DBTOC’s Cultural Holiday Traditions

In the spirit of education and inclusion of Cultural Diversity, the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah commences on the eve of Thursday December 7th through Friday December 15th. This holiday is celebrated for 8 nights and commences on each night with the lighting of a candelabra called a Menorah. The traditional foods we eat are latkes which are fried potato pancakes with applesauce and/or sour cream and  jelly donuts. Here is a brief video that describes this celebration: Mayim Balik explains Hanukkah.

– Dr. Michele Lob PsyD, LMFT

We asked members of our amazing DBTOC team to share their Holiday and Family Traditions with us too!

One of my favorite traditions over Hanukkah is making potato latkes with my family. We serve them with smoked salmon and sour cream, plus a few sweet ones with applesauce!

– Gina Hesp ASW

For me, holiday traditions are joyously celebrated by gathering with friends and family to share warmth and laughter. The festive season is marked by sipping rich hot chocolate, embarking on enchanting Christmas light sightseeing adventures, and cozying up together to watch cherished holiday movies. These traditions create lasting memories and strengthen the bonds of togetherness, making the holiday season a time of joy, reflection, and shared happiness with family and friends.

– Rachel Veenkamp

This year to celebrate our holiday traditions, we are doing Secret Santa for the adults in our family and gifts for all the kids. We picked a night for everyone to have matching pajamas and we are going to do Christmas movies and bake cookies, followed by a relaxing night by the fire pit outside. 

– Sarah Lyndon, PsyD

We celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve which started in Southern Italy, where it is known as La Vigilia. It commemorates the wait, Vigilia de Natale, for the midnight birth of baby Jesus. 

– Nicole Messuri. LMFT, BCBA

Every year my siblings and I have a gingerbread house decorating contest – some sibling rivalry keeps it fun and exciting! My husband, step-daughter and I get into Christmas PJs and decorate the Christmas tree together. We celebrate Christmas Eve with a “roast beast” dinner with my family of origin and Christmas Day dinner with my in-laws. I love the coziness of the season – watching Christmas movies, cuddling under a blanket, listening to a roaring fire… It’s the time to be with family and friends and enjoy time together. 

– Nora Josephson LPC AMFT

I am Potawatomi/Indigenous and Mexican, and in  both of my cultures family is everything. We celebrate and connect by cooking traditional dishes including tamales and chile verde. We also play all types of games together during the holidays; cards is a family tradition!

– Krystal Lopez, Psy.D

In my family we still do stockings on Christmas Day and take them one at a time first thing in the morning with our coffee. We then break for breakfast and then come back for the presents under the tree! In the afternoon we share a crock pot of soup and make ourselves sandwiches – super casual and easy!

Keren L Clark, LMFT

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