Elf on a shelf holiday memories and traditions

Christmas is a special time of year when everyone can become a kid again

The holiday season is magical and full of beloved time treasured traditions. This magic can be expressed without tinsel and sparkling lights, like they found out in Who-ville, it’s found in our hearts.

We asked our SAGA Realty and Construction team to share what they look forward to every year over the holidays, favorite traditions… there seemed to be a common thread “home and family,” here are a few of their stories: 


“We do Christmas on Christmas Eve. Celebrating with traditional Mexican food. All homemade, of course! Tamales, Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Rice, Posole, Champurrado, Ponche and maybe margaritas of some kind ?” -Wendy Lynch, Production Coordinator


“Growing up in a home with 8 children meant Christmas mornings were always very exciting… and loud! One year, the four youngest kids, me included, got up around 2:00 am, went downstairs to see what Santa had bought us. We played for about an hour, then my older brother and sisters ran us back to bed while they played with our toys. We slept later than usual that Christmas morning and Mom and Dad couldn’t figure out why until the older kids told them we had already been up.  Another memory-my Mom’s sister and her husband, Aunt Margie and Uncle Jerry did not have any children and they loved to come to our house for Christmas and would spend a few days.  Mom and Aunt Margie would stay up all night Christmas Eve talking and cooking the turkey and ham, while Uncle Jerry and Dad would put the toys together. We always put up a tree, but Mom would not let us put it in the house until a week before Christmas, she was afraid it would dry out too quick. Dad also would put pine and lights around the front door of the screen porch and the pine always smelled so good. ” -Rita Rogerson, Contract Administrator


“I have 2 favorite traditions: Whenever my husband and I decorate for Christmas, we play the movie “Love Actually” and drink some eggnog. Always puts us in the holiday spirit! On Christmas Eve, my family and I go to Arlington Cemetery in the morning to visit my grandfather’s grave, along with several of my great-aunts and -uncles. We then go out to a nice brunch to reminisce and just enjoy the time together.” -Emily Heikens, Asset Management


“My Jewish Mother always as we opened our Christmas presents would say. David that was no $99 dollar and 98 cent bicycle or how the price related to the gift. Another instance would be those are no $25.98 cents skates David. We always kept doing that even with my kids as a joke to this very day… Going 0ne cent under the original price of the purchased gift.” –Dave Hoare, REALTOR®


“Gathering to open presents and share a wonderful meal at my parents house.” -Asad Saghafi, Assistant Controller


“The elves come visit on Christmas Eve around dinner time before Santa arrives. They leave a gift on the front porch. It is usually a game to play that night together. As kids we would always try to catch the elves, but never had any luck. One Christmas it had snowed and we were shocked not to see any footprints in the snow!” –Sarah Pritchard, REALTOR®


“I have a memory from growing up with my Dad, especially in my teenage and college years. On Christmas Eve, he would bring the presents he bought for Mom to me and I would wrap them while he wrote his note to her on the Christmas tag. He usually bought her jewelry so it was fun to see what he picked out. It was a great Dad and daughter time. He wrote her funny notes. He was generous with her and he was generous with us his daughters. I really miss him.” –Martha Hathcock, REALTOR®


Christmas memories and traditions pets SAGA (2)

“Pets are a big part of our family so naturally they are involved in nearly all we do including our holiday celebrations. We loved including our dog Nova and horse Dexter in our Christmas card photos!” -Lauren Garrett, Asset Management


Holiday family Traditions Elf on a shelf SAGA

“Our family loves celebrating Christmas and the special traditions that come along with this time of year. Even though my boys are teenagers, they still love to see our “elf on the shelf”, Jack James move all around the house and make messes daily! Jack also brings them a special chocolate calendar the first day of December, new Christmas PJ’s in the middle of the month and Gingerbread houses that we get to decorate when their Nana and Uncle visit! On Christmas morning the boys enjoy being surprised by the gifts under the tree. NO presents are put under the tree until everyone is fast asleep on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning they also enjoy finding their “big” gift by clues that are left throughout the house and outside!! Christmas evening, we enjoy a special dinner as a family and make a peppermint ice cream birthday cake for Jesus!” -Debbie Gabbert, Sales Manager


“We enjoy attending Nags Head Church for Christmas Eve service then congregating afterwards to our house with immediate family for Christmas Eve dinner together. We enjoy this fellowship telling stories, catching up with each other, sharing blessings of the year and the meaning of Christmas.” -John Dunstan, Construction Superintendent


“As a family we really look forward to Holiday Season. We have lot of holiday traditions like Elf on a shelf, setting up our Christmas tree together followed by wearing family pajamas and sipping peppermint hot chocolate sitting next to our fireplace with holiday music on. Our favorite holiday tradition is to do Random Acts of Kindness as a family which include baking together and delivering goodies to our local police station, library, post office, doctor’s office and nursing home. We learn to make a new holiday dessert every holiday season.” -Shweta Gupta, Web Strategy & Marketing Manager


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