December 22, 2021

Christmas Survey: City Employees Share Holiday Favorites in Movies, Music, Treats




Staff Picks Favorites in Movies, Music, Treats

RAPID CITY, SD--When it comes to their favorite Christmas and holiday traditions in movies, music and treats, City employees are very diverse and varied in their selections.

            This week, City employees were surveyed on their holiday favorites.  It is the fourth time in five years employees are providing a glimpse into their family favorites, traditions and preferences.

            As with all families, there is quite a diversity when it comes to holiday traditions and favorites.  The City is pleased to share these survey results along with several sentiments from members of our collective family to yours.  Enjoy!


            When it comes to natural or artificial trees at the Christmas holiday time, a majority (62.85 percent) display an artificial tree with 35.71 percent putting up a natural tree.  Some respondents indicate they put up an artificial tree inside their home and decorate natural trees in their yard.

            Doug Noyes of the City’s Engineering Services says his family puts up an artificial tree, “Because I love my wife and want her to be happy with a clean house, we have an artificial tree.”

            It’s a natural tree for Morgan Slanina of the Rapid City Police Department. “Always natural. The needles stink the vacuum up, but the smell is worth it,” said Slanina.


            As a group, City staff mentioned more than 20 holiday-themed movies from black-and-white classics to modern comedies. 

**’National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’: 22.66 percent

**’Die Hard’: 13.33 percent

**‘Elf’: 10.66 percent

**’How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and ‘A Christmas Story’: (tie) 9.33 percent each

**’Home Alone’: 8 percent

**’It’s A Wonderful Life’: 6.25 percent

Other movies receiving multiple votes included traditional versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘Scrooged’, ‘Polar Express’ and ‘Olive, the Other Reindeer’.

Community Development Director Vicki Fisher says National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is her favorite and provides some special memories each holiday season, “I can still hear grandma and papa laughing themselves silly when watching this movie as a part of our family gathering each Christmas. Grandma and papa aren’t with us anymore, but their laughter stays in our hearts forever.”


            It seems there's a holiday song for everyone with more than 40 songs referenced as favorites by the employee respondents, covering numerous music genres from classic favorites to novelty songs.  Standing out from the crowded musical field:

**’Silent Night’: 10.66 percent

**’Carol of the Bells’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’: (tie) 9.33 percent each

**’All I Want For Christmas Is You’: 5.33 percent

**’Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’: 4 percent

In addition to ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’, other novelty songs like 'Dominick the Donkey', 'The Chipmunks Song', I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas' and 'Snoopy's Christmas' get a nod as do the classics such as 'I’ll Be Home For Christmas’, 'Silver Bells', 'Jingle Bells' and 'O Holy Night’.


            With all of the Christmas holiday movies and animated shows, certain characters stand out above the rest as favorites among City staff.  More than a half-dozen familiar characters stood out above the rest among survey respondents:

**The Grinch: 20 percent

**Buddy the Elf: 14.66 percent

**Clark Griswold ‘Christmas Vacation’: 10.66 percent

**Cousin Eddie ‘Christmas Vacation’: 8 percent

**Santa Claus: 6.67 percent

**Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer: 5.33 percent

**Charlie Brown and Jack McClane (Die Hard): 4 percent each

Other votes were tabbed for Bill Murray’s Frank Cross character in ‘Scrooged’, George Bailey from ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, Jesus, Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Ralphie Parker from ‘A Christmas Story’ and Jack Skellington from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.

Rapid City Regional Airport Director Patrick Dame favors The Molinator (otherwise known as the tooth fairy), played by the recently-departed Art LaFleur in ‘The Santa Claus’.  Meanwhile, Rapid City Council member Pat Jones made a unique choice for his favorite character, selecting Council colleague Bill Evans.  “My favorite character would be Bill Evans in his holiday sweater from Monday’s Council meeting!’


            How long do City employees keep up their tree and/or decorations?  A slim majority of respondents (42.18 percent) wait one to two weeks to take down the items.  Another 39.06 percent take the tree and decorations down within a week of the holiday.  The remainder (18.76 percent) leave items up over two weeks.

            City Human Services Coordinator Lila Mehlhaff said the timing of when the decorations are taken down depends on where they are located, “My husband takes the outside decorations down on January 2, but I like to keep the inside decorations up at least another two weeks.”

            For Jim Bussell of the Rapid City Fire Department, decorations stay up a week after Christmas. “It’s a tradition that we take our holiday décor down on New Year’s Eve.”


            As in previous surveys, City staff provided a virtual smorgasbord of treats, as rich in calories as they are in family tradition. More than 40 different treats were recommended as favorites.  Frosted sugar cookies led the way followed by homemade caramels and fudge, spiked egg nog, varieties of Chex Mix, peanut butter blossoms and peanut butter kiss cookies – all were referenced numerous times by employee respondents.

            “All the sweets that are a tradition in my family,” said Rapid City Human Relations Commission coordinator Malcom Chapman. “Scotcheroos, cookies, bars, etc.”

            City Council member Darla Drew’s favorite holiday treat is English Toffee.  “I can make a pretty tasty batch,” says Drew.

            As for Leah Hall of the City’s Water Reclamation Division, “My favorite holiday treat is driving around to see people’s wonderful holiday light displays…or rum balls!”


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