As the advent clock began to tickto ensure the Lab looked suitably festive for the Christmas countdown – we are in the business of design after all! So, in true Spacelab form we got creative and kicked off the festive season with, what has become one of our new traditions - Christmas arts and crafts!
This year we attempted to make ‘honeycomb balls’ (and rather successfully – even if we do say so ourselves!). As pretty as they are, it was a challenge that proved even more meticulous than Nathalia’s choice of origami stars in 2016 (we never thought that would be possible), and the RoCo Himmeli workshop in 2015.
As “decking the halls” has long been customary at this very merry time of year – with Germany usually given the credit for the first decorated trees as far back as the 16th century, it got us thinking about other festive traditions.
So as we cut, glued and glittered away, we got talking. And as we’re a culturally diverse bunch of people at Spacelab...
...we ended up discovering some rather interesting festive traditions! These ranged from the divine: latino family parties with lots of food and 'Aguardiente', also known as 'fire water' – basically the British equivalent of Sambuca; to the ‘from a different angle’: in Poland where people dress up in what appears to be a ‘modern day nativity’, and go around the houses, for what our Assistant Architect, Monika Wilczek, described as “festive trick or treat”.
She told us “instead of asking for candy, you sing to them”.
If we’re being honest it sounds exactly like Christmas Carolling but we’re enjoying her imaginative twist so as to call it an unusual tradition!
Interior Designer Nadia Belvedere told us about the ritual from the Catalan region of Spain, in which families buy or make a Tió de Nada – roughly translated as ‘Christmas Log’. The children then spend the Christmas period looking after the ‘log’ (which usually has a smiling face drawn onto it); feeding it and keeping it warm, so it will be more inclined to give them treats at Christmas. The tradition then goes, that on Christmas day, the children will ‘beat the log’ till it breaks, spilling out sweet treats and gifts.
One Christmas tradition we have chosen to ditch this year, however, is the previously ubiquitous “Office Secret Santa”. We realised the impact this kind of activity has on our planet, and that we could do more for our community should we do things differently. So, much like one of the men of the moment at this time of year, Mr Ebenezer Scrooge, we chose to change our ways. Read more about why, and what we’re doing instead, here.
So here we are – it is Christmas; another year over, and a new one just about to begin. With this in mind, we will be sharing our thoughts about the Past, Present and Future throughout December… Stay tuned!