Get to Know Halo: Our Holiday Traditions

Get to Know Halo: Our Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Halo office is decorated with bright lights and tinsel, people are smiling, the sounds of holiday cheer can be heard everywhere you go, and family traditions are reawakening to form new memories.

Here are some of our favorite holiday traditions that make this season bright.

Baking

During the holidays, our family goes all out when it comes to cooking or baking. November and December are always full of family get togethers where we all bake our favorite, mouthwatering desserts and savory snacks. Nothing feels more homey than chilly weather, iced coffee, the Food Network on in the background, and the smell of freshly baked treats wafting from the kitchen! – Taylor B., Customer Service Representative

Watching horror films

I grew up watching slasher/horror films and dark comedies around Christmas time. I didn’t realize it was “different” until my boyfriend (now husband) asked me what my favorite Christmas movie was, and I said the name of a movie that was better suited for Halloween. Now I know it’s something unique to my family and it’s a tradition I carry on today. I know it’s weird, but I fully embrace it and it’s become one of my favorite holiday traditions. – Jessica W., Director of Communications & Media

Spending time with family

I grew up Jewish, but despite that, my family celebrates both Hanukah and Christmas.

During each night of Hanukah, my immediate family (my mom, dad, brother and myself) typically light a candle on the menorah and say prayers. At some point over the holiday, we like to consume Challah bread, Hanukah gelt (chocolate coins), Manischewitz wine, and latkes (“potato pancakes”; basically a large, flat tater tot) with sour cream or apple sauce (I know that sounds like a weird combination, but trust me when I say it is delicious). My extended family (on my dad’s side) like to throw a Hanukah party every year where we just eat lots of food, chat, and exchange gifts via a white elephant gift exchange. There is even someone there who dresses up as “Hanukah man” every year. He wears a tallit & kippah and he says, “Oy, Oy, Oy” as he passes out presents to the children.

Whichever weekend is closest to Christmas, my extended family (on my mom’s side) get together at my uncle’s house up in Pennsylvania. We get together to chat, listen to holiday music, eat a lot of food, and pass presents around. My uncle has a large Christmas tree (with Hanukah ornaments) that we all gather around to exchange presents. Typically, the youngest person opens their gift(s) first and then passes the gifts around from the youngest person, up to the oldest person. On Christmas itself my immediate family likes to order a boatload of Chinese food for dinner (since it is one of the few places open on Christmas). Also, we sometimes exchange gifts between ourselves during Christmas because it typically gives us more time to buy each other presents since Hanukah is usually a week or two before Christmas. – Shira L., Proofreader

Opening gifts on Christmas Eve

More years ago than I can remember, my mother started making baked ziti on Christmas Eve. We have no Italian ancestry, but we believe my mother got the ziti recipe from an Italian neighbor years ago in Brooklyn. Over time, myself, my family and our friends grew to treasure this annual tradition, which also included a variety of special once-a-year hors d’oeuvres and desserts. My sister-in-law now carries on the baked ziti tradition.

Around the same time this tradition began, we also started opening presents on Christmas Eve. With all the food and presents, Christmas Eve became the big day in our family, and Christmas Day has been anti-climactic for me ever since! But I have no complaints. – Patrick M., Senior Copywriter

Enjoying Coquito

Making Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut Egg Nog) and enjoying a parranda with family and friends. A parranda is basically late-night Christmas caroling with tons of Caribbean instruments (Guitar, Bongo, Guido, Maracas, Cow Bells, etc.). You get invited in, fed and given more Coquito! By the end of the night you should be getting around by Uber! – Erica G., Director of Sales: US Wholesale

Eating food all day

On Christmas day I usually abide by the following schedule:

• Extra dark hot chocolate with marshmallows at 10 am with Christmas carols.
• Popcorn, cheese pizza and Christmas movies till 7 pm.
• Giant tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie for dinner.
• Continue watching Christmas movies with a bottle of Malbec and extra butter popcorn. – Mrunmayi G., Email Marketing Specialist

Building a gingerbread village

Every Christmas Eve, my husband and I along with his family assemble a gingerbread village and decorate it with all sorts of candy. This serves as our centerpiece for Christmas dinner. – Christie E., Communications Specialist

Christmas lights

We didn’t have a fireplace when I was growing up, but we did have a TV that played a loop of a crackling fire. We used to turn it on while we decorated our tree with all the bulbs and lights – the bulbs with mine and my sister’s names were last, that way Santa knew where to put the toys. We also put up our manger display (I still remember that old musty wood smell, not unpleasant) and decorated it with lights. When it was time we turned off the TV and basked in the glow. – Bill G., Operations

Counting down to Christmas

After attending church, family and friends come over for our Christmas Eve party with my mom’s home-cooked food and my dad’s endless assortment of drinks to bring in Christmas. We have a countdown to midnight, and when the clock strikes midnight, we all wish each other a Merry Christmas with hugs and kisses. It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions because it’s the one time of the year where our entire family can come together (no matter the disagreements) and just have a good time. – Zenena M., Social Media Specialist

Celebrating New Year’s Eve

I enjoy the holidays very much. This is my favorite time of the year as December and January is packed with my favorite celebrations. My favorite holiday tradition is New Year’s Eve. I am from Georgia, a tiny beautiful country that celebrates Christmas on January 7. So, the first major holiday in December is the New Year, not Christmas.

The morning comes, and the house fills with the delicious smell of food cooking and desserts baking. Some of the traditional edible things we prepare are “Gozinaki” – fried walnuts with honey flattened and hardened to candy texture – and “Sacivi” – turkey (or chicken) under the walnut white sauce. Cheese and ham is everywhere. You can’t resist grabbing a piece when passing by. We are always jamming to Christmas and holiday music while doing all the preparations. We usually watch a Christmas movie until dinner is done promptly an hour before midnight. I know, it is late, and yes, everyone is crazy hungry, so you don’t hear much talking. Before midnight, the president of the country gives a televised speech while the city is exploding with fireworks.

Every household prepares an enormous amount of fireworks for this night. The sky over the whole city is colored with fireworks flying out from every single window and yard. This lasts for around 30 minutes – it is beautiful and mesmerizing. Presents are under the tree and the unwrapping happens after the fireworks. Around 1 am, we dress up and visit friends and relatives. We usually visit two to three houses and then go to the club. It is a tradition in my family and close friends, that after partying the whole night we usually watch the first sunrise of the new year together. – Eka K., Communications Manager

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Tell us in the comment section below.

The opinions and other information contained in these blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Nicopure Labs LLC, owner of the Halo and Halo Cigs marks.

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Christie Ebanks 56 posts

I like long romantic walks down every aisle at Target.

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