I love Christmas, and I mean, I REALLY LOVE Christmas. If I could, I would skip Halloween altogether and celebrate Christmas for three months straight. Wait, I’m an adult now, so I could if I wanted to — but let me not digress. One of the many things I love about Christmas is undoubtedly the way it brings people together. Friends, family (by birth or chosen), and even co-workers get together and make this joyous holiday even more festive; whether it be through Secret Santa, a casual dinner, or a full-blown feast.

Read on to find out how team Zafigo celebrates Christmas and what makes it unique to each of us!

A time for rest – Fiona Thong, Sales & Marketing Lead

I remember fondly when my family and I used to celebrate Christmas; it was one of my favourite festive seasons for sure! We would have the Christmas tree and lights up, presents underneath it, and Christmasy food like turkey with stuffing are not to be missed. But after my siblings moved and migrated, it was just my parents and I, so we stopped celebrating. Now I just enjoy the day off and sleep in!

A bibulous festive season – Maggie De souza, Brand Experience Executive

Christmas for us lasts about a week and is filled with lots of family time, food, and alcohol. On the eve, we usually kick things off quietly. My mum, sister, and I make it a point to spend the evening together, each contributing at least two home-cooked dishes for a dinner we always prepare too much for a group of three.

Christmas day right up til the New Year is a blur of house visits, parties, and feasts, the highlight being the 25th night when everyone gathers at an aunt’s for a lively celebration with lots of singing and dancing involved. We wrap up the festive week with a boozy brunch on new year’s day (back at the same aunt’s place) to try and finish up all the leftover alcohol from the previous parties.

Hot chocolate and Christmas movies – Emma Mallaburn, Sub-Editor

Christmas is a BIG deal in our household, and ever since my husband and I started our own little family, so did the traditions that will hopefully carry down to our children’s children (should they want any). Our Christmas tree goes up on the first weekend of November (no, we are not Pinoy) and shopping for gifts begins as early as the last week of November. The week before Christmas, we often cuddle up together in front of the TV for a Christmas movie marathon with plenty of hot chocolate and (unhealthy) snacks. The air-cond is on full blast to give that freezing effect.

Christmas Day itself is jam-packed with opening gifts, taking (unwilling) family photos, and of course, lots and lots of feasting. Board games are thrown into the equation for maximum family fun — at our own home and at the in-laws’.

Another way of celebrating this joyous season? We eat turkey leftovers, which last for about a week too. But mostly, how I celebrate Christmas is by switching off and being present with my family because it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Celebrating the birth of Christ – Xin Xin Lee, Head of Design

For our family, Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Christ at church and also getting together for quality time with our family and friends, preparing fancy scrumptious dinners, exchanging gifts, sharing meals, and (having) lots of laughter. We also go around to see beautifully decorated malls and let our kids choose their presents.

A good night with family – Tengku Zai, Editor

Since I was a young girl, my family have celebrated Noche Buena (the good night) on Christmas Eve. It’s a Christmas tradition from the Philippines that my mum’s family have always celebrated too. Usually, a different family member will take turns to host this night of feasting, gift-giving, and song. But for the past four Christmases, Noche Buena has been held in my home, marking a new tradition.

This year will be no different, and on the menu, we’ve got our usual holiday trifle, embotido (chicken meatloaf), caldaretta (beef stew) with stollen bread, a yule log or gingerbread house, and possibly some puto bumbong (yam-infused rice cake with coconut and sugar) along with heaps of other food. This fantastic spread makes for the best leftovers, which we usually have for Christmas breakfast at an aunt’s house and wrap up the celebrations with a MASSIVE party at another aunt’s home on Christmas night.

The bauble struggle – River Huei, Junior Content Creator

Christmas isn’t a big tradition for me, though I do enjoy watching all the joy that unfolds in this season of festivity. My typical routine entails spending dinner with loved ones, and decorations at home are usually kept to a minimum.

I only have an empty mini Christmas tree at the moment, because I made the mistake of buying glass baubles, and my cats would not stop playing with them. Yes, they already broke a few! Cat pawrents will definitely understand the struggle of having a Christmas tree up in the house!

A summer kind of Christmas – Annabelle Christie, Intern

In Australia, on Christmas Day, my brother and I still wake up to presents from Santa, and sometimes there’s even a present for Stitch, the dog! We eat way too many festive foods throughout the day, like a vegan roast, the Aussie Pavlova, and enjoy a few beers by the pool. In the evening, we crank up the air-conditioning because it’s usually scorching hot outside and watch Christmas movies.

Channelling The Grinch – Aaliya Mokhtar, Brand Experience Manager

As someone who doesn’t regularly celebrate Christmas, I use this time to travel. Any excuse for a short break is also an excuse to travel somewhere. This time last year, I was privileged enough to head over to London. My friends call me ‘The Grinch’ because I’m always grumpy, and they were always telling me that as much as I’m grumpy, I would really enjoy and be mesmerised by the Christmas celebrations in London.

I wasn’t convinced at all until I saw it with my own eyes. Honestly, my grumpy little insides felt warm and fuzzy. It was really beautiful how everyone was getting together, sharing and giving. From then on, I started to appreciate the festivities more. I’ve made it a point to travel every Christmas, and whoever I travel with, we share and give to each other.