A Christmas wish (come true)

Cologne Christmas Market

{source: my flickr}

How it is already December absolutely escapes me, but since December is one of my favorite months, I just try to embrace that it is here and focus on enjoying the crap out of it.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I just love the season. What can I say? I always look forward to this time of year with anticipation and fondness. Every year, though, we struggle with the how and where we spent the holidays.

I thought this stuff was tricky, when I had a boyfriend, who lived literally not even a mile away from my house and we had to decide if we see his family on Christmas Eve and mine on Christmas Day or vice versa.  Now imagine a 400 mile-distance separating us from J’s parents and 6000 miles (including an ocean) separating us from mine. It’s a whole different ball game.

If I am quite honest, my only true wish for Christmas every year is to go back to Germany and spend the holidays with my family. I realize that this seems kind of selfish and I know most couples probably work it out so that they take turns every year (depending on where their respective parents and in-laws live), but I have a hard time compromising this way. It’s not that I haven’t spend Christmases in California with J’s family before or that I didn’t have a good time. I did! It was just different.

I think Christmas is just not as important to J (and his family) as it is to me and my family. I think, J only gets excited about Christmas, because I get excited about Christmas. I don’t want this to sound mean or judgmental in any way, because I really have respect for everyone’s feelings around Christmas. It’s just that for me personally, there is no holiday more wonderful and nostalgic. It’s a holiday that needs to be spend with family and family traditions. I think (and hope!) J gets why it’s so important for me to see my family around this time of year.

Our holiday traditions obviously have changed a bit over the last few years, but a lot of things are still the same.
I am still expected to decorate our Christmas tree when I am home for the holidays (we don’t decorate the tree until the morning of December, 24) and my sister sets up the nativity scene. We go to church in the afternoon. Surprisingly, we don’t have one traditional Christmas dinner, but my Mom and Dad put together an original four-course meal every year. It’s always outstandingly delicious! While we prepare the food, we light candles, put on some Christmas music or a Christmas movie on TV and snack on Christmas cookies. My Mom and I put a lot of effort into setting and decorating the dinner table in a very festive way.

Now, with two kids as part of our family, Christmas Eve has even become a tad more magical again. Witnessing my niece and nephew experience the holidays is the sweetest thing and it makes my heart soar with happiness.

All this to say, I booked a flight home.

J and I will be splitting up for the holidays this year. We’ll be spending some time with J’s family before Christmas and then I’ll hop on a plane and see my family for the holidays, while J will spend more time with his family this year (as his brother will be home for Christmas for the first time in years).

I am hoping to go to the Christmas Market in Cologne, since I missed out on it last year due to my involuntary stay in London. (Just FYI, I will not have a stopover in London on my way to Germany this time!) I am hoping to spend some quality time with my great-aunt and other relatives. I am hoping to see a few of my friends, who I didn’t get to see last time when my visit was cut short. I am mostly looking forward to spending 8 days with my parents, my sister, my BIL and the kids in Austria in the snow and finally get on my skis/snowboard again! Hooray!  It’s been much too long!

What are your plans for the holidays?


  1. Yay, that is just so amazingly cool! I’m very happy for you! :) :) :)

  2. WOW! Your Christmas sounds like so much fun! I love how your family incorporates so many traditions. I’m glad you are going to make it home to spend time with your family. Happy Monday!

  3. We’ll be home alone this year, as Mandy and Matt have tickets to a Patriots football game. They’ll come up a day or two after. Next year….

  4. Oh, yay! This is wonderful news. I’m so excited that you get to spend the holidays with your family! I could not agree with you more. The holidays are just not the same without family. Aaron and I are lucky, our parents houses are literally five minutes apart.

    Again, so very excited for you my dear :)

  5. That’s great you’re going home for the holidays! I love Christmas too and it’s all about family for me too, well, family and gifts and food, lots of food! Hope it’s great and you do not have a repeat of last year.

  6. I’m glad you’re going home for Christmas this year -I hope you don’t get stranded anywhere this time around! I’ve only been home for Christmas once since moving across the country and it was SO expensive and such a pain to fly, with all the delays and getting bumped from flights and whatnot that I haven’t bothered with it since. We try to visit my family for a week in November or May, when it’s cheaper to fly – and spend Christmas with Nathan’s family. My family doesn’t have a lot of Christmas traditions, anyway – and we’re spread out all over! – it’s really important to Nathan’s family that we be here, so that’s what we do.

  7. That’s awesome – I hope you’ll have a wonderful time!

  8. i’m so happy for you! i wish i was goiong home too but i have to work. :( although me and my family have never done anythng spectacular on xmas, it’s still VERY important for me to have it as i’m used to, as we’ve always done. i want the same food, the same routie with xmas gift givings, i want the nuts and the figs.. this year i’m spending it with my boyfriend’s family and his daughter though, so i guess i’ll have to comprimize this year, and it worries me a bit.

  9. I’m really glad to hear you’re going home for Christmas this year. I think it’s so important – especially if you’re such a lover of the season. And good god, I hope you get there safe and sound and QUICK – not like last year!!

  10. Awww, am so excited that you’re going to go home for Christmas! I’ll be going home to spend the holidays with my family as well, and I cannot wait!

  11. I’m so excited you’re going to get back to Germany :) I don’t have any current holiday plans. I think we might be hosting a Christmas Eve dinner in our apartment and since it falls on a Sunday I’ll be attending church. I may spend some time with my extended family too, but nothing scheduled yet. I thought I might have moved, so I intentionally didn’t plan much. It’s kind of nice :)

  12. THis is great. I am happy for you both!!

  13. I am so excited for you and your trip home! I’m also a tad jealous, I think you should stick me in a suitcase! :)

  14. YAY, as I was reading this post I was hoping you’d say you would be going home for Christmas and you are!!!! I’m so excited for you. If I were in your position, Tyler and I would do the same thing and split up so we can be with our families.

  15. I am so excited and happy for you, San, that you are able to go home for Christmas. I never “feel” a difference between a weekday, weekend or holiday here in the US. Nothing slows down here… ever. Especially on Christmas Eve about 2pm all gets quiet in Germany, and for me, that is important. I totally understand you. Especially since you are a very close knit family.

  16. It’s my favorite time of year too! I’m glad you get to go home.

  17. I think it’s so lovely that you get to go home. I love Christmas and for me, it really is important to spend it with my family! I’m happy you get to spend it with yours too! And yay! You’ll be in Europe! :)

  18. Hello! I’m new here! I just wanted to comment and say that I so know how you feel! I’m Australian, my husband is British and we currently live in London and I hate spending Christmas away from my family.

    This year, I put my foot down and flew my little self over to Australia where I’m currently sitting right now and very much looking forward to my Aussie Christmas but desperately missing my husband!

  19. I am glad you are able to get home! I did not realize you were from Germany, though! I went to Germany in December back in 2004 (wow, that was a long time ago now!) and I thought it was such a magical time to visit. I loved the Christmas Markets – and the gluen wine (I probably butchered the spelling!).

    I am single so do not have to figure out splitting the holidays… Which is really nice. I would love to be married some day, but for now, I am just enjoying not having to make choices about who to see over the holidays!!

  20. YAY! So excited that one of your Christmas wishes was able to come true! I know you’ve spent several Christmases in Germany and I always did wonder how you and J figured out how to split it up. It’s nice that it works out the way it does and that he understands how important it is for you to see your family this time of year.

  21. LMAO I could have SWORN that said AUSTRALIA and not AUSTRIA :P

    Its all good babe! You’ll miss J but you will have a blast with your family and then before you know it you will be with J again! All good…. Wow Greta must be all into the working so Chrismas by now… it definatley is a fabulous time for kids and they will only believe in the magic for so long…:-)

  22. yay! so excited for your holiday plans and love that you and j have worked it all out to see both families. but really, your traditions sound wonderful and can’t for you to celebrate it all. woo.

  23. I’m impressed that you and J are OK with spending the holidays apart. It’s not ideal, but if it means you get to go home and he gets to spend time with his brother, then I think you both win!

  24. Awww, so happy for you that you get to spend christmas at home!! I love christmas with my family, we also have some traditions. I want to try and start some with my kids to or just inherit some from my mom, as I think they are very important.

    One year a few years ago we spend Christmas Eve at my In-laws (we don’t really get along so this was the one and only time) and they don’t have any traditions so we spend most of the evening watching TV…and I told my husband even if it meant not spending Christmas Eve together that I will NEVER spend it there again…I will not let anyone ruin my christmas with a lack of hoilday spirit! :)

    Oh and btw…if we end up being in Bremen (in case you visit Kim) at the same time… how about Coffee at Starbucks?? My treat!

Comments are closed.