Family Week and a Few Favorite Traditions at GOTR 

At Girls on the Run, no two families are alike — and we couldn’t be prouder of that fact. Some families are blended, some have a high fur-baby count and some are just blossoming. We celebrate this variety and find beauty in their differences. Discovering traditions amongst families is an eye-opening experience that offers a unique glimpse into the life of another person. A tradition that may seem odd to one person, may be another person’s favorite memory. They are uniquely our own and something we cherish. When we share these experiences, our hearts open even more to those around us. This year, in honor of National Family Week, we checked in with April Massett, vice president, council development at Girls on the Run International to learn more about her family and how they celebrate the holiday season.  

Happy National Family Week! Tell us a little bit about your family. Who do you spend the holidays with? 

 “We left our extended families behind in California when we moved to Texas. So, unless we travel back home or have visitors, our holiday celebrations are low-key events for just the four of us- myself and my husband and our two kids. Holidays are quiet, more peaceful. I like the excitement and chaos of tons of people in one house, everyone laughing and talking over each other, but our holidays look different these last few years than they did before we moved. It’s just the core four of us. And, of course, the dog.”

What are some of your family traditions during the holidays?  

“Taking nighttime walks around the neighborhood with the kids and the dog, waiting until the very last minute to wrap gifts and staying up until 3:00 a.m. Christmas morning wrapping (I never learn my lesson, but now it’s a joke between my husband and me). Also, no matter how old the kids get, we drive around the area looking at Christmas lights with hot cocoa. I look forward to that every holiday season.”

Group of young girls in colorful t-shirts run in 5K event. Like National Family Week, 5Ks bring families together.

April’s daughter, Julia (front, right-hand-side) is also a GOTR girl! Here she is, all smiles, at a recent 5K event. April cheers her on in the background.

What is something unique that you do with your family during the holidays?  

“I’m not sure how unique this is, but we look forward to holiday breakfast more than we look forward to holiday dinner! I cook French toast on holiday mornings, every year. If I’ve got the super-long electric griddle out and it smells like cinnamon and vanilla, you know it’s a holiday morning in the Massett home. I have done this as far back as I can remember with my kids. Funny story… My 25-year-old-niece recently mentioned off-hand that she doesn’t like French toast. Puzzled, I reminded her that she practically grew up at my house and had French toast with us every Christmas morning. She admitted that she’s hated it for years and just choked it down to avoid hurting my feelings! I was horrified at the time, but I can laugh about it now.” 

What is your favorite holiday memory with your family?  

“Years ago, we drove up to Tahoe and rented a house for the holidays. I’ll never forget that experience. We all cooked together and watched old holiday movies. My niece made her first apple pie from scratch, and the kids spent every evening hopping from the snow to the hot tub and back. Good times!” 

No matter what traditions you celebrate, we hope they bring you and your family a surplus of joy this year. 

On behalf of the entire Girls on the Run team, we wish all families, girls, coaches, partners and donors a safe, enjoyable and heart-warming National Family Week and holiday season. May the rest of your 2021 be filled with nothing but happiness, love, and of course, sparks of inspiration! 

To learn more about getting your family involved in Girls on the Run, click here!