Merry Christmas!

christmas tree

Merry Christmas!

This is probably my last post on “Christmas Special” because from today 6 pm on I will be only lazy, sitting on the couch, eating all the time. I am already a little sad, because it was a lot of fun and I hope I can keep up the frequent blogging! 🙂

This post is about Christmas Eve in Germany. I would like to give you an impression of how it is – although my family is probably not the best example for typical German behaviour this day. Continue reading

Christmas Market No. 2 – Shopping in the rain

Temperature outside: 11 degrees. Wind and rain.

christmas shopping presents rainEvery year I find myself in the city searching for some presents three days before Christmas. I can’t help it. The first week of December I am like: “Yeah, I already bought two presents! This year’s going to be different, I am super organized with Christmas stuff.” And then it’s Monday, Christmas Eve is on Wednesday and I still got nothing for Mum and Dad and Grandma. So I have to fight my way through thousands of people in over-heated shops, stand in huge queues and wonder how Christmas shopping was in past days without Amazon. Must have been like war. Normally I survive this situation by staying calm and thinking about nice things. But this year I failed in keeping my good mood… Continue reading

Christmas movie: Three Nuts for Cinderella

Temperature outside: 5 degrees, thunderstorm (not kidding!)

Christmas is all about traditions. There are certain things that mean Christmas to us, a song, a certain dish or a movie. In Germany there are several classic movies that return on TV every year at this time. For example “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (just yesterday) or – and this is my favorite – “Three Nuts for Cinderella” (also: Three Gifts for Cinderella, in German: Drei Nüsse für Aschenbrödel). It’s a Czech and East-German (DDR) fairy tale from 1973. In the anniversary year 2013 there was a big exhibition at Schloss Moritzburg in Saxony, where the film was shot. I think the movie is very beautiful. The story of the poor girl Cinderella who has to work for her greedy stepmother and sleep in the ash of the fireplace is set in a snowy medieval scene. A perfect nostalgic winter movie and I loved it so much when I was younger! Continue reading

The Ghost of “Last Christmas” – 30 Years, 1 Song

Temperature outside: 7 degrees. Raining 4 days in a row, killed all my Christmas feeling…

There is a ghost wandering through Germany every year in december. A song that they play on the radio again and again, for 30 years now since 1984: “Last Chistmas” by Wham! No song divides Germany like this so it really should have a place in my little explanation of German Christmas customs. Themed: “Once bitten, twice shyed!” 🙂 Continue reading

Charity for Christmas is great. But why such a bad performance?

Temperature outside: 5 degrees. Maybe this is global warming.

Yesterday, zapping through the TV channels, I stumbled over the annual charity gala of the public broadcasting service ZDF. A huge event, all the very important persons were present and in the end they collected more than 16 million euro for the charitable organization “Ein Herz für Kinder” (A Heart for Children). Which is really really great! But the show – the show was crap. Sorry to say that, but it was bad. Speeches learned by heart and given in a mechanical manner and for me a little too much adulation for big companies that donated money. And “A Heart for Children” isn’t the only charity project that caused confusion this year… Continue reading

Shoes out for Nikolaus!

Temperature outside: Plus 3 degrees. This way we won’t get snow soon, I guess.

Nikolaus shoe customNo shoes, no gifts. And as every child in Germany knows, St Nicholas (Nikolaus) will only put his gifts into clean shoes, so you better polish them quickly tonight! This is why the picture is monochrome, so you don’t see how dirty mine are. 🙂 St Nicholas Day is not exclusively a German custom, as the Saint Nicholas wasn’t German. Other than Santa Claus (who is actually a form of commercial St Nicholas invented in the USA) he really lived, about 300 AD in the region where today you’ll find the state of Turkey. He was the bishop of Myra and was known for charitable acts – miracles in Christian belief. Today he’s the bringer of gifts, traditionally: fruit, nuts and other healthy stuff, today: chocolate! Bad kids will nothing tomorrow, of course, except the birch. Yes, that’s what they tell us. Hope you all have been good this year! 😉

Christmas Market No. 1 – Schlachte-Zauber

Temperature outside: Damn freezing cold – but still no snow…

christmas market Schlachte Weser Bremen

The Christmas Market “Schlachte-Zauber” along the river Weser in Bremen. It’s a separate market from the big one at the Dome and the Rathaus but has a unique atmosphere!

This evening I wore so many layers of clothes I could hardly move! I love the “Schlachte-Zauber” Christmas Market because it has a great medieval or “pirate theme” section – not historically correct but very cozy! 😉 You get all kinds of hearty food there, hot mead and mulled wine and all the people are in disguise and talk in funny medieval language. Join my small walk in pictures…  Continue reading

DIY Advent Calendars are the best! Want some ideas for next year?

Temperature outside: Minus 2 degrees. No snow.

advent calendar diy

DIY Advent Calendar: Little gifts on a long rope. Made by a good friend for me this year.

I would like to make something clear before you guys get a wrong impression: I am no Christmas lunatic! 🙂 My flat isn’t full of decoration and lights. Neither am I religious. But don’t you love to sit with a hot chocolate on your comfy couch while it’s cold and dark outside? See, that’s Christmas time. It’s the only time of the year when sitting inside and having horrible weather is actually very nice! I guess it has something to do with childhood. We learn from the beginning that Christmas is magical. (And getting presents isn’t too bad either.) I still stick to the traditions of my childhood. One of them is the Advent calendar.  I NEED to have one every year so someone has to make one for me. Self-made calendars are still the best! Continue reading

Advent wreath – First candle burning

Temperature outside: 0 degrees. No snow yet.

advent wreath candle

One candle burning. Happy first Advent!

The Advent wreath is a custom in Germany to pass the time before Christmas. Four weeks, four candles. Each sunday you light another one until all of them are burning. Originally, Advent wreaths are made out of green fir branches. I think the most plausible explanation is that the four candles symbolize the wait for and the increasing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. 175 years ago, in 1839, it is said, a theologian in Hamburg invented this custom.

I think, it’s pretty. Happy first Advent!

Series: Christmas in Germany

Status

Tomorrow’s the first day of advent season and I am planning a series about “Christmas in Germany”. Customs, decorations, maybe some photography if I find the time. 🙂 I really love Christmas, but it can be also very annoying and you will find some of my thoughts on the gifts madness here for sure! I hope some of the other blogs out there post interesting things about their Christmas time as well. How do you celebrate Christmas in your country? This will be fun!