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The Host of Christmas Past

By Kelly Farrell | December 21, 2016


Since founding dRC, I have been the host of many a Christmas past. It is one of my favorite things! Here’s a short trip down what’s become a long memory lane. Christmas past has become very dear to me.

Balloons and Balls

One of our first holiday events was a balloon decorating Christmas Party. The invite may have been a bit sexual in tone, not on purpose, with two snow-people on it. I got teased a lot for it! We played music, decorated balloons, and ate pizza. So simple back then, and so much fun!

Quite a few of our holiday celebrations were in-office parties, including a White Elephant Gift exchange, a couple of Pot Lucks and a Dance Fusion party. That one was memorable because there was a huge snow storm that day. One of our staff spouses went out in his 4-wheel drive truck and picked people up. I didn’t want any of our staff to miss the party!

One of our stickiest in-office parties featured fancy Peppermint Martinis. Jen was our bartender. I don’t know what I was thinking. We ran around like crazy getting sticky peppermint syrup everywhere. But we ordered the right food and had beautiful decorations. Jeri Leigh made glitter balls that hung from our light fixtures in pink and blue. Perfect and crazy.



Biagio, Tom, Masina, Kelly & Matt (nephew Zach), 1993 Balloon Christmas



Chad Gordon with his parents, 1993 Balloon Christmas



Matt, Kelly, Joe, Chad, Jeri Leigh, Jen & Andy, 2005 Peppermint Martini Party at the Caxton

Outings on the Town

The whole team went to see the Rockettes holiday show at Playhouse Square, followed by dinner at Chop House. Man was I generous that year!

Every company has to have a party at Dave and Busters at least once, right? That was tons of fun. I remember thinking I was strong, until I picked up the sledge hammer and could not make a dent in the poundage. I also did not realize just how competitive Chad and Jenn were when it came to basketball. And dancing. And everything.

The old school bowling trip at a well-worn Twin Lanes in downtown CLE is a favorite. That was before the days of trendy hipster bowling. These lanes had grooves in them, and the bowling shoes were well, well worn.

Sled riding anyone? We did it Progressive Field and the Q for one holiday party, along with a little bit of ice skating. It was part of their Snow Days promotion.  My daughter was left at the office on the couch because she was so sick. Yes, we went without her. Yes, we had a blast. (But our office is a short walk from the Q, so she was safe!)



The dRC Gang, 2001 Chop House after the Rockettes Show



Jarad, Chad, Joe, Jen, Matt, Jennifer & Kelly, 2008 Dave & Busters



Jen & Joe, 2008 Dave & Busters



The dRC Gang, 2010 Progressive Field, Snow Days

Creatives Who Lunch

The early years, we spent quite a few holidays lunching at the Terrace Club, when it was at Jacobs Field. It is sooo pretty when it snows at our baseball stadium.

Another year we filled Secret Santa Boxes all through the month of December. Just with cool little things and fun stuff. We exchanged them and opened them during lunch at Parkers, when it was in Tremont.

Lately we have been holiday lunching at Crop Bistro; Adega; Cowell and Hubbard, to name a few. This year we’re trying out the new Parkers in downtown Cleveland! I’m very excited.



Kelly, Joe, Stacie, Chad, Tia & Molly Z., Terrance Club at Jacobs Field, 1996



Chad, Joe, Jennifer, Kristie, Matt, Kelly, Tricia & Jen, 2002 Parkers in Tremont, Secret Santa Boxes



Matt, Nikki, Joe, Chad, Kimberly & Kelly, 2015 Cowell & Hubbard

I feel very fortunate. Christmas past is a host of great memories for me. To be able to design meaningful, memorable gatherings for people I care about, that’s special. I hope all your holiday activities and in-activities are everything you want them to be.

See you next year!





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Kelly Farrell

Kelly has a unique talent for uncovering what's special about her clients. It’s her specialty, and the heart of how designRoom approaches branding. Kelly learned design and branding while working in advertising as an Art Director, Designer, and Account Representative for several national/regional brands; Cellular One/Ohio, Northfield Park, National City Bank, and Mr. Hero. Her future, however, included a more passionate approach to the work and more direct engagement with her clients. In 1990 designRoom was born. One room. One designer. And lots of room to grow. Today, under Kelly’s leadership, designRoom is a national, award-winning branding and design firm. With her innate ability to see the right solution and her passion for helping clients reach their goals, Kelly is a fierce brand advocate for behavioral health organizations across the U.S. Her unique approach makes her a sought after national speaker on the importance of branding in behavioral health. Kelly focuses on how branding can unify an organization internally, amplify their unique market position, and help them move in a positive, sustainable direction.

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