Meet Patrycja, originally from Poland, she has not only made Cape Town home, but is passionately promoting South Africa via different platforms. She is the Founder & Editor of Travel Opulent Box – an online magazine focusing on travel in South Africa. Add to that a #HashtagRadio Presenter, Hospitality Consultant, ex Hotel Manager, a Social Media & Community practitioner and Travel Blogger.
As Patrycja has travelled extensively in South Africa and abroad, she has experienced various holiday traditions. Here’s her take.
Do you find that business slow down during the holidays
Yes and No. It is holiday for some, but for many businesses out there it’s actually the busiest time of the year.
Do you find that networking at holiday parties’ work or more often people don’t tend to follow up.
A Holiday party is just that – a party. So if you come to network and do business you’re in a wrong place. Relax a bit.
Would you say this is promoting saving the environment or mere clever marketing especially at this time of year?
Both. Environmental ideas sells this days; not only does it showcase the brand as creative and innovative but simultaneously it educates people and lure potential clients.
What do you like about the holidays?
The Festive Season has always been my favourite. It’s a time of sharing and giving, pretty fairy lights, and decorations. Let’s not forget the Christmas tree, carol singing and of course special family times.
Name your Favourite Holiday Jingle and do you have an advent calendar.
I love old Christmas Classics and think Christmas without Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” wouldn’t be the same . As a child we always had Advent Calendars and we were very strict with opening the right door on a specific date. It added to the Christmas countdown excitement and a great childhood memory. I have given Advent Calendars as gifts but haven’t received one yet. (Hint, everyone reading this)
What is your First experience of a South African Christmas and what are your thoughts on the misconception of Christmas not being celebrated in South Africa/Africa?
I grew up in Poland so our Christmas celebrations are very traditional. The winter weather adds to the atmosphere. My first Christmas in SA was a bit of a shock. Looking for a Christmas tree in a 30 degree heat just didn’t seem right. The food and celebrations are different too. People around the world are used to celebrating Christmas the way they were raised. This will always be the closest to their heart. I am use to South Africa’s way of celebrating now and after all; all celebrations around the world are unique.
South African versus Polish Traditions – are there any that you favour?
I am happy that Poland and SA share the love of decorating Christmas trees. I adore the creativity involved in decorating and even making (think wire and beads) the South African Christmas Trees.
Do you have any holiday customs, old or new that you feel is important to uphold?
Polish traditions are alluring. One of them is the 12 Christmas dishes all Polish homes serve at Christmas Eve. This day is celebrated with traditional food via the 12 dishes, shared with closest family and friends. Plus one extra plate and seat reserved for an unexpected guest or even vagrant. Most of the 12 dishes are cooked specifically for this special day – and only once a year!
Any holiday traits that you don’t like, example increased traffic?
I avoid shopping malls in December.
Do you have any vivid childhood holiday memories?
My most treasured memories are decorating the Christmas tree and helping my mum in the kitchen with all 12 Christmas dishes.
What would the holidays be without food? Any must do or don’t food indulgences?
Christmas is a time to indulge in food. My philosophy- try it all in moderation. In Poland on Christmas Eve Carp is a must.
Who would you invite for a holiday dinner themed party and why?
I would invite my Mother and Grandfather (both no longer with us), as well as my best friend who usually works over Christmas and Brad Pitt (she’ll know why)
Do you think tradition is being lost with more people opting to go out on Christmas Day?
Sadly yes. For me it’s a family time – to spend TOGETHER at HOME.
Name your favourite Holiday Destination in South Africa and Abroad
Oh there are so many. In South Africa jut to name a few it will be Garden Route for sure, Klein Karoo and West Coast. Abroad … well I love travelling so everywhere would be special.
Any must do’s for those first timers seeking a sunny Christmas?
Make sure you have tones of sunscreen and drink lots of water. Get ready for a Christmas of a lifetime… Enjoy, Explore, mingle with Locals and do come back.
Any pet friendly destinations that you can recommend, as this is one of the best gifts we can give our animals, to take them with us.
A delightful discovery up the West Coast is the pet friendly Smugglers Cottage. It is suited for couples and families travelling with their furry friends.
Many see the holiday as a time to reflect on the year that’s been and what lies ahead. Do you find this is a time for introspection and aligning your goals for the year ahead?
I like reflecting on the past year to see what I’ve accomplished and how I dealt with certain situations. As this shaped me, so whatever happened (good or bad) is in the past now. We can be proud of it or move on.
I don’t write down all the goals for the year ahead, as things change. I take life as it is and embrace what comes my way the best I can. That works for me.
Name a memorable holiday quote or slogan.
“Christmas can’t be bought from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more” – Seuss
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