Members share their Christmas traditions with us

24 2009

Members share their Christmas traditions with us

Not answering the phone, celebrating Hogmanay and reading Dickens' Christmas Carol are just three seasonal traditions that MEPs shared with us. As people across Europe gear up for Christmas we spoke to some Members about what Christmas means for them. They all spoke of it as a time to be with family and friends and as a time for reflection.

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Astrid Lulling (EPP) told us that "in Luxembourg, at least when I was a child, St. Nicolas was much more important than Christmas, as far as presents for children are concerned. But we never got presents for Christmas. Of course, this has changed and unfortunately Christmas is more and more an occasion to offer and consume or to feel obliged to celebrate and consume".
She went on to say that "for me, it is still a welcome break to stay at home, meet friends who are alone as I am, without a close family".
For German Liberal Nadja Hirsch, "Christmas allows people the time and peace of mind to enjoy a joyful or simply restful time together". She told us she has found the true meaning of Christmas in the following section from the Gospel of St. Matthew 7:8: "For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened".
Ioannis Tsoukalas (EPP) said his Greek Christmas is strictly a family business and means all the family members around a common table discussing and enjoying time and remembering the old good days they had together. "In my family the tradition is reading the 'Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens," said Mr Tsoukalas.
Scottish Green Alyn Smith told us that for Scots, Christmas is a quiet time for family and for friends, but Hogmanay, or New Year, is a massive tradition: "Across Scotland people come back to their ancestral homes from around the world and spend time with their family drinking whisky and eating our excellent Scottish produce."
"Christmas means relaxation and do not call me during that time because I will not answer the phone!" says Swede Eva-Britt Svensson (GUE/NGL) "I have 3 daughters and grandchildren and we usually buy some Christmas presents and spend that time together. We have done this for 38 years now."
We wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!

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