“It’s a party unlike any you’ve ever experienced.”
When someone once told me that about the annual X-Team X-Mas Party, I had instant doubts. How could a party in a chat room possibly be that worthwhile?
Then the invite came. 5:30 a.m. Pacific time (in order to accommodate the multitude of timezones). If there’s any time I’d rather not party, it’s 5:30 a.m. Pacific time.
The invite also mentioned it would likely take up to three hours. I think my record was 45 minutes at any given party in my life, so worst case scenario I could just close the laptop and go to sleep.
But I didn’t. I stayed four hours. And it was the most inspiring four hours of the year.
This year’s X-Mas Party was no different for me, and it’s the one time of year I look forward to most now. I actually look forward to waking up at 5 a.m. every year for this. It truly is a party unlike any you’ve ever experienced, and that’s still the easiest way to describe it.
Each year, X-Teamers from around the world (this year ~100 of them) come together at one time (even if it’s 3:30 a.m. for someone) in a chat room called FIVES. It was at one of our X-Mas parties that our superhero culture was born.
Our Games team builds games to play, our various leaders create hilarious (and inspiring) videos to watch, the room occasionally gets filled with X-Memes, applause GIFs, and ‘fivestorms’ (when X-Teamers rapidly start high-fiving each other), awards are given to our most extraordinary superheroes of the year, and then come the unexpected moments.
The moments when a Google Hangout spawns and someone in Krakow, Poland starts gently playing Christmas songs on the piano.
Or when you start making new friends with people from around the planet you never even knew existed yet, through the simple introduction of giving each other a high-five.
Sure, it’s just a chat room and a bunch of geeks fooling around. But I can’t think of a more human and emotional experience than the X-Team X-Mas party that I’ve had that was powered by technology.
There isn’t a day that goes by as an X-Teamer that you aren’t incredibly grateful of being part of a global team. The saying “to be part of something greater” doesn’t even compare to the feeling of a global community.
The X-Team X-Mas party is undoubtedly the climax of those experiences as you are reminded how inspiring people in random corners of the world can be in your life.
It’s a reminder that kindness, generosity and high-fives can break through borders, can transcend cultures and languages, and can truly change the world.