Favorite Holiday Traditions – Justin Froeber

For this year’s Thanksgiving blog series, we decided to ask the Central Office staff to tell us about their favorite holiday traditions. Each day this week, you’ll hear from someone on staff and find out what each of us like the most about the holiday season, and hopefully you’ll let us know your favorite traditions as well.

Next up is Extension Coordinator Justin Froeber.

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Thanksgiving day food, leftover thanksgiving food, Christmas Eve food, Christmas day food, leftover Christmas food, turkey day football, Christmas day football….what a great time of year!

I love the holidays and while I do really look forward to the ridiculous amounts of food I will consume over next month and a few days where I do nothing but eat, lie around and watch football, it’s the traditions and the time spend with family that really make the holidays special.

My family has so many holiday traditions from the way we decorate the Christmas tree, to the Christmas Eve service, to the way we give gifts, etc…And with so many traditions it is hard to choose one to share with all the great Chi Psi blog followers out there so I decided to pick one that I feel is very unique to my family.

The Countdown to Christmas Mouse

My parents moved into the house they still live in today about three weeks before I was born, and during every holiday season for the last twenty-four years, a little mouse has hung in a pouch on a calendar from the pantry door just passing time and counting down the days to Christmas. When you walk into our house this little mouse is the first thing you see. This way you always know how many days are left until Christmas.

Unfortunately, the little mouse has a problem: he can’t countdown the days until Christmas on his own (btw the mouse is a stud, he just can’t count…he rocks a bow tie). Each day he needs a little help jumping to the next pouch. Luckily enough for the countdown to Christmas mouse there are three Froeber children that are ecstatic to give him a boost. So every December morning my older sister, my younger brother, and I take turns moving the mouse safely over to his next pouch. And man is it a big deal if it’s your turn to help the mouse with his countdown because that means that that night after family supper you also get to light the Advent candle, burn it down to the next day, and read the Advent story for the night.

Year after year, until I left for college, my siblings and I fought over whose day it was to move the mouse. Now I don’t know how my mom managed to create so much excitement over moving a mouse from pouch to pouch on a calendar…..but she did. And for the twenty-fifth consecutive year that little mouse will be counting the days left until Christmas. Now, on most days, to keep the tradition alive, my mom moves the mouse on her own, but if I’m home and I notice the mouse hasn’t made the jump to his next pouch I make sure I give him a little boost so he can keep his countdown going.

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