Do you celebrate any of the December holidays? I’m not big on Christmas myself, but I celebrate it out of habit. And because a lot of feasting and gift giving really does a lot to brighten the whole dark, cold winter thing. For the last four years, my husband and I have stayed home and made a big feast with the other Christmas “orphans” (orphans as in those who can’t or don’t go off to visit family around the end of December). Afterwards we would play a present game—everyone wrapped up something hideous and the roll of the dice determined what you ended up stuck taking home. But this year, we were invited to my husband’s mother’s house, and so we decided to take a more traditional stab at the holidays.
For those who celebrate, today is a day of family, ornaments, food, friends, and gifts. We’ll take one last glimpse at a German Christmas market before they close up for the season. Have a great day!
There’s nothing like the German Christmas market atmosphere. I remember the first time I had the chance to experience it back in 2009, when I found myself immersed in the wonderful Christmas market of Hamburg. I remember that evening like it was yesterday because it was then that I really started to fall in love with Germany. After this experience, I tried to spend all my holidays and time in this country, as well as learning more about Germans and their culture.
In under 48 hours, I will be celebrating my third Christmas in Germany. Most of my friends are still mildly surprised that I don’t go back to my mum’s for the festivities: Christmas is, after all, supposed to be the time when people return home to see their family to be treated like big kids by their parents.
However, I think it would be a shame to live in Germany and miss out on Christmas here, which, thanks to the Weihnachtsmärkte, extensive pine forests, and the invention of the word Gemütlichkeit really does have a head-start on all things Christmassy.
The British pub crawl is a much maligned thing. Probably because the word “crawl” implies that the participants are unable to walk between pubs, the pub crawl is generally interpreted by British people as an excuse to get absolutely hammered, and is therefore associated by our European neighbors with nothing more than drunkenness and debauchery of the worse, most British kind.
Yet as Brit living in Germany, I can point to a shining example of how the British Pub Crawl can actually contribute to rather than irreparably damage relations between my fair home country and our long-suffering continental neighbors. How do I manage this amazing feat of social integration? What glue do I use to make this diametrically opposed… er, thing stick? Well, it’s a mixture of mulled wine, cinnamon-flavored goodies and the Spirit of Yuletide itself.
I was around five or six years old when I saw snow for the first and one of just a few times. I remember being so happy to know that I didn’t have to go to school that day. Everything stopped. No one was able to do anything; we were not used to having snow – I mean we hardly even have rain in the winter. Almost 20 years has passed since that scene, but this morning when I left home I felt something falling – it was again real snow in Frankfurt, the only difference being that in Germany nothing stops due to the snow, it’s as if things are prepared to sustain all weather conditions, and life continues as usual, the trains, S-bahns, U-Bahns…