It’s the Most [Insert Your Word] Time of the Year December. It’s that time of year where we hope to slow down at work so we can spend more time with friends and families. And to go crazy whilst shopping online or in the stores up to the very last minute. Aside from all of the holiday chaos that comes with this time of year are the typical (and not-so-typical) traditions: from the serious to the sentimental, silly to the “they do what?!?” The end of the year is full of meaningful moments that are worth sharing. Below is a small sample of traditions that our humans at Bitwise are looking forward to as the year comes to a close. Some are short and sweet, others are a bit more robust. Each one comes from a heart and holds a place that is near and dear to that person. Read on to see if anything connects with you. I’ll start with a tradition from my life. Enjoy. The Christmas Moose I’ll kick things off with a personal one close to home. I’m a California kid who grew up on the other side of the tracks. Not the wrong side, just the other side. My parents didn’t have any money when we were little. My brother and I were young enough to not understand what “going without” meant. We had a small home on the south side of Fresno, food on the table, and the love and support of our parents. I remember the stories of having a few Star Wars action figures (wish I still had those), our black Lab named Sasha, and the memory of joy in our house. But we didn’t have much. And that was okay. During the early years of our young family, my parents made Christmas ornaments out of construction paper–something they did together since getting married. I’ve seen pictures of two, chubby-cheek siblings hurriedly placing hand-cut ornaments on good ol’ tannenbaum. As the years went by, those paper trinkets fell away for nicer things as mom and dad continued to find a firmer financial foundation. Save one ornament: the Christmas Moose. Somehow, this construction-paper creation survived all of those years being picked and plucked out of a storage box on an annual basis and became a thing of legend at our house. So much so that we created a tradition where the Moose is the first ornament put on the tree each year. As we got older and added more faces to the family, we would discuss whose turn it would be to put the Moose on the tree to start our decorating party. It was seen as a big deal by girlfriends and visiting friends who were asked to handle the honors. We have decades of pictures that include fiancées, close friends, grandkids, and great grandparents who we acknowledged as important enough in our lives to handle this “honor.” It might seem like the silliest of silly traditions, and maybe you’re right, but to me and my family, it’s a reminder of our humble beginnings. It signifies what can be accomplished together through hard work and perseverance over time. It says “hello, you matter” to the new person and allows us a moment to reminisce those who are not with us anymore. Honestly, the Moose reminds me a lot of Bitwise Industries. Two people came together eight years ago with the idea of building something great. Something that could make a difference for the world. They invited a lot of important people to join them along the way, and the Bitwise family has been making meaningful memories ever since. (Trust me, the pictures prove it.) Special Traditions From Our Humans “Hands down, the best part about Christmas is watching the wonder of the season through my kid’s eyes. Everything is magical and special to her! And this year she and I have been scheming on gifts for others, and I’ve loved watching her learn the joy of giving.” Thilani Grubel (She/Her/Hers) / VP Bitwise Fresno / City Expansion “I absolutely love seeing the Christmas lights all over town with my kiddos. We make hot cocoa and walk around our neighborhood each night, or bundle up in the car and slowly drive with the windows down and the cool air on our faces. Seeing the lights and excitement through their eyes makes me feel like a kid again; when the world was only filled with magic.” Ali Thurner (She/Her/Hers) / Marketing Manager / MarComm “Making tamales with my grandma.” Amanda Valdez (She/Her/Hers) / Social Media Manager / MarComm “My kids waking me up on Christmas morning wanting to see if Santa came, gathering with family, and watching the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story.” Jessica Daniels (She/Her/Hers) / QA Apprentice / Tech Consulting “Spending time with family and building gifts.” Francisco Ontiveros (He/Him/His) / WordPress Apprentice / Tech Consulting “Giving and getting together.” Kalkidan Tadesse (She/Her/Hers) / Inside Sales Apprentice / Revenue “Getting my loved ones the PERFECT gift and our BITWISE celebrations, of course!” Danita Ramos (She/Her/Hers) / VP of Workforce Training “Playing bingo or lotería with the family!” Rocky Garcia (She/Her/Hers) / Curriculum Architect / Workforce Training “I enjoy the whole spirit of Christmas. It feels like people in general are a lot kinder and gentler with each other. I love the lights and how people decorate their homes. I enjoy spending time with family and friends.” Jenn Guerra (She/Her/Hers) / Inside Sales Apprentice / MarComm “My family usually spends the holidays making tamales from scratch and then eating them. (And repeating this process over and over.)” David A. Ramirez (He/Him/His) / Designer / MarComm “My favorite part about Christmas is pushing goofy traditions on my two siblings. For more than two decades, I’ve made them decorate gingerbread houses with me. They absolutely hate it (and I didn’t find this out until literally this year), but they did it because they knew how much it made me happy. I will usually buy assembled gingerbread houses and buy $100 worth of candy and frosting—and these houses get elaborate. (Think Animal Crossing, but with candy.) Now that I have nieces and nephews, I’ll force my goofy tradition on them to spare my two siblings (who are grown-a$$ adults).” Celeste A. Barron (She/Her/Hers) / Content Development Manager / MarComm “As a teenager, it was hard for me to see my siblings because I left my house so I could go to school. When I got my first apartment, I finally had them over for a holiday. I wanted to go all out for them. So I bought a piñata because what’s a celebration without a piñata? Unfortunately, I didn’t have anywhere to hang a piñata, so I let them ‘stomp it out’. They loved it—and still do! So we’ve been doing it for a few years in a row for Thanksgiving and Christmas! This year, the kids are going to help me make the piñata because I got my first house, and we can do a big one now!” Destiny Cedano (She/Her/Hers) / QA Lead / Tech Consulting “Growing up, I would make Christmas treats with my meemaw every year. She was a teacher, so we had the same winter break schedule. When I was really little, she would pick me up on our “last day of school” for the year, we would go to a movie and then bake Christmas goodies the following day. Once I got older, my younger cousins and sisters started to join in on the fun! We did this every year for over 20 years. Now that I live out of state, I make some of her special holiday goodies and even FaceTime with the rest of the fam while they continue the tradition!” Bailee Rauenhorst (She/Her/Hers) / Traffic Coordinator / MarComm What Traditions Are You Excited About This Year? The unique thing about traditions is the diversity found in each one. Regardless of where you are in life, there’s always an opportunity to connect with others to share a special moment; a piece of joy to carry with you into the future. We hope you are able to spend some time with the people that matter the most to you. From all of us at Bitwise Industries, we appreciate every interaction we had with people this year–big and small–and look forward to the memories to come. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Happy holidays. Our Humans and Our Corporate Culture Want to hear more about Bitwise Industries? Whether you have a question about our corporate culture or want to optimize your business with technology, schedule a chat with us using this link. We’d be happy to help you out! This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he’s wondering if Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Discuss amongst yourselves.