Cheers to the Holidays

Four Christmas Traditions and One Toast

“My family always does the downtown thing—looking at window decorations, going to the Fantasy of Trees, the Christmas lighting ceremony and ice skating and watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at the Tennessee Theater. Downtown’s always a fun time during the holidays. It’s festive, and it’s just a fun vibe.” —Michele Hummel, director of Downtown Knoxville Central Business Improvement District

“One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to hang our stockings over the fireplace on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, December 5. Our children are now teenagers, but they still run excitedly to their stockings the next morning to see what treats St. Nicholas has left.” —Bill Waltman, president of PYA Waltman Capital LLC

“I love old things. We had this little wicker basket that had been passed down. It was full of old Christmas ornaments that had belonged to my dad and other family members. My brother, sister and I enjoyed going through that basket and hanging them on the tree.” —Eddie Hopps, president of Hopps Woodworks

“Growing up being one of six kids, Christmas Eve was at my grandparents’ every single year, no matter what. Now that we have six grandkids, we want to carry that on that tradition, but instead of spending a ton of money on gifts, we want to make memories. When my kids were younger, we’d leave for Lake Tahoe on Christmas morning, and we’d stay two weeks and come home on New Year’s Day. Now every Christmas they talk about the memories we made.” —Debbie Elliott-Sexton, Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty

“Enjoying everything and living in the moment, laughter, meeting interesting people, grandchildren, a good read, a walk on a nice day, a box of gingersnaps, a beautiful sunrise, an unhurried shopping trip, scripture that applies to a current need, good friends, treasuring marriage and family, a fire in the fireplace, believing in right and wrong, the mountains, memories with the people I love—these are a few of the things I look forward to in 2018.” —Meg Troutman, owner O.P. Jenkins Furniture & Design