No matter where you live, the holidays are an exciting time of year. That’s definitely true for us at John Brown Media, across all of our offices in 15 countries around the world. We celebrate as teams of course (and we have our food editors to thank for making our holiday potlucks especially delicious), but we also support brands worldwide in ensuring that their customers have the best recipes, products, and ideas for celebrating the season with their loved ones.
Meanwhile, the team in Finland was trimming trees and putting golden touches on the holiday tablescape for Stockmann department store’s Stockmann magazine. Says Jenni Lieto, editorial director:
“It’s not Christmas without a sauna. For us Finns, the night before Christmas is the big day. On normal days, sauna happens in the evening to cleanse out the day, but at Christmas you have your sauna in the morning or midday so you can settle into the Christmas festivities with your body and mind cleansed. When we were small, we used to leave a plate of Christmas porridge and a glass of beer in the sauna afterward for the sauna elf to enjoy Christmas as well. Only later did I understand why some people had to ‘check whether everything’s ok at the sauna,’ several times during the evening.”
And over in the U.K., the bar carts were stocked by the chimney with care while John Lewis reindeer slippers were ready for those who came there. Andrew Hirsch, John Brown CEO, let us in on how he spends the holidays:
“On Christmas Eve, we do secret Santa shopping as a family. We’ve kept up this tradition wherever we are in the world, and this year we’ll be London. Always great fun.”
In South Africa, our colleagues were busy bringing holiday cheer to the readers of Fresh Living magazine. Content Director Justine Drake also let us know how she’ll be celebrating this year:
“It’s swelteringly hot here in South Africa at Christmas time, so for many of us, it’s a time when our European heritage collides with our South African roots and we end up with things like barbequed (we call it braaied) turkey with roast potatoes, gravy, and salad for our holiday meal. Of course Santa comes this way, too, only he’s less about cookies and milk and more about beer and biltong (jerky). So same-same, but different…”
Here in the U.S., we went all in with a holiday feast of a porcini-rubbed rib roast paired melting potatoes with plenty of garlic and herbs for Hannaford’s fresh magazine. Food Editor Esther Reynolds weighed in with her favorite ways to get festive:
“For me, late December always sounds like sizzling oil. That’s because as soon as the first night of Hanukkah arrives, you’ll find me, like many American Jews, in the kitchen shredding potatoes, whisking eggs, and frying up loads of golden-brown latkes. I live a few hundred miles from my family these days, but that doesn’t stop us from lighting the menorah together: With a little help from FaceTime, it feels like we’re all in the same room, honoring an age-old tradition and, of course, enjoying those crispy fried pancakes.”
From our family to yours, happy holidays!