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Holiday Countdown Calendar 2019

brand-advent-smaller.pngHello everybody, here we are again - it's the special time of the year - the smell of fresh baked cookies, gingerbread, a lot of blinking and glittering lights, children with big eyes staring through big shop windows (or searching on their most favorite online shop, but that idea is not so romantic...).

Regardless of whether you like it or not, you can't escape from all of this - and so again, here is another holiday countdown calendar. The first Calendar was all about Confluence tips and tricks. Last year, we looked back to a lot of fun we had on our Community and this year, we'll take a closer look at the most important part of every community: the people.

And since this is an Atlassian Community, you will learn a lot about Atlassian people during the next 24 days. Some people, you may know, others not - be ready for surprises, interesting stories and fun!

Say hello to the people you will see here, use the comments, tell us your stories! Let's spend some great days together. And don't forget: there will be a new portrait every day until December 24th.

But first: a big shoutout goes to @Bridget Sauer and @Mandy Ross - we were working together on the calendar and without their enormous support this would not have been possible - thank you so much, girls!

Because of size restrictions, older portraits have to be removed from this main article. You can find them here: 



It's hard to believe, but the countdown has come to its end.

We learned that

  • Mariah's Christmas hit and "Carol of the Bells" are your most favorite holiday songs
  • Holidays in Australia are not the same as in the US or Europe (Especially this year, good luck to everyone in Australia, we're thinking of you)
  • No one wanted the Clark Griswold egg nog badge, you're lucky, @Monique vdB  ! (What if I post a picture, can I get the badge by myself? ;-) )
  • "Elf" is your most favorite holiday movie but there are many more to discover
  • an Elf on a shelf and a dragon is something everyone should have
  • nothing is more important than friends and family
  • our Community is clearly one of the best
  • we all should take care of our environment, as much as we can

and many more!

Our big shoutout goes to everyone taking part in this holiday countdown, thank you so much! Each and everyone of you is so special and has so many stories to tell, it was an awesome task putting this all together.

We hope, you enjoyed the calendar as much as we did. Leave us a message in the comments below! We would love to hear from you!

Happy holidays, have a good time with your friends and family, play some board games and stay offline!

May all of your wishes and dreams come true, and may you feel this happiness all year round.

See you next year, take care!

Bridget, Mandy and Thomas





Today's the final day of the holiday countown and it's Judy Cao's day.

Judy is Program Manager and she's from San Francisco.


Judy, do you have a resolution for 2020?

I don’t typically believe in making resolutions for the New Year because I think it’s important to make goals for yourself on an ongoing basis (not just for 1 day out of the whole year).

However, because it is a start of a new decade, my overall goal in 2020 is to decrease my Virgo tendencies! Be less critical of myself and others, and start and end with more positivities (especially in my communication).
The world needs more good vibes than ever before.


That's so true, Judy. We all should take care far more of what we say and do, online and offline.


What is your favorite holiday movie?

I have so many favorite holiday movies, it’s hard to decide! If I had to narrow it down to 3, it would be in this order:

(1) Elf (...probably everyone’s #1 favorite!)


Oh oh, this movie is nominated twice as most favorite holiday movie and I have never seen it, what a gap in education... I'll watch it next holidays, I promise!


(2) The Holiday (Have you seen the meme about how The Holiday basically invented Airbnb? Well, it’s true).


Another one I haven't seen, I'm ashamed


(3) Last Holiday (Queen Latifah was hilarious! What a great reminder to be thankful for life, family, and friends and live each day to the fullest!)


Well, what can I say? Another movie I have to watch next christmas for closing my gaps

Thank you Judy for being our 24th and last portrait in the holiday countdown calendar. Happy Holidays to you and your family!




Hi @Ashley Elder , you are number 23, the penultimate portrait of the holiday countdown calendar.

Ashley is a Product Marketing Manager for Cloud Migrations. Her goal is to help communicate the benefits and process for customers to migrate to Atlassian Cloud. And she loves dogs, obviously.


Ashley, where are you from?

A small town off the coast of Massachusetts called Hamilton. It is so small that we are referred to as Hamilton-Wenham (with the neighboring small town). I didn't realize they were two different towns until I was in middle school.


© OpenStreetMap contributors


Did you have a New Year's resolution for 2019?

My resolution was to do more creative non-electronic activities. I am a proud cultivator of an ever-growing succulent collection and have taken up wheel pottery.



Ashley loves the holiday song "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses.


Here is the video on Youtube 

It's funny, I never ever heard this song before, but I love it! it's so 80's, fabulous, sound of my youth.


Do you want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?


@BiancaEncinas! She's amazing to work with and is so great at her job.

Also, @Thomas Schlegel for coming up with this idea!


That's very kind of you, Ashley, I'm so thankful you like the idea and I hope some others do as well. 

Thank you so much for taking part in this countdown. Happy Holidays and a happy new year to you and your family!


Only one day left ...




December, 22nd - we're coming into the home straight. Let's start the final with @Daniel Santos .

Daniel is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, "Cidade Maravilhosa, cheia de tantos mil..."



His role in the Atlassian universe is Community Support Engineer.


Daniel, welcome to the holiday countdown. Please share a heartwarming moment from 2019!

I have a friend that was looking for a new career position. I saw him fighting for changes in his job and giving the best of himself to others for years... He was my mentor in the past, someone that I could always trust and rely on.
Then he got the position he wanted, moving to a new country.
When he shared the news I couldn't hold my tears. It was a special moment for me. Although I knew I would miss his physical presence, the only feeling I had was intense gratitude.


What are you grateful for?

I'm grateful for meeting a lot of brave, kind and curious souls in my life. Those brave enough to be vulnerable and open their hearts to me. Kind enough to deal with my weaknesses, helping me to see beyond. Curious enough to keep their eyes open and ask questions even about their own perceptions and "solid" knowledge.


Thank you Daniel for sharing these very private moments and thoughts with us. We're grateful to have you in our Community, I wish you wonderful holidays with your family and friends and a happy new year 2020!





For December, 21st, we talked with @Laura .

Laura is Marketing Manager, originally from Seattle and now living in San Francisco.



Laura, did you have a New Year's resolution for 2019? Did you achieve it?

Yes! My resolution for 2019 (which I plan to carry into 2020 and beyond) was to consume as little red meat (ie pork, beef, lamb, etc) as possible in order to reduce my environmental impact. I am SO grateful that I took on this challenge, because it was the perfect forcing function to get creative with plant-based alternatives.
Impossible burger? Yes please!
Tofu chorizo in paella instead of pork? Way more yumm-o than I thought possible!
Sweet potato tacos? Flippin' delightful!
Breakfast sandwich? I'll take avo any day over bacon.

The other unexpected delight? I felt so much better after eating these alternatives. You know that so-full-can't-move-for-days feeling? Sayonara! I'm energized and ready to tackle the day.
It's been a flavorful, welcome change in my life, and I hope others give it a try!

I hope, your enthusiasm will inspire others as well. No doubt, eating less meat is good for us and our environment too.


Laura, please tell us about your favorite childhood holiday memory!

As a kid, I was really (like REALLY) into remote control things (cars, planes, etc). For christmas one year, I got a remote control Ford F-150 truck with a boat trailer and a remote control Sea-Doo boat. I was OVER. THE. MOON. It honked, made truck noises, and had doors that opened and everything. On Christmas day, I drove my truck and boat to the lake down the street and took my boat for a spin. The ducks nearby were not thrilled, but I was happy as a clam.

It looked like this:


Wow, that looks like a great toy! I'm jealous, my remote control car had a cable and I always wanted to have a wireless one, but never got it...


And what is your favorite holiday treat?

My love for christmas cookies runs DEEP. So much so that when I was woken up in the middle of the night a few years ago, I apparently just said "I love christmas cookies" and went back to sleep (even though it was mid March). I have self control with a lot of things in life, but heavenly sugar cookies with colorful frosting and sprinkles will never be one of them. It's like a christmas carol of deliciousness exploding in my mouth every time I eat them!



Thank you, Laura, thank you for being a part of our community. Happy holidays for you and your family and of course, tons of Christmas cookies! Especially in March!


Only three days left...




December, 20th is Dragon Day. Don't you know that? It's @Stephen Sifers ' day and look at his picture - isn't that a lovely dragon?

If Stephen is not spitting fire or sleeping on his golden treasure, he works within the Community from the support side. He used to be an Event and Online Leader prior to joining Atlassian and has been involved in Community for almost seven years total.

Stephen, where are you from?

I’m from California originally, but I’ve lived all over the United States and currently residing near Dallas, Texas.

What's your best holiday gift ever?

My best holiday gifts EVER are my Children! They’re both born in December 2 years apart. 100% Thankful to my beautiful wife for them both!


What are you grateful for?

I am most grateful for my Family whose been an amazing support and my northern star for everything I’ve achieved.


Aww, what else can you say after hearing this? It's so heartwarming - you're so lucky to have such an amazing family.

Stephen, do you want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

A big shout out to all of the Community Leaders who are amazing people with outstanding energy.

And another shout out to the whole Community Team, Y’all are a great team and make this a wonderful place to work!

Seems, you're a big family dragon, Stephen. This is great. We are happy to have you in our Community! Happy holidays to you and your northern star, and thank you for taking part in this year's countdown!

Just four days left...


First. 😍🏆🤘👍🎉

Cannot WAIT to see this one unfold... last year's was absolutely amazaballz ! ! 

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Kat Marketplace Partner Dec 01, 2019

Wow - I did not know the theme changes every year. I'm looking forward to this year's edition. 

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carolyn french Community Leader Dec 01, 2019

The post I've (we've) been waiting all year for! Looking forward to following along for this new concept of portraits of those who work on Community - fun idea.

Wishing you lots of holiday warmth and fun, and hope to see you at the next Summit @Thomas Schlegel 


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Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Dec 01, 2019

Thank you, @carolyn french for your nice comment. I‘m looking forward to meeting you in Las Vegas! 

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Love this new theme for the countdown calendar Thomas! Nice to meet you Jamey Austin and great to get to know some of your holiday favourites :) That pie looks delicious, and today was the first time I have ever heard of that flavour!

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So lovely to meet you Leslie! I love how you made new traditions with your family than the ones you had growing up. I have yet to try stinky tofu but my Lamrim Teacher who is a Buddhist monk raves about it, it is his favourite food :) Lol that elf on the shelf wasn't around when I grew up either but I have friends that go all out with that thing and their kids love it! :)

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Monique vdB Community Manager Dec 02, 2019

Olallieberry pie is delicious, and elf on the shelf confuses me too. 🤣 Love this theme and so excited to read the updates all month!!

Like Thomas Schlegel likes this

Hi Tom, great to get to know you and your favourite things! I also love hot chocolate and I add frothed milk for a special treat. I have a lot of catching up to do before watching the new Star Wars, maybe a Star Wars marathon is in the cards for me over the holidays :)

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Hi @Lewis Haidt  that song is fun - I loved it immediately after first listen :) I also love Egg Nog, it's a Christmas Eve tradition, one glass a year makes it such a treat I look forward to each year. Timothy's makes an awesome egg nog flavoured coffee that is worth a try.

Like Thomas Schlegel likes this

Hi @Owen Wallis nice to meet you! Wow swimming in the sea on a holiday morning would be wonderful! I used to have green Christmas when we visited my parents in Florida a few years in a row, I need to get back to doing that again. Yes summer in winter and vice versa would be a big change, I have Australia on m bucketlist to visit someday, I also want to meet a koala and kangaroo :) Ha! My birthday is May 3rd, so I got robbed by a day of having people say "May the fourth be with you" 100 times a day on my birthday. Sad but true :)

Hi Bryan, looks like you and Owen have something in common. You both are going for a dip (or a ski) in the sea this Christmas for the first year. Haven't watched that movie before, I will see if it is available on netflix. Mmm home-made chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven are my favourite too.

Hi @Ben Thoma, I love the holiday suits - those are amazing! Pumpkin pie is delicious, but have you ever tried squash pie, tastes similar but the flavours 10 times more than the pumpkin - at least the way my aunt makes it, I will have to ask her for the recipe Thomas :) I don't know a lot about the Atlassian University, I may have to add a course or two to my goal list for 2020. I have tried beer battered turkey and it was delicious, not sure if you add that to your recipe or not, highly recommend it.

Hi @Jason Wong I love your taste in vacations - off the grid and exploring, nothing beats the smell of the untouched outdoors, as you describe the smell of trees - it is like nothing else. Your New Year's Resolution is impressive, and I agree it would be amazing if we all did our part for climate change. I have been part of the Happy Ocean community group this past year and we are focussing on green challenges, zero waste and plastic-free initiatives to raise awareness and decrease our footprint. Single use plastic bags are now banned on the Island and we are now moving to a Blue planet Island - one community at a time. I know you and @Owen Wallis are both in Australia, not sure if he plays that song you detest at the office or not. I guess we can't all have the same taste in music ;)

Nearly missed the countdown - love the calendar and it's one of the highlights in community of the year 😍

Thanks to @Thomas Schlegel @Bridget Sauer and @Mandy Ross for this - love the idea behind this years countdown.

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Hi Robert, that is one amazing photo that you shared of Chicago, Thomas I love the one of Hamburg too! Congrats on achieving your goal and switching to a plant-based diet. I was vegan for two years and vegetarian for 7 and I noticed a major difference in my energy levels. Wishing you all the best on your remaining goals for the year, I can hardly believe 2020 is here in a few weeks. Time goes by way too fast.

Hi @Josh Frank , congrats on your goal of completing a 1/2 marathon. And I agree with Thomas, those Hanukkah latkes, with cottage cheese on the side look delicious.

Hi @Alana Stoltzfus congrats on your new baby arriving soon, and of course your New Year's resolution of getting more sleep. Your job sounds fantastic, making a difference through the customer/client experience every day. Those childhood memories are lovely, family stories you will be able to pass along to your own children :) 

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Wow   @Tania Clarke - your childhood memory is my dream - to have an animal sanctuary with all those animals you mentioned :) I love your 2019 and 2020 goals, as well as what you are grateful for. A few weeks before the holidays (and sometimes in the summer) the Hallmark channel is always on as background noise while I do other things, it puts me in a festive mood. My Mom is in Florida for the winter and we will facetime and watch our favourites holiday shows together. Thanks for sharing, can't believe we are 1/2 way through the countdown! Time is flying so fast...

Hi @jlarge - I can tell by your photo you are a super fun person to be around - your colleagues are very lucky :) That is funny I was on a Canadian Show called "Trading Places", had no idea there was a movie by the same name. Thank goodness for that happy ending to your story about your adorable pooch, she must really love her home to go three miles through traffic. Love her Holiday photo! I completely agree, @Nic Brough {Adaptavist} is absolutely amazing!

Monique vdB Community Manager Dec 13, 2019

That Netflix story from Jeremy just made my day!

And @Tania Clarke I need to know which holiday movies to watch. I haven't even gotten to A Christmas Prince III: Christmas Baby Prince or whatever it's called!

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@Monique vdB : so dissapointed in you.... THE ROYAL BABY ! !


ps: Rose McIver looks EXTRA cute in this one. Loved her in iZombie. Such a great actress!

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

Hi @Janel nice to meet a fellow Canadian (I am on the West Coast - PEI). Gorgeous photos, I hope to visit Sydney some day. Love your gingerbread house memories, I remember making one with my Mom and nephews, it turned out great but the icing was missing an ingredient, so within 5 minutes the house completely fell flat. Then the boys got to eat the house (which they wanted to do from the start, so it all worked out)lol. 

Hi @Kesha Thill , so happy to hear your NY resolution of eliminating single-use plastic, what an incredible goal with huge impact. Love Actually is also my favourite Christmas movie (and the Holiday with Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. Wishing you a lovely holiday!

Thumbs up!

Hi @Molly Bronstein looks like it's 2-1 for Maria on this countdown so far :) Hope you get that karaoke machine, hours and hours of fun to be had :)


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