Traditions around the Holidays are what we look forward to every year. Our Al’s family has many of their own traditions and we wanted to highlight just a few that you might want to start yourself! I know I might make them part of my traditions next year too!
“Snowflake Traditions. A few years ago, our five kids decided that each year, no matter where they are living in the country or around the world, on the first snowfall in one of their locations, all 5 of them would make a snowflake and hang it up. The boys win every year in the Midwest but it has been a fun way to celebrate winter and stay connected. Notre Dame was blanketed in snow, so the tradition continues!” Amy Bigej (Fundraiser Director, Al’s Granddaughter in-law, and Mom to Al’s Fourth Generation)
Every year Aaron Rivera and his family open their home to friends and family to make gingerbread houses! There is a lot of prepping that is done including using 22 pounds of powdered sugar, 20 gingerbread houses, and a wide arrange of Royal frosting colors. All the prepping is done the week before, even the houses are fully constructed when the families get there (saves a lot of kid tears).
They use gram crackers to make the houses and make sure the frosting can set up nice and hard to give the families a good starting point. Aaron is sure to save all the extra pieces from construction for the overachievers. After all, there are a few architects among his family and friends. He said that in past years there have been balconies, porches and chimneys added to the structures.
All prepped and ready to go, it is time for the great day of decorating. Lots of laughter, smiles and creativity is used. Trees are added to the landscape (fitting because Aaron is our tree and Shrub Buyer here at Al’s) using upside down ice cream cones and the imaginations run wild. This was their eighth year of making houses, what a great holiday tradition!
“My family’s ancestry on both sides come from Norway so it is tradition to make lefse (traditional Norwegian flatbread) each year for Christmas. Growing up I always looked forward to being part of making lefse which was usually me being a designated ‘flipper’ on the griddle for my Grandma. She then taught my Dad her recipe and technique so he could continue the tradition in our family. Over the years, my Dad taught my siblings, myself and some of our friends techniques he had learned making lefse and I looked forward every year to spending that time in the kitchen with my family and friends. Last year, he gave me the reins and I made lefse for the first time on my own with the help of my designated ‘flippers’ – my Mom and sister. This year, I look forward to carrying on the tradition with my family and close friends to honor a long-standing tradition that brings us together in love and in lefse.” Nicki Petersen (Al’s HR)
Continuing your families holiday traditions or creating new ones is always a joy each year. We would love for you to share your holiday traditions with us by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram or using the hashtag #alsholidays. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Al’s!