By EM Staff

The holiday season seems to be defined by traditions. From picking up a tree, always hosting a big dinner for the final night of Hanukkah, or watching certain movies, there are things that we all do every year to celebrate the season. Everyone does things a little differently and the staff at Eugene Magazine is no exception. Here’s how we ring in the holidays:

Christmas Vacation and one gift on Christmas Eve

Favorite of Megan Keough, staff designer

There are many Christmas movies that span all eras. For Megan, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationis the perfect way to spend her Christmas Eve while opening one gift. This quotable classic and opening one gift sets the mood for the big day, getting everyone excited for the gifts, vegan chocolates, food, and family to come.

A giant tree and opening all gifts the day before

Favorite of Lanny Olivier, EM president

At the Olivier house, all gifts–stashed underneath their annual 20-foot tree–are opened on Christmas Eve. Gifts from Santa are the exception, which are opened Christmas morning with an Off the Waffle liege waffle in hand. Christmas Eve dinner always includes Alaskan King crab legs, with prime rib for dinner on Christmas day.

Baking and lights

Favorite of Aviva Stuart, director of operations

Winter is comfort food season. The Stuart family fires up their oven and stovetop to create delicious breads, cookies, and peppermint bark to share with loved ones. If you’re doing your own baking, load up the delicious goodies and start exploring town, looking for the twinkling lights folks have decorated their houses and yards with.

White Christmas with the tree

Favorite of Julie Winsel, former editor

After cutting down the tree and hauling it into the house, Julie puts on White Christmas while decking the tree out in lights, tinsel, and ornaments. Singing along to the movie makes the tree decorating even more fun and provides the perfect balance of Christmas music and Christmas movie.

Favorite of Vanessa Salvia, editor

As a child, Vanessa’s family had the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. She didn’t adhere to that tradition though, and her family goes around and each opens one present in order on Christmas morning. There’s always a make-ahead breakfast casserole or cinnamon rolls (or both!) so that the morning is relaxed as much as possible. When decorating the tree, Vanessa likes to build a fire in the fireplace for coziness and play some Christmas music. The family likes traditional things like Bing Crosby or Elvis’s Christmas tunes, but Vanessa likes to annoy the kids by playing Esquivel’s Christmas album.

We hope you have an amazing holiday season that is joyful, fun-filled, and relaxing! Happy Holidays!