v3, readv3, rome, floyd, christmas

Photos Andy Calvert

Seth Ingram (Featured Above)

Executive Director of the Rome International Film Festival

“My mom always cooks a really large meal for brunch. On Christmas Day, we get up early and the entire family sits down to enjoy different types of quiches and we always have a pineapple, for some reason. Everyone is there, even my extended family, for breakfast at my mom’s house. We also take a family photo after breakfast, and our family has grown so much that the photographer has to stand further back each year. It is nice to see how much we have grown every year.”

Greg Shropshire

Owner of Higher Progress Consulting

Former 13-year educator for Rome City Schools

Former President of the 100 Black Men of Northwest Georgia

Member of Phi Beta Sigma

“Our major family tradition that happens at Christmas is always on the Saturday after Christmas. We have a family dinner that has grown from around 30 people to over 100 of our relatives, and we gather at a place designated by whomever is hosting that year. The group includes all of the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on, from my grandmother and her sister’s line of relatives. We all bring a dish and some of us have become known for perfecting those dishes. What is awesome about this dinner is that I may not see some of these people but once a year, but it is important that we know our family members. We also honor those of us who have passed away and we talk about our family line. So, for me, my Christmas tradition is about family and seeing the growth of through the years at our dinners.”

Mark Cochran

Owner of Cevian Design Lab

Rome City Commissioner

“The tradition we have as a family revolves around the gifts under the tree. We are very specific about which gifts we open on Christmas Eve and which ones we will open on Christmas Day. We let each person open one gift on Christmas Eve and the trick is to try an guess which one we really want to see unwrapped. We rattle them around to try and figure out what is inside. I always go by the size of the box, but my wife is on to me. She wraps the least significant gifts in giant boxes to try and throw us off. Then, on Christmas Day, we all get together again for dinner.”

Willie Mae Samuel

Founder and Director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts

Former Educator of 32 years for Rome City Schools

Founder and Director of the Blues Connection

“I grew up in the country and we always had a real Christmas tree. It was real because we would have to go out into the woods and cut it down. We would then turn the bad side to face the wall and decorate the good side. So, that is one of the oldest traditions we have as a family. Now, we always give gag gifts. We give those gifts according to our family member’s personality. For example, my oldest sister loves to cook cabbage with every meal. So, we always wrap a cabbage head and give it to her for Christmas. The wrapping is always very ornate because we want to try and fool our relatives during the time we open gifts. It is so much fun to see what you will get each year.”

John Schroder

Owner/Partner Schroder’s New Deli

“The entire family gets together on the Sunday before Christmas and we usually gather at my house. Then, we give gifts in the Dirty Santa style, meaning we steal gifts from each other. It is always a lot of fun to try and get the gift you want without it being stolen from you. There is a lot of strategy involved. Then we eat a really big meal. After a rest, we go out in the front yard to throw around a football. We have made a game of it. We try to see how many times we can throw the ball to each other without it hitting the ground. Then, it is nap time.”

Jill Fisher

Vice Chairperson for the Rome City Schools Board of Education

Chairperson of the Board for Good Neighbor Ministries

“One thing we do on Christmas Eve that may sound  little strange is we have Chinese Food for dinner. Because of the traditional food associated with holidays, like home cooking, it is fun to have something really different for Christmas Eve. So after we attend church on Christmas Eve, we always order takeout from one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. The tradition started with my husband’s family and since we are so spread out, we have adopted this tradition for our family.

I worked in the criminal justice field for 12 years as a probation officer and decided that a change of pace was necessary. I came to work for V3 Magazine In 2013 and they offered me a chance to do something I've always loved and lower my blood pressure simultaneously. When I'm not telling stories, folks can usually find me fishing or trying out new recipes with my family.