Each year the Children’s Discovery Museum honors individuals from the community as the Parade of Lights Grand Marshal, which is sponsored by Central Maine Motors Central Maine Chevy. Although this year’s Parade of Lights is not taking place, the museum still is taking the opportunity to celebrate members of the community.

With two health-care facilities, and this year more than ever, the Children’s Discovery Museum is thankful for their commitment to the health and safety of Central Maine. The museum reached out to representatives from MaineGeneral Health and Inland Hospital to select individuals from their organizations to celebrate this season, according to a news release from the Waterville museum.

Steve and Tammy Diaz Central Maine Photography photo

MaineGeneral has selected Steve and Tammy Diaz, who both work in health care. Steve has a lead physician role as the Chief Medical Officer of MaineGeneral Health and Tammy is the school nurse for Winslow Junior High Schoo. The museum chatted with them both about their holiday traditions. Steve and Tammy both grew up in large families and now have a large family of their own. They are parents to 5 children ages 10 through 27 and this year they are grateful to have had the opportunity to spend so much extra time together. This holiday they plan to have a relaxing Christmas together playing board games, watching movie marathons, and of course cooking meals. When we asked about their favorite holiday traditions, Steve shared that his family is Mexican-American, and growing up, the holidays always meant the two-day process of making and then eating fresh, homemade tamales. Many of Tammy’s most beloved traditions also revolved around food — she loved her family’s big family dinner on Christmas Day. Tammy also shared that as a child, she would always stay up late waiting for Santa, and swears that she saw him — just once.

Hanna Campbell Central Maine Photography photo

Northern Light Inland Hospital selected Hanna Campbell, who is a certified Physician Assistant with Northern Light Primary Care in downtown Waterville. While this year has been challenging in so many ways, it was also a special year for Hanna and her husband, who bought and moved into their first home. Hanna’s favorite time of year is the holiday season, and it has always been a special time for her and her family. Growing up, every Christmas Eve her family would go out to dinner after services and on the ride home, would search the skies for Santa. Once home, it was tradition to get into new Christmas pajamas and watch the Santa Clause movies together. This year, Hanna is ready to be creative in the ways she celebrates Christmas with her family, trading in the traditional family party with a virtual trivia night.

Joan Sciartilli Central Maine Photography photo

Inland Hospital’s second Grand Marshal participant is Joan Sciartilli, who is a resident at Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood, on the Inland campus. The museum learned a little about Joan’s holidays growing up. Reflecting back on Joan’s childhood holidays, she remembers that they were always filled with happiness. Her grandmother was from Germany so her family all went over to her home after mass and would have what she called a “Poor Man Christmas Tree” where everything on the tree was handmade, like homemade taffy and popcorn balls. She also celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas, where all of the kids would sit quietly on the couch and listen for the sound of nickels, pennies, apples, oranges. One of her favorite holiday memories is how her grandmother would get a new broom every Christmas and all the grandkids would get to pull out a single piece of straw. The one who got the longest piece got to sleep in her big bed under the pile of handmade quilts.

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