It’s that time of the year again — the holiday season. Whether you are a fan or not, the holidays are when traditions of all kinds are being enjoyed and honored, and sometimes reinvented. Globiana’s team is spread across the globe and because we come from different cultural backgrounds, we have varied thoughts on what the holiday season and the new year is all about.
There is one thing we all appear to more or less agree on, and that is the practice of making (or not, in our case) New Year’s resolutions — we are fairly unified in our belief that they don’t really serve a useful purpose.
A sampling of thoughts on New Year’s resolutions among Globiana’s team reveals a desire to be proactive rather than wait for the new year to roll around in order to make plans or set goals: “I don’t make resolutions because most times it’s just setting the bar high enough to walk under wearing a top hat and that feels like a losing strategy. For now, I spend the first of the year hugging family tight and promising to see even more of everyone, whatever it takes.” (Mindy). Or, how about this: “I don’t make resolutions as I think they seldom work. I also don’t like the excuse of postponing something till January 1, to make a needed change. Why postpone anything?” (Elena).
Shannon says: “I don’t make resolutions as I believe any time is the right time to set goals, but I do look to a new year as renewal — it’s a good time for something ‘new’.” Camilla hedges her no-resolution stance a little and says: “I never do resolutions normally, but as I already decided this, I will go for it — less time on social media and more on reflection.” Lisa has yet another take on New Year’s resolutions and when to make them, she says: “I don’t make resolutions in January. September is my time to reflect on what’s working and what I’ve yet to achieve. I am a great list maker, so I keep a rolling checklist of major and minor things I’ve accomplished, and what’s still pending.
As most of Globiana’s team members live and work away from their home countries, they know what it’s like to spend holidays far from family, figuring out how to keep old traditions alive while adopting new ones. Read on to learn more about the Globiana team members’ holiday- and New Year’s traditions.
I look forward to a fresh start. And sometimes, to put the previous year behind us. I feel like 2019 has been a springboard for many wonderful possibilities in 2020. Bittersweet though, because my baby graduates high school and there will be five in college come August.
Our most cherished tradition is the Christmas Pickle. Each Christmas Eve, the host hides a glass pickle ornament and the first to find it gets a special treat. Over time, we’ve had to up the number of pickles to three to prevent uprisings, the children have learned to share the treats — arguably, the most mature thing they do all year.
We are starting a new tradition this year as it’s our first set of holidays in Cyprus. We are planning a “Holiday Happy Hour” from 5-7 pm and everyone brings an appetizer. It will be multicultural, with Chinese, Israeli, Cypriot, German, and American nationalities in attendance!
What I associate with the start of the new year is doing away with the old. I’ll use the last few weeks of December to wrap up a project, push some things through and clear the space: both mentally and physically. Clothes, papers, storage space… Then I feel like I really cleared the way for the new. Aside from that, it means PARTY! New Year’s Eve is my absolute favorite celebration from my years of growing up in Russia. Staying up till dawn, dancing and celebrating is our idea of a real New Year’s celebration.
With the new year approaching, I look forward to continuing with the many developments and opportunities 2019 brought, and to staying busy and productive. I am looking to grow as a person, and as a parent, as my youngest son is college-bound next year. I am also looking forward to staying the course with my weekend art adventures, with a few shows already on the calendar. So yeah, no downtime planned yet!
Lights, trees, decorations, candles — they all bring out my inner child. Everything turns magical at Christmas time. Always! Also, our Soup-and-Song party is in its 15th year — it brings together 70 plus people under our roof. Happy chaos, uncoordinated (and off-key) caroling sometimes mixed with Beatles songs, friendship, and good food!
I look forward to continuing on my learning journey from what I gained in 2019 and use this as a springboard to greater heights. I look for new experiences, learning, and opportunities in my personal as well as professional life. And to discover that “something” personal passion again.
Our new tradition in Nicaragua is to host a pre-Christmas gathering to enjoy food, drink, and conversation with our close friends before everyone departs on their holiday journey for the remainder of the year. The significance is gathering and appreciating the close friendships we have developed.
I prefer to reflect on what we as a family achieved during the year — in my case, this was a big one: My daughter went off to college. I got to see her put in the hard work for applications, deal with acceptances and rejections, and then deciding where to go. She ended up choosing British Columbia, Canada so she is now an expat in her own right. And my son is graduating college this December. There is so much to be grateful for as he has established himself as a fully independent adult. My husband was offered his dream job in Germany this year. We had to have some serious conversations about why this was the right time to take it on and learn how to navigate him being a short term expat (he will be back in the US in six months).
Our family holiday tradition was always an American Thanksgiving. Now that my youngest is in Canada we’ve had to sit down as a family and make plans for when we are going to be together, it won’t happen otherwise. We decided to go to Nicaragua for Christmas — being together at the place where my kids spent many of their childhood winters.
I look forward to taking care of myself more, and to “shooing off” that inner critic who imposes ridiculous expectations, that says I should be further along in my French language learning, for example. I have to remember that it’s hard enough just to get through the day sometimes, let alone master French. Having come from a very results-oriented culture like New York, my tendencies are constantly being tested living in Paris, but I have learned some hard-won lessons along the way, such as patience.
I haven’t developed a holiday tradition yet, but I put up a Charlie Brown Christmas tree with a few ornaments, strung cheery lights around the flat, and baked cookies. This year, I’m spending Christmas together with my daughter in Paris. What’s significant for me is to continue this forward motion, and to plan ahead when I can. Planning, routines, and keeping busy are an expat’s best friend.
The new year is almost like a reset button, it’s exciting having all-new vacation plans. 2020 feels like a big year, there are many milestones for us, such as our 30th wedding anniversary.
We don’t really have a tradition for this time of the year. My family is overseas so we get to celebrate New Year’s twice and I guess you could call that a tradition — we will have a toast to the new year in Europe and in the US.
Like my fellow Globiana team members, I’m not big on making New Year’s resolutions. However, I do find entering a new year a good time to issue a challenge to myself — something that speaks to a deep-held desire, concern, or idea. Something that requires some work to figure out or resolve. Other than that, a glass of good champagne on New Year’s eve is the perfect way to bid adieu to the year gone by and greet the one ahead. Cheers!