Oh, I love Christmas. Not necessarily because of the presents I get but for the atmosphere. Here is a short overview of what makes Christmas in Germany special for me:
In Bremen we have two big christmas markets: the historic one at the market square and one at the river Weser which is more like a medieval market. Both have a really beautiful setting, cute little booths where you can buy presents and of course food stalls with various treats and snacks. I love to get myself a piece of fresh bread with a layer of lard which is the perfect base to have delicious mulled wine. And for some sweets I love the warm Baumkuchen (cylindrical cake built up of horizontal layers) with warm cherries. Yummy! So when in Germany, make sure to visit a Christmas market. Every city has one. If you don’t make it to the Bremen christmas market you might want to have a look at Braunschweig, Leipzig or Dresden. That are the ones I know and I love.
Glühwein and Feuerzangenbowle
Well, you probably already heard about Glühwein which is mulled wine and typical for christmas time. If you want to try one at a German christmas market ask the locals where they buy theirs. Because you can’t have a good Glühwein made of bad (cheap) wine. What I even like more than Glühwein is Feuerzangenbowle. For a Feuerzangenbowle you take mulled red wine with fruits (oranges and lemon) and spices (cinnamon, cloves). Then you burn a sugar loaf with hot rum above it so that the caramelised sugar is dripping into the wine. The result is just the most perfect drink for winter time. If you’re trying this for the first time at home make sure not to burn the couch table – I know what I’m talking about 😉
Christmas trees and decorations
I love decorating for christmas: setting up some candles, putting some figurines on tables and cupboards – just as a sign that now it is christmas time. From my mom I got a small wooden Advent wreath which I really love:
And of course, I do love christmas trees. In my family the tree is tradionally decorated not before the day of Christmas eve. My father is responsible for putting the tree up and I’m the one decorating it. I’m already looking forward to decorate the tree this year.
A visit from Santa Clause
Presents, of course, there are some and I’m not rejecting them 😉 When I was a child, we got a visit from Santa Clause (usually a neighbour) and had to perform a short recital before we got presents. Well, these days had gone. But now, my sister has got two kids and we started this new. So normally, we have some coffee and cakes at around 4pm and then Santa Clause is coming to hand over the presents. I’m curious if there will be a visit from Santa Clause this year (in one year I staged as Santa Clause, but don’t tell the kids ;-).
In the end it all comes down to lots of food. After three days at my parents‘ place or the place of my boyfriend’s parents I feel that stuffed as if I don’t need to eat for the rest of the year. The dinner at Christmas eve is really modest – just some potato salad with sausages. But on the next days we have duck with red cabbage and dumplings. Not to mention the cakes and cookies for coffee time. So, although I love spending time with my family it’s just better for my health to leave some day 😉
These are my favourite things about christmas in Germany. What are yours? How do you spend christmas time?