Holidays in the Speakeasy basement are a pretty big deal. Every year, at the beginning of November, we get an email from Elfster asking us to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange. Once everyone has signed up, each of us is assigned a different tribe member to give a Secret Santa gift to during our holiday party.
Once our Google Calendars turn to December, Christmas and Hanukkah decorations begin showing up around the basement. With a menorah on the snack table, Santa hats on our desks and even an extended visit from our elf friends, Gin and Tonic, it’s safe to say the basement gets quite festive this time of year.
On the day of our holiday party, everyone dresses up in their best holiday gear. That includes light-up ugly sweaters, Hanukkah-themed headbands and reindeer horns. Everyone rushes to finish their work for the week so we can be fully present and enjoy each other’s company during the party.
Last year, we started a new holiday tradition: an office awards ceremony called The Easies. Each tribe member anonymously votes for their colleagues on specific categories. Winners are announced at the party and receive a special cocktail shaker trophy. This is also when we have our gift exchange. One by one, we open our gifts and guess who chose it for us. After a few (usually wrong) guesses, the gift-giver fesses up. It’s neat to see how everyone truly considers the recipient and tailors their gift to their personality.
Outside the basement, we all have our own personal holiday traditions. One tribe member cherishes the day she can finally grab a holiday hot cocoa from Starbucks and drive through Highland Park to look at all the Christmas lights. Many of us enjoy baking, from cookie recipes passed on from grandparents to homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Some tribe members wouldn’t give up wearing their jammies and sipping hot cocoa for anything. Others attend special services and plays throughout the season.
Regardless of the holidays we each celebrate, the common denominator of our holiday traditions is spending time with those we love. Whether it’s traveling across the country to be with family, presenting our fur babies with treats and stuffed toys, lounging in comfy clothes while cooking breakfast, hosting siestas, opening thoughtfully crafted gifts or simply decorating the house and playing games, the time spent with family and friends is something we all cherish.
So from the Speakeasy tribe to yours, we wish you a very happy holiday season!