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Life is better with Verve.

We’re obsessed with this word. Verve. It literally means, energy, enthusiasm, zest, spirit, and vitality. It’s a nice bit of branding, sure, but if you put away the thesaurus and think about it, it’s really a phenomenal approach to life.

Know when it’s easy to live with verve? The holiday season. The days get a little shorter, a little colder. The nights get a little darker a little faster.

But that’s no matter. Because holiday music blasts from the radio. The oven works its magic, emitting wafts of chocolatey goodness and spreading warmth to every nook and cranny in the house. Everything is lit by Christmas lights and the soft glow of candles. There is sledding to look forward to, and snowball fights, and tromping through the snow, and coming in from the cold. There is family and laughter and peace. That’s verve.

Let’s talk holiday traditions. A few weeks ago, we asked team members: Have any awesome holiday traditions? Looking to establish some new holiday traditions?

Then we gave them space to share their responses. They were amazing. Heartfelt, funny, silly, nostalgic, personal, grand. All of that and more. We want to share a few of those responses with you here. As this season so thoroughly reminds us, the best things in life are meant to be shared. If you find something you like, add it to your own traditions and pack a little more magic into your holiday season.

One last note, in the form of a public service announcement: You don’t have to break the bank to create special holiday experiences. But it can be fun to save up for very specific things and experiences. It’s fun to have things to look forward to. Did you know that at Verve, you can create a savings account to finance your holidays? It’s true.

We call it Pick Your Payout. The Pick Your Payout account is ideal for savers who’d like to save with a specific goal and end date in mind. Any funds you save in this account transfer to your regular savings in the month you pick as your payout. Pick October as your payout month for holiday shopping or pick February as your payout month to enjoy a vacation in March. Ready to get started? 

Without further ado, the holiday traditions.

Christmas Eve

  • We go out for dinner at Olive Garden, leave a $100 dollar tip, and sneak out before the server gets to open the note. -Zach (Oshkosh)
  • My family rents a hall big enough to fit the entire extended family. We have a party with lots of dancing and karaoke. At midnight we scream “Merry Christmas!” then hug it out and raise a glass for our yearly toast. -Thalia (Chicago)
  • After church on Christmas Eve, we all go to my parents’ house to have appetizers and wear pajamas (an annual gift from our little brother) and play games. -Megan (Holmen)

Christmas Day

  • Instead of the usual gifts, we choose a charity to donate to in someone’s name. Then we help them follow the organization or charity with cards, mail, email, news stories, etc. during the year so they can have that aspect of the Christmas spirit throughout the year and can follow what their chosen place is able to accomplish with the donations they receive. -Greg (Holmen)
  • Every year on Christmas my grandpa buys our family pull tabs that he swears are legal. But he also swears us to secrecy… -Tighe (La Crosse)
  • My husband (a chef) and I have been having Christmas Around the World dinners on Christmas Day. Every year, we choose a different country and make authentic foods: my Oma’s German Sauerbraten, Spanish paella, Indian curried chicken and papadums, Italian something and cannoli (who cares – there was cannoli!). -Cheryl (Oshkosh)


  • The day after Christmas, we take the kiddos to an indoor waterpark for some good ol’ fashioned family time. -Rachel (Oshkosh)
  • We put the Christmas tree up on December 1st and leave it up until March 1st. I enjoy waking up every morning and seeing our Christmas tree all lit up. We have it on a timer, so it is on when we wake up. And when I am driving up the driveway, coming home from work at night and seeing it all lit up through the window. Just brings joy to me every time. -Sarah (Oshkosh) and Shelly (La Crosse)

New Year’s

  • My family almost always celebrates Christmas on New Year’s Eve, which involves a large dinner, presents, Minute to Win It games with prizes, and adult beverages. -Zoua (Oshkosh)
  • On New Year’s Eve, we fill a water bottle up with water and everyone in the family says out loud all of their New Year wishes, dreams, resolutions—pretty much anything positive we want for the new year, and we put it outside by the backdoor steps. The next day everyone has a glass of that water. It’s amazing because when you drink the water, you instantly feel grateful and blessed and overcome with hope and the excitement for the coming year. -Pa Shoua (Oshkosh)
  • My aunt used to come over with a stack of movies in one hand and a stack of board games in the other. That’s how we spent the entire day—watching movies, playing games, eating, and taking a walk outside when we’d need a reminder why we were spending so much time inside. -Jordan (Oshkosh)


Happy holidays from your friends at Verve.