Happy Holidays from Human Resources

This holiday season, MSU Human Resources is sharing our holiday traditions with you. Get into the holiday spirit with family memories, matching pajamas, yummy recipes and more, all from our wonderful HR team members! 

Feel free to leave your traditions, recipes, and more in the comments to start a conversation with staff from all over MSU!

Jordan Skjaerlund — HRIT 

Favorite tradition: “My husband and I celebrate Advent from December 1 – December 24. Each day we exchange a small gift and take a picture together with the gifts each person got.”

Jeff Brodie — Benefits

Favorite tradition: “FOOD FOOD FOOD (but I have to limit carbs because of the dastardly Diabetes). Staying home on a snowy day. Seeing friends when they are available!”

A happy memory: “As a child/teenager I remember glorious Thanksgiving dinners. As a child I remember the grandparents and my aunt/uncle bringing in laundry baskets of toys (this was the 1960’s when most folks did not have a lot of money).”

Sheila Chorey — The Leave of Absence Team

Favorite tradition: “In the past, our family would select a country to research for our Christmas celebration. We would use the opportunity to try new recipes and be creative with decorations.”

Some happy memories: “For our French Christmas, we made French onion soup and duck l’orange and hung a banner that said ‘vive la france.’ When we celebrated German style, the men wore lederhosen. My favorite was the Scottish Christmas. The house was decorated in plaid, and attire consisted of kilts and plaid. It is a fun way to get everyone involved, and have the kids do a little research.”

Debbie Hafke — HRIT

Favorite tradition: “We bake sugar cookies and decorate them on Christmas Eve every year. Even though the kids are teenagers, they still leave two of the cookies out for Santa, too!”

Make Debbie’s Santa cookies with this recipe

The Hafke family baking and decorating their favorite sugar cookies for the holidays!

Danielle Hook — Organization and Professional Development (OPD)

Favorite tradition (plans): “Our son will be 18 months old this Christmas so we are most excited about starting new traditions this year!”

Sharri Margraves — OPD

Favorite tradition: “Personally, I always do the Playmakers Holiday Classic 5k and hope to not freeze to death! I cannot convince anyone else in my house to do this with me for some reason…but bundling up in festive attire makes for a good time on campus. My aunt and I both do this and then go out for breakfast.”

Sharri and her aunt preparing to run the Playmaker’s Holiday 5K!

Chris Hanna — Metrics and Data Analytics

Favorite tradition: “Cutting our Christmas tree down on Friday after Thanksgiving. The family is always geared up to do it. However once we get out there it becomes a challenge to make a decision. Everyone has their own opinion of what tree to get. When you think you have found ‘The Tree’ and point it out. You hear from the others: that’s too short or too tall, or too skinny or too fat. Or someone says ‘are you kidding me, that’s the ugliest tree I’ve ever seen, Charlie Brown wouldn’t even want that one.’ But eventually we always find a tree that we enjoy through the holiday season.”

A happy memory: “Cutting our tree down Friday after Thanksgiving started our first year of marriage. We cut down a modest size tree, brought it home, set it up and realized we didn’t have nearly enough ornaments. So I got up early the next morning and decorated it with vacuum cleaner attachments from a shop vac and regular house vac. which were colored gray and light blue (as opposed to generally being black). I thought it was pretty clever and creative. Kathy (my wife) did not… Hence we went ornament shopping.”

Donna Duck — Academic Operations

Favorite traditions: “Going to cut down our Christmas tree with the family. Favorite movie – The Santa Clause movies and Polar Express. Family matching pajamas!”

A happy memory: “I had done matching pajamas one year as a one time thing. The following year, when my son found out that I didn’t have new pajamas he was very upset with me. So, what did I do? Some last minute shopping of course. I was able to find some pajamas at the last minute and saved our new tradition. We have done it every year since!”

The Duck family in matching pajamas in front of their freshly cut and decorated Christmas tree!
Happy Holidays to the entire MSU family! We are wishing you a season full of friends, family, and delicious sugar cookies!