12 Gina Sacco Wittig’s
Some families commemorate the year with a photo calendar. But for Gina Sacco Wittig’s brood, it all comes down to reliving the year’s quirkiest events.
One of the great Christmas traditions for Gina Sacco Wittig’s family is The Hockey Stick. It’s an award that’s given each year to the one member of the family who has most deservedly “earned” it. And they earn it by doing something totally off the wall or having something truly embarrassing happen.
The family wraps an actual hockey stick, along with a gag gift that represents the reason the winner was chosen, and gives it in a formal presentation.
The presentation usually includes a poem or, most recently, a stop-action movie.
The previous Christmas’ winner decides who wins the next year and presents the award. Each winner signs the hockey stick.
“One year, my parents won because, while visiting a male friend in the hospital, they opened the door only to see the patient totally nude,” Wittig said. “The next year, my mom presented the award to my husband, who fell through the ceiling while moving things around in our attic. Most years, it’s tough to decide who should win!”
The first signature is from the 1980s. The family watched an episode of Happy Days where a character walked through a scene bouncing the wrapped basketball. They laughed at the scene and searched their basement for something funny to wrap up — and a Sacco Family tradition was born!