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Mexico, USA, Canada, Brazil

American Christmas with the coaching staff

The senior staff at Bayern includes players and coaches from eleven nations. All have returned to their home countries for Christmas, a festival which takes on greater or lesser differences in every corner of the globe. quizzed four of the coaching staff, all of whom originally come from the Americas - assistant coaches Martin Vasquez and Nick Theslof from Mexico and the USA, and fitness coaches Darcy Norman and Marcelo Martins from Canada and Brazil. How would they describe Christmas back home?

Martin Vasquez, Mexico:
“Christmas in my home country is all about kids and traditions. The celebrations begin on the evening of 24 December with a big family dinner. A traditional Christmas meal for us would be tamales, a type of corn bread filled with meat, served with rice and salad. We go to church at midnight, and hand out the presents after that. We then have a relaxing family day at home on the 25th.“

Nick Theslof, USA:
“I come from southern California, so there’s no snow at Christmas like there is here in Germany. Some families even spend part of the time on the beach, but we do have Christmas trees and the typical seasonal decorations. All the house are beautifully lit up, for example. Traditionally, it’s a two-day holiday in the USA. It starts with Christmas Eve on 24 December. Families get together, some go to church, and some open their presents in the evening. However, Santa Claus normally doesn’t drop by until the 25th, on Christmas morning. Christmas in the USA is simply a time for the family. Christmas dinner is quite similar to Thanksgiving: we have turkey or ham.“

Darcy Norman, Canada:
“Christmas is the most important holiday in Canada. Everyone tries to have the family come together in one place. Where I come from in Northern Alberta, the whole family gets together for a big meal on Christmas Eve. We might open one present each, just as a foretaste of what’s to come. The kids get up really early on Christmas morning to open the rest of their presents. Then we enjoy a relaxing brunch. A typical Christmas lunch would be stuffed turkey, roast potatoes, cranberries and freshly-baked bread. After lunch, people like to get out and about on snowmobiles or skis – you just try and get out in the open and suck in the clean, cold air.“

Marcelo Martins, Brazil:
“Christmas in Brazil is all about families. A lot of my family members live in different cities, so Christmas is a good opportunity to see everyone again and enjoy the festive season together. We’re meeting up at my parents’ house in Brasilia this year. We’ll eat together and give each other presents. I’m looking forward to the sun, because it’s summer in Brazil right now and very hot. I’m not used to all this cold and snow just before Christmas!“