Kindly, Krissy: How the Heilenmans always celebrate the Christmas season


Kristen Heilenman, Former Editor in Chief

The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year. Along with the world seeming to have a more positive spirit, I get to participate in my favorite holiday traditions. From decorating our Christmas tree to making cookies to spending time with my family, I love every minute of it. 

Every year the holiday season in my house begins with picking out the perfect Christmas tree. The weekend after Thanksgiving, my mom, dad, sister and I pile in the car and head to the Christmas tree farm. We always find a tree we love that’s just a little too big for the room, but somehow convince my dad to let us get it. Once we have the tree, we get to decorate it. When it’s time, we turn the Christmas music on and start to put our ornaments on. Now, the four of us usually do this together; however, this year it was only three of us since my sister is away for her first year of college. While it wasn’t the same without her, we managed to get all of the ornaments on the tree without breaking any. 

Once the tree (and eventually the house) is decorated, our most delicious tradition begins: the cookie making. Since I love to bake, I always make sure to help my mom with this one. While listening to our favorite holiday classics, we make more cookies than we need. My favorite has to be our M&M cookies. To make them we use my grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, but instead of chocolate chips, we use red and green M&M’s. Along with those, we’ll make a variety of other types such as sugar, peanut butter, snickerdoodle and frosted cutout cookies.

Ultimately, all of the preparation and excitement in the Heilenman household boils down to two days, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we always have the same traditions on each day. On Christmas Eve we first go to our Christmas Mass at church. After this we head home and prepare to host our family and friends for the occasion. On Christmas morning, my mom, dad, sister and I gather around the tree and open our gifts from one another. While we’re doing this, my one dog, Jack, will walk around for attention while my other dog, Stella, will stand at her stocking and whine until someone gives her her presents. After opening everything, we all make breakfast together and relax until we head over to my grandma’s house for dinner with the whole family. 

Throughout all of the holiday craziness, it’s important to remember throughout to appreciate what you have at the moment. For me, I appreciate my family. The holidays are a time where I can relax and take a step back from the craziness of day-to-day life and spend time with my family, something I believe others should too. In a world where everything moves by too fast, you can’t take what you have for granted. So, this holiday season I urge you to spend more time with the ones you love and celebrate what you have.

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