The holidays are filled with the flurry of shopping, baking, family gathering, and of course, holiday traditions. We asked our Allovus families what their favorite holiday traditions are. Maybe some of these stories will inspire you in creating your own traditions for the holidays. Enjoy!
Hayley Nichols | Founder + Principal (plus a lot of other job titles during the holidays!)
Favorite holiday tradition: I take the kids to get an ornament each year. Our tree is primarily decorated with ornaments from every year (19 now for Tyler, 14 for Sami), plus the occasional one I get from a friend or employees–which get a special place on the tree as well.
I would send a photo, but this year our tree is pathetic–only 4 feet tall. We had to get a little tree so we could put it up high because our new dog is a holy terror.
Brick George | Content Editor (Writes and edits UX guidelines and UI messaging for Visual Studio)
Favorite holiday tradition: My favorite holiday tradition is listening to and performing holiday music. I’ve been doing it most of my life: school choirs, church choirs, caroling groups, madrigals, you name it. I currently sing in the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Our holiday concerts at Benaroya Hall are always one of the highlights of my year. As a member of our small ensemble, Captain Smartypants, I’ve had the opportunity to sing all sorts of extra gigs, including performances at the Chihuly Garden and at Winterfest. As a performer, I have a special love for bittersweet songs like Hard Candy Christmas and River. But my absolute favorite holiday song is the Bing Crosby and David Bowie mashup Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.
Photo: Brick George (second from left) singing Linus and Lucy with Captain Smartypants during the Seattle Men’s Chorus 2017 concert “A Sassy Brassy Holiday” at Benaroya Hall.
Barbara Nichols | Retired Allovus 2014
Favorite holiday tradition: One of my favorite Christmas Day dinners was at Snoqualmie Pass several years ago. Rob and Hayley had their first Christmas dinner at their new home. It was snowing… a lot. I could hardly get up the steep driveway. Finally, I got the car to the top, but then fell flat on my backside when I got out of the car. No, that part wasn’t my favorite tradition, but now that I think about it, maybe it is a tradition–just not a favorite.
But, the house was warm and welcoming! A little log cabin with three stories (one of which was unusable.) There was a fireplace, a hot tub that didn’t work, a table ready for guests, and a turkey fresh out of the oven that Rob was hacking up with a knife. There was a little boy running around the house, waiting for his first Santa to appear. And Hayley was sleepwalking through some sort of cooking adventure while wondering “Now about that quote I wrote up late last night for Microsoft… I think I’d better take another look at that before it goes out. Hmmm. Pass the salt, please.”
Photo: Here’s a picture from that day. It was a great day; that’s our tradition.
Joy Baer | Lead Icon Artist for Microsoft Office Apps
Favorite holiday tradition: I’m not sure I’d say this is a favorite holiday tradition, but I had a unique family tradition when I was growing up. I come from a large family. There were 10 of us!
One year, when I was very young and my youngest brother was just old enough to talk, my mom got a 12 Days of Christmas glass set and decided we would all sing the song together. Each glass had 1 of the 12 verses to the song printed on it. Before we sat for our Christmas Day meal, she asked us to take a glass–and instructed us to sing the verse from the glass we’d chosen. We sang together the first verse and the 5th verse, “5 golden rings!” (Which was the most fun.) Every year, the glass set made its appearance, and we were all asked to sing. And every year we moaned and groaned, yet raced to find the 12 drummers drumming glass. We always had a good time. Sometimes we’d sing in funny voices. Or someone would sing the wrong verse or get the words wrong, and we’d all laugh. My youngest brother, Danny, misinterpreted “8 maids a milking” and instead said “8 milky, milky.” For probably 5 years after that, we used that phrase instead of the real one.
Mom tried to keep the tradition going, even as one by one, we moved out and started our own lives. One year, we tried to sing over a conference call. That was a disaster. Lately, Mom makes the grandkids sing with her. She also found a 12 Days of Christmas plate set! I no longer go to my parents’ for Christmas. I’ve started a new tradition of hosting Christmas for friends who are in town. We have a white elephant gift exchange. I haven’t yet asked that we sing the 12 Days of Christmas, but I have thought about it…
Merry Christmas to you and your true loves!
Allison Flanigan | Studios Coordinator
Favorite holiday tradition: Every year, our family goes to Leavenworth. This will be our 20th year going!
Photo: This is a photo from quite a few years back. Such a fun way to celebrate the holidays!
Aimee Hayes | Business Development
Favorite holiday tradition: Making Christmas cookies! Every year, my mom and sister, and I love to spend an entire day together having sparkling wine and making a whole bunch of Christmas cookies. This is such a common tradition for so many of us, but it really seems to kickstart the Christmas experience for our family.
We’ve begun adding our kiddos to the experience, though my son has bowed out, preferring to spend the day with Dad, doing non-baking things. My wee little niece, Willow, is napping and is therefore not in the picture. But her sister, Wren, was the biggest help this year! We created some amazing memories. She frosted and sprinkled every single cookie–and ate spoonfuls of jam and sugar in the process.
Thank you for reading about our holiday traditions. Happy holidays to you and yours!