Last stop before Christmas [Tomorrow, children, just wait!]

Do any of you non-Germans actually know the song I’m alluding to with today’s post title? The translation seems a bit skeevy to me so I’d be happy if you could shed some light. Nonetheless, at least for us Germans it’s true: one more wake-up until the big day. What would be more suitable then giving you another insight into the way I celebrate(d) Christmas?  It’s a ‘Better late than never’ post: When I saw this survey on Amanda’s blog I knew I had to steal it and what would make for a more fitting last Marvelous in my Monday before Christmas?

Before Christmas…

Christmas card

Do you send out Christmas cards?
Don’t hate me but: no. It’s not that I didn’t like the idea. But my family never did and at least with the ones we received in past years most had a standard greeting that was repeated every year. If I care about somebody I’ll either call them on Christmas or write a longer letter.

How soon do you start shopping?
Never soon enough. Despite my best intentions that “this year is going to be completely different and I’ll start shopping/crafting at the end of October already” … it obviously never happens.

Do you have a lot of gifts to buy?
Luckily not this time around. One benefit of being single [there has to be one!] ]and my brother currently working abroad is that aside from my dad and grandpa there are no other guys to get presents for. Why are men so hard to buy for?

Do you bake cookies?
Does anybody not? Shame on them! Cookie baking is essential for me to truly get into the Christmas spirit.


Cookies

Decorations…

Do you put up a Christmas tree?
Sadly, no. We don’t celebrate at home so my parents didn’t see any sense in buying one. However, there will obviously be one at my grandparents’ house.

If so, is it fake or real?

Always always always real.

Do you like tinsel?
Oh yes! It’s sparkly, it’s Christmas-y – what’s not to like? But with no tree this year and a lack of decorations in general there hasn’t been any of that [so far], either. Why not pull it our for New Years Eve ;)?!

Do you use homemade or storebought ornaments?

It’s a mix of both. From straw stars and golden walnuts [hand-painted by yours truly 😉 ] to ball ornaments and little figurines – our trees are never following a certain decoration pattern.

Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
Luckily, my dad has gotten us covered in that area of decorating and seeing those makes me smile whenever I get home from work.

Do you put lights on the tree?
Wait … does anybody not do it??? So: yes, definitely!

Christmas 2012_house



Christmas Eve…

Do you celebrate it?
Yes! Christmas Eve is the day of the main celebration in Germany. We get together with our relatives, decorate the tree together, have dinner and then play the dice when it comes to unwrapping gifts. Only those who get six eyes on the dice are allowed to pick up a gift.

Do you hang up your stocking?
Since we celebrate on Christmas Eve there’s no reason to hang stockings and we don’t open any gifts on the morning of 25th. I’d be curious to celebrate Christmas that way one day, though.

Have you ever left cookies out for Santa?
Another tradition our celebration on Christmas Eve has kept from us. If we had it over here, though, I’d make sure Santa wouldn’t leave hungry.

Christmas_candles



Favourite…

Christmas Movie?

Love, actually. I have to watch it every year no matter how often I’ve seen it before. This year, my mum was in for the fun. We watched it just tonight [Sunday] and agreed it was truly awesome.

Christmas Song?
As of Saturday evening I’d have to say ‘Santa Baby’ – a song I’d previously undervalued. But we can’t forget about ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’, ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ and, oh well, a slew of others, either. If we’re talking about songs my family actually sings then ‘Leise rieselt der Schnee’ and Silent Night.

Christmas Memory?
Another tough one. How about one of the most special memories instead? That’d be Christmas two (three?) years ago when we had plans of driving to my grandparents’ just like this time. However, it started snowing like crazy on 23rd so my parents decided we’d be safer staying home and we might actually not have been able to take those snowy roads. We [the ‘children’] were disappointed at first but then my parents who had hardly even decorated up until then managed to set up an awesome celebration in a matter of hours. Did I mention I love them? And I got to pick out a tree with my dad which somehow has become a task the two of us take of every year we’re celebrating at my parents’ place. It’s a dad-and-daughter thing.

Christmas Cookie?
Do I really have to choose?! Okay, if there’s no way out then my grandma’s very special cookies that don’t even have a name – hm, I guess we should change that … They consist of a shortbread round spread with homemade jelly, topped with thinly rolled out marzipan, confectioners’ icing and a glacé cherry on top. I’ll try to remember to take a picture this year.


Decor

This or That…

Give or Receive?
Giving. Watching others peoples’ faces as they unwrap my presents to them and seeing them smile is making for the happiest moments under the Christmas tree.

Ham or Turkey?
None. Are you surprised 😉 ?

Star or Angel?
A huge golden star. Actually, though, only if we celebrate at my grandparents’ because the trees at my parents’ house usually went ‘naked’.

White Lights or Coloured Lights?
We’ve always had white ones.

Blinking Lights or Still Lights?
Still all the way. Not sure how long I could look at those blinking ones without getting a headache …

Were you Naughty or Nice this year?
Welll … I hope Santa doesn’t see and hear everything ;).  Really, though, I’d like to think a balance in between the two. The Santa I interviewed for my newspaper article consulted his black book saying I was nice enough. Fingers crossed he was right …

Little Santa

Presents…

What do you want for Christmas this year?
Will you believe I actually forgot to write a wish list this year? I have no idea what I’ll be getting. Right now I just hope for a great time with my family. It’s been too long since I last saw some of them.

When do you open your gifts?
All of them on Christmas Eve – occasionally some from relatives we meet on 25th.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
Another tough one. Like many girls I was pretty fond of Barbie back in the day so maybe one of them …

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?
Just to clarify: we’re talking worst in terms of most useless here. So … sorry to the person who gave them to me [and my mum and my sister – so basically worst gift for each of us that year :shock:]: hand-crocheted scarves. Being extra kind and generous that relative bestowed us with a huge box of them – “Split them evenly among you, okay?”. Um, sure … Still, it was the thought that counted and that had been very sweet.

Do you like wrapping gifts?
This would have to be a two-part answer. First: yes, I absolutely like it. Call me odd but with the saying ‘a gift coming from the heart’ I feel the way it’s packed says a lot on terms of that. If the wrapper is loveless already it takes away  some of the joy in receiving the gift.
 Getting to the second part: I hardly ever wrap [Christmas] gifts. My mum came up with the sustainable idea of hand-sewn fabric bags using Christmas-themed cloth when we were small children still and we’ve been using them ever since. However, I do wrap birthday gifts so that’s where the loving packaging gets in there again.


Tree

Random…

Can you name all the reindeer?
No. But to excuse myself: we don’t learn that song over here. So … Rudolph … that’s about the only one I know ;).

Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?
Well, no. I consider it a pretty sweet idea in movies and as an all-out romantic would ideally find my Prince Charming that way :D. Once more I don’t think the concept has spread around here [yet?] though I did see mistletoes on offer in a supermarket around here last week.

Do you go carolling?
No. I’m not sure if I got the translation right but it’s done by Catholics only, right? In that case: yes, it generally exists in Germany and a friend of mine did many years. But seeing as I’m Protestant I never did.

Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?
Maybe not intentionally but I do slow down just a little when driving past all-out decorated houses on my commute to work and back.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
We had many white Christmas days though in past years they’ve become more of a rarity.

Who do you celebrate Christmas with?
It varies every year. Depending on where we celebrate [i.e. at my parents’ house, my grandparents’ or one certain aunt’s] and who’s around. Last year it was me, my two siblings, my parents, grandparents on my mother’s side, aforementioned aunt with her husband and two of my cousins, another uncle with his wife and little daughter. The whole family with more aunts and uncles as well as cousins traditionally gathers at my grandparents’ on 25th. This year it’ll be my family minus my brother [who’s abroad], my grandparents and an aunt on Christmas Eve.

Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?
No. Please tell me I didn’t I miss out on much!

What part of Christmas do you look most foward to?
Meeting family members I don’t regularly get to see.  The whole cozy and festive atmosphere. Hugging my grandpa.

Christmas 2012 1

Happiness inducing today: Watching Love, actually with my mum.

Happy Monday to all of you and I hope you’ll have an awesome time celebrating Christmas with your loved ones!

It’s your turn:

What was your favourite or most memorable Christmas?

Who do you celebrate with?

What do you want for Christmas?

And I’d be curious to hear your answer to any of the other questions, too!