It’s time for another guest blogger to write about their stylish Christmas today. Today’s post comes courtesy of Lili, who blogs at Relatable Style. She says of her blog, “I love blogs about “everyday style”, making everyday outfits go that little extra mile… so this is what I’m trying to do, too.”
I live in Germany, and today I’ll tell you about how we celebrate Christmas! First of all, we call Christmas “Weihnachten”. Our Christmas greeting is “Frohe Weihnachten” which pretty much translates to “Merry Christmas” 😉 Christmas slowly starts seeping in as early as October, when the first Christmas items hit the stores. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so there’s a lot of room for them! Around mid-November, the Christmas markets start. Every city and every village has one, and everyone goes there for Glühwein (hot wine with winter spices), Backfisch (fried fish) or Bratwurst (oh you know that one!).
When the Advent season starts, Christmas preparations usually get into full swing. Everyone has an Advent wreath, and every Sunday up until Christmas, a candle is lit until all four are shining. Usually, some time every Advent Sunday is spent sitting around the wreath with family and friends, drinking tea and eating Christmas cookies. It starts getting dark at about 3:30pm here in December, so that is a very cozy time. The kids also get Advent calendars, and it’s not uncommon for adults to get ones, too (these days, that is!). We are a little short-changed though and get only 24 calendar doors since our Christmas is on December 24th!
The first important date in Advent is December 6th, Nikolaus Day. The night before, children put up shoes and plates to find them filled with sweets and treats in the morning. In many families, people sit together and exchange little (!) presents in the evening. The day commemorates the bishop Saint Nicholas.
As December moves on, there are a lot of Holiday parties, and of course they are as popular here as anywhere. Secret Santa is a favorite pasttime. Recently, a special version got very popular: You have to bring the worst gift possible. Like, you dig through your basement for the most hilarious and unwanted stuff you have. It’s usually good for a lot of laughs! Among the things I received over the years were a drill, a plastic cannon, a men’s perfume, and a pretty ugly mug that is now my office mug. At least everybody knows it’s mine 😉
The Christmas tree is often put up the day before Christmas, which we celebrate in the evening of December 24th. This is our “Heiligabend”, which pretty much exactly translates to “Holy Evening”. The usual procedure is a mixture of dressing up, going to church, eating a lot andexchanging presents under the tree. The next two days are bank holidays, and there’s generally a lot of travelling involved to see various parts of the family. My family and I skip that part since our extended families live about 200km away north and south. I know, for most Americans that’s a walk in the park, but Germany is a much smaller country. A 2-hour-drive is an actual distance to us 😉
In my home, we skip church these days and just take an evening walk in the woods, usually to a little chapel. There, we sing some Christmas carols,wish each other a merry Christmas and then go home to exchange the presents. Afterwards, we eat a small dinner and just spend the evening together. Lots of young people are going out to party after they celebrated Christmas with their parents, but I never did. Those are suchcosy and relaxed days, why would I want to go anywhere? Even now at 30,I stay at my parents’ house until December 27th. Then I go home and celebrate another Christmas with my boyfriend and my housemates. This usually involves raclette or fondue, both of which are pretty popular for Christmas here 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my post about how we celebrate Christmas in Germany, and of course I wish you all a nice and peaceful Advent and a very merry Christmas, whereever you live! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you harmonious and relaxing holidays with the family 🙂