Food for Thought: Our Team and their Holiday Traditions

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

It may sound cliché when we say “at Bellisari’s we’re like a family!” Nevertheless, I find myself feeling that way about the people I work with. I mean, not only are they the heart and soul of our business, but working with great folks like the ones I work with day in and day out gives one that family feeling of being able to count on each other – whether it’s a problem that needs solving or thinking of ways to make our products even better, I know my “brothers and sisters'' at Bellisari’s will be there to support me. Of course, I get the pleasure of interacting with these amazing coworkers on a daily basis, but you don’t, so I thought it might be nice to take you behind the scenes for a glimpse at these phenomenal people that make Bellisari’s what it is today. So I asked some of our team to tell me about how they spend their holidays when they’re not at work, and these are the sweet stories and traditions I learned about. Maybe you do some of the same traditions in your families.

Danielle, an intern with the company says – Every Christmas Eve, she and her mom make homemade hot chocolate, and then they watch the movie A Christmas Carol with the whole family. It’s always such a warm, cozy time that they all look forward to not only with the nostalgia of years gone by, but also as they go on adding new laughs and stories each year.

Our demonstration specialist, Karie, relates that Christmas is such a special time of the year and always has meant so much to her and her family! As her 3 kids are all grown up, getting married, and starting their own holiday traditions, she’s learning to be flexible with how each year may look. Karie is thankful that the one tradition she’s gotten to carry on with her children is one that she also did as a child, and that is celebrating Jesus’ birthday on Christmas Eve. They go to the candlelight service at their church, and then they all go back to the house for a Happy Birthday Jesus party! Food, games , birthday cake, noise makers, and singing Happy Birthday are all part of the festivities, and they do all of this remembering why we celebrate Christmas.  

Our intern Miranda tells me that her family arrives from all over the U.S. to join her family for the holidays. Her Grandpa always shows up first with a giant container of homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast (YUM!). After breakfast, they watch holiday movies and drink wine until dinner is ready. Then they play games into the night.

Eric in marketing says the traditions in his family are simple. On Christmas Eve his wife, himself, and the 3 kids exchange Christmas PJ's, order out chinese food, eat popcorn and cookies, and watch a group-agreed-upon Christmas movie – with some wine of course! Christmas eve is low key family time, but on Christmas Day they up the ante a bit and dress up and have a holiday feast with extended family. The foods usually include a beef tenderloin, ham, and every imaginable side dish out there! 

Jacquie, one of our social media consultants, continues her old family traditions from when she was a child of having the main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve. She says she likes to have some kind of good beef like prime rib or good steaks; although the sides often change from year to year. After dinner, friends arrive for dessert (usually chocolate fondue!) and games. On Christmas Day they open presents in the morning, but her husband’s family comes later on Christmas Day for dinner and more gifts. Christmas Day food usually includes ham, potato salad, and baked beans.

For Michelle, our Director of Customer Relations and one of my business partners, the holidays in her family are their favorite time of the year. She remembers not having a lot of material things when she was growing up, but what they lacked in the physical, they made up for with feelings of hope and joy. Michelle says her mom was the best at figuring out how to make things fun and exciting for the kids, so they didn't care if they only got a few gifts or if people gave them “hand-me-downs.” Instead of focusing on gifts and things, she says her family’s holiday celebration has always been more about family and being with one another. Taking a walk or drive to see Christmas lights is an activity they often try to work in. One of the traditions that they keep to this day is Christmas Eve night, after Christmas Eve Service, they don't cook a meal. They have what people nowadays would call a charcuterie – smoked salmon, cheese ball, crackers, popcorn, and other hors d'oeuvre-type foods. They’d drink hot chocolate, or tea. Michelle’s dad would put in A Muppets Christmas Carol, and they would all settle down and watch it. While the movie was playing, each child got to open 1 small gift to hold them over until Christmas Day. These days, baking cookies with the little ones has been added to the must-do list. That's Auntie Michelle’s job.

Theresa, our Director of Operations and my other business partner, celebrates Christmas with her husband’s side of the family, so they spend the day traveling to three different houses, but there is a regularly scheduled nap at 3 o’clock before the last stop. That sounds like smart planning to me. I know I could always use a nap by that time on Christmas Day!

I love our family traditions during Christmas. On Christmas Eve Eve (the night before Christmas Eve) my siblings and their families have a White Elephant and kids gift exchange. Of course we have an exorbitant amount of food that night, and Christmas is no different! 😁

Christmas Eve is at my house and we do Italian wedding soup and an antipasto platter with Italian breads. Of course you’ll find some Bellisari’s gourmet spreads and sauces as a part of the food too. Christmas Eve at my place is always an open house for friends and family to come over, and we love spending that special time together.

How ever you are spending your holiday, we at Bellisari’s are wishing you peace and joy during this season – and throughout the year. Merry Christmas from all of us at Bellisari’s!

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