Christmas Traditions

12-18-2017 9:05 AM

As we near the holidays, I talked with Mary Kay Ash’s granddaughter, Jessica Bair, about Christmas traditions. This will be her first Christmas as a mom, so I knew it would be special.

Hope you enjoy this glimpse into Mary Kay Ash’s legacy at Christmas.

Stacy: How did you celebrate Christmas with Mary Kay?

Jessica: We all called Mary Kay Grandmother. I’m not sure who started it, but the name fit her elegance perfectly. We celebrated with her at Thanksgiving with the extended family. Mary Kay often spent Christmas with a smaller gathering like her mother or Richard.

Stacy: I know you are excited because this will be Lyla’s first Christmas. What fun activities have you enjoyed so far? Any new traditions?

Jessica: Tyler and I are so excited to spend the holidays with Lyla. We gave her the special job of putting the first ornament on our tree this year. And she just loves looking at the Christmas tree lights.

We have also enjoyed taking her to many holiday events such as parades, the church carnival, play group parties and tree-lighting ceremonies.

A new tradition we’ve started is giving her one new Christmas book each day of December. Lyla loves books.

Stacy: How fun! What does she think of this tradition so far?

Jessica: She lights up at every new book!

Stacy: Will you carry on any longstanding family traditions?

Jessica: Yes, we always wear matching Christmas jammies, and we will do that again this year. We will also leave Santa cookies on Christmas Eve.

Stacy: Christmas cookies are the best. What kind do you leave for Santa?

Jessica: My favorite kind of cookies are shortbread. But Santa gets homemade and decorated sugar cookies. And the reindeer get carrots!

I love baking and decorating Christmas cookies. My mom will set up a baking and decorating station, so we can do that as a family. I can’t wait to see what Lyla thinks. She hasn’t had many sweets, but I bet she will love getting messy and licking the icing. I imagine sprinkles will be everywhere!

Stacy: I can’t wait to see some photos of that! Well, I know giving is a huge part of your family legacy. Tell us about how you do that at Christmastime.

Jessica: Absolutely. I want to teach Lyla that Christmas is about giving, not just receiving. So even at her young age of 11 months, we will include Lyla in our tradition of adopting families and buying Christmas presents for them.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Stacy Graves is a contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog and website. She also has the tradition of baking Christmas cookies with her two boys. Though lately, they’ve been more interested making Star Wars cookies. You can connect with her by email (, her website or LinkedIn.




Jessica’s Pecan Sandies
(Her favorite cookie to bake.)

1 cup butter
1/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of water
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup powdered sugar (for coating the dough after cooked)

Heat oven to 325.
Mix butter and sugar slowly until fluffy.
Add water and vanilla, beat well.
Stir in flour and chopped nuts.

Teaspoon out balls of dough onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (watch carefully to prevent burning — just lightly browned).

Let cool completely, and then roll in powdered sugar.