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WORLD’s Christmas traditions

CEO NOTES | From office festivities to a year-in-review issue, our annual traditions serve as important reminders


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We have our own Christmas traditions at WORLD, most of them started by Joel Belz, that have survived from WORLD’s earliest days.

Early in December we deck the halls of the common spaces of our office, but most of us decorate our own office spaces—competitively. On the day of our annual Christmas luncheon, our staff members visit offices and vote for the best-decorated in a few different categories, the winners receiving … well, gift cards. It’s all about the W.

I was a bit of a Scrooge this year and didn’t spend much time making my office festive. On the other end of the spectrum are the folks in our IT department, who every year go all-out.

At our Christmas luncheon, we sang carols, exchanged Secret Santa gifts, enjoyed traditional holiday food and desserts, and recognized significant anniversaries of service at WORLD. This year we recognized the 10-year anniversaries of WORLD assistant art director Rachel Beatty and WORLD editor Daniel James Devine.

For as long as anyone can remember, we’ve always closed our offices for the entire week of Christmas. It’s no surprise that this is one of our favorite WORLD Christmas traditions. Some of our staff can’t take the whole week off. The news goes on, so many of our reporters and editors have to cobble together time off before or after the actual holiday, as their work allows. Same with our Member Services department. But Joel’s intention in starting this tradition many years ago was for most staffers to have a real break from the work so they could spend time with family.

Putting together this “News of the Year” issue is a sort of tradition for us leading up to Christmas. It’s dated the first issue of the new year, but it’s the one we work on in the last few weeks of December. It reminds us of God’s work in our lives and in the world in the past year.

As all good Christmas traditions do, WORLD’s traditions, including this ­special issue, remind us of both our need for God and His good gifts to us.


Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is the CEO of WORLD News Group.

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