The holiday season is a time of special moments with loved ones, so we’re sharing our favorite traditions from celebrations of yore. Join us in the seasonal spirit and get to know more about the team behind the Bradley!

Tim, Marketing (US):

My favorite holiday tradition happens each year on New Year’s Eve. Sometime between dinner and the ball drop, my family brings out our favorite board game: Sorry. I’m not quite sure how or when the tradition started, but our highly competitive games have endured for more than 20 years. Whether the game ends in tears of anger or joy, the winner receives the honor of writing a note on the inside of the board game box (often gloating over their newfound victory). We always enjoy reading the notes from the past as we prepare to embark on a new year.

The box for the board game Sorry! Two illustrated game pieces knock into each other on the game board.
The box for the board game Sorry! Two illustrated game pieces knock into each other on the game board.

Rita, Marketing (US):

At the tender age of 4, I learned the truth about Santa Claus. My parents didn’t sign any of my presents from Ol’ Saint Nick, so I used my detective skills to deduce his lack of existence. Because there was no need to lie about Santa delivering gifts at midnight, we now open presents on Christmas Eve! And it’s more fun to get gifts a day earlier anyway.

Looking down at the bottom of a Christmas tree with a pile of wrapped presents under it.
Looking down at the bottom of a Christmas tree with a pile of wrapped presents under it.

Jonathan, Graphic Design (US):

We used to spend our holidays in Pompeia (pay attention to the extra A at the end — this is not the Italian city, home of ancient Roman ruins, but a small town in Brazil). My grandparents, Japanese immigrants, lived there most of their adult lives. They owned a shop in town — perhaps what we would call a “deli” in America — where they sold, among other items, Japanese sweets to the local Asian community. One of these sweets were Japanese rice cakes, sometimes plain, sometimes filled with red bean paste. They would make everything from scratch, which is a fairly long and laborious activity. I wasn’t part of the preparation, but the entire family would gather around a long wooden table in the cellar for the final part of the process. My grandma would dexterously hand each of us little morsels of the large rice dough, and our job was to make round, evenly-shaped small cakes, sometimes adding a scoop of the bean paste in the middle. All my family was involved: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. We’d chat and laugh and, occasionally, we’d just be quiet together, immersed in our activity. I don’t think we ever called it a tradition, but I guess that’s what it was.

Two hands and arms are shown pressing into a pile of dough on a wooden table top.
Two hands and arms are shown pressing into a pile of dough on a wooden table top.

Audrey, Marketing (US):

Every Christmas, for 23 Christmases, my blanket-wrapped family gathers on the couch to watch the only holiday movie that actually gets me a little teary-eyed: The Muppet Christmas Carol. Whether childhood nostalgia or the joy of reciting all the lines with my dad, this tradition is more dear to me than most things we do on Christmas. And the moment Beaker gifts his tiny red scarf to Michael Caine-as-Scrooge is something I look forward to every year.

The back of Beaker the Muppet's head as he faces Michael Caine, who plays Scrooge. Scrooge looks profoundly grateful as he wraps a Muppet-sized scarf around his neck.
The back of Beaker the Muppet’s head as he faces Michael Caine, who plays Scrooge. Scrooge looks profoundly grateful as he wraps a Muppet-sized scarf around his neck.

Kevin, Operations (US):

I do not exactly remember when, but it happened when I was about 5 or 6 years old. On the night of Christmas Eve, I fell asleep wishing that Santa Claus would bring the one gift I wanted. Maybe too excited, I woke up early and saw a glimpse of Santa Claus in the darkness. (Of course it was Mom or Dad walking out of my room.) Then by my bedside, I found a portable game console. I stayed up almost the entire night, playing with the game console and hoping to see Santa Claus again. Until I was 8 or 9, I tried to stay up every Christmas Eve, but I always fell asleep without seeing Santa.

A Nintendo Game Boy hand-held video game console. Game cartridges are scattered around the Game Boy on a surface.
A Nintendo Game Boy hand-held video game console. Game cartridges are scattered around the Game Boy on a surface.

Nina, Operations (US):

Every Thanksgiving, my family gathers after dinner and we play a Korean card game called Go-Stop. The object of this game is to score a certain number of points, and then call a Go or a Stop. We’ve adapted the game and added some of our own rules. It’s fun to be competitive with my family, and you don’t want to come in last place because then you’ll be stuck doing all the Thanksgiving dishes.

Colorfully-illustrated Go-Stop cards are fanned out on a decorative piece of paper with cherry blossoms on it. The top card depicts a bright green and yellow bird sitting on a branch with red flowers.
Colorfully-illustrated Go-Stop cards are fanned out on a decorative piece of paper with cherry blossoms on it. The top card depicts a bright green and yellow bird sitting on a branch with red flowers.

Hyungsoo, Business Development (US):

This year, my wife, son, and I are starting our own tradition: at the end of every year, we’re going to take a family photo with a tripod and a proper digital camera — not with a smartphone. This might be something many families do, but it’s something that I look forward to, since I grew up in a family that hardly ever took photos — there are probably only 2 or 3 photos in which all my family members are present. It will be wonderful to have at least one family photo every year and to be able to see many years later how my family has grown.

A small child's hand grasps the index finger of an adult hand.
A small child’s hand grasps the index finger of an adult hand.

Christian, GM (Europe):

My favorite Christmas tradition is baking Christmas cookies with my mom and brothers. Every year, at the start of our family gathering and a few days before Christmas dinner, we pull out old family cookie recipes that have been handed down through the generations. The recipe cards themselves, all handwritten and coated in buttery finger stains, show decades of love. We prepare by emptying out endless amounts of equipment — the mixer, mixing bowls, rolling pins, tin cans full of flour and sugar, the blender, spatulas and mixing spoons — and we raid the apron stash. The ones at the bottom of the pile finally get their annual breath of fresh air.

We proceed to bake almond crescents, peanut clusters, walnut cookies, sugar diamonds, pecan snowball cookies, and many more. It’s a baking frenzy which results in a kitchen covered in flour, a pile of equipment that’s been licked clean, a house filled with the delightful smell of baking cookies, and a group of very satisfied bakers!

As soon as the cookies start coming out of the oven, the great cookie consumption race begins. In my family of three boys, if you snooze you loose, and there’s no time to waste when it comes to eating cookies because they might all be gone! In an act of self defense, my mom has established this rule over the years: we may only eat the cookies when we’re all together, and when we decide to open the lids on all the cookie cans and have a sort of informally agreed upon collective “cookie time”. It’s an informal contract we have with each other to ensure the cookies don’t disappear too quickly, for there is a seriously steep diminishing utility curve to cookie consumption, so eating them too quickly is in no one’s interest! Inevitably, over the coming days we catch each other sneaking into the kitchen to steal an extra cookie or two (or three). And so it goes every Christmas: the big family bake-off and the race to maximise your individual consumption of the wonderful family Christmas cookies!

Almond crescent cookies sit on a white plate next to a blue-flowered mug. They are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are shaped like crescents.
Almond crescent cookies sit on a white plate next to a blue-flowered mug. They are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are shaped like crescents.