Christmas Message from the Brazil Animator

The holiday season is already beginning to get underway and it is a very special time of year for everyone. It is a time to celebrate both our religious beliefs and to share feelings of peace and goodwill for our fellow man regardless of our religious stripe.

I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Feliz Natal e Prospero Ano Novo / Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year. I would also like to thank all of you for your participation in the forum over the past year, your helpful responses to other members and most of all for your many postings and private messages of encouragement and support for my efforts as your Animator.

For those members who will travel to spend the holidays with family back home I wish you an extremely happy and memorable holiday visit filled with lots of love and laughter. I also wish you a safe and pleasant journey regardless of your destination. Enjoy, have fun and come back to us here in Brazil safe and sound.

For those of you who will be spending the holidays here I know that it can be a difficult time, not one you may be looking forward to at all - being separated from family and loved ones is never easy, especially at this time of the year. Just remember you're never truly alone. You will be in the thoughts and hearts of everyone you love just as they are in yours. Remember too that there are many of us expats who are in the same boat as you are.

Rather than sit about and dwell on the fact that you're not with them, go out and take in some of the Brazilian traditions that surround Christmas and the New Year. Regardless of your religious beliefs or fluency in Portuguese stop in at a Brazilian church near you on a Sunday or Wednesday when services are traditionally held; if for no other reason than just to be around other people.

Take the time to reflect on the good things in your life, about being here in Brazil and I'm sure you all will be able to find many of them if you really try. Then look around you at those Brazilians, especially the children, who are far less fortunate. Perhaps they won't even have a Christmas at all, no fancy dinner and certainly no presents under the tree.

If you need a holiday mood lifter maybe you can even try something that I always do to put me in the spirit and make me feel good about being me. I look around close to home to find a really needy family I go out and buy a "cesta básica", a case of 1L boxes of milk and a small turkey or ham. If they have small kids even a few inexpensive toys, then I make a surprise visit to deliver everything to them. I for the most part live on a small retirement pension so I'm far from being rich myself. However the joy that I get out of seeing the joy it brings and knowing I have made a difference for at least one family is worth the R$200 or so that it will cost. I consider it a Christmas present to myself.

Once again, to all of you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, God Bless each and every one of you now and throughout the coming year.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Hello everybody,

Well, the year is drawing to an end and over the next week I don't know how much I will be online, but I'll be back.


Thank-you all for a wonderful year on the blog.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

I also wish all expat-com friends Best Wishes for the Holidays!

Cheers, Douglas