In our 7 or so years of being a family, the thought of Christmas has usually filled me with dread, always something sad seems to happen (we know what that was this year, happened left of the Pond), but this year for some weird reason, Christmas for us ran very well and smoothly. I’ll outline what we did this year, and I’d love to know what was done by our mixed TT families here. I’ll discuss what the plans were regarding the tree, Christmas Eve (German Christmas) the obligatory visit to the inlaws, and the Dinner on the 25th.
Having grown up with an artificial tree in Britain most of my life, the ritual of going out and hunting down a real tree is something I love here in Germany. We used to go to places like Rauchenberg near Aying to cut our own tree but found it a tad too commercial, so went to a local farm. All the same, the tree was locally grown. The kids did a great job of decorating it, and I finished it off with real candles, which we lit at present opening time, with a safety bucket of water at hand.
I/we decided to stick to the German tradition of opening presents on 24 December, early evening. The kids are kicked out of the room, the fire is lit to roaring level and when the candles around the room are lit we ring a bell and they are let in to open their presents. we don’t spoil them with lots of crap, just enough, and no digital stuff just yet. They are more than thrilled with what we give them. We usually follow my wife’s tradition of salmon on toast with the toaster brought in the room and the freshly charred remains passed round. In the past the wife’s fam get togethers even involved lobster and caviar, when she was a nipperin.
Christmas Day for me until today used to be the worst day of all, but oddly enough I found myself up early out for a brief jog which really helped wake me up. My normal proceure is to wake with a sore head and start the cooking in a foul mood! But this time, a decent start, kids banned from the klitchen (I can’t multitask to save my life) and a wife out cycling made the whole process of cooking the chicken very very relaxed, stress free and the best dinner I may have ever made, considering the eff ups I have made on the 25ths of the past.
Tomorrow Boxing Day is earmarked for yet more Saturnalia blowout with the obligatory inlaw visit and exchanging of cheap usually offloading of last year’s unwanted Chrimmy gifts. This will be venison with blaukraut, knödel dumplings and lots of shouts ensuing from the kitchen as usual.
So that seems to over several years have evolved into our tradition which always was a compromise between two cultures, into a nice way to celebrate.