When it comes to traditions, we’ve got them all. One of our favorites is a Christmas tradition that stems from our love of travel. Our first trip together was to Nashville for a friend’s wedding, and we stayed a few extra days to take in the city. While we were there we came across a Christmas ornament that we just had to buy. It is a Santa Clause wearing a cowboy hat and boots, and he’s swinging a lasso. It was silly and a fun way to commemorate the trip. From then on, we made it our mission to buy a Christmas ornament for every destination we travel to. When Christmas rolls around, we decorate the tree with all of the keepsakes we’ve collected and reminisce about the places we’ve been. Every year, Erica’s side of the family gets together for “Polenta Night.” A pot of polenta the size of a five-gallon bucket is simmering on the stove, and people take turns stirring until it is ready. When the time comes, the polenta is poured onto several large wood boards and topped with fresh sauce and Parmesan. The boards are brought out to the tables, and everyone gets a fork. We carve out our own sections on the board and eat and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Erica’s family comes from Italy, and she and her siblings are the first to be born in this country. Her family arrived here with very little, and polenta was a common, inexpensive meal. The event is meant to commemorate and recognize the hardships of the past, and to be grateful for our friends, family, and where we are today. A large part of Chris’ side of the family comes from Hungary. Chris is also first generation American. His mother’s side escaped the country during the Hungarian revolution and were eventually accepted into the United States. Every year in August, his family celebrates this with a “Coming to America” party. There is lots of Hungarian food and games, and we all enjoy each other’s company. A few other traditions that stand out are a yearly extended-family beach vacation, a group outing to a large agricultural fair, and the entire extended family abruptly breaking into a synchronized dance at weddings. There are many, many more traditions our families share - too many to list! But each and every one of them is deeply meaningful to us, and we are excited to share them and establish new ones of our own.