This time of year, our Avantpage team is getting ready to spend time with their families, partaking in favorite traditions and rituals. Because we have offices in Davis, California, Mexico City and Warsaw, these celebrations are diverse and rich in culture, and we want to share them with you! Here’s how our team celebrates the holidays.
Luis Miguel, CEO — Davis, California
For the Miguel Musi family, Christmas has been a double and most-special holiday. Double as we celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with huge get-togethers and meals. Huge as we are 11 siblings and more than 30 nieces and nephews.
My mother and sisters always organize a “Pastorela” on Christmas Eve, a re-enactment of the biblical account of the birth of Jesus. What makes it so special is that the youngest baby in the family (this year it is Olivia, first great-grand-child) plays the baby Jesus, and the Virgin, St. Joseph, the Maggi, etc. are all among the youngest members of the family.
I look forward to it every year!
My family opens gifts on Christmas morning because that’s the morning after Santa comes!
But, on Christmas Eve we are allowed to open up one gift. The catch is that my mom always picks out the gift that we are allowed to open. Every year the gift she picks is matching pajamas for my sisters and me, but every year we act surprised like we had no idea that they would be PJs, again.
Even though we know they’re PJs, it’s still really special to my family and me to do this tradition.
In my family we commonly exchange gifts for everyone, and sometimes, to make it funnier, we first open a joke gift (something the person doesn’t like, something embarrassing or something stupidly cheap) and after laughing out loud, we give the good gifts.
We commonly have tamales for dinner and enjoy talking, singing, dancing and playing the guitar all night.
I really enjoy those days with my family.
One tradition that I have with my mom is that she makes me send a letter to Santa every year with my Christmas list. This year Santa went electronic (not sure if all of you were aware!) and is routing his letters through my mom’s e-mail address. So, if you haven’t already, please send your lists to my mother! Also, Santa wants you to add links, which is very helpful for him. You should hear the story my mom told me to explain all of this; I was cracking up. I love that my mom tries, even now, to preserve the magic of the holidays.
My favorite tradition has always been that on Christmas Eve, my brother and I prepare a tray for Santa and Rudolph to enjoy when they stop by in the night. Rudolph gets a carrot, and Santa is treated to a mince pie and glass of sherry (which coincidentally was my Grandma’s drink of choice). This is left outside our back door and long gone by the morning. In exchange, Rudolph leaves a board game for us under the tree—a sneaky way to keep us occupied until we are allowed to open our other gifts. In our house, the other tradition was to wait until after Christmas lunch (which ends up being late afternoon) before opening any gifts. This would be unbearable without the new game to pass the time! One year we marked deep “X” in the carrot with a knife and photographed it when it appeared in the steamed veggie dish the next day.