Sretan Božić

Which means ‘Happy Christmas’ if you are in Croatia. It means the same outside Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia, but less effectively I find. In Serbia, where people read acrylic, the meaning is more aural.

Spare a thought for Croatia this Christmas. The party’s off. No Christmas parties this year for the hard working Hvratskas. Santa has laid off Rudolfic.

When I read this, I thought it might have been the plot of a film: Santa, banned from the festivities, still manages to work magic and wonder into the hearts of cold, poor and deprived office staff in a remote part of Karlovac, by the power of Tourism. Yes, you too can do your part. Just clap your hands together, click on here and book your next trip to this beautiful country. I can highly recommend the lakes at Plitvice and the awe-inspiring views of forested hilly islands rising out of the Adriatic sea. Sweet, black coffee. Cevapcici. Fresh bread. Vista after coastal vista. Hay, laid precariously in mounds like small monsters on upright branches in fields. Marvellous waterfalls. Grey. Green. Blue. Red tiled roofing, with wood smoke. Train stations with no platforms. Chickens ranging free. Hog roasts by the road side. Sunsets over the water. Yachts. If you have never been, you should seriously consider it.

After all, Christmas won’t be the same this year.

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