Capsule 15: Traditions

Throughout the holidays, we often stumble upon new traditions that open our eyes to new cultures, new beliefs and provide us with an appreciation for our own customs. Capsule has many traditions that each Capsulite has grown to appreciate; from birthday celebrations in the office to summer outings to holiday parties, Capsule makes a point to engage in activities that fosters and promotes engagement and comradery as an office.  

For our final #Capsule15 blog series of 2014, we will focus on Capsule traditions. We invite you to share your own favorite holiday traditions as we share with you the aspects of the holiday season that we each look forward to every year, individually and as a whole.  s

Day Fifteen: Capsule Holiday Outings 

At the end of every year, Capsule likes to do something festive as a collective group. Step back a few years, and you'll find the Capsule crew and their families gathered at the office sipping on egg nog and visiting with Santa Claus. The past couple of years, Capsule has indulged in a special dinner out and a fun activity to celebrate the end of another great year as an office. We went from one end of the spectrum to the other between 2013 and 2014; we went to see "A Christmas Carol" at the Guthrie last year and this year we all went curling at the Frogtown Curling Club in St. Paul. 


Day Fourteen: Kayla's Elaborate Christmas Cards

"A special tradition for me growing up was creating our family’s Christmas card. My Mother is very artistic, so she would create elaborate holiday scenes. My brother and me have been dressed up as Santa, elves, snowmen, carolers and more. Our friends and family would look forward to our card every year, and now we love looking back through all the photos."

Day Thirteen: Courtney's Cinnamon Rolls 

"Every Christmas morning since I can remember we've had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Nothing says "it's Christmas" to me more than a hot, sticky bun paired with a hot cup of coffee while opening gifts. The past few years, we've preordered cinnamon rolls from Isles Bun and Bakery in Uptown, we order the dough frozen so we can cook them fresh in the morning. These have got to be the best cinnamon rolls in town!"


Day Twelve: Greg's Celebration and Reflection

"For my family Christmas tradition, it is as simple as it gets. My family enjoys attending a wonderful Christmas Eve service together, and spending time with our extended families. It is a time to celebrate and reflect. And hopefully it snows soon, so we can get out and go cross country skiing.

On Christmas Day, we get up and find a few small, but meaningful presents under the tree. Every year, Santa is able to find us, even though my 12 year old twin boys know who he really is.

Merry Christmas!"

Day Eleven: Aaron's "Griswold-esque" Family Tree

"Our household has a long standing debate which now has been passed onto our kids. The design of a proper Christmas tree, in my view, should be decorated with restrain. Just because we have hundreds of ornaments of both sentimental and aesthetic value, we need not weight the tree with them all. This respect for restraint is not something my wife values. Her driving force is the sentimental value of each ornament, no matter how many nor the aesthetic value of each oddly shaped and decorated ornament.

So, the result is a tree with very little green needles showing through the Griswold style tree. Each year we discuss it and each year the tree ends up in a place only Clark Griswold could appreciate fully. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow of the Holiday tradition."

Day Ten: Kitty's Christmas Pajamas 

"Many years ago we started the tradition of Christmas Pajamas.  We draw names and purchase new pajamas for each other that we exchange the evening of Christmas Eve.  Waking up on Christmas morning for gift opening in our new jammies is the best."


Day Nine: Dan’s Mr. Fezziwig Experience

"Every year we host a small group of family and friends for an adults only fondue dinner. We get loaded on wine, wine, wine, cocktails, and also some food. It is a truly joyous occasion, not unlike something Mr. Fezziwig would arrange. On many occasions, it has been known to end with a cult-like sing-a-long to South Park’s "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics.”

Day Eight: Petra's Perogies 

"When we are together for the holidays, my Mom, sister and I make perogies. It’s a simple dumpling filled with either potato and cheese or sauerkraut. It’s meaningful to me because it’s a cultural tradition from my Ukranian heritage and I get to spend 3-4 uninterrupted hours cooking and spending quality time with them."


Day Seven: Brian's Worldly Adventures

"Our holiday tradition is all about collecting memories. When we explore the world in our travels, my family collects ornaments that represent our unique experience of family, place and culture. In the years after, we are reminded of the moments we shared as we hang the memories on the tree at Christmas. It is then our hope to pass these ornaments and memories on to our kids when they have a family of their own."

Day Six: Barry's Special Treats for Santa 

"I like to leave beer/wine/whisky and cookies for Santa. We started this when I was little, my Dad liked Coors beer, which was not distributed nationally and hard to find. I guess my Mom was just looking out for my Dad, I mean Santa! For some time I thought that Santa liked beer; I didn’t know that the traditional beverage to leave him was milk. I now like to keep things boozy for Santa, he has a tough job.”

Day Five: Beth's Embarrasing Ornaments 

"My family has boxes of ornaments, some beautiful – some not so. Each year growing up my sister and I would have a contest to see who could place the other’s ugly ornaments more prominently on the tree. Unflattering grade school pictures encircled by fake miniature wreaths always made the cut, as well as handmade and grotesquely proportioned reindeer. We would pepper the tree with these little morsels of embarrassment, and they would stay there through the holiday season surrounded by jolly santas, elves and candy canes." 


Day Four: Emma's Christmas Watermelon "Bombe" 

"For dessert at Christmas Dinner my family has always made what we call the “Watermelon Ice Cream Bombe.” It is as it sounds, a watermelon-shaped ice cream cake. The outside is made of vanilla with green food coloring, and the inside is filled with raspberry sherbet with chocolate chips. It takes two days to prepare, shaping and freezing the ice-cream in a mold overnight. There is really nothing Chirstmasy about it, and yet the holiday wouldn’t be the same without it."


Day Three: Sarah's Hanging Wooden Tree

"Christmas is my favorite holiday because of the tradition that it holds. One of my favorite family traditions is hanging our wooden tree. My grandparents had one for years and have collected more than 200 ornaments from their travels and friends that sit on the wooden shelves. Once their children grew into their own houses, my grandfather built wooden trees for each of them – and their ornament collections have grown, too. This year, I set up my parent’s wooden tree as well as my grandparent’s and it’s fun to look at each ornament and remember the stories and travels behind it. Someday, I’ll inherit my grandparent’s wooden tree and I’m looking forward to continuing the tradition in my own home."



Day Two: Dave's Magnificent Christmas Tree

"We don’t have a large house and we don’t have a lot of unused space in it. Yet every year when we shop for a Christmas tree, we get the biggest tree we can fit into our living room. It’s always in the same location, between the couch and one of the front windows. We always top the tree with some kind of an angel or star, this year it’s a crystal star. It comes within a quarter inch of the ceiling. Perfect fit.

You should always fit as much Christmas into your life as possible!"

Day one: Capsule's Holiday Happy Hour 

Each month, our Think & Link networking group comes together to discuss hot topics and important issues. In December, we bring our group together for the year's final celebration. Always held on a cold December evening leading up to the holiday break, the group celebrates the past year's inspirational and educational experiences with friends new and old. It's a fun time reflect back on the recent speakers, to continue connecting and enjoy the festive spirit of the holidays. 

This year's event will be on Thursday, December 11th. We are looking forward to seeing all of our friends once more in 2014. 









About The Author

Courtney Johnson

Affectionately known around the office as C-John, CoJo or Uptown Girl, I make sure the whole world knows about the general greatness of Capsule. Armed with the Mary Tyler Moore theme song and Audrey Hepburn inspired wardrobe, I coordinate all details around building relationships and exploring new design opportunities. Sailing on Lake Calhoun and attending local concerts feed my daily musings. 


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