The holidays are: awesome, stressful, glittery, busy, fun, wild, and so many other things. That's what makes them great! But after weeks of plans, preparations, gift exchanging, celebrations and traveling, they can also be a bit draining (in more ways than one--looking at you bank account!). So how do you weather the wonderfully festive storm? We asked our community of Climbers from across the country just that. Their advice, tips and reminders for enjoying the holiday season may be just what you need. Enjoy!

Max Barry

Customer Success Manager | Bay Area, CA

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A pic of my “family” from a couple years ago.

I always try to remember that family isn’t always people that are related to you, and that family is anyone that supports you and is there when you need them. I don’t have a lot of blood related family that I get to be around for the holidays. Some have chosen to not involve themselves, some are too far away, and some are no longer with us, so the holidays can sometimes feel a little different for me because of that. At these times, I always remember that I get to choose who is my family, and I know those people have also chosen me. So when I feel lonely, different, happy, or sad, I have those people there who will listen and support me. Family means a lot of different things, so when you feel like you need family but don’t think anyone is there, just look around and I bet you will find someone.


Emma Brown

On-Boarding Coordinator | Seattle, WA

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A pic of my road dogs and I from Friendsgiving.

There’s so much pressure to spend quality time with your family around the holidays, which can be fun, OR a huge force! Do I look forward to listening to my wacky Aunt Clarissa tell the same story we hear every year about the one time she got shingles seven calendar years ago? Absolutely not! Could I do without watching my Aunt Alis and her husband Tom canoodling like middle schoolers in the corner? 100%! Could I skip my Mom's annual rendition of “This Christmas,” as sung by Chris Brown? DEFINITELY. The best way to get through it? Keep a glass of wine in hand and look to your friends for some much needed relief. I’ve got a group of 15 or so beautiful, hilarious, intelligent women I call my friends aka my road dogs. They simultaneously drive me crazy and keep me sane. We do a Friendsgiving and a gift exchange each year which we all look forward to for weeks. I love my family dearly, and I strongly believe your friends are the family you choose. My tip for surviving the holidays? Appreciate that shingles story, join your mom in a duet, and lean into the small family annoyances we all face. And when you’ve had enough, turn to your road dogs for some much needed relief. Did I mention wine??? Happy holidays from me and mine, to you and yours. ❤


Alexandria Clark

Compliance Specialist | Detroit, MI

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My advice on how to survive the holidays? I say enjoy being with your favorites, eat all the food and appreciate the small things. The holiday season comes and goes and its really a good time to slow down (something we say all the time at PG) and reevaluate what is most important during this time to put your energy into. Take a day to do things for yourself but also enjoy the moment of giving and remind yourself what it means to give.


Kyrstyn Dean

Technical Recruiter | Detroit, MI

Kyrstyn Dean & Fam Holiday 2019-1-1

The Dean Sisters! Chandra (left), Kyrstyn (middle) and Jordyn (right)

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle! 🎁


Frank DeCastro

VP of Sales

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Surviving the Holidays – I try to combine two lessons I learned in my life: Traditions and Preparedness.

Preparedness I learned from my wife Aimee. Prepared is her middle name. Aimee will get Holidays preparation purchases, food, gifts, planning, you name it completed well in advance… (she actually does that for everything in life). Easy to say but hard to do, so she will start with a checklist of actions that need to be completed and build a plan to tackle them – every little thing goes into the list. She knows what we are doing at which day and by what time to a science. The feeling to be completed way earlier allows us to be much more present and enjoy the moment the proper way. Traditions – Traditional meals were always big in my family - In an era of digital everything and texting and no talking… we are pushing to establish some older traditions such as formal meals (with no screens)and getting kids to talk and share stories at meals. No better time to share stories than the holidays meals. For that I will plan ahead some of the stories that I will share to get the rest of the crowd going. Being prepared ahead allows us to stay present and keep those traditional moments part of memory forever.

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A DeCastro family dinner/celebration in Brazil.
Frank's dad with his arms up, mom closest to the camera, and family and friends 


Dwayne Fields

Onboarding Coordinator | Seattle, WA

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The best way to get through the holidays is to surround yourself with family and to make sure you have a drink in your hand.


Bobby Herrera

President | Portland, OR

Navidad = GIVE! For those of us with kids, how lucky are we that we get to believe all over again? My favorite part of season is going ALL IN with Team One! Enjoy your family traditions! Like one of my favorites--making Lego sets!

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Keifer Gonzalez

Profitability Analyst | Detroit, MI

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Keifer and his niece Isla

The holiday’s suck! Well, depending on who you ask and when. If you ask whoever has to cook the morning of the celebration you will probably get a look that would kill. I know I felt that way as a kid when we would wake up, open presents, and then head straight to our 95’ Ford Aerostar for a six hour car ride to Indiana.

The ONLY way to survive is to make the time for the ones who matter most. This can be challenging with large families. Don’t linger too long in one place, tell Grandma you’ll hear about the funny thing the squirrels have done next time and keep on making your rounds.


Tiasha Holcomb

Manager of Payroll Services | Chicago, IL

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I survive the holidays the same way I survive everything as a mom; listen to my kid.

My son is a “I want that” kid whenever he sees a commercial or YouTube toy that has caught his attention. My Parent Hack is to take a picture of the items that he has told me that he wants and file it away in an album. When it is time to Christmas shop, I have a full catalog of items that I can choose from that I know he actually wants.

We also open presents on Christmas at Midnight so he can wake up as early as he wants in the morning and start playing with everything. He is a lot happier on Christmas. 😊


Andrea Krus

Senior Customer Success Manager | Minneapolis, MN

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Spend as much time as possible with family and never hurts to throw back a few cocktails!


Roxanne Kwong

Implementation Specialist | Bay Area, CA

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My advice for the holidays is to stay hydrated, and y’all can interpret that however you want. 😉 My key to hydration is shown in the picture. Who doesn’t love a good bloody?!


Jackie McCool

Project Manager | Detroit, MI

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“Holidays” sometimes are synonymous with “obligations” and as an introvert, it can wear me down and quite honestly just ruin the season for me. Going from here to there and then back to here only to go back to there. So many people, so many miles on the car. My advice is to create some piece of the day that is just for you and your immediate family. Yes, you’re going to have to go deal with the 20 people later in that day, but maybe you set a rule on Christmas that you aren’t leaving your house until noon so you have some intimate time with the people you’re closest with to create amazing memories. As much as holidays become obligations, don’t let them become dreadful for you, find a way to make a piece of them (even if it’s a small piece some years) something you treasure.


Karen Philbrick

VP of Human Resources | Detroit, MI

Karen Philbrick Holiday 2019-1

Set aside time to do nothing. It is super easy to cram your calendar with events but the Holidays are a great time to slow down, reflect on the past year and recharge. Even kids need a reboot every now and then.


Lissa Quinlan

Employee Relationship Specialist | Seattle, WA

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Remember that you can only change what YOU can control. If you’re on a plane and it gets delayed, remember that there is nothing you can do to change it so there is no reason to get upset. If your wacky aunt has too much to drink, remind yourself that you can limit yourself but you can’t limit her. You didn’t get that new iPhone11 you were hoping for? Appreciate what you do have in your life right now. The point is: relax, enjoy time with your loved ones, and don’t stress over the little stuff!


Josh Schreck

Director of National Accounts | Scottsdale, AZ & Chicago, IL

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There are a few things that I always try to keep in mind over the holidays.

The first is to surround yourself with people you love and love you back. I always feel that the Holidays are a time to reflect and get excited about what’s ahead. If you do that with the people who mean the most to you in your life, it helps eliminate the stress that can come from all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.

Which leads to my second piece of advice. Go do something you enjoy that puts you in your happy place. For me, I like to break things up with some of my favorite activities. I like to fish, travel with my wife Moe or just go see a movie. It’s important to take care of yourself during the Holidays since sometimes we are on multiple peoples schedules. Give yourself an opportunity to rejuvenate.

Finally, be kind and show empathy. We like to go and volunteer or donate time to those that need it. You never know what someone else may be going through. The feeling you get from helping someone else, will surely give you perspective and melt away the stress.



Jillian Seidl

Strategic Account Manager | Detroit, MI


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Holiday pro-tip 1: find some antlers – you can’t wear them without laughing.

Holiday pro-tip 2: if it’s stressing you out more than you’re enjoying it, then don’t do it. It’s okay for traditions to change over time.


Jason Smith

Customer Success Manager | Detroit, MI

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My advice, since we live it every Thanksgiving and Christmas – is do not “HOME ALONE” it and always bring your patience (putting Kevin up in his room was not cool 😊).

One of my favorite movies of all time is HOME ALONE, and as I indicated we live it (remember that very first scene with Joe Pesci and the Pizza Guy standing in the foyer) with my “In-Laws” who come in from Chicago every year for a week (or more!). So, my brother/sister-in-law, their 3 kids (20-16-10), crazy dog (Winston) who jumps on EVERYTHING, ferret (yes, one year they brought one of them!), and who knows what else they decide to bring!

At first I was like why do they have to stay at OUR house – well, I now completely get it. My beautiful wife, Kim, loves every second of the chaos, memories (although at times I want to send my sister-in-law up to her room in the attic 🤣) which last FOREVER, and plain and simple - just being together.


Justin Stewart

Technical Recruiter, Immigration | Chicago, IL

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My tip for surviving the holidays is to remind yourself that the time you get to spend with loved ones is a precious gift. Don’t wait for the next holiday season to make memories with your friends and family! It’s important to enjoy the little things in life, because one day you may look back and realize they were actually the big things.


What are your tips for the holidays?

We'd love to hear in the comments below!