No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, or if you don’t celebrate any, the end of 2016 came upon us quick this year. What a whirlwind of a year 2016 was – from electing a new US president as a nation, to Netflix stepping up its game with Stranger Things, plus playing on our nostalgia with the revive of Fuller House and Gilmore Girls, to the break-up of Brangelina, David Ortiz retiring, and finally to integrating two amazing PR agencies into one, the new PAN Communications. Might need to take a breather – 2016 was quite a year.
Here at PAN, we take this time to reflect. But more importantly, we take this time to be competitive with each other about trivial things such as our holiday favorites. First, check out what each PAN staffer had to say about the favorite holiday toy they received as a child. This one will be sure to get your nostalgia kicked in – from 90s video game consoles to the obligatory American Girl dolls, our team has received some pretty cool gifts. Not to spoil anything, but yes – one PAN staffer even received a pony. This is not a joke, she assured me she was not pulling my leg. Read on to find out who it is.
After that, check out how PAN votes for its top holiday movies, songs and dishes. Are we an Elf agency – or all about that Love Actually? Do we prefer ice skating, or lighting the menorah as our favorite holiday pastime?
PAN’s Favorite Childhood Gifts
“Sega Genesis was the best gift I ever received!” – Adam Novak, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston
“Our first family computer! Best ever! Came complete with the Encyclopedia Encarta CD Rom.” – Emily Holt, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston
“I’d probably have to go with the Game Boy that I got when I was 6 or 7, which came with Tetris and Super Mario Land 2!” – John Philip Vernon, Business Development, San Francisco
“Neon green sled!” – Kyle Tilsdley, Account Supervisor, Boston
“Easy, my silver Razr flip phone that my parents surprised me with in my stocking in 7th grade.” – Gabby Alleyne, Account Executive, Boston
“I got this doll and her name was Cricket (she was popular in the 80s…). You put a tape in her back and she would talk and sing. I took her everywhere and I’m pretty sure it drove my parents nuts.” – Kelli Fletcher, Account Supervisor, Boston
“A Razor scooter!” – Cybill Cempron, Account Executive, Orlando
“My junior year of college, I got tickets to the Syracuse-Georgetown game and got to go with my Dad. After that trip, I 100% knew I wanted to go there [Syracuse].” – Chris Delisi, Account Executive, Boston
“This LEGO desert explorer set had me pretty jazzed as a kid. LEGOs for life.” – Michael Wood, Account Executive, Boston
“Favorite childhood present would be the Barbie dreamhouse mansion.” – Rebecca Haynes, Digital Marketing Specialist, San Francisco
“My Easy-Bake Oven.” – Alyssa Tyson, Digital Marketing Manager, Boston
“Casio SK1 keyboard.” – Jen Bonney, Creative Director, Boston
“Favorite gift was a fully built play structure in the back yard. We didn’t even realize until mid-way through the present unwrapping that it was there. Later, I found out that my parents spent all night with a bottle of scotch building it while we slept. It was magical.” – Elizabeth Somerville, Account Supervisor, San Francisco
“American Girl Doll for sure.” – Kristen Hyle, PR Intern, Boston
“Hands down my '85 4x4 "Big Foot" Power Wheels. Rode that thing waaaaaaay past an acceptable age!” – Matthew Briggs, Director, Boston
“A pony. Not kidding.” – Kristina Richman, Account Supervisor, San Francisco
“My favorite gift was my first ever Cabbage Patch kid – Gretel.” – Lisa Astor, Senior Vice President, Boston
“Favorite childhood toy was a corvette that my Uncle Gene gave me. Always remember that one. I was 5.” – Gene Carozza, Senior Vice President, Boston
“Tamagotchi” – Sasha Dookhoo, Senior Account Executive, Orlando
“Hands down my favorite gift as a child was that Barbie doll that was life sized (My Size Barbie or something like that) that you could wheel around and dance with, etc.” – Meaghan McGrath, Account Executive, Boston
“Easy – the Super hero action figures when I was 9 years old. Will never forget it – Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Aquaman, Captain America. The best. A very, and I mean very, close second – all the Evel Knievel action figures.” – Mark Nardone, Executive Vice President, Boston
“So for the bonus question… I haven’t actually received it YET. But hands down a pony. I want a Christmas pony and I won’t stop asking until it happens… maybe 24 is my year.” – Sydney Holmquist, Account Executive, Orlando
“My favorite holiday gift was my She-Ra dolls, castle and characters!” – Rhiannon Young, Boston
“Besides the American Girl Doll (I had Samantha), I think getting my first BoomBox when I was eight was pretty cool. There were a couple years where my parents were really into scavenger hunts on Christmas morning which was fun when getting bikes or the trampoline.” – Harper Schmidt, Account Executive, Boston
“Growing up, my parents always used to do 7 small gifts and end Hannukah with a large gift on the last night. When I was 7, the large gift was a trip to Disney World. Best gift I ever got as a child.” – Lauren Winer, Account Executive, San Francisco
“Easy bake oven.” – Emily Featherston, Senior Account Executive, Boston
“My favorite gift to receive as a kid was Legos!” – Meghan Rimol, Assistant Account Executive, Boston
“I am not kidding about this, a white board set with markers. I was a LOSER.” – Gaby Berkman, Senior Account Executive, Boston
“Best present – trip to Disney World!” – Michele Frost, Vice President PAN Digital, Boston
“Best holiday gift EVER, Spirograph!!” – Maggy Luy, Senior Graphic Designer, Boston
And now, for the winners of the 2016 PAN Holiday Survey….
Favorite Holiday Movie: Love Actually, 31%
Love actually is all around.
Favorite Holiday Beverage: Hot Chocolate, 48%
Hot cocoa wins by a long shot. Dare we ask if you make it with milk or water? Shaken or stirred?
Favorite contemporary holiday music: All I Want for Christmas Is You, 42%
No Bieber Fever here at PAN.
Favorite traditional holiday song: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, 35%
Favorite holiday dish: Mashed potatoes, 35%
This surprises no one.
Favorite holiday dessert: Christmas cookies, 79%
In a landslide victory, Christmas cookies take home the gold. But what if there was not milk to go with it? Also, what even is figgy pudding?
When do PAN staffers open presents? Christmas morning/day, 86%
Favorite part of the holidays: Being with friends and family, 66%
Aww, shucks – we’re all a bunch of softies. Also, not one Scrooge among the group – not bad.
Favorite holiday cartoon movie: Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, 29%
Real nail-biter here, but even the Peanuts movie can’t scrape up enough love for Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree this year.
Favorite holiday activity: Decorating the tree, 41%