Holiday Traditions


This year, we’re sharing some of the locals’ holiday traditions. Maybe you’ve heard of these traditions before, or maybe you’d just like to give them a try yourself. Behind every one is a fascinating history, originating from the families of Roy citizens. We hope that reading these stories will get you in the holiday spirit.

Amber Slaughter:
My grandpa, Loyde Hardy, was amazing with metal, and taught his skills to my dad, Rick. Together, they had a metal-making business that supported missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their profits would fund the entire mission for those who wanted to serve, but couldn’t afford to. After some thirty years, the business started failing and they sold it; however, before they closed, they made some aluminum molds for my aunts, uncles and dad. (My oldest sister was a baby at this time). To this day, we make suckers using the molds that my grandpa and dad made.

Ever since we started dating, my husband and I have purchased a Christmas tree ornament for every year; one that represents the year. This year’s ornament is a glittery rainbow poop emoji. (Some good things but overall, “poopy”)

Chelsearose Herzog:
My family plays “train” to torture the children. It’s a tradition that occurs before a single present is opened. The eldest member makes a path through the house, while making loud train noises. As they pass by the kitchen table, the next eldest joins the train. This continues, until everyone is in a giant line making train noises parading through the house (and sometimes yard). It gets the kids excited, and makes them wait even longer for their Christmas presents. This tradition is three generations long (almost four at this point). Most years, we have at least twelve people participating.

Stephen Patrick Kelly:
We have a tradition where everyone in the family tries to be the first to say, “Christmas Eve gift!,” and “Christmas gift!” to each other on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively. It gets very competitive, to the point that my sister and I attempt to call each other after midnight and try to beat the others. My kids love it. I have done a little bit of research on the game and from what I understand, it’s more of a Southern African-American game; how my very Caucasian family picked it up, I have no idea.

Leah Smarsh:
My grandma Edna always made hundreds of Christmas cookies every year. She’d make them in the fall, freeze them, and serve them at every family gathering during Advent. She just celebrated her 92nd birthday this week and hasn’t baked in five years (she’s on hospice now). Last year, I asked for her recipes, and she was brought to tears that someone in the family was carrying on her cookie tradition (albeit at a much smaller scale)! My friends and co-workers were thrilled with her cookies, and have already asked if I’m doing it again this year.

Grandma Edna would keep trays of her decorated cookies covered in foil in the garage, where they’d keep cool and fresh. One year, we had a cookie shortage because my grandpa accidentally spilled anti-freeze all over her trays of cookies!

Des C. Woodles:
We made a bunch of goodies ~ cookies, caramel corn etc., for neighbors and friends, and delivered them. Other traditions we enjoyed were going to see the Christmas lights either in Layton or Willard. We made hot cocoa before we left, and kept it in the crock pot while we were out, and came home to enjoy a mug, and either watched a Christmas movie or read a Christmas book.

Allisonc Mu:
I’m Polish, so we celebrate Wigilia. It’s still a celebration of Christ’s birth, but takes place on Christmas Eve. According to the Polish American Center, it is a multi-course meal that doesn’t feature any meat dishes. Preparation for this large feast begins when the special star, called the “Gwiazdka” is seen in the sky, days before Christmas Eve.

Liz Ford Taylor:
Christmas Eve we went to church, then drove around, looking at Christmas lights. Once we got home, we had breakfast for dinner: waffles with blueberries and whipped cream and bacon. We opened one present (which tends to be our Christmas jammies), and watch a Christmas movie.

Chris Taylor Smedley:
Our Christmas Eve tradition is driving around doing a Christmas light scavenger hunt! We make a list of about 30 holiday things the kids have to spot and cross off their list; we love it, and have enjoyed it for many years now!

Pam McGuffey Sakurada:
One of our traditions is to invite family and friends over and make homemade candy canes. It’s great fun to gather around the table and pull candy, add color, and create our own shapes. Fun for all ages!

Eliza Nakayu:
After we turned eight years old, we would become Santa’s helpers. After the rest of the family went to bed, one of us would get to help stuff others’ stockings (we never did our own), and sorted everyone’s gifts.

Visit the links below for more local Holiday Traditions!


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