Okay, here’s the truth. Not ALL Christmas gifts are banned in Croatia. Probably, you could throw a party in the privacy of your home, but the work holiday parties in both the public and private sectors, have been crossed off the holiday to-do list.
Even the holiday parties without gift-giving are off the list. There will be no Ho! Ho! Hos! this season says Prime Minister Ivo Sanader–at least, not at work. There won’t be frolic for New Year’s either, for that matter.
The economy is keeping Santa and Father Time from showing up. Just like in other parts of the world, Croatia’s financial health is on that downward slide into Scroogeville. The prime minister said that it’s time for the country to get serious. Getting serious means no parties. Cutting out parties is just one step to balancing 2009’s budget.
This article I came across about Christmas in Croatia gave me the notion that Christmas is quite the big deal in this country. I imagine that this ban on celebrating must feel like a real bummer. The BBC article about the ban points to tourists as hope for a brighter tomorrow. If tourists keep coming to Croatia in high numbers, the economy might rally. Perhaps the department of tourism can do a “Bring back Christmas; Come to Croatia” campaign to attract visitors. The word “tourists” could be written in the blank in the above photo by woodsy. Currently, the fear is tourists will stop coming.
I’m not so sure about heading there for the holidays, myself. Particularly if one is looking for good cheer.
If there isn’t money for parties, what about holiday lights? Perhaps folks in Croatia are like folks in Whoville and will manage to have holiday fun even with the Grinch-like economy lurking in their midst.