What does Christmas mean to you? – Part 2

by michelle anne richardson

And I am back with part 2, thanks so much to everyone who took the time to click on the link of Part 1, engage with it and most likely some of you even resonated with it.

Christmas is getting close and it is the run-up to the holiday that is super special not the eve and the day so much! Meeting friends and family, exchanging gifts, visiting Christmas markets, drinking gluhwein, eating raclette – just being merry, all of this constitutes the “fun” and sometimes also the “stressful” parts. (IF you’re still thinking gifts, click here to access my 2019 Holiday Guide.)

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Christmas @Basel Munster

Without further ado, down below you find more Christmas stories, traditions, and most importantly what this year has taught us.

Erin Chen, Zurich

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“We’re a multi-cultural expat family: my husband is half Chinese/half American and I’m Taiwanese Canadian. His parents and brother live in the US while his sister lives in Myanmar. My sister lives in Canada while my parents are in Taiwan. We’re literally spread across continents like many expat families! Christmas is when we pick a place and all of us come together, both sides of the family. So it’s a really special time for us — to have everyone together. We’re lucky that our families all get along. And it will keep getting more special as more kids are added to the mix! “

This past year, I became a mother and also founded a sexual wellness startup (Gilly) to help couples with kids deepen their intimacy. So one can say that I gave birth to 2 babies 😛

The one learning from both experiences has been: to trust myself. 

There is no “right” path to being a parent. Just as there is no “right” path to building a company. Everyone will have opinions and it’s easy to get caught up in comparing oneself with others. BUT, as my little one turns 16 months old, and as couples join our app to help test it, I’m learning that in the end — I just gotta trust myself. 

Trust in my ability to navigate the unknown, to figure sh*t out, to be resourceful, to ask for help, to lean on my partner and co-founder when I need to, to trust in my resilience.

Viola Langhagen, Luzern

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Christmas to me is getting together and chilling out as a family. We eat and watch movies, I love my shining Christmas tree, we also play cards and listen to music.

This year was extreme; I went through a separation after a 4-year long relationship as well as a divorce from my former husband. As a single mum of 2 boys, we had a financial crunch and I want to make the next year a better one for them! Despite all this I know, I achieved a lot. Music always kept me going.

Viola is a singer and a DJ, she says that music is her life.

Anna-Maree Stephens, Uster

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Made by Anna’s 7 year old

We love the Christmas build-up here, the Christmas markets, light shows, Lindt Christmas chocolate making course, Marlitram in Zurich, Christmas card making, gingerbread houses, etc and wishing for a white Christmas. It’s nice to be out of the usual hectic routine and just spend time together to chill.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask! I’ve put appeals out this year to help collect donations for charities and the response has been amazing.

Anna is the founder of Bratique, offering bra fitting services as well as an online lingerie shop.

Cat, Basel

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Christmas to me is being together with the family, having a special dinner and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. Pure love.

“Keep moving, although sometimes life seems unfair and too hard to handle: Keep moving forward and don’t give up on yourself. Make your dreams and wishes come true by truly believe in yourself.”

Follow cat on Instagram

Sunita Kour, Basel


Christmas is the time to look back and understand achievements and pitfalls through the year, a time to relax a bit so as to stand up to fight again.

“Never mix emotions and business. Shut down or wrap up what doesn’t seem to be working and don’t fear a restart. I had to close a part of my business this year, it was painful but also important. I understood the business better even if it meant taking some tough decisions.”

Sunita Kour is the founder of Time to Tea.

Caroline Palmy, Feusisberg

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For me, Christmas is symbolized with these words: peace and gratitude, togetherness, Christmas markets, and cooky baking. It is joyous to see the magic through your children’s eyes.

This year I learned to appreciate all my experiences, good or bad. During a moment of stress, I always took a deep breath – it helped me calm down and find a lot of answers from within. I learned to be more aware of myself and my heart.

Caroline is an Author, Speaker, and a Healer of hearts. Click here to find out more.

Emilie Pralong, Lausanne

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We consider it a time to thank all the family members for the past year and talk about everything that went well and what we could do better.

Get involved in women networks and spread goodwill. For me the following networks were the best discoveries of 2019: Women Rock Switzerland, Softweb.ch and mampreneurs.ch

Emilie is a PR consultant, find out more.

What are some of your family traditions around Christmas? Is there something you learned this year which you would like to share with the world? I would love to hear all about it in my comments section.

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My Swiss Story: What does Christmas mean to you?

It’s Christmas time, let’s spread some cheer and lift each other up!

Stay tuned for Part 3!

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