2020 is mercifully coming to an end, and all in all, we think it went pretty well.
From a minor global pandemic and accompanying economic crises, to an increasing number of climate disasters, this year could and should be considered a dumpster fire. Despite it all, Gymglish is grateful that we managed to welcome a few new members to our team, add some colorful wallpaper to our nearly empty office, and write several questionable SEO posts for eccentric robots.
To wrap up this year on a joyful note, we want to recycle some holiday traditions from members of the Gymglish team, all of whom are still alive, we assure you. We’re an international group with diverse traditions, so here are some handpicked traditions that we didn’t bother to update for 2020. Enjoy!
Daniella (Business developer, Peru): “In Peru, we celebrate Christmas in the summer, so Papá Noel brings gifts to children under the scorching hot sun. Christmas Eve is mostly celebrated with close family. A traditional Christmas dinner includes turkey served with an apple sauce, and (illegal) fireworks blast off through the night”. Truly a peaceful image.
Dan (Customer Care, Israel): “In Israel, we celebrate Hanukkah (also called ‘The festival of lights’), which lasts for eight days. Every evening, we light one candle on a nine-branched candelabra called a “menorah”. Eventually, all eight candles are lit together on the final night. Hanukkah is also a time for giving and receiving small presents that are ultimately disappointing”. What about the potato pancakes, Dan? You’re not giving us the info we need. Franck (Country manager, Israel): “We sing, children play with spinning-tops (dreidels), and the family feasts on delicious sufganiyot, which are doughnuts filled with chocolate, jam, dulce de leche or cream.”
Kseniia (Software developer, Ukraine): “Ukraine is an orthodox country, so Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. People dress up and sing carols to their neighbors. New Year is a much more important holiday than Christmas. As far as alcohol is concerned, people usually drink sparkling wine, one of the most popular one being “Soviet champagne.” Kseniia, you had us at “Soviet champagne”. We’re tired of our western capitalist champagnes.
Daniel (Content writer, Spain): “In Catalonia, children usually keep the Cagatió in their homes in the run-up to Christmas, and feed it small pieces of bread or orange peel each evening. Then, on Christmas Eve, they gently hit the log with wooden spoons and sing the special Cagatió song, asking him to poop out lots of turrón (a sweet nougat) and other candy. The caganer is Christmas icon and a must-have in every manger’s nativity scene – a shepherd dressed in traditional Catalan clothes, with his pants down”. Daniel, we don’t want to judge, but this is some weird sh*t. Literally.
“Muslim new year will be celebrated in August this year, so the Christmas season is calm and non-existant. One of the traditional dishes for this time of year is the mloukhia. It is a thick black sauce prepared with a plant called Corchorus olitorius. Green symbolizes chance and hope for Tunisian people and the mloukhia symbolizes fertility, happiness and good news. Despite its looks, it’s delicious.” True for most people as well, Enis (Partnership Business Development Manager).
Francis (content writer, England): “In the UK, the pubs are full of office parties and drunken employees. The churches are empty, except for Christmas Eve when a few lapsed Catholics might decide to pay a visit to a decrepit church before it gets sold to a property developer and turned into loft apartments”. An inspiring image that warms our cockles, Francis.
Olivia (Communications Assistant, France) adds “For dinner, we usually pull a few Christmas crackers which come with pointless gadgets, awful jokes as well as tissue-paper hats that you wear just for the pre-meal picture. The traditional meal includes a larger-than-life turkey served with roast potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire Pudding, “pigs in a blanket” (sausages wrapped in bacon), followed by the timeless Christmas Pudding.” Sounds decadent.
Leo (CTO, Sweden): “In Sweden, Christmas festivities begin on December 13th with St. Lucia’s Day, which celebrates the patron saint of light. For Swedes, Christmas is a family affair. Traditional Swedish Christmas food includes bread, cheese, potatoes, meatballs, salmon and herring.” Sounds like a very Suede holiday, Leo..
Laura (content writer, Colombia): “Celebrations and preparations start on 1st December with Christmas lights (“el alumbrado“) which are displayed well into January. On the 7th of December, people celebrate “El Día de las Velitas” (The Day of the Little Candles), to honor the Virgin Mary. The main meal, “laCena de Navidad” is eaten Christmas Eve. Traditionally, dishes like natillas (set custard), buñuelos (fried dough balls) and manjar blanco (a milky spread) are enjoyed. Never has a “milky spread” sounded so appetizing.
Annabel (content writer, Germany): “Advent season is very festive in Germany. In addition to the calendars, a candle is lit on each of the four Advent Sundays. During this period, you can warm up with some mulled wine from the Christmas market. On the 6th of December, we celebrate Nikolaustag (Santa Nicola), where we put sweets and small presents into the boots of the children. On Christmas Eve, the first and second Christmas Days, we celebrate with our family and good food and wine.” We all dream of finding presents in our boots.
However you spend the holidays, consider making some New Year resolutions, like learning a language (business is business after all).
On behalf of the Gymglish team: Happy Holidays!
A Christmas Carol, Edwin L. Marin, 1938