Many describe this time of year as the “most wonderful,” and with good reason. It’s a time when holiday traditions abound, and friends and family come together in jubilation, putting aside their differences to celebrate in their own unique ways. Our Televerde employees aren’t any different, not even those who have to celebrate the season from behind prison walls. For our global team, there’s always a reason to smile, to gather and to give thanks.
Here are a few of our most favorite traditions shared by employees.
Each year is a little different for our U.K. family. Our team gathers together in our Glasgow campus with a spread of delicious food and treats, a daily countdown to Santa’s arrival, and fun games–all of which bring laughter and warm memories that last a lifetime. Our employees also raise donations in support of the U.K. non-profit CLIC Sargent, which provides financial support, housing and other emotional resources for young people battling cancer and their families.
During the first week of December, our Córdoba team members launch “El Amigo Invisible,” (The Invisible Friend), which is just like the Western Christmas Tradition. For almost a full month, employees watch beautifully-wrapped gifts pile up under the tree, yet they must wait with anticipation until the day before the company holiday break (this year that’s on Friday, Dec. 21) to open their gifts. It’s an excitement that connects many back to their childhoods, waiting for Santa to come! The office tree is decorated with greeting cards and they enjoy an annual lunch to congratulate each other on the year’s successes.
Rockville facility, Indiana
The ladies in Rockville break limits using their creativity and generosity to celebrate:
“I came home from work to find Christmas pictures all over our cell that my bunkmate had drawn and colored. Hanging from the ceiling, she taped up ornaments, stockings and candy canes. She even used magazines to craft a Christmas tree, complete with presents underneath. It made my first holiday season in prison so memorable and special.” – Samantha
“First thing in the morning, I like to discreetly leave a small gift or Christmas card for those near and dear to me. Then I begin cooking a holiday feast for around 10 people; many of the ladies live off state pay and don’t have the same food options. Once everyone is fed, I make my phone calls to my children so I can hear them open the gifts I sent.” – Teri
The call center adorns a decorated tree and stockings to add some cheer. Management will bring in homemade dishes to share with the ladies for their party. They watch movies, play games and share a few more moments of smiles and laughter together before the long holiday break.
Perryville facility, Arizona
The women at our Perryville location make the holiday season special for each other and for their families.
“I miss my little ones dearly but my friends here at Perryville have become family to me, so I’ll be spending Christmas with them. We’re planning a Secret Santa and will cook a special meal together. I will also watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which has been a Christmas tradition since I was a little girl. It’s a beautiful message that reminds me how much I have to be thankful for despite my circumstances.” – Erica
“I spend a few months working around the clock making homemade crafts and presents for my daughters. I made a dabbing unicorn piggy bank for my 8-year-old and a blue jay for my 9-year-old. I’ve been writing a book of fairy tales about my daughters who are glitter princess fairies and have epic adventures. So they are eagerly waiting for the book to be completed in time for Christmas.” – Jada
Together the ladies show their true colors by giving back to those less fortunate within the communities. Each call center at Perryville is decorated from top to bottom with a handmade fireplace and chimney props, Christmas trees, and holiday décor. The teams participate in gift exchanges and games to finish the year with some new favorite memories.
For employees at our Phoenix headquarters, they’ll gather together for an afternoon brunch, which will be decorated with handcrafted poinsettia centerpieces, specially made by our talented ladies at Perryville.
What we’ve learned at Televerde is you don’t need the perfect tree or the perfect setting to celebrate the holidays. If you have love in your heart and the gifts of family and friends who become your family, the holidays are felt deeply and experienced beautifully. We think Bob Hope described the holiday best, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.”
From all of us to all of you, Merry Everything and the sweetest wishes for the most joyful New Year ever!