My name is Sean Mathews and I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. In 2003, I moved to the United Arab Emirates, and after spending a few months there, I once again moved: this time to Singapore where I spent the next 12 years of my life. Although Singapore had started to feel like home, the desire to find work-life balance led me and my family to Canada in 2015. I have been a part of the Arrive team for about eight months now and my role on the team is to help guide brand and communication strategy.

In Canada, the holidays are a time for celebrations with family and friends!

I love the holiday season in Canada because it lasts for more than a month! It’s really great to experience the festive mood for that long! Before moving to Canada, I was separated from my extended family for very long because I travelled a lot, but now I have them living 10 minutes from where I do and that makes it very convenient for us to get together over the holidays. We have festive meals and lots of parties; there’s one every weekend organized either by a friend or family member. The only thing I need to watch out for is my diet in order to avoid the risk of putting on more weight!

During the upcoming holidays, I intend to be with my kids and ensure they have the best time! My wife and I have planned to let the kids decorate the Christmas tree. We will be preparing 13 different dishes (all the ones they love!), one each day starting from the first day of christmas to the thirteenth. Additionally, we’ll also go carol singing at church, attend the Santa parade in the neighbourhood, and spend quality time with family and friends!

And Michael Bublé always helps boost the holiday mood! ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ is one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs. Michael sings it better than any other version of this song that I’ve heard. When I hear him sing it, I can feel every word.

For me, over the years, the meaning of the holiday season has evolved. As a kid, it used to be about looking forward to gifts and great food. Now, as a husband and a father of two children, the holiday season is about being grateful for the year that was, and diligently planning for the year ahead.

Christmas festivities are celebrated differently in India.

While the celebrations are relatively shorter, it’s still a lot of fun! It was an annual tradition for the communities in my neighbourhood to get together and participate in a star-building competition. So as to not be disturbed, everyone would work on building the star only at night — this meant that we could stay out until late, and our efforts were often rewarded by late-night treats that we all looked forward to.

Newcomers, look forward to having a good time during your first holiday season in Canada!

Even if you have just landed and are encountering the stress of settling in, don’t forget that this holiday season is going to be the first of many joyous experiences. You don’t want your first holiday experience to be shadowed with worries so I suggest leaving all your concerns behind, having the best time of your life this holiday season and the universe will bring you the gift of success sooner than you think!




About Arrive

Arrive is powered by RBC Ventures Inc, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. In collaboration with RBC, Arrive is dedicated to helping newcomers achieve their life, career, and financial goals in Canada. An important part of establishing your financial life in Canada is finding the right partner to invest in your financial success. RBC is the largest bank in Canada* and here to be your partner in all of your financial needs. RBC supports Arrive, and with a 150-year commitment to newcomer success in Canada, RBC goes the extra mile in support and funding to ensure that the Arrive newcomer platform is FREE to all. Working with RBC, Arrive can help you get your financial life in Canada started – right now. Learn about your banking options in Canada and be prepared. Click here to book an appointment with an advisor.

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