Building better connections through PLAY.

Holiday traditions to warm you up this season, Part I

Posted by Angel Torres on Dec 11, 2018 4:30:00 PM

Adding some meaningful holiday cheer to the office doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. Hearing about your colleagues’ holiday traditions is a great way to learn more about them, and build even stronger, more intimate connections with the people in your workplace.

So, we decided to practice what we preach. We sat down and talked to some of the Zog team across the country. Here’s a run-down of some of our own wholesome, hilarious, playful, and communal traditions.

Kellie Alberici, Product Manager, New York

Hidden pickles and themed White Elephant

“Ever since I was little, my parents would hide a pickle ornament in our Christmas tree and, on Christmas morning, whoever found it first between my sisters and me would get to open the first gift. It’s definitely something I look forward to every year.

“With my husband’s family, we have a themed gift swap every Christmas. Last year, the theme was ‘All Around the World’ and everyone received a gift from a different country. My husband and I were assigned Italy, so we got wine as our gift. Then we have a game with the gift swap where you have the opportunity to steal gifts, which is so much fun cause you get to be a little competitive with your family!”

Rob Ballantine, Growth & Operations Manager, Chicago

Silly songs + sibling activities

“After a holiday family dinner, I’ll typically gravitate toward the piano and start playing. Around Christmas time, of course, I’ll play some Christmas carols and people will gather around to sing along. But what’s really fun for me is when my little nieces and nephews join in, and together we’ll improvise. It usually ends up being really goofy and fun.

“My favorite tradition might be the day after Thanksgiving when I get together with my siblings, their spouses, and my wife for an adult fun day. My nieces and nephews will have a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa while the group of us go out and do something fun together. This year we’re playing bocce, last year we went bowling. We might end up doing a paint night, too, or go to the arcade. We like to keep our options open.”

Chelsea Davis, Sports Product Manager, San Francisco

Extended family + more extended family = extended table

“My family does a Turkey Trot in my hometown every Thanksgiving morning. It’s usually me, my sister, my mom, and whatever friends we can rope in to do it with us. We’ve always celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with my best friend’s family, for as long as I can remember. It’s grown so much over the years that now some of my other friends and their families join us, so we get to have a massive Thanksgiving dinner with over 30 people. We have to keep adding plywood to extend the table every year! It’s amazing because these are friends I made in preschool, and now my parents are friends with their parents, too, so we get to spend all the holidays together.”

Casey Pladus, General Manager, Los Angeles

Death by chocolate

“Since before I was born, my family has always come together to make chocolate before Christmas and around Easter. We’ll make chocolate-covered peanut butter, chocolate-covered coconut, peanut butter tandy cakes, chocolate-covered pretzels, and pretty much anything else we can cover in chocolate. The group of people we actually make the chocolates with are family friends my parents met over 30 years ago!

“Aside from all the chocolate, I play in an alumni field hockey game every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at my old high school. Everyone who’s ever played field hockey there, no matter the age, is invited to play. The coach has been there for almost 20 years, and she usually refs the game, which is a lot of fun.”

Ashley Merdinger, Marketing Manager, New York

Thankful for the shenanigans and Balderdash

“At Thanksgiving, everyone in my family writes down what they’re thankful for. Then someone reads them out loud, and we have to guess who wrote what. Almost everyone writes something ridiculous, and we all inevitably die laughing.

“We can usually tell who wrote what based on how ridiculous it is, and each person’s sense of humor. Also, we’ll play many games of Balderdash to keep the laughs rolling.”


Now, we want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Share with us in the comments below, and we’ll include some of our favorites in our next blog post.

Topics: Office Culture, Holiday traditions, Play

About the Zog Blog

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