’Tis the season for spending special moments with our loved ones! This year, the ways we celebrate the holidays might look different for some or many of us — but that doesn’t mean we don’t still find ways to share our love generously this season.  

We caught up with a few of our Aerie associates to find out how they will be choosing to pay homage to the holidays, what movies and music they will be tuning into and what their favorite memories have been over the years. Read below to see how Jackie Albert, senior designer; Nia Groce, senior copywriter; Drake Patel, email and mobile marketing coordinator; and Celeste Reed, talent management coordinator, are sharing #AerieREAL love as they celebrate the season!  

Celeste Reed

Talent Management Coordinator

How are you celebrating the holidays this year? Does it differ from your usual traditions?  

Traditionally for me, the holidays always mean LOTS of time with friends and family. This year, I’m scaling back on the parties, but plan to get together with my immediate fam to celebrate. For the friends and family that I won’t get to see, I’m sending out holiday cards – which gives me plenty of time to practice my calligraphy! Also, I can normally hold off, but 2020 is NOT the year to postpone joy. This year, my decorations went up November 1st because there are no rules this time around!! 

What are your favorite movies to watch during this season? 

Give me ALL the holiday movies!! This is my favorite time of year. I love putting on my Aerie PJs and snuggling up on the couch to watch movies all season long. My OG favorites: I can’t go a Holiday season without watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation & The Santa Clause at least once! 

What is your must-have song (or songs) for a holiday playlist? 

This might be the toughest question. I dug through my Spotify “Holiday Playlist” to pick my top 5! (I am that person blaring Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by N’Sync well before Thanksgiving hits): 

1. Celine Dion’s entire album: These Are Special Times 

2. Michael Bublé: “Baby Please Come Home” 

3. The Drifters: “White Christmas” 

4. Bruce Springsteen: “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” 

5. Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas is You” – it just wouldn’t be a holiday playlist without Mariah hitting those high notes! 

What is your favorite holiday memory? 

Many years ago, my parents got me a motorized Barbie Lamborghini – I was so excited that I tried to drive it in my living room with all my other toys shoved inside of it. I’m pretty sure it broke then and there, and that I never got to actually use it. 

More recently, my most cherished holiday memory has become returning to my parents’ house on Christmas Day with all my siblings. I’m one of five, so getting all of us together can be quite the feat. It’s always so special to me to share the memories of that day with my family. 

Jackie Albert

Senior Designer

How are you celebrating the holidays this year? Does it differ from your usual traditions? 

Every year I spend thanksgiving in Maryland with my mom, stepdad, sister, aunt, and cousins. This year we took extra precaution to make sure we were being safe to travel. Unfortunately, our table was missing my sister and cousins living in Denver and Florida but in this digital age — they sat in through FaceTime!  

What are your favorite movies to watch during this season? 

The GrinchElfThe HolidayHome Alone and Love Actually (hence the answer to the next question). 

What is your must-have song (or songs) for a holiday playlist? 

Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Honestly, I could play this on repeat from Thanksgiving to New Years.  

What is your favorite holiday memory? 

A favorite holiday memory — the year my aunt found a recipe to cook the turkey in a bag and five hours later it was raw. We didn’t eat until late but we have laughed about it ever since! 

Drake Patel

Email and Mobile Marketing Coordinator

How are you celebrating the holidays this year? Does it differ from your usual traditions? 

I plan to go home to see my family for the holidays. Since I am working from home right now, I can go home for the whole week before Christmas. I’ll be able to help my mom wrap presents and decorate. I’m really hoping for a white Christmas so I can go snowboarding sometime over the holiday season.  

We typically celebrate the holidays by getting dressed up and throwing a big Christmas party with family and friends. There is always tons of good food and tons of different families there. This year, however, will be much more lowkey. The gathering will be small and hopefully, we will connect with everyone else virtually! 

What are your favorite movies to watch during this season? 

I am a total sucker for any of the holiday Hallmark movies. I love that there are always new characters, but the same predictable plotline centering around romance, family, and holiday spirit. I’ve also been loving the Netflix original holiday movies and shows, such as Holidate and Dash & Lily. They are super modern feel-good rom-coms that are perfect if you are looking for something new to watch. 

What is your must-have song (or songs) for a holiday playlist? 

My top 3 must-have songs on this year’s holiday playlist are “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande, “Silent Night” by Mariah Carey, and “Santa’s Coming for Us” by Sia. Honestly, I’m a big fan of most recent Christmas song covers as they add a modern twist to old favorites! 

What is your favorite holiday memory?  

One of my favorite holiday memories is probably going to see lights on the lake with a bunch of family and friends as a child. We would all get bundled up and bring hot chocolate to go on a horse-drawn carriage ride to look at all the lights on the lake. Afterwards, we’d all go back to one house and play for hours. This memory holds a special place in my heart, as I’m still so close to all those families even if our holiday traditions have changed a bit. 

Nia Groce

Senior Copywriter

How are you celebrating the holidays this year? Does it differ from your usual traditions? 

I usually try to see both of my parents over the holidays and this year I am hoping to do the same, which I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to do! I’m looking forward to playing a round of spades with my daddy and hopefully redeeming myself from the last time he crushed my boyfriend and me in a family-friendly game (lol!). Then, I’m hoping to eat my favorite comfort foods and take corny-but-cute holiday pictures with my mama, siblings, and adorable nieces! 

What are your favorite movies to watch during this season? 

The Home Alone series has always been one of my favorites! The Preacher’s Wife is a classic. How The Grinch Stole Christmas and so many more. 

What is your must-have song (or songs) for a holiday playlist? 

Mariah Carey Christmas on deck, of course! Haha! Boyz II Men’s Christmas renditions are SO good and classic, it always makes me feel the spirit of the season. I also love The Temptations’ take on Christmas songs (like Silent Night), which make me think of my daddy and smile because he always enjoys their music during the holidays. 

What is your favorite holiday memory? 

There are so many good ones, it’s of course hard to pick one! But in general, I think playing with my nieces (I have six!) and watching them grow over the years into their unique little personalities has been an extra special aspect of the holidays for me.  

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