“Tis the season for shopping, snow, and travel to visit family and friends. As the holidays approach many dedicated shoppers (I refer to them as “crazy people”) break out their self-defense and track running skills to take part in Black Friday madness, while others choose a calmer couch-focused Cyber Monday savings. The mission for the season is to score the gifts–the perf∑Ktion of gift selections– at the best price that are sure to bring a smile to someone’s face Christmas morning. The other parts of the holidays that I enjoy are the traditions!

My family Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions have evolved over the years as we have grown to include cousins, aunts, uncles, spouses and children. Growing up, Thanksgiving was a mix of American fare (a.k.a., turkey) and Italian standbys (pasta!) Until I was married I never had pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes, as we were a tiramisu and green bean casserole family. As I have grown older my traditions have adjusted/ My husband,  kids  and I tend to spend Thanksgiving with my aunt and her family. Blending new and old customs, we have a meal full of different foods. Polish, American and Italian treats are aplenty for the day. We cap off the day with our annual “Turkey Bowl.” After dinner we have a “friendly” family competition with matching team shirts and the grand trophy for the winning team. This new tradition has become something my kids enjoy even though we have lost. Every. Single. Year. I swear my husband is going to scout the local leagues’ for a new “family” member and trade one of us. No turkey is actually hurt in the process, just my reputation as a bowler.

Once the turkey’s time has passed, we then move to Christmas, which is one of my favorite holidays! As I think about the busy time between November and January part of the time is also spent with my Sigma Kappa sisters! I think back my collegiate years to the traditions my chapter had. Doing the ever popular Secret Santa we included dinner out. Each December, before we all went off to our homes we had dinner, as a chapter (we were small) in downtown Chicago at The Cheesecake Factory. Every December we would take the “L” downtown, take pictures in front the trees on Michigan Avenue and then have a sisterhood dinner. Now as an alum I still have my Sigma Kappa Christmas, however, it has expanded to include new alumnae and collegians. My chapter sisters and I have our annual party, but instead of the hustle and bustle of Chicago we are in someone’s home, sharing a meal with our spouses and kids reminiscing about “that one time …..” as our husbands wonder in the world we were up to!

As an alumnae sister my alum group has two traditions we hold dear. For our collegiate chapter we send “care packages” during the trying finals time. It is our hope that some sweet treats can bring the women some sisterly time to eat, study and laugh and create their own memories of their collegiate years at the Gamma Mu house at Eastern Illinois University. Our second tradition is our Christmas Party! However, we don’t do the ugly sweater or play cheesy games… we eat! That’s right, we have a Chocolate Christmas! For three years now we each bring one ornament (wrapped!) to swap and anything edible or drinkable that is Chocolate! It is a chocolate fest you DON’T want to miss! But more than the food is the laughing, talking and sharing of our college memories of secret Santa, decorating the chapter tree, and our Christmas’s past as a chapter.

For our individual holiday traditions we all  celebrate with the family we are born into and those we create through friendship, extended family and Sigma Kappa.

So how do you make your holiday’s  your idea of Perf∑Ktion ? Think of the memories of your college days with your chapter sisters and how they have evolved now as an alumnae member.. or the new traditions you have started in your alumnae chapter or with SK sisters near and far! What selections have made your holiday’s Perfect!

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4 Responses to PerfΣΚtion by Selection–Holiday Traditions

  1. Carrie says:

    Sad to say, that once the kids arrived, my holiday tradition of having my SK sisters over for a holiday party has waned. That said, in it’s place, my favorite Christmas tradition is baking Jesus a birthday cake on Christmas Eve to, of course, have for breakfast on Christmas morning! Nothing says Happy Birthday, Jesus like a chocolate cake at 6:00 a.m.!

    • Adriana Diachenko says:

      We also do a Jesus cake with the kids! It is a lot of fun and Chocolate at 6am sounds awesome! But I do agree it was hard finding the time to still have some SK Christmas time with my sisters. Some years we do it earlier some it is in January. There is so much juggling around with family and friends.

  2. Malory Craft Malory Craft says:

    I love that your traditions have transformed into something so great!

  3. Courtney Hannah Courtney Hannah says:

    Alumnae ornament exchanges are so fun. Such a great way to kick off the season. Plus, you know you will get a fabulous ornament since we all have great taste.

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