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Holiday traditions and stories from Team Veritas

It is that time of year again when we start to think about closing our laptops and focusing on friends and family. Before the team at Veritas closes this last chapter of 2020, we wanted to bring everyone together to share what makes the holiday season memorable. In happy hours and our virtual workspaces, we have been sharing stories of winter traditions with each other. Now I wanted to spread some of that Veritas Holiday Spirit on VOX too.

Check back each week for more stories of Holiday cheer from our team around the world. 

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Here is a selection of stories about lights, decorations, and music to start off the Holiday festivities. 

Margaret Jonson — Washington

I look forward to our family holiday tradition of making our Great Grandma's ravioli every year. My Grandmother turns out her favorite holiday songs. Everyone takes turns making dough, filling, sauce, and then sitting around the table filling and folding each one.

Richelle Fischer — California 

My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating the tree with my family. Every year, since the year I was born, I have gotten an ornament to represent that year of my life. One of my favorite parts of decorating the tree is laying those special ornaments out in chronological order and reminisce. This year's ornament looks a little different. Still, it's a reminder to be thankful and a way to offer some comedic relief. 

Alex Restrepo — Florida 

My favorite Christmas was 1988 when I got the NES with the power pad and light gun. That was a good one. Since becoming an adult Christmas became way more like a second Thanksgiving, all about the food. New Years' generally was about travel, and this year will still contain travel; it will just be isolated travel to a rented house in the mountains away from others. 

Tyler Welch — Washington 

My favorite holiday tradition is listening to The Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait" album. It reminds me of my mom. 

Justine Velcich — Canada 

I have never spent Christmas at home and have therefore never owned a tree! With the pandemic forcing us to stay put this year, we bought our first tree and decorated our house on November 15th (to make up for lost time), and I've never felt more festive! 

Zoe Sands — United Kingdom 

I love music! So, digging out all my Christmas songs at the beginning of December and compiling a playlist really gets me into the festive spirit. Listening to music is good for the soul. Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Kati Lander — Washington 

My favorite part of the holiday season is decorating the Christmas tree and enjoying it in the days/weeks leading up to Christmas. Our tree is smaller than usual this year, and my 4-year-old nicknamed it "Little Sweetie." 

Laura Lam — South Carolina

Here's a weird one. My family and I would always listen to the "Twisted Christmas" parody of traditional Christmas music. It's hilarious if you haven't checked it out. I think I was 7 when this came out, and my parents were OK with my listening to this stuff, if that tells you anything about my childhood! 

Sharon Davidson — United Kingdom 

I love the Christmas songs and decorating the Xmas tree! + Mulled wine after a long cold walk! Sending out Christmas cards to all my friends and family - particularly after a year like this year - has made me realize how much I value them all. Stay safe! 

James Wong — California 

I simply love the festive decorations, all the Christmas music, and sitting with a cup of hot coffee while chatting it up with my family, extended family, and friends.

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What better way to celebrate the winter wonderland then sharing stories of activities and food memories?

Kat Mingus California

Baking all our traditional Greek cookies and fresh gingerbread! On my list for this Saturday is baklava with scorpion chili-infused honey.

Svenn Erik Midtbo — Norway

Christmas for me is spending time with the people I love the most - family! I start listening to Christmas music early in December to get into the mood. Decorating the Christmas tree is always super cozy. Christmas baking is also an important Christmas tradition.

Kevin Kissoon — Florida

Watching Home Alone and How the Grinch Stole Christmas always gets me into the holiday spirit every year! My favorite tradition is opening our stockings first thing in the morning, then eating a huge breakfast with the family and then gathering to open our gifts together.

Marie-blanche Panthou — California

Listening to music, playing games, or building Lego toys with the kids on the living room floor.

Gillian Maxwell — Ireland

On Christmas Eve, we traditionally go from house to house (of our relatives) and in each house, we have a tradition. My aunt Olive's house where we (aunts uncles, cousins) have a big family dinner. Then from there, we go to my aunt Mairead's where we all play cards (religiously the game 45), and if we're all still on speaking terms (rather a competitive bunch) we go to my cousin's house for Irish coffees as the nightcap!

Anuwat Sisaleumsak — Minnesota

Favorite part of the holidays…food

Favorite holiday tradition…food

What gets you in the holiday spirit…food

did I mention Food… 

Tony Murrant — United Kingdom

Being British, most of our family traditions involve eating stuff that is 50% suet-soaked-in-brandy and 50% sugar.  Since I got married though, we've had our own tree-decorating tradition which involves smothering the tree in the stupidest decorations we can find whilst drinking what's known in our house as 'Christmas Cocktails'.  These are two shots of vodka, one shot of Chambord and one shot of creme de cacao blanc, shaken over ice and then stirred with a sprig of rosemary that you leave in the glass to look like it's a branch fallen from the Christmas tree. They taste amazing!

Jenn Artura — Massachusetts

We host our families on Christmas eve and traditionally we have done the Italian feast of the 7 fish, although it has evolved greatly over the years from my grandmother’s original menu. I have done it cocktail party style the last few years with every item in individual bite sizes served throughout the evening paired with various champagnes and wines. We cut down our own trees and always have one out on our deck which stays up all winter. It’s my favorite thing to see this first thing in the morning. The house is decorated in white lights inside and out. We made gingerbread houses for years that became quite elaborate - with skating rinks and candy trees- but now my teen son has outgrown that a bit and the pets get into them to easily. We also head to Vermont to see my sister and some snowboarding after Christmas. 

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To close out the month of sharing stories about holiday memories and traditions, we found out that many of our co-workers incorperate movies and winter activites into their last month of they year.

Anthony Cusimano — Florida 

 I'm a movie man, always have been. Cinema and holidays are synonymous in my household. Our family tradition is to chew through timeless Christmas classics every year. A hot bowl of popcorn spiced with cinnamon, the wife and dogs on the couch with blankets; watching Christmas flicks like Die Hard, Batman Returns, Gremlins and Eyes Wide Shut, that's what it's all about right there. 

Matthew Gazard — Massachusetts 

I love spending time with family on Christmas Eve, and especially my mother making her famous cinnamon buns for Christmas morning. I can't get in the holiday spirit without Mariah Carey’s Christmas album! 

Anand Athavale — California 

 Holidays mean gifts...joy of giving…to family and friends...and sometimes to self. 

Elias Abughazaleh — Florida 

Family movie night every night in December. Christmas movies are the best. 

Jamie Doherty — Massachusetts  

Family Tradition: We watch the Ref every year...best Christmas movie EVER 

Shana Sachs — California 

A Christmas Story—all-time favorite movie for the holidays! 

Aissa Torres  Florida

I love watching A Christmas Story on repeat and eating chestnuts with my family around the Christmas tree. This is a tradition I started with my girls and we have been doing it for the last 17 years.  

Johanna Ylakojola — Finland 

Magical Lapland mountains with family, Santa and Sauna of course.  

Marina Samborskaya — Illinois  

My favorite part about Christmas is the fact that it's also my husband's birthday. 2 holidays in 1 is always so great because we make Christmas extra special. I also absolutely love New Years! Every year that we have snow, we go sledding on New Years Eve. My parents started this tradition in Ukraine when I was little, and I am continuing this tradition with my husband.   

Makoto Shoji — Japan

Christmas is not a holiday traditionally in many parts of Asia, but New Year is.  2021 is a year of Ox.  Those greetings are to be exchanged at 1 January every year. d330f1a1-16e1-4883-b47b-27db32813cdb.jpeg

Thank you for everyone that shared your winter memories and traditions. Happy Holidays and a wonderful new year from all of us at Veritas. We look forward to more stories and even more discussions about data availability, protection, and insights in 2021!