The holidays, and with that I mean Christmas

So, Christmas is only a month, 4 weeks and 1 days, away and here I am, all excited about the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with my family.

There is nothing in the world that I want to do more for the holidays… and yet, I keep coming across people – online and offline – who are dreading the holidays, don’t want to spend time with their families, and are generally disgruntled for having to pretend to have a good time when in fact, they’re not….
To be honest, I feel truly sorry for them. And yes, I know how lucky I am that there is no such feeling connected to the holidays for me.
Christmas has always been a special time for me and my family.

Is it stressful? Yes. Do we get hung up on insignificant things sometimes? Absolutely. But overall, I feel that Christmas is a time where we all come together and everybody feels happy and content that we can spend time together :)
There is no dispute about presents (Christmas is not all about the presents, you know ;)), everybody contributes to the overall success of our gatherings and I’ve never felt any tension between family members when we get together.
It’s all just nice and pleasant and very, very special.

In Germany, we celebrate Christmas Eve.  Here’s our little routine. On the 24th, I start decorating our Christmas tree in the morning while my sister sets up the nativity set. Then I help my Mom set the dinner table and start cooking Christmas dinner. (While we’re doing this, we light candles, put on some Christmas music or a Christmas movie on TV and snack on the Christmas cookies every now and then ;))
At 5 p.m. we usually go to church and then afterwards meet back at my parents’ house with my great-aunt and granddad. In the last couple of years, my Mom also invited my aunt (her sister) and my cousin Basti, as well as one of her cousins for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s nice to celebrate with a larger group of people.
We exchange our presents, we eat, we talk and just simply enjoy each other’s company. The night usually lasts until well after midnight.

Christmas day is not as big in Germany as it is in the US, but we usually see other family members that we don’t see on Christmas Eve, like other aunts and uncles, cousins and in-laws. (Well, granted, in my case that is NOT possible, but you get the idea). And then, we also get a 2nd Christmas Holiday in Germany (on the 26th) which is really nice and usually a day to “recuperate” from the two previous days ;)

Maybe now you understand why I am looking forward to the holidays with my family!

How do you feel about Christmas? And what do you traditionally do over the holidays?

  1. It’s been Hubby and I for many years now. We keep it very simple, perhaps watch a favorite movie, cook a prime rib, and by the light of the Christmas tree we toast our love. (Does this sound corny)
    I know this year you will be meeting your new niece and it will be a very special time for you. I will be thinking of you then.

  2. i cannot wait to celebrate christmas with the fam. to me it’s always a great time of holiday awesomeness.

  3. I’m excited for you to be able to spend the holiday with your family – what a gift! I think it really becomes more stressful for people with children in the house and trying to get “the perfect thing”. Every year I have to Let That Go in order to enjoy all of the magic – it’s a tough thing to do. The best Christmas I’ve had in a long while was the year I told everyone that I didn’t want any presents. It was hard for people to understand why, but I’m so happy I perservered! I didn’t have any expectations of anything so I was able to just BE. It was great.

    Have a wonderful time – you’ll be missed :)

  4. makes me wanna spend christmas at your parent’s house, too. i can only imagine how nice it must be – there’s so much love in that house. and it’ll be extra-special this year with little greta around! :) xoxoxo

  5. Wow, your Christmas sounds awesome. We don’t have any special traditions, except that there is always a big family get together of about 30 people. It’s quite a production, haha. Our family isn’t perfect – in fact, we’re anything but perfect – but I live for those get togethers.

    Make sure to take lots of pictures of Greta to share when you get back!

  6. it does sound awesome! so glad you get to go home! it will be J’s first german christmas this year, i wonder what he will think! i hope he likes it as much as i do. christmas in germany is just so much nicer than it is over here. :) oh i cannot wait to see you guys!!!!

  7. well, you know i am not a xmas person at all. but xmas means for me working until last minute and i don’t have a lot of good memories when it comes to christmas. so i don’t enjoy it too much. but i guess when u only have nice xmas parties and the family sticks together, then it’s a nice thing. and especially when you have kids involved. :-)

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