Cannon & Cannon has established many family-oriented traditions over the years with the favorite most likely being the Annual Christmas Party. This year, the event was hosted at “The Barn.”
As always, we know how to eat and eat well. Everyone brought a dish to share. Some of the dishes have also become a tradition. It wouldn’t be the same without Taylor’s pigs in a blanket, Becky’s award winning chocolate pie and Brian’s vegetable tray.
After dinner, we shared an update about Anselmo’s progress with everyone. Four years ago, the CCI Staff created a fund in the Cannon’s name to pay for surgeries to improve Anselmo’s mobility. Since the day the Cannon’s met Anselmo, he has always had a special place in their hearts. For more on Anselmo’s story, click here.
Each year we like to give thanks to the Cannons and show them our appreciation with a Christmas gift. This year, our gift was to assist with travel expenses so they could visit Anselmo in 2015 in Mozambique. Ann Halliburton (with 17 years of service at CCI) presented the gift.
Last year, we began the tradition of giving the St. Nic Award. This award is given to an employee in recognition of their selfless giving to the community, co-workers and family. This year’s recipient was John Winter. CCI made a $500 donation to Mission of Hope in honor of John’s services.
The biggest entertainment of the night is the gifts. The Cannons play Santa for the night and provide gifts for each of the employees. Some of you may be familiar with Dirty Santa. Basically, gift boxes are placed under the Christmas tree and each employee draws a number. When their number is up they have the option to choose a gift under the tree or steal a gift already opened. Each gift can be stolen twice, then it is “frozen” and theirs to keep.
To add additional excitement, there are a number of “tinsel” gifts under the tree. If you select a gift box full of shiny tinsel, then your gift cannot be stolen. It is always fun to watch everyone open their gifts and see who opts to steal.
Each year Harold takes a moment to “pause” and reflect on the season. This year, he read a passage from Romans about Hope. Something tells us that if you take the time to really pause, and really listen, the embrace that Christ offers will surpass any gifts we may receive.
For many years, someone from CCI has written a piece to share. Typically, it is based on a Christmas story. However, it has a few twists on the story which include inserting employees into the story with their quirks. This year, Alan Grissom shared a piece titled, “A Griswald Cannon Christmas,” based on the movie, “Christmas Vacation.” The story, as always, was full of humor and is a favorite tradition at our Christmas party.