Rep. Friess and Other Legislators’ Favorite Holiday Traditions

Christmas time is a time to unwind, enjoy the company of friends and family, cherish gift giving, and partake in traditions, both new and old. For some, Christmas traditions remain orthodox, and others offer quite a twist. From eating a holiday delicacy, to watching a beloved Christmas film, to driving around the town looking at decorations and lights, all traditions are a special time for bonding and reflection of the year. Considering the holiday season, some members of the House Republican Caucus have shared a few of their favorite Christmas traditions.

In many families, deciding how to divide up the holidays is an intimidating task. For Rep. David Friess and his family, the choice was eliminated, and in its place, a new tradition began. On New Year’s Eve, every year Rep. Friess and his family, along with his siblings and their families, all go back to the Friess Family Home, and camp out to celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year. The family brings RVs to accommodate sleeping arrangements and nestles into the house for a cozy and fun-filled holiday together.

“We previously spent hours on the road between Christmas Eve and Christmas day splitting time between families,” said Rep. David Friess when talking about his family’s not so traditional tradition. “Now, we descend upon my parents’ house every New Year’s Eve and spend quality, uninterrupted time together enjoying each other”.

In addition to spending time with family, enjoying traditional foods is a large component of the holiday season. For many, making a sacred family recipe for the holidays that was passed on for generations is a great way to commemorate their family heritage. Rep. Jed Davis and his family do just that with a Scandinavian traditional dish, Kumla.

“Every Christmas Eve our family eats Kumla, which is a hearty potato dumpling,” said Rep. Jed Davis. “Kumla serves as a great way to honor our Scandinavian heritage and we hope to continue the tradition for years to come”.

While most families have long reigning traditions, some families create their own, apart from the age-old ways. Rep. Travis Weaver is no stranger to creating new traditions. On December 23rd, his nieces and nephews ring their Christmas Bell to alert Santa to visit. When his nieces and nephews are waiting, Rep. Travis Weaver hurries to change into the role of Santa Claus. After his transformation, he then visits the children, via the Ring doorbell so as not to give away his true identity, bearing gifts, such as coloring books and bouncy balls. His visit is brief, announcing to the children that he is still watching and reminding them to be on their best behavior, anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve.

“I hope this tradition and secret will last for many years to come!” said Rep. Travis Weaver when talking about his newly founded tradition. “There are few things in life more genuine than a child’s excitement and anticipation for Christmas”.

Although the Christmas Season encompasses multiple facets, arguably the most important is spending time with loved ones. This tradition, while not labor intensive like cutting down your own tree, is difficult when orchestrating around almost forty different schedules, which is what Rep. Chris Miller does every Christmas when scheduling an annual Christmas photo at the family farm

“With seven children and twenty grandchildren, it is hard to be at one place all at once,” said Rep. Chris Miller. “At Christmas, we prioritize getting together for this tradition and adding another family picture to the album. It is so amazing to see the growth our family achieves year in and out,” concluded Rep. Chris Miller.