We asked our Facebook Fans, what’s your favorite family holiday traditions?

Whether it’s Christmas tree shopping for that perfect beautiful Blue Spruce or Douglas Fir, baking cookies in the kitchen all night, or singing Christmas carols around the neighborhood- just about everybody has a holiday family tradition or two! In light of the spirit of Christmas just a few days away, we have collected stories of current and former Alpena residents, as well as the childhood stories of people who hold holiday traditions in Alpena near and dear to their hearts. 

From our Facebook Fans: 

“Every year we drive up on Christmas Eve from Toledo and have dinner at a local restaurant with my dad and sister. Then we proceed to tour the beautiful light display in the subdivision at the end of Third St., and then to the cool light display by the railroad tracks near Third St. ”

                -Jenni Ritzler Johns 

“Every Christmas day, my oldest sister, Perri Ritzler Talaska, hosts a family gathering at her and her husband’s farm in Posen, Mich. If the weather cooperates, I usually round-up the family for a photo in front of the big red Talaska barn.” –Jenni Ritzler Johns

“My old-fashioned Christmas tree. I’m quite far away from family and this kind of tradition. My husband and I just do whatever we want on Christmas …which is usually nice, peaceful and involves books! New Year is the big blow-out here in Scotland.”

                -Janet Thorne Foley

“Every year since I was perhaps seven, members of the Stepanski clan have met, first in Maple Ridge Township at Leonard and Eva’s farm and now at Alpena Yacht Club, to feast, open presents and give each other love…sixty years and counting.”

                -Connie Stafford

“I so miss the Norwegian cookies my mom and aunt would make, plus being together Christmas Day, and most of all being with my family and going to church on Christmas Eve while singing silent night holding a candle. Those were the best times. Of course, I could go on and on.”

                -Nancy Stachnik

“Gifting the kids with fun holiday pajamas and taking a picture! I can only hope I can get them to do this forever!” –Katelyn Carr

“We like to splurge on lobster tails from Cracker Barrel and the liver pate from Perch’s is a must every holiday season…two staple spots in Alpena for our traditional holiday cuisine…and lots of eggnog! All before the New Year holiday slim down on Jan 1.”

                -Catherine Chaplin

“Three generations of Christmas Eve walks on the frozen lake or in my grandmother’s neighborhood depending on where she was living. A 50-year tradition!”

                -Allison Modrzynski

“We leave old toys under the tree on Christmas Eve. Santa then takes them back to the North Pole to fix up and give to other kids.”

                -Jennifer Dingess

“The Live Nativity at TriPoint Church of God, seeing the lights and luminaries on Barrington Ct. and Kensington Circle on Christmas Eve, the lights on North St., Alpena Furniture’s window display, Mr. Diamond’s amazing light tree on Werth Rd, and of course yelling “There’s Rudolph” at the red light on top of the water tower.” 

                -Julie Zarske Benson

“Our monkey tree topper!” –Samantha Dunkelberger

“Every Christmas Eve we get together at my uncle’s house for a fun night of appetizers, party games, and holiday beverages. Then we go out to my parents’ house where we unwrap one gift (it’s always new Christmas jammies!) and settle in for the night. On Christmas Day we unwrap presents together and my mom always bakes this delicious breakfast casserole and French toast. Then everyone takes a nap! This has been our family tradition for decades.” 

                -Nicole Carr