Christmas should be a time to chill, breathe and enjoy being with your family. The reality can be very different. We rush around trying to ensure our Christmas celebration is a sparkling affair, we rack up debt in the process, end up feeling frazzled. For some, Christmas brings dread due to lack of funds, shortage of family or friends to spend quality time with or worse – no roof over your head and soup kitchens being your only salvation.
We thought we would feature some really lovely traditions around the globe which we think are fabulous and put “care” into Christmas.
Polish Empty Chair
There is a wonderful Christmas Eve tradition in Poland, where an extra place is set at the table in case a person who is down on their luck should show up and ask for shelter, although these days this is less likely to happen the tradition still carries on in many families who are happy to welcome lone strangers into their homes and treat them as family.
Sweden’s St Lucia
The biggest festive celebrations in Sweden take place on 13th December. Known as St. Lucia’s Day, this ancient tradition is inspired by the movement of Christianity into Sweden; ‘Lucia’ (or Lucy) would wear a crown of candles and secretly gift food to persecuted Christians. Also the date of the Winter Solstice, Sweden celebrate with a festival of lights.
Girls dress in white with a red sash and carry a crown of candles on their head to join in processions throughout schools and towns whilst boys dress as ‘star boys’. The country selects a national ‘St. Lucia’ who travels around hospitals and care homes singing songs and handing out ginger snap biscuits.
Scandinavia’s Mischievous Elf
In Scandinavia, Santa’s helpers who create all the handmade presents, take a backseat to Nisse. Nisse is a good little farm helper who looks after the animals, as long as farmers take care of him. On Christmas Eve, he expects a bowl of porridge and beer, but if the farmer forgets, Nisse plays tricks on him. To keep him happy, kids have the responsibility of leaving out porridge for him.
Putting Smiles on the faces of the less fortunate
Why not do something charitable during the season of goodwill. The team at The Debt Advisor, have this year supported a local charity called The Wood Street Mission.
The charity helps children and families living in the local area who are facing poverty and are unable to buy the basic living items for themselves and their children.
Over Christmas, The Wood Street Mission collects toys and gifts for children, as well as everyday food items. Parents and families then have the opportunity to go to the charity and select some items they would like their children to have on Christmas day. The parents are provided with wrapping paper so they get to experience the excitement of wrapping the presents as well as seeing their children’s faces on Christmas morning when they realise that Santa has been!
So as you get closer to opening the final doors on your advent calendar, peeling the spuds and heating up the mulled wine, forget about the stresses and worries in your life and be grateful for what you do have and not what you don’t have, and enjoy this precious time with your family and friends.
From us all at The Debt Advisor, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If you are worrying about debts over Christmas or afterwards, get in touch. There a range of solutions depending on whether you are salaried or self employed or you are a director or shareholder of a limited company. Our advisors can speak with you about all available debt solutions such as Debt management, IVAs, Bankruptcy and Debt Consolidation. Should you enter into a debt solution with us, fees will apply. If you would like our team to call you, please use our contact form.
All debt solutions need to be carefully considered. IVA’s are formal solutions and failure to keep to the terms can result in your IVA failing and you could end up bankrupt.
There is also free debt help and advice available through a variety of debt charities. For more information, we recommend you visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.
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