Because we want to ring in this festive season and even enjoy a bit of a break, we asked our employees if they celebrate Christmas, how they do it, what traditions or customs are practiced where they live. As international as our Inpsyders are, their customs, heritage, and the way they see the Christmas season are a great example of the diversity that we enjoy at Inpsyde, – always with a great sense of family, connectedness, solidarity, and happiness!
Especially now, we know how valuable it is to take time for yourself and others, enjoy the season, and particularly, take care of one another. In other words, the true meaning of Christmas. This thought is important to us, and we keep it in mind through the hectic day-to-day agency work. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in the Christian aspect of Christmas – Inpsyders live with tolerance, and thanks to their multiculturalism, everyone can celebrate according to their style.
The traditions of some of our Inpsyders
The Netherlands & Spain
Joost van de Vijver
Even though I am in Spain, we will come together as a big Venezuelan family. I think there is nothing to do here but eat, drink, and give presents. The Spanish are not as big drinkers as the Dutch or Czechs, so I will have to see how it develops. Like many other countries where I have lived, I am sure it will have too much food and drink.
My own family used to make Christmas dinner with lamb (especially from our farm), but it is a mix of all kinds of traditions these years. We have made a Portuguese meal with pork, potatoes, and onions for the past two years. I think there will be something new this year. I am more focused on organizing good wines and whiskeys. I don’t think we are going to have anything out of the ordinary, to be honest. I believe the mix of cultures will probably make the biggest difference.
Head of PMO
The Christmas season is usually dominated by fasting, cleaning, and cooking. We decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve after the house is clean, and in the meantime, we have a traditional dish on the stove and cook. We cook a lot for Christmas. Some dishes include sarmale, beef salad, stuffed eggs, and lots of pork. Of course, we also make a lot of sweets like cozonac (a kind of brioche bread) filled with walnuts, Turkish delicacies, or just different types of cakes.
Usually, children sing on Christmas Eve, and sometimes adults do it too. We always spend Christmas at home. No matter where we are in the world. We’re coming home to Romania for Christmas. We always have a natural Christmas tree. We cook a lot and have friends over on Christmas Eve who help decorate the tree and unwrap presents. Christmas is my favorite time of the year.
Business Operations Manager
In Chile, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th at night. We cook delicious dishes and share a nice dinner with the family. We can cook whatever we want: beef, fish, turkey, or chicken with nice side dishes like salads, rice, and most importantly, a specific type of potato we call duchess potatoes (Papas Duquesa). These are very popular on Chilean Christmas tables. Pascua bread (pan de Pascua for dessert), is also very unique and popular in Chile at Christmas. It’s like a cake with sweet fruits inside. To drink, we have something very typical and local from Chile; it’s a drink we call monkey tail (Cola de Mono), made from milk, sugar, coffee, cloves, and aguardiente (lit: burning water, hard liquor or schnapps), typical strong alcohol. So this is like homemade Baileys that we especially prepare for the end-of-year parties.
At midnight we open the presents and celebrate. Santa Claus comes in a T-shirt and shorts because it’s summer and very hot here. We spend most of the time chatting with family and having special moments together until we go to bed because we’re so full of food.
Mahfud Harun Allatif
I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I enjoy the holidays a lot. It’s always a nice, long holiday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In my childhood, when streaming services weren’t very popular (or maybe didn’t exist), I never missed these movies during Christmas.
It’s also when we have more time to play with friends. Even if I have never had a Christmas tree in/around my house, I always like to see it because it is so beautiful.
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There are no typical traditions in my family, but we usually walk through the decorated streets and discover the most beautiful nativity scenes in town! Hopefully, Covid won’t stop us this year.
On Christmas Eve, young children usually go door to door and sing the Christmas carols. It is common to offer a small amount of money or a sweet treat for good luck. Since Christmas is a “family event,” we usually gather and have lunch or dinner all together (most of the time, it’s a very long lunch that ends up turning into dinner).
I personally like the Christmas season because every corner of the city is decorated, you get the opportunity to meet up with the whole family, and of course, that special Christmas dinner.
It is traditional to decorate a small boat called a “Karavaki”, in Greece. It has to do with people’s relationship with the sea, so this type of decoration is more likely to be seen in the Greek islands than a decorated tree.
Malta & Russia
Personally, I don’t celebrate Christmas or any of the other holidays. I work when I can/need/want to, including public holidays and weekends, and then take time off when I must. In Malta, a very Catholic country, Christmas is a big thing. Very similar to other European countries. Apart from the fact that there is no snow and very few trees. In Russia, Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. I’m not sure what the Russian people are doing that day because I haven’t been to Russia for 18 years.
I don’t have a Christmas tradition either. I don’t have a big family, and none of them are in the country I live. We spend time together when we want. There is no need to apologize.
Christmas is just a day off for me. This year I’ve applied for a few extra days and will spend the time doing the things I haven’t had time for: going on a date, or relaxing and recovering, or working on my open source projects, or discussing new ideas.
We love decorating our home to reflect the Christmas spirit. But instead of buying artificial trees or ready-made varieties, we prefer our own creations. My wife and I’s favorites are the trees we make out of the branches and the little lights we hang on our window every year.
On Christmas Day, if possible, we invite our friends to eat, drink and sing at the nicely laid table. We are always delighted to welcome the new year with our friends. While we generally like to celebrate Christmas at home, we made our plans for this year away from home. We’re going to the summer areas of the country with a few friends, renting a trailer, and celebrating by eating and playing together. In short, Christmas is a fun evening for us, where we are together with our loved ones.
Most people in Brazil spend the Christmas season the traditional way. It is a good time of the year to see family and parents and spend December 24th together. It’s summer, school holidays, and holiday season for almost everyone.
We usually play “Secret Santa” (Amigo Secreto as we call this game in Brazil), which is a fun and easy way for a group of friends or family members to exchange gifts.
In my family, we have a tradition of partying, grilling, and drinking all day long while some family members cook Christmas dinner. As for Christmas dinner, we usually have a large table with various foods. The food that mustn’t be missed is the Portuguese cod, roast turkey, and a roast suckling pig pururuca (both are very traditional Christmas dinners). The traditional Christmas dinner can vary depending on the state or region.
After midnight we celebrate or eat and drink – with old and good music. I usually play samba with my cousins and uncles.
We don’t want to miss out on the Christmas cheer in tropical Malaysia – dancing around the tallest Christmas tree in Malaysia.
We’re celebrating Christmas in a very small group this year, just with the kids and my parents. We usually have goose, but I think there will be roulades this year.
With us, the Christ Child usually always comes. After dinner, the two angels, the donkey, Peter and Ruprecht come by. I was able to experience this as a small child, and later, as a teenager, I presented it to the children myself. First as Peter or Ruprecht and later as the Christ Child. It was always lovely to see the big children’s eyes when they got their gift after reading a poem or singing a song.
A contemplative review of the year
Some people celebrate Christmas more than others, but it is always an affair of the heart for most of us. It is the time in which we reflect on the essentials, look forward to spending time with our loved ones, or simply treat ourselves to something.
We like to look back with gratitude on the good that the year has brought us and at the same time think of those who may not have done it so well.
We are, of course proud, of an extraordinarily successful year and thank the entire team for their tireless efforts. Together we are looking towards 2022 with great confidence and are already looking forward to many exciting projects!