WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE?
CITY EMPLOYEES SHARE THEIR HOLIDAY FAVORITES
Staff Picks Favorites in Movies, Music, Meals, TV Shows, Treats
RAPID CITY, SD--When it comes to their favorite Christmas and holiday traditions in movies, music and meals, City employees are very diverse and varied in their selections.
City staff participated in an updated holiday survey from the 2017 original study, with respondents sharing their favorite selections in Christmas and holiday movies, music, TV shows, traditional treats and meals. Once again, in many instances staff shared a glimpse of their family traditions or recalled special Christmas memories.
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!
FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIE?
As a group, City staff mentioned more than 25 holiday-themed movies from black-and-white classics to modern comedies. Two movies were referenced most often, led by the iconic Griswold family and their exploits in 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'. It was a clear favorite of City personnel. Runner-up honors for favorite holiday movie goes to 'Elf' with a toss-up for third between Christmas classics 'Die Hard', 'A Christmas Story' and 'It's A Wonderful Life'. 'White Christmas' was a distant sixth. Classics such as 'Home Alone', 'Miracle on 34th Street', and 'Polar Express' received votes as did the Hallmark movies, 'Muppets Christmas Carol' even 'Krampus'.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY SONG?
It seems there's a holiday song for everyone with more than 40 songs referenced as favorites by the employee respondents, again covering numerous music genres from classic favorites to novelty songs. Standing out from the crowded musical field was the classic 'Silent Night' far-outdistancing 'O Holy Night' which was second, followed by 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' and 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'. Many songs received single votes, showing that many Christmas songs - whether classic or novelty - strike a chord with particular audiences. Novelty songs like 'Dominick the Donkey', 'The Chipmunks Song', I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas' and 'Snoopy's Christmas' get a nod as much as the classics such as 'Little Drummer Boy', 'Silver Bells', 'Jingle Bells' and 'Away In A Manger'; there was even a shout-out for 'Winter Wonderland' by the original Saturday Night Live cast.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY TV SHOW (ANIMATION)?
Although there seems to be as many animated holiday television stories these days, respondents pointed to a small group of shows with three classic favorites standing out with enthusiastic support. Leading the way was the 'Grinch' with 'Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer' edging out 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' for second. Only nine shows were referenced by City personnel, including 'Frosty The Snowman' and 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure'.
FAVORITE CHRISTMAS OR HOLIDAY TREAT?
As in previous surveys, City staff provided a virtual smorgasbord of treats, as rich in calories as they are in family tradition. More than 35 different treats were recommended as favorites. Frosted sugar cookies were far and above the biggest favorite of the respondent group, and adding in variations of cookie treats, it is apparent cookies rule the local holiday treat plate. Variations of Chex Mix or Puppy Chow were referenced by several respondents as were homemade peanut brittle and fudge. Traditional favorites such as Lefse, Toffee snacks, Prizzelles, Peppernuts, Divinity and Krumkaka were also mentioned.
FAVORITE CHRISTMAS OR HOLIDAY MEAL?
Holiday meals take on special meaning for City personnel. In past surveys, oyster stew and prime rib led the favorites list. Of more than 20 featured holiday meals listed by City employees this year, it seems ham has taken over as the favorite, followed by turkey then oyster stew and prime rib. Lasagna picked up a fair number of respondents and other references included venison, goose, lamb, lobster and crab as main dish favorites.
**CITY STAFF HOLIDAY SENTIMENTS**
Here is a sample of sentiments from survey respondents, including comments about favorite family traditions or special memories of the Christmas holiday season.
MONICA COLBY/RC FIRE DEPARTMENT:
"When I was about six, my mom made my sister and me 3-foot dolls with a few sets of clothing. They had yarn hair and embroidered faces with our eye color. I always kept the doll around though it ended up in a box in my mom’s shed when I moved away. When my mom prepared to move, she found the doll in the box. She removed the stains of almost 40 years of love and storage, replaced the hair, and re-stitched the missing parts of the face. I cried when I opened my “re-gifted” present of my updated doll last Christmas. (My mom was relieved because she worried I wouldn’t even remember the doll. How could I forget?)."
SHANNON TRUAX/PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT:
"When I was growing up, we didn’t put up our tree until Christmas Eve. We would put up the tree and go to bed, then Santa and his elves would decorate it. It was magical to wake up in the morning and find all the lights and decorations and gifts under the tree."
EMILY CARSTENSEN/RAPID CITY SWIM CENTER:
"On my mom’s side of the family, we would open presents one at a time, from youngest to oldest and continue that pattern until everyone was done. I used to hate it when I was younger, but appreciated it much more as I got older. It was nice for everyone to have the “spotlight” for a moment, and you really got to see and admire what each person got for Christmas."
BRIAN BLENNER/RC POLICE DEPARTMENT:
"Random gag gifts. We have random gag gifts which get regifted each year. A cow clock was gifted and each year it was given to a new person. This clock make it around for at least 10 years with multiple families. If you received the clock, you had to sign it and display it for the year somewhere. This has gone on with several gifts over the years to also include a two foot ceramic cat and of course the random fruit cake."
VICKI FISHER/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
"As children, my sister and I would sneak out of bed and turn on the Christmas tree lights. We would name the tree and tell it all our wishes in hopes that the presents would appear Christmas morning. I lost my sister a few years ago. It has become a Christmas Eve tradition to turn on my Christmas tree lights after everyone else has gone to bed and tell my tree my Christmas wishes. I know that my sister is with me. A warm childhood memory that still brings out the kid in me."
JESSE RIEB/CITY PUBLIC WORKS:
"My favorite memory was thinking how cool I was because Santa Clause would stop at our house after dinner on Christmas Eve and give us our gifts and he always wore the same cowboy boots as my dad. Favorite meal, oyster stew and Liverwurst sandwiches!"
CRAIG BALTZER/CIVIC CENTER DIRECTOR:
"I smile when I remember from my grade school years going sledding with some of the extended family on Christmas day. However this was in Hutchinson County, SD which is very flat land. So sledding consisted of tying a rope from the bumper of a pickup, and my uncle and/or my father driving (or better said controlled sliding) on a frozen pond towing a runner sled behind. It was both terrifying and exillerating for a pre-teen kid to be on that sled while my uncle or Father’s goal was to whip the sled around until the rider flies off. It seemed to me the adventure only ended when someone got hurt. I do not recommend this today as it might be difficult to explain to an insurance company on medical bills and it probably boarders on child abuse – but it was the kind of cheap fun we did back then. After thought: this tradition seemed to end when I reached the driving age…as I never remember my father or uncle taking a turn on the sled.
"As for music, I do not have a particular favorite…I like them all. My wife is the Christmas song fanatic. Christmas songs play at my house starting on Black Friday nonstop through New Year’s Day. I love most all of them through early December, but I have to admit by January I am ready to end it (not trying to be a Scrooge)."
KINSLEY GROOTE/CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE:
"Something very memorable: The Christmas tree tipping over when I was young because the cat ran under and I went on a dangerous recon mission to get the cat, even though Mom and Dad told me not to. Guess what tipped over...and guess who got sent to her room?"
CASEY MARTIN/RC PUBLIC LIBRARY:
"When I was 10, receiving a Rampar Mongoose, off-road bike. One of the first ones built, in basic black. For a boy growing up in the rural part of the panhandle of Florida in the late 70s, it was the best bike ever to have for exploring!"
KELLY LANGENBAU/PUBLIC WORKS:
"Our family tradition goes back over 50 years, venison chislic from the tenderloins/back straps of this years harvest and cesar salad with our family cesar dressing recipe."
DARLA DREW/COUNCIL MEMBER:
"Favorite treats: my homemade toffee and peanut butter blossom cookies and fudge that was made by someone else, because I am not good with it."
PATRICK DAME/RC REGIONAL AIRPORT DIRECTOR:
"Every night on Christmas Eve, my three daughters gather around and I read them “Twas the Night Before Christmas”."
LAURA ARMSTRONG/COUNCIL MEMBER:
"Traditional meal is a King Crab dinner for Christmas Eve; Seafood stew for Christmas dinner. My husband's birthday is Christmas Eve, so that day is dedicated to him. We do pajamas Christmas Eve and presents on Christmas day.
LAURA KLAPPERICH/CITY HUMAN RESOURCES:
"Christmas tradition since moving to Rapid City: Cutting down Christmas tree in the Black Hills!"
KRISTA LICHT/RC PUBLIC LIBRARY:
"My Great-Grandma Bernice used to make chicken noodle soup with German butterballs on Christmas Eve when I was growing up, or glace, which is a thick creamy soup with dumplings, bacon, and onion."
KEVIN HITTLE/RC REGIONAL AIRPORT:
My favorite song 'Silent Night'. Nothing celebrates Christmas more than that song. My favorite treat is my dad's World Famous, Secret Recipe Peanut Brittle. Only my Sister, a Cousin, my Son, and myself have it. My favorite memory is first Celebrating Jesus’ Birth, then seeing the Joy and Glimmer in our Children and Grandchildren when they opened that first present on Christmas morning.
GREG STROMMEN/COUNCIL MEMBER:
"Favorite treat: Lefse. Traditional meal: Oyster Stew. Favorite tradition: Read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve."
PAULINE SUMPTION/CITY FINANCE DIRECTOR:
"Growing up, it was always chili and homemade chicken noodle soup on Christmas Eve, followed by church and then back to the house for meat/cheese tray with crackers while opening the presents. Christmas Day was usually the "normal" turkey and/or ham dinner with all of the trimmings. Now that I have my own family, I stick to the chili on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner varies - sometimes turkey but this year prime rib."
TAMMY STADEL/FIRE DEPARTMENT:
"Going to get bulk candy from the old FTC and eating that while we decorated the tree as a family; my mom still has the dish we used to put the candy in."
LUCY O'GRADY/RC PUBLIC LIBRARY:
"Favorite tradition is reading 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'
MELISSA HERTZ/PUBLIC WORKS:
"Going to church Christmas Eve and then driving around looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music."
JOE TJADEN/RC FIRE DEPARTMENT:
"This goes back to when Rapid City had a private ambulance service. We had a holiday program named Home for the Holidays. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, we would put on an extra crew. This crew's only job that day was to pick up people who could not travel normally, usually because the person was bed bound, from the area nursing homes and care facilities. We would take this person to their families home for the time the family was together, and after the time together, we would return and take the person back to the care facility. This day was so worth giving up our time. Helping all these people celebrate their day together in a home with home cooked food, fun,and time that didn't remind them of the family member being gone, was as much of a blessing to us as it was to the family. I remember more than once being told that we were Angels for being there to help their family member come home for that day. Not sure that I will ever be able to find a memory to top this."
TERRI DAVIS/RC PUBLIC LIBRARY DIRECTOR:
"My mom used to make Christmas wreath cookies. They were like rice krispy treats, but made with corn flakes and colored green; she shaped them into little wreaths and decorated them. I really admire her patience in making those little things year after year."
LINDSEY MARTIN/RC REGIONAL AIRPORT:
"I love to see what everyone does with the Elf on a Shelf. I wish they had it when my kids were little."
ANDREA WOLFF/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
"My favorite tradition was attending Midnight Mass with my family and walking out into the cold Christmas morning. Sometimes it was snowing, sometimes it wasn’t, but it was that wonderful feeling that it was the beginning of Christmas day."
LISA MODRICK/COUNCIL MEMBER:
"Favorite treat is my Mom's Homemade Snowball Cookies and Fudge. Traditional holiday meal is my homemade Prime Rib."
MELISSA PETERSEN/RC PARKS & REC:
"My favorite treat: Peppernuts (Pebbernødder in Danish), small Christmas cookies that are hard to stop eating . Aebleskiver, a Danish pancake-like ball, and sausage patties for Christmas Eve dinner."
JOHN BERGLUND/RC PARKS & REC
"My Dad would always have pickled Herring on Christmas Eve and my brother and I plan to keep that tradition going."
JENNIFER READ/RC PUBLIC LIBRARY:
"My favorite memory/tradition: making cut-out sugar cookies (and frosting them) every Christmas with my mom. She still has her cookie cutters from when I was a little girl. We also made gingerbread men and candy cane cookies. We still do it every year but with my daughters (Lola, 13 yrs and Mia, 6 yrs)!"
TANYA GRAY/CIVIC CENTER:
"We lived on the farm and my grandma’s house was just across the yard from our house so every Christmas Eve we walked across the yard for dinner and then played cards and games all night!"
KEN YOUNG/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR:
"On Christmas Eve, our family celebrates with a Swedish Sankta Lucia program and we read/act out a family story “Christmas in the Coop” written by my deceased brother many years ago."
DARRELL SHOEMAKER/CITY COMMUNICATIONS
"For me, I still 'Believe' through memories and traditions. I enjoy many traditions from setting out family-made decorations to joining our adult children to frost sugar cookies and play card games. A personal tradition is recalling my many holiday memories from the past: my mother’s crumb pies, receiving my first camera, feasting on deer salami with my dad and attending our children’s many church and school programs. Today, I enjoy listening to the numerous holiday songs, watching ‘A Christmas Carol’ with my wife, playing games with our adult children and this year, welcoming our grandson’s first Christmas. With all this I realize “It’s A Wonderful Life”."
Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator
T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551