Whoppers by Krystal Ramirez

What Are Your Favorite Holiday Traditions?

No surprise here: “Elf” comes in strong.

“I grew up in Colorado, and one of my fondest traditions was driving to the mountains on Christmas morning to spend the holiday with my aunt and my mom’s side of the family. I remember being excited to play in the snow and eat a bunch of amazing Italian food. Fast-forward to the present: My brother, dad and myself started a new tradition, ‘Christmas Craps.’ Anytime my parents come to Las Vegas for Christmas, we’ll head to one of the casinos on Christmas night and play some craps.” –Darren Flores, lead editor, Critical Focus

“Holiday movies are a big part of Christmas in my family. The one film we absolutely have to watch every Christmas Eve is “Elf.” We also each open one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve and then the rest the following morning.

Leading up to the end of the year, food is also important. Cookies, eggnog, anything that goes well with stuffing helps us get into the holiday mood. Recently we started taking our cat, Luna, for a picture with Santa—if only because she doesn’t look thrilled at all, and that’s hilarious to us. We plan to do this every year.” –Michael Evans, editor, Critical Focus

“My kids and I always start the season by going to the Summerlin Hometown Holidays event for hot cocoa, cookies and horse-drawn-carriage rides. Enjoying the lights at Ethel M while standing in line for the best Santa has also been a must-do for our family for nearly 10 years. That trip across town also includes a stop at the Robindale House for their amazing light show. And, of course, the holiday season isn’t complete without watching “Elf” at least 20 times!” –Abbie Eatherly, AR/AP specialist

“Blue Saturday: It’s when I get on social media the Saturday after Thanksgiving and look at all the deals people got or complain about how crowded and crazy the shops were on Black Friday—like they didn’t know that was going to be the case.

Christmas tamales: the most delicious and tedious holiday tradition ever. Sitting around a table, stuffing corn husks with masa and filling, praying that when they come out that mine aren’t the ugliest! Cocktails assist in the process, of course, and even if the final product isn’t pretty, it’s still going to be delicious!” –BrandonScott Williams, billboard sales director, WENDOH Media

“New Year’s Day. Burger King drive-thru. Whopper with cheese, no mayo, extra pickles, cut in half. I bring it home, lovingly plate it and then devour it, accompanied by wine of 100 times its value. (Either that or I eat it in my car on the way home—don’t judge.) It’s a guilty-pleasure meal that reminds me of my childhood trips to see ‘the King’ with my daddy, so I like to start my year with a smile.” –Xania V. Woodman, contributor, Vegas Seven


“My favorite holiday tradition is decorating my Hello Kitty Yummy World Christmas tree. I have spent years collecting ornaments of Sanrio characters and Kidrobot’s Yummy World food-themed mini-plushies. I add new ones every season. This year, I will be adding a tree topper of Gudetama, the lazy egg. The exciting thing is I can never have them all, so there’s always something to look forward to.” –Melinda Sheckells, editor in chief, Vegas Seven

“Our now-defunct family tradition may seem brutal by American standards, but every Christmas—and for any large family gathering—my father would slaughter a goat and cook it. Like, all of it: the stomach, the brains, errythang. It’s how he grew up in Fiji, where meat was rarely afforded save for celebrations. When we moved to the U.S. in the late ’80s, he carried that tradition with him. Sadly, it ended with his passing in 2014. I’ve held on to his machetes, though, just in case any goats come looking for trouble.” –Zoneil Maharaj, director of digital content, Vegas Seven