Tis’ the season to be jolly! Although we won’t be celebrating in the traditional way, it doesn’t mean we can’t still connect & engage with each other. We chat to some of the Aveni team and share what we most look forward to at Christmas and as well share some of our festive favourites! 

Iria del Río – Computational Linguistics 

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

“My favourite part of Christmas is to spend time with my family and friends. Usually, everybody has holidays at this time of the year, so it is great to be able to see people that otherwise, you would not be able to. And the food. Of course”.

🎶Your favourite Christmas song:  I know I’m going to regret saying this because it is the cheesiest song ever… but it is “All I want for Christmas is you”, from Mariah Carey. It reminds me of when I was a child (big fan of Mariah Carey at that time), and it has a lot of rhythm!

🥧Your favourite festive food: Seafood. In Galicia, it is very traditional to eat seafood before the main dish (usually fish or meat).

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? Nothing in particular. I have lots of interests and the terrible habit of talking so much about all of them, so people around me have lots of potential gifts for me! (That’s my strategy, yes). 

Amy Marcowich – Product Manager / Business Analyst 

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

“Christmas is my favourite time of year, I love everything about it; the music, the lights & decorations, the atmosphere, the movies, the food, the presents…. I absolutely love shopping for gifts for my loved ones and get really excited to wrap them. If you’re a Grinch, best stay well away from me :) 

🎶Your favourite Christmas song: I can’t possibly choose. I love the classics and anything Michael Bublé.

Your favourite festive food: I use Christmas as an excuse to eat a colossal amount of chocolate so I guess that’s telling. I really enjoy getting tins of Roses, Quality Street and Lindt Truffles.

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

I wrote a very comprehensive list to Santa in advance, this year I am most excited about my new yoga mat and cashmere socks. 

Yee Ching Lam  – Business Development

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

I look forward to no meetings and spending time with family.”

🎶Your favourite Christmas song: Let it, Snow, by Frank Sinatra

🥧Your favourite festive food: Piggies in blankets!

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? Jo Malone candle and a Lucy Jagger painting.

Jamie Hunter – Chief Operating Officer (COO)

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

“I love the festive season.  It’s great to be able to fully shut down, spend time with family and stuff your face with all your favourite food and drinks!  I am super excited this year as Jack is about to turn 3 so is getting excited which will be amazing to experience.

🎶Your favourite Christmas song:  I think the one that pops into my head most often over the festive season is ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’.

🥧Your favourite festive food: I do love the full Christmas dinner experience but super crispy roast potatoes steal the show for me.

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? You sound like my wife!  This year I have tried to be slightly more helpful than usual and asked for a particular pair of trainers that I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Craig Thompson  -Full Stack Developer 

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

“Absolutely everything! I’m a sucker for the festive season. The decorations, the food, the presents, the telly! It’s also nice to be able to have a bit of time to wind down and take stock of the year.”

🎶Your favourite Christmas song: There’s something about Christmas Time (Don’t let the bells end) by The Darkness that hits the spot 🤘🏻

🥧Your favourite festive food: Every year, my wife buys a selection of chocolate yule logs from various retailers. We then try them all out and decide who had the best one for that year. Definitely a family favourite

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? I’m nothing, if not predictable. Nerdy Gadgets and guitar paraphernalia!

Anais Trope – Full Stack Developer

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

“Christmas is usually the one opportunity in the year where I can travel back to Europe and see my parents, brother and extended family. I take great pleasure in loading my luggage with presents for them and having a whisky-tasting session with my Dad. I am also usually part of a martial arts school or sport club of some kind, so Christmas used to be a time where I would socialise with like-minded people, sharing the same passion as me and feeling like I truly belonged to a community”

🎶Your favourite Christmas song: Not a Christmas song per se. But when I taught English in Hong Kong, I was introduced to the kids as Miss Ana. At the time they were all truly obsessed with Frozen and couldn’t help making the association with Elsa’s sister, Anna. We had a Christmas party where lots of the girls dressed up as Frozen characters and I had to sing Let It Go and some of the other Frozen songs to them a LOOOT!

🥧Your favourite festive food: A vegan cheese platter with some crusty-on-the-outside-but-soft-on the-inside-bread

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? I’m into gymnastic strength training so this year I’m most excited about a set of wooden parallettes. And of course, I can’t wait to use my time off to get in a few hours of training a day and burn all those extra Christmas calories! 

Mhairi McGinlay – User Experience Designer 

What do you most look forward to at Christmas?

I love looking out the window to see lots of snow! I don’t think I will ever stop hoping for a blizzard of snow each year. It’s magical! (If a little inconvenient sometimes)”

🎶Your favourite Christmas song: Without a doubt, It’s got to be Slade – Merry xmas everybody.

That’s about as rock n roll as Christmas gets 🤘

🥧Your favourite festive food: Roast potatoes. Every single time!

🎅🏻What’s on your Christmas wish list? On my wish list, this year is a snazzy instant camera, we all missed out on some memories in 2020 so I plan to make up for it and then some in 2021! I’m looking forward to documenting like a true hipster with some polaroids 📸

From everyone here, we wish you a very merry Aveni Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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