Hi, K-Froggers! Pepper, here! Christmastime has definitely arrived, and it’s for sure got me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside – especially as we start making plans for the holiday and all the activities that surround it! So, I thought I’d share my “Top 10” list of my favorite family holiday traditions.
1. National Finals Rodeo – The NFR usually takes place a couple of weeks before Christmas, and every year, my dad attends. But I’m convinced he doesn’t go so much for the rodeo, as he does to buy me Christmas presents! He always finds this really cool, vintage-looking cowgirl stuff – like shirts or coats – that I just L-O-V-E.
2. The Nutcracker – Every year, from the time I was about ten to the time I was 22, I danced in the local production of The Nutcracker Ballet – starting from a little girl in the “Party Scene” and growing into the advanced, soloist roles (yes, that meant POINTE shoes!!!). Even though I don’t perform any more, I still attend every year. A great production to take your family to is this one at Riverside City College.
3. Picking out the Christmas tree – Our family (my parents, my sister and I) do this every year together – going to the Christmas tree farm and looking for the tree that “talks” to us. You have to be very quiet to hear it, but that’s how you know that’s the one.
4. Holiday movies – It isn’t Christmas until I’ve watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “A Christmas Story.” Those are my favorites.
5. The Connors’ Coffee Cake – My parents live across the street from a truly wonderful couple. Every year, they bake us coffee cake as a Christmas present, which we save for breakfast on Christmas morning. If the Connors ever moved away, there would be Christmas breakfast chaos at our house!
6. Exchanging Christmas ornaments with my best friend – It’s a tradition that we stole from HER family. Every year, among the gifts we give each other, we include a Christmas ornament. (This year, she’s also getting tickets to the George Strait concert – but she also has to take ME with her!)
7. Ugly Christmas shirts – A couple of years ago, my sister and her boyfriend found these UGLY Christmas t-shirts at a store, and bought three – one for each of us to wear to Christmas dinner. I’m not sure why we thought it was a good idea then, or why we keep doing it.
8. Opening presents on Christmas morning – Some families open presents on Christmas Eve, but not us. We ALWAYS wait until Christmas morning.
9. Oranges – In the toe of each of our stockings, there MUST be an orange. Of all these traditions, that’s the most unbreakable one. Except for….
10. Spending time together. Working in radio, I’m usually scheduled to be at the station at some point on Christmas. Fortunately, I have an incredible family who has always supported my dream, and always plans our Christmas around my work schedule. More than anything else, the family being together is my most favorite part of Christmas. I hope you get to spend at least part of this holiday with the people you love, too!
→ Pepper is the evening host on KFRG 95.1 FM Riverside & KXFG 92.9 FM Temecula. Follow Pepper on Twitter: @KFrogPepper. Jackson Dodd of CBS Riverside contributed to this article.