s house for a huge Christmas breakfast. Right after breakfast at Mom’s, we get our stockings. Included in our stockings is an orange and for any new members of the family we explain that during the depression, fruit was nearly impossible to get for anyone that was not rich, so getting an orange for Christmas was a huge deal that mother looked forward to each year. So, she keeps it going with her kids and grandkids as a reminder to be thankful for what you have. We then give Mom the oranges and they become part of the breakfast which is Biscuits and Pudding (in the south they call it chocolate gravy but we do both chocolate and vanilla…my favorite!), plus sausage links, bacon and fresh side (also a type of bacon) and orange slices with sugar. Then we open presents before we start on Christmas dinner, which is usually as big or bigger than Thanksgiving.
At Johnson County Community College, what started over 15 years ago as a small delivery of cookies to a few departments as grown into a department tradition. We thanked our postal department for the last minute delivery of SAP letters, which had a very quick turnaround. We thanked our payroll department for working with our FWS students. We thanked our business office for assisting us with disbursement and check distribution. This is just to name a few…..Fast forward to today and we ask each person in the department to bring in 3 dozen cookies or candy and we make beautiful trays or boxes of cookies and deliver them to 28 departments on campus. We have several staff members deliver the cookies and sing a Christmas Carol or two. We have so many people that assist us on campus to best serve our students, and the departments now look forward to this delivery every year.
From Lisa Arnold, Master of Collections at KU Med Center…Merry Chrismukkah from her German Weiner Dog, Buddy!!
Cindy Kleinsorge from JCCC tells us that when she was growing up, her family would go to Christmas Eve services. Because my parents sang in the church choir, my brother and I would sit with our friends and their family. I now sing in my choir throughout the year but especially enjoy our Christmas Eve services. On Christmas Morning we would wake up early to open presents. Our stockings almost always had an apple and/or an orange in them just like Diana Vandyke’s family, a tradition I still do today with my kids as well. Then Dad would make a scrumptious breakfast…eggs, bacon and/or sausage and biscuits and gravy (he made the best)…yum, yum! After that, Mom would begin getting everything ready for the family gathering later in the day. We had to help too with setting the tables and filling the glasses with ice and water. We would have all the fixings to go along with the meat either ham or beef tenderloin prime rib…mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and rice casserole, oyster casserole, and those yummy rolls…plus, plenty of desserts. My one grandmother would make date pudding and my other grandmother would make suet pudding and mom would make either pumpkin or pecan pie. Date pudding was my favorite. I have my grandma’s handwritten recipe and still make it today. Our grace before dinner always included being thankful for what this day means to all of us, the birth of Jesus, a blessing for the food that was prepared with loving hands and safe travels home! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!!
At Allen CC, Kelly Baker and Kim Murry share that each year for Fall Semester finals week, the employees have the opportunity to make treats for the students. The table is filled to the brim every day with a variety of goodies that serve as “finals fuel” and “chocolate comfort” for stressed out finals brains!! Returning students look forward to this annual tradition and talk about it with new students so they can share in the deliciousness!
At University of Kansas, Bonnie Sandefer tells us, that each holiday season we have an office potluck and basket raffle. KU provides the meats and we provide the rest. People bring their “A Game” and really show off what they can do in the kitchen. For the raffle each department picks a theme and then gathers donations. For example, Financial Aid’s basket theme was Bar None. We had things donated…from a bar cart and swizzle sticks, shaker and glasses, all the way to cherries, lemons, and limes to garnish. Then we all donate money to purchase tickets and whomever gets their name picked wins that basket. This year, I won the Travel basket. It had travel mugs, games, snacks, and even a $100 K-Tag (donated from K-Tag themselves), all arranged in a cooler. All proceeds then go to the United Way!! It is a great time to get together, laugh and share gifts and joy!!
From our committee to all of you, we wish you a Joyous and Blessed Holiday Season! And a Healthy and Happy 2020!!