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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!





@Owen Wallis is Senior Product Manager for the Platform, always looking after Media; images, files, attachments, and how to collaborate on and around these.

He's originally from the UK - and he is our number five on the Holiday Countdown.

Here we have another Star Wars fan - his fondest holiday memory is getting an X-Wing fighter as present when he was a child


Of course, may the force be with you as well, Owen!

"All I want for Christmas is you" - isn't this a great holiday song? Mariah at her best, every year again and again. I'll tell you a secret: Owen loves this song. Who does not? Well, let's wait a few days, then Mariah will return and you will see who does not...



Owen recently moved out to Australia with his wife and child. So, holidays are quite different there. He's planning to go for a swim in the sea in the morning.
Something which is very far removed from what they were used to do in the UK.

Who do you want to give a shout out to, Owen?

I'll give a shoutout to Avinoam Zelenko and Pratima Arora from Confluence. They have been very active on Community, answering many tough questions with openness and dignity.

Thank you, Owen and have a great time swimming in the sea on holiday morning!




December the 4th, a perfect day to learn more about @Lewis Haidt .

Lewis' role in the Atlassian universe is focused on community and distribution for Software Marketing - Jira and Bitbucket Cloud.

Where are you from?

I was born in Bethesda, MD, spent my childhood in Cincinnati and Los Altos, CA and lived in Los Angeles for over ten years

Lewis, what is your favorite holiday drink?


Egg Nog

(Something typically American, isn't it? I only know egg nog from the Griswold's "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" movie - one of my favorite holiday movies :-) )


Which holiday song do you love?

It's "Candlelight" from the Maccabeats (click and enjoy the great video on youtube!) 


Never heard this song before, but it's great! I love it.

Thank you so much for taking part in this project, Lewis and a happy holiday for you and your family! Enjoy your eggnog (I will do as well, have just googled the recipe) !

Here's a task for everyone reading this: make yourself an egg nog, take a nice photo and post it in the comments - the nicest one will get a Clark Griswold egg nog badge, maybe, I hope so, to be honest, @Monique van den Berg  doesn't know anything about this yet... But I'm sure she'll do everything to make this happen  :-)


20 days left...




What would a December be without a new Star Wars movie? Pointless...

This might be Tom Tsao's motto, he is leader of Global eCommerce and Buyer Experience for Atlassian's websites. Born in New York City, he spent his childhood growing up in New York and then New Jersey before coming to California for college.


Tom's most favorite holiday meal is homemade rib roast, his special holiday drink is a cup of hot chocolate. 


(Most probably not at the same time I think, might be a strange combination) 

And, surprise, surprise: Tom's favorite holiday movie 2019 is:


Well, to be precise, it is ANY Star Wars movie. But this Christmas, he's definitely looking forward to seeing the "Rise of Skywalker". May the force be with you, Tom!

Want to shout out to any of your favorite Atlassian coworkers or Community contacts?

I'd like to give a shout-out to @Leslie Lee, who has been an amazing partner on Community and one of my favorite coworkers! I also want to give a special shout-out to the awesome cross-functional Community leadership team who I have personally gotten to know much more over the past month:  @Stephanie Grice , Maura Randall, @Monique van den Berg , @David Corcoran , @Kevan Lin , Jeremy Largman and Alice Merlino. You guys rock!


Thank you, Tom, thank you for being a part of our community and have a lot of fun in the cinema this December!


21 days left...





For December, 2nd, we talked with @Leslie Lee , Head of Customer Evangelism at Atlassian and asked her a few questions:

Do you have a favorite childhood holiday memory?

Growing up, most of my holidays were spent in Taiwan visiting my grandparents. That's the one time a year, we would visit them and experience life in Taipei where my parents grew up. Because of that, I didn't had the typical Christmas traditions - no stockings, Christmas tree, or elf on the shelf. Instead, we had hot pot, stinky tofu and night market visits. I loved our trips there, but also wished I could have the "typical" American Christmas, though I never really was sure what that meant!

Are there any unique holiday traditions in your family?

These days, in my family, we incorporate new traditions with our old family ones. We have stockings, bake cookies for Santa, decorate the Christmas tree and have an advent calendar (I still don't get what elf on the shelf is!), but we also have hot pot and eat dim sum in the new year. The holidays are also a great time for reflection; We think through the past year and make goals for the new one.

What are you grateful for?

A LOT! I'm grateful for our amazing community. Every time I talk to someone about it, they are perplexed - why do people help each other out, answer questions on their time off, go the extra mile for each other? There are no answers that make logical sense. We just have an amazing community of good humans and it's a privilege to be a part of that!


Thank you Leslie, and happy holidays to you and your family! It's awesome that you combine old traditions with new ones and I'm sure, someone will give you an elf on the shelf this year :-) 



22 days left...




Today, is December, 1st. Let's start the countdown with @Jamey Austin from Berkeley, California. He's a Content Marketing Manager, spending his time writing and editing Atlassian documentation (and maybe Christmas Cards as well).

Jamey loves crooning holiday songs, his favourite one is "I'll be home for Christmas". If you want to sing with him, here are the lyrics:


His favorite holiday meal: Olallieberry pie (something I never heard of before, but looks very yummy).


The holiday movie he's loving most is "It's a wonderful life" - A classical movie released 1946 starring James Stewart and Donna Reed:


Jamey's New Year's resolution for 2019 was using more checklists to start his day. It worked great, at least for three months :-)

(Hey Jamey, that's longer than most other New Year's resolutions survive).

He's grateful for his three children. And we are grateful to have him as our first Holiday Countdown Calendar portrait, thank you Jamey!



First. 😍🏆🤘👍🎉

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

Like # people like this
Kat Warner {TechTime} Community Leader Sunday

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

Like # people like this
carolyn french Community Leader Sunday

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 


Like # people like this
Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Sunday

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

Like Stephanie Grice likes this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Sunday

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!

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Monday

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! :)

Like # people like this
Monique van den Berg Community Manager Monday

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
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Tuesday

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 :)

Like Thomas Schlegel likes this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader yesterday

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
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader 8 hours ago

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 :)


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