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Families share their holiday traditions

See how our families observe this special time of year.

St. Jude patient Sierra with her family

Santa hats

Every year, we wear Santa hats for pretty much the whole time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our all-time favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story, and in this photo, we’re imitating a scene from the movie. We also have our adopted grandparent neighbors over for Christmas brunch.

Cathy, mom of St. Jude patient Sierra


The twelve grapes

I’m from Venezuela and holidays mean a big family party time. My favorite holiday tradition is New Year’s. Family gathers around and we make a dish called macarronada together, as well as pan de jamon. At midnight, we eat 12 grapes and make 12 different wishes for the year.

Mariangeles former St. Jude patient

Former St. Jude patient Mariangeles with her husband
St. Jude patient Kaylee

Christmas lights

We love to drive around and look at Christmas lights and spend time together as a family. Five years ago, we found out Kaylee had cancer and thought it would be our last Christmas with her. But God had other plans for Kaylee and sent us to St. Jude.

Jen, mom of St. Jude patient Kaylee


Midnight carolers

My favorite holiday tradition was going to listen to carolers at midnight in the town square, something this particular town has done since 1848. I use those songs now as my ringtone during the holidays. I’m also so thankful for my family.

St. Jude patient Bess

Carolers in the town square
St. Jude patient Caleb

Giving thanks

For us, holiday traditions are all about family. Whether it’s decorating the Christmas tree, watching Christmas movies together or preparing for family to come celebrate. It’s being together and celebrating the birth of Jesus, and thanking God for our many blessings.

Kelly, mom of St. Jude patient Caleb


Visiting Santa

Mabry and her little brother, Caleb, love visiting with Santa Claus every year.

Jenny, mom of St. Jude patient Mabry

St. Jude patient Mabry with her brother and Santa

Mabry and her brother with Santa in 2019

Brady's Legacy Beads hanging on the Christmas tree

Remembering Brady

Since Brady passed away, his brother, Andrew, and I made it our holiday tradition to collect St. Jude stuffed animals, hang Brady’s Legacy beads and St. Jude ornaments on the tree and purchase St. Jude wrapping paper.

Katy, mom of St. Jude patient Brady, who passed away in 2012


Remembering Tyler

Every December, we decorate our son Tyler’s bench and memorial tree. It’s our way of remembering him during the holidays.

David, dad of St. Jude patient Tyler, who passed away in 2005

St. Jude patient Tyler's memorial tree

We're thankful for your support during this season of Thanks and Giving. Your generosity makes a difference in the lives of St. Jude kids during the holidays and every day.

Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not. 

St. Just patient artwork

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