10 Holiday Traditions of Vegatopians

By Vega on December 18, 2014 , categorized in Active Living, Inspiration, Plant-based Nutrition

The blend of family traditions, culture-rich dishes, and religious practices makes the holidays a great time to appreciate our diversity. We asked 10 Vegatopians what activities, foods and people make their holidays special:

Christmas is something you eat

holiday traditions

Strategic Account Manager Disa’s family brings their Icelandic traditions to Minnesota. “When I was a kid they asked everyone at school what their holiday traditions were. I quickly responded ‘At my house Christmas is something that you eat.’ Everything revolves around the food. We generally only prepare these foods one time a year it’s a very special treat to have them. My mother is Icelandic, so we enjoy a feast of traditional Icelandic delicacies including Vínarterta (time-consuming cardamom layer cake with prunes), Kleinur (little twisted cardamom donut, but crunchy, and deep fried), Pönnukökur, which are thin crepe-like pancakes, sprinkled with sugar) and Skyr (plain yogurt made from scratch).

Giving thanks and giving back

holiday traditions

Senior Executive Assistant Reese gives back in many ways during the holiday season—from inviting anyone without a family close by to holiday dinners to spreading joy and love to those in need. “Through church organizations, we provide a hamper of house, clothing and food items for a needy family. They give you the details of the age of the kids, and what they like. My family has done this for years and this year we’re doing it with every team at Vega. We’ll be donating hampers of items to teen moms and their families (toys, gifts and a holiday meal) as well as helping the Salvation Army to sort toys for their annual toy drive.”

Food brings all people together

Experiential Marketing Manager Danielle joins her family in Nova Scotia for the holidays. “Our neighbors have a breakfast potluck the Sunday before Christmas each year – all the families in the hood go for mimosas, pancakes, smoothies, and watch kids run around hyped up on sugar. Everyone gathers whenever they can, and brings a dish to share. I’m always in charge of the smoothie station and bring Vega One. I love it because it’s a mix of people, religions and cultures. It’s all about family and food and being together.”

Holiday dishes—with a booze buzz

Account Manager Monica knows how to celebrate the holidays with family in style. “My family drinks champagne, wears Santa hats, listens to Christmas CDs while opening gifts. Then with a nice champagne buzz we all descend on the kitchen to cook our mostly vegan feast (still listening to our favorite tunes)! My favorite dish is roasted acorn squash, cut in half and hollowed out, stuffed with cranberry sauce. The cranberry sauce is made with Grand Marnier and it makes a gorgeous dish. For an entrée we do a Moroccan clay pot dish—with root vegetables and chickpeas. Of course, vegan mashed potatoes are always a staple. For dessert we flambé a bourbon pecan pie and indulge in a gluten-free vegan walnut tart.”

holiday traditions

A whole family affair (pets included)

Director of Quality Assurance Carol includes the four-legged children in holiday celebrations. “We pull the spare bedroom mattress and throw it on the floor in the living room so the entire pet-family can lie in bed all Christmas Eve in front of the TV and watch movies. My mom comes down to give them treats, and spoils them. Then we all pack into the car (dogs included) and go to my husband’s parents’ house, in the country for their Christmas celebration.”

Tradition, without getting fried

Regional Sales Manager Arianne Schnurman celebrates Hanukkah with her 16-year old triplets. “For eight nights, we light candles and the kids get a gift. Sometimes it’s hard with high school sports and work, but you do what you can to all be together. Then on the weekend, I’m hosting a family get-together, with my family to exchange gifts and light the menorah. Our meal is pretty traditional, but instead of frying the latkes, I make them with sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, and bake them instead of frying them.”

A holiday fitness challenge

holiday traditions

Living in LA, Account Manager Brandon is blessed with mild southern California weather, and is more likely to be found outside grilling asparagus and riding bikes than inside baking and indulging during the holidays. This will be his fourth year challenging himself on his bike before 2015 arrives. “My tradition is the Festive 500. It’s a challenge presented on Strava with Rapha (cycling clothing line). Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve you bike 500 Km (311 miles). in 8 days. Instead of watching movies and napping on Christmas Day, I bike 80-100 miles and then, go to my parents’ house and eat all the food. I’m the only person I know losing weight during the holidays.”

You can’t mess with tradition

holiday traditions

When a food tradition stands the test of time, you know it’s good. Experiential Marketing Specialist Kelsey says, “My Mom, Dad, sister and I have a full day of baking mid-December. We bake German cookie recipes that were handwritten by my Oma. They’ve survived the test of time and they work out perfect every time. Make 6 dozen of three different kinds—but my favorite is always the almond-meal based Vanilla Kipful.”

Digital Engagement Coordinator Jamieson’s family has a scandalous holiday tradition: “My Auntie buys me and my sister pajamas every year, which we always open on Christmas Eve and wear while sipping hot cocoa and watching Christmas classics. However, as the years have passed and my sister and I got older, my Auntie started buying us nighties a bit less Macy’s and a lot more Victoria’s Secret. But you don’t mess with tradition, so we continue to wear them each year (usually under house coats). There is also a tradition of embarrassing the children in our family, but I’m assured these two things are unrelated.”

108 sun salutations on the winter solstice

Rocky Mountain Account Manager Rachael Scala celebrates the winter solstice with movement. “For the last few years, I have done 108 sun salutations every winter (and summer) solstice. The significance of 108 has a lot of different meanings in different cultures and traditions. There are 108 prayer beads on Hindu prayer beads. 9 (1+0+8) represents infinity. It has a ton of different meanings. For me, this is a practice to examine inner and outer darkness and light. It’s on the shortest day of the year looking into brighter days. A good friend of mine and yoga instructor writes meditations to be read and contemplated during the practice. Simple blessings to bring you into the present moment, honor the earth, and acknowledge people you’ve loved, and people you’ve hurt.”

What are your holiday traditions? 

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holiday traditions Holidays vegatopia vegatopians

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