Christmas Traditions Like Snowflakes — No Two Alike

. Nicola Merriman holds up some Pittsburgh Steelers-themed glasses during a visit to the Ohio Valley Mall on Friday. Merriman and her family always celebrate the Christmas holiday with traditional English desserts and watching the annual speech given by Queen Elizabeth II. Photo by Dylan McKenzie


For The Intelligencer

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The holidays often brings back memories of Christmases past, and the traditions that go with the season.

Everyone celebrates just a little differently — and during a last-minute trip to the Ohio Valley Mall on Friday, several shoppers shared what their families do to make the holidays special.

Abbee Schrickel-Sempkowski of Tiltonsville is planning on spending her Christmas with her husband Charlie and toddler Andy. Aside from spending time with her family and watching their favorite Christmas movie — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — she said she enjoys getting ready for the holiday with her son. She and Andy have been decorating for the holidays by making salt dough ornaments.

She said the hardest part of the craft is keeping Andy from eating the dough.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the face of my toddler as he rips open the wrapping paper to see what Santa brought him,” Sempkowski said.

Nicola Merriman, of Richmond, Va., was at the mall Friday doing some last minute shopping for her family, looking to get some Steelers gear for her boyfriend’s father. Merriman is back in the area to spend Christmas with her family in Wheeling.

Merriman said her family has a couple of traditions to help them celebrate the holidays — going out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve, and watching the movie “Love Actually” on the holiday itself. Merriman and her family, who are originally from London, also take time out of their day to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s annual speech to the people. For dinner, they prepare mince pies and Christmas pudding — a traditional dessert that contains several different dried fruits and spices arranged into a cake-like dessert. “The real English way to do it is to pour brandy on it and light it on fire,” Merriman added.