Groundhog Day Traditions
Feb. 2 is approaching and that means that the Hillman family is decorating their house for their favorite holiday…Groundhog Day!
In case you are not a Groundhog Day expert, here is the scoop according to Pennsylvania Cable Network. “Every year on February 2, people around the world look to Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania's famous furry forecaster, to wake from his winter slumber and predict the coming of spring. If Phil sees his shadow, he returns to his burrow for another six weeks of winter, but if his shadow remains hidden by the clouds, he stays above ground to prepare for an early spring.” (Find more in this Feb. 2024 feature by Ben Portnoy.)
Allison Hillman shared, “We started celebrating Groundhog Day because my husband, Tyler, really likes rodents, and we thought it would be fun to make Groundhog Day a big deal for our kids, Molly and Charlie, who are now fourth and second graders at Kolter Elementary.”
The tradition started in 2014 when Molly was a baby. The first celebration included a groundhog onesie for Molly, and Allison bought a groundhog-shaped cookie cutter to make chocolate cookies for Mom and Dad.
“Our traditions have evolved over the past 10 years. Now all four of us get Groundhog Day t-shirts, we hang up banners and other decorations around the house, and the kids get presents, which usually include Groundhog Day stuffed animals and themed books. We also like to leave our Christmas tree up and just decorate it with groundhog decorations.”
The cookie tradition has continued. “Now the kids help me roll out the dough and cut out our special groundhog-shaped chocolate cookies. We use the Smitten Kitchen's Brownie Roll-out Cookie recipe, and they are delicious! Sometimes we will crumble some Oreos to look like ‘dirt’ and have the groundhog cookie peeking out from that.”
Allison added, “It's a great holiday to celebrate as a family because there’s a long period between New Year’s and Valentine’s without any holidays involving special treats and outfits. It helps break up the long cold winter!”
Last year, the family had fun watching Punxsutawney Phil’s announcement live. Charlie said, “I like seeing Phil! He’s a cute groundhog.” Molly enjoys the traditions, too. She commented, “My favorite Groundhog Day present I ever got was the big round groundhog stuffed animal I got two years ago.”
The kids are not the only ones that get to have fun. Allison shared their big kid “adults only” Groundhog Day tradition. “One year, my aunt was visiting and gave us a bottle of tequila the night of February 1, so now Tyler and I have a traditional ‘Groundhog Eve Giving of the Booze.’”
Cheers to Groundhog Day!
Visit Pennsylvania Cable Network to see live coverage of Punxsutawney Phil making his prediction, Feb. 2. Celebrations begin at sunrise. Phil is set to make his prediction around 6:28 am CST.
Editor's note: For more on the history of Groundhog Day and its significance, read Groundhog Day: Do we really want winter to end? by Ben Portnoy.
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, or Twitter. Or you may post as a guest.