In Germany, many people are looking forward to Christmas. The holiday is not too far away and many of the preparations are well under way. But what do the holidays look like in our subsidiaries? Do our colleagues celebrate Christmas and are they planning a party? That was what I wanted to know and so I asked our international colleagues just that.
Christmas in Europe
Our colleagues definitely celebrate Christmas at SMA France; they’re having a Christmas show for all employees and their families. Each child will receive a gift from Father Christmas himself! They’ve organized a potluck with each employee invited to cook something and bring it to share. Of course, they have traditional French Christmas food. For example, a dessert is called “bûche de Noël” (Yule log Christmas cake), explains my colleague Dalila.
The Christmas party of SMA Hellas will be on Friday. In Greece, Christmas is one of the biggest religious holidays and there are many traditions. Decorations are part of the season too. It is common to adorn your home, and many even decorate a Christmas boat. To welcome the New Year it is custom to prepare or buy a special cake called Vasilopita, says Vicky. The cake contains a “coin,” which according to tradition will bring good luck to the one who finds it.
SMA Ibérica celebrates every year on the same day as the General Meeting to end the year with a Christmas party, explains Miguel. They hold this meeting twice a year, with all employees, to let everyone know how the company did over the last year and the expectations for the coming year. Afterwards, the dinner will take place at a restaurant in the middle of the bohemian district called “Gracia,” in the heart of Barcelona. After dinner, they’re going to an improv theater.
At SMA Central & Eastern Europe the Christmas is celebrated a bit later because of the orthodox traditions. The international team enjoys the Christmas party with Tasty food, Glühwein, Christmas carols. Barbora is looking forward to meeting all the colleagues that she normally sees so rarely (e.g., the field technicians).
Christmas around the Globe
South Africa is a multicultural and multireligious country with 11 official languages. Due to this diversity, the law allows everyone to celebrate their own religious calendar events. Joseph and his colleagues of SMA South Africa held their team building/ year end event on November 30, 2012. They deliberately didn’t call it a Christmas party out of respect for other religious celebrations.
While the United States is made up of several different religions and cultures, the widely celebrated holiday is Christmas. Other popular religious holiday celebrations include the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and the African celebration of Kwanzaa. SMA America hosts a holiday party, typically at an off-site restaurant or ballroom. Our colleagues enjoy great food, dancing and drinks. The theme of this year’s holiday celebration was “Masquerade Ball” where guest were invited to dress up and arrive in masks, explains Melissa. While SMA America hosts a company-wide party individual departments often celebrate the season with their own festivities.
In Thailand, Christmas and New Year is one long event that has been merged into one celebration. Normally, Thai families do celebrate Christmas but they don’t celebrate it by going to Church or singing carols around the tree. This year, SMA Thailand has a plan to meet for an outing in a nearby province which will combine several activities, says Nonglak. In this event, they will have their annual communication strategy, workshop and team building activities.
SMA Australia started the Christmas bauble rolling last week at Bistro 80 in the renowned Star Casino in Sydney. The team was in fine festive spirit (donning Santa hats and reindeer antlers) to enjoy good food and wine with colleagues and friends, reports Lucy. The highlight of the evening came at the awards presentation that honoured team members with coveted titles such as ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ ‘Smarty Pants’ and ‘Jack the Lad.’
Happy Holidays and a Great New Year!
And how do you celebrate Christmas? We wish you and your families Happy Holidays and a great New Year. We will be back in January to continue providing you with all kinds of new behind the scenes information about SMA.
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What even my colleagues do not know about me:
As a teenager, I was the passenger for car scavenger hunts and always took the trophy for best female and youngest participant home – which was not that difficult.