It’s that time of year again, and even if we don’t have much snow (some of us are knocking on wood right about now), it’s always a privilege to spend this season with friends and family.

This past weekend we got to spend some R&R time in each other’s company (rest and reflect, one of our core values), and some photos from that get-together may soon come to surface. In the meanwhile, we wanted to give you a taste of the holidays, Newmind-style.

Holiday playlist

We asked around for everyone’s favorite holiday tunes and collected a playlist. As it happens, Newminders really love Sufjan Stevens and Vince Guaraldi. If you’re still looking for a soundtrack to get in the spirit, this mix of classics and oddities could be just the right fit!

However, for every great holiday song, there are a handful of earworm-y ones that drive you nuts, so we asked Newmind:

If you could have any Christmas song stricken from existence, what would it be?

“Grandma got run over by a reindeer” comes out on top by a large margin, but here are some other notable responses:

“Possibly anything by Mariah Carey, although that may ruin Christmas for certain loved ones…” – Matt

“Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ for certain. I love the Beatles, but this track is so bad, and every fresh interpretation is exponentially worse.” – Garrett

“’12 days of Christmas,’ because of playing drums to it (worst time signature ever)” – Dustin

“Anything and everything sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks is just unnecessarily ruining Christmas for the rest of us. Please, for the love of all things good and holy at this time of year, make it stop. Oh dear, I sound like the Grinch, maybe I should ease back a little!” – Nick

“’The Christmas Song’ (commonly subtitled ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’ or, as it was originally subtitled, ‘Merry Christmas to You’). Why? Because Chestnuts, Jack Frost, Yuletide, turkey and mistletoe are implied as the only way to make the season ‘bright’ (I’m allergic to Turkey), and because Santa, Toys, Goodies, and Reindeer are how Torme sums up Christmas.” – Ryan R

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree makes my blood boil” – Jarad

Newmind’s holiday watch list (updated since our Thanksgiving post)


Nick Yarosz gives us the skinny on why “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is his essential:

“I just have to say that 1965′s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is in my humble opinion the quintessential holiday soundtrack & film, not just cartoon, of the season. In a world with instantly gratifying experiences available around every corner, A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the few things left that’s worth waiting 12 months for.

Each year I anticipate listening to Vince Guaraldi’s simple, nostalgic & evocative jazz compositions. Something about that film has captured the spirit of what I believe Christmas is all about (Linus has a speech about this) and has helped to preserve it into this modern day.”

And Ben Morris linked us to his personal favorite on Youtube.

What’s your go-to “Home Alone” trap of choice?

Being as Home Alone is one of our favorites, we decided to posit a hypothetical to the company: Harry and Marv have targeted your suburban home for a Christmas burgling spree, and you’re Macaulay Culkin armed to the teeth with boobytraps.


Newmind Group’s favorite childhood Christmas gifts

It may be the season of giving, but we were all at an age, once, when it was all about the getting. So what are Newmind’s favorite gifts of Christmas past?

Dan Jefferies
“So many. A heavy die-cast Voltron comes to mind as well as a giant Lego set of a Castle. I had to build the Castle inside a pack-and-play so that my brothers and sisters wouldn’t destroy it.”

Matt Vollmar
“Likely the Atari 2600 with Pitfall Harry when I was in 1st or 2nd grade…That was epic!”

Ryan Russey
“Original Nintendo.”

Michael Jefferies
“Maggie, the dog my parents gave me when I was eleven.”

Ryan Hawkins
“One of them is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for the original PlayStation. I played it non-stop for about a week straight.”

Lance Busdeker
“Cowboy Hat. I still have it.”

Dan Proczko
“Stuffed animal Raccoon that was also a puppet. I took this thing everywhere, camp, sleepovers. I still have it… No, I don’t sleep with it.”

Luke Reynolds
“When I was eight or nine I got a new Sony Discman. CDs were still new, so it was a big deal for me, because even at that age I was super into music. Mowing the lawn was never the same again.”

Steve Chang
“Favorite gift was just getting any gift, we didn’t have much money back then.”

Heath Miller
“Sega Genesis.”

Luke Schneider
“Super NES. First gaming system allowed in our house, that was a big deal!”

Dustin Adams-Fall
“Drum set”

Alissa St-Amour
“Furby! I waited (not so patiently, mind you) the longest month in my life for that thing!”

Ben Morris
“Game Boy with Final Fantasy.”

Jarad Selner
“When I was eight or so, my brothers and I got an electric race-car track! Except it was already set up when we woke up that morning, and had a note attached that said, “Sorry this is already open, the Elves wanted to test it out.” The ‘Elves’, I found out later, were of course my father. The track didn’t last long as it was, but that hilarious story is the gift that keeps on giving!”

Nick Yarosz
“It’s funny how I can’t really think of any gifts that I received as a child, but how I can remember playing in the snow outside in Parchment with my sister after opening our presents and absolutely loving it, or going sledding! White Christmases were the best gifts I received as a child. Next week, our family is traveling to back to Michigan for Christmas so I have a child-like dream that we might see a White Christmas this year!”

James Duke
“A camcorder from my grandpa!”

Joshua Slye
“Original NES system, so good!”

Tyler Triemstra
“My favorite Christmas present I received as a child was my backpack. It really didn’t seem like a great gift at the time, but the backpack lasted five years, going through middle school, most of high school, and accompanying me across four continents before it finally wore out!”

Garrett Wenger
“A Super Nintendo bundled with Kirby Superstar. It had the best soundtrack and my little brother & I could play co-op. That game was like a third parent to me growing up.”

From all of us at Newmind Group, we wish you a happy holidays. Wherever the season brings you this year, we hope you stay safe, sane, and smiling.