From Holidays Around the World to Public Participation Successes

We’re taking down the decorations. We’re zapping the holiday music from the iPad. For sure, we’re hiding the scale – at least until May.

In December, the Collaborative Services’ blog took a trip around the world – in the spirit of the Big Guy at the north pole – to see how holiday celebrations are observed by other cultures. Our nation is becoming more diverse. It’s enriching to learn how other citizens of the world live.

For instance, we learned that in Spain you gobble 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Credit: Noble Pig

Credit: Noble Pig

We learned that, for refugees, holding on to holiday customs is vitally important to their well-being and in helping them make the transition to a strange new land. After all, they lost everything else. Holiday tradition is something that can’t be taken away.

Credit: Jenelle Eli/USCRI

Credit: Jenelle Eli/USCRI

And, in my house, we learned that a puppy as a Christmas present really lights up a 7-year-old’s eyes. (We also bet that kind of reaction spans many cultures too!)

As always, we thank our contributors and have one more very special thank-you to add:

Robert Carr, a former State Department employee who shared with us his experiences celebrating winter holidays in the many foreign lands where he has lived.

As we enter the new year, we look forward to continuing this award-winning blog as a venue for exploring a host of fascinating topics that help us better understand the world we live in and assist us in learning how to communicate with each other.

Collaborative Services is first and foremost a public involvement firm that seeks to unite people and communities and give them a voice in their growth and development. Innovations are coming fast and furious and we see ourselves as the bridge between those seeking to implement them and the many different locales in which they will be placed.

Credit: Fregonese Associates

Credit: Fregonese Associates

This  month, we will explore a vital part of our mission: public participation. We will look at the importance of engaging citizens and community groups to make projects – no matter how complicated or controversial – realities. We will look at key strategies, such as communication plans and stakeholder outreach methods and the new technologies available that can enhance those efforts.

We’re excited about 2013 and invite you to continue to visit the blog and, like us, learn and enjoy.

Mike Stetz, Alex Roth and Liz Faris
Collaborative Services Blog Team

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