The Columbus Team Holiday Traditions

This year, our holiday memories center around favorite holiday traditions: A fresh-cut tree smelling of the pine forest, warm cookies scenting the house with vanilla, doubling up on family celebrations, and so many more…

We hope our friends and neighbors have cherished family traditions for the holidays, too, whether it’s lasagna, an ornament that brings back years of happy memories, or a simple shoelace reminder that all we really need are those beloved faces bright with happiness to share in the moment.

Whatever holiday you’re celebrating at this time of year, we hope it’s filled with love, laughter, good food, and family.


Sue Lusk-Gleich

When Johnny was 3, I was a single Mom with not a lot of discretionary money for things like Christmas tree decorations. So, that year Johnny and I began the tradition of making tree ornaments out of construction paper, scrap pieces of wood, or anything handy laying around the house that could possibly be hung on a Christmas tree.

That first year we were by ourselves, one of the items we added to our tree was a white shoelace, that we tied around a branch. For the past 45 years, that same shoelace gets tied on our tree every year as a reminder to stay humble and grateful for how far we have come and for what we have.

Mary Allen

On Christmas Eve, since my children starting having children, we gather for an early evening Mass. My kids and their kids then go back to my house for the traditional lasagna dinner. It wouldn’t be Christmas without lasagna!

Then comes the exciting part for the children! Presents!!! Kids do a hot potato game to see who goes first and then so on. They open one at a time and move to the next one and so on until all gifts are unwrapped. Lovely sight!!!!


Patrick Florence

My birthday is Christmas Eve and my son’s birthday is Christmas Day.

We have a family tradition of celebrating Christmas morning in a very traditional way around the tree with gifts and holiday cheer for the entire family. At noon, Christmas is over and the birthday celebrations begin. Just like when I was a boy, Connor gets to pick the family meal and the day becomes a birthday celebration in his honor. So far, every year he has picked pizza! He’s a teenager now.

Patrick Florence Christmas

Erin Ogden-Oxender

Christmas Eve night was an event in my family. We always went to church, had dinner at a family friend’s house then went home to put out milk and cookies for Santa.

My dad would read ‘Twas the night before Christmas before bedtime. Now, we have the same traditions with my own kids. It is so magical!!

Jeanne O’Keefe

I had a Holly Hobbie oven (similar to an Easy Bake oven), and when I was about 6, I learned to bake cookies and follow recipes from that “toy.” Chocolate chip became the family favorite. Even after graduating to a real oven, Santa always had his traditional plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk every year at our house.

I kept this milk and cookie tradition going with my nephews and we also added in a pile of carrots for the reindeer, just in case they are hungry also!

Terry Zellar

My favorite part of Christmas is attending Christmas Eve service with our family.  The church is beautifully decorated and we sing all the traditional Christmas carols.  There is so much joy and excitement in the air! 

Our extended family tradition is a special visit from “Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus during our gathering!  They spend time with us playing games, making us laugh, dancing and passing out small presents to all young and old!


Heather Gott

Lisa Viertel

Stefanie Halbert

What are the holiday traditions in your family? We’d love to know!

Happy Holidays and a Happy, Healthy New Year to all of you!

12 Housewarming Gifts On Trend for the Holidays


The holidays are coming up and you’re wondering what to get your favorite new homeowner? Or perhaps you’re looking for something to spiff up your own new home! We have some great ideas for trendy gifts in all price ranges!

12 Housewarming Gifts On Trend for the Holidays

    1. Candles: Scented, unscented, filled with metallic animal skeletons or in reusable containers, candles have been a trendy and traditional gift forever! Priced from $17-150.
    2. Digital Frame: Once a small item designated for the office desk, these digital frames are now living room worthy and programmable to display a single piece of art, or a slide show.
    3. Essential Oil Diffuser: A virtually silent device filled with water and a few drops of essential oil can make your home smell delicious. With or without lights, these little devices are becoming a home necessity, and some have various wood or stone accents and are beautifully crafted. They are from $10 to more than $100.
    4. Himalayan Salt: From a culinary salt set to stone-like drink ware, to lamps made of this mineral, and even to the perfect seafood grilling slab, Himalayan salt is definitely found in the trendiest of homes.
    5. Home Automation: From door locks, to lights, to cameras, these products allow you to use a smart phone to control your home systems for greater comfort and peace of mind. Price varies from $28 for an outdoor camera or security sensor, to $400+ for a package system.
    6. Local Treats: From Jeni’s Ice Cream to Anthony Thomas Candies, local treats are always a favorite housewarming gift. Consider visiting a local shop in the homeowner’s new neighborhood, too, and adding the business card to your gift so your loved ones can begin exploring their new neighborhood, too!
    7. Organizers: From key racks, to makeup caddies, to kitchen utensil organizers, these handy devices help your favorite new homeowner love their new castle even more! $8-80
    8. Planters: Whether wall mounted, smart, or as a part of a living garden, planters can be a very trendy gift…you just have to look for an on-trend expression of a traditional favorite! $12-200
    9. Pillow cases: Not just your average linens, these trendy items are anything but sleepy. Coordinated to send a message, mark territory, act as art, or thrill kids of all ages, there’s a set out there for any taste.
    10. Robot Vacuum: These handy little gadgets work around furniture to quietly suck up dust and dirt while you’re away or asleep. Programmable and self-charging, they’re a great gift idea in the upper price range.
    11. Smart Appliances: From coffee makers to refrigerators, to automatic pet feeders, appliances are now smart and connectable to your smartphone or home computer. Start your morning coffee without getting out of bed… check if you need milk by looking remotely into your smart fridge. Prices vary.
    12. Video Doorbell: Connected to WiFi, this handy device triggers an app on your smartphone to allow you to see who is at the door, even when you’re not at home!

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