Christmas Away from Home

Nothing brings home the significance of Christmas traditions like spending a Christmas away from home.

Glühwein at christmas

Glühwein or hot spiced (mulled) red wine is a wonderful German tradition.

My first Christmas away from home was spent with a family in southern Germany. There were many parts of their family traditions that I enjoyed enough to adopt later. I loved their beautiful advent wreaths and calendars. However, I missed the big Christmas tree going up early in the season. Even the wonderful chocolate and cookies didn’t quite make up for that.

To be honest, I found their Christmas tree erecting tradition somewhat scandalous. One parent took the children out for a very long walk on Christmas Eve day. They came back to find a fully decorated tree brought to their home by no other than the Christ child.

Christmas away from home German angel

Acquired over 20 years ago at a Germany Christmas market, this feather angel is still one of my favorite tree decorations.

Years later, when I was again living in Germany, I fell in love with the Christmas markets. Though they were commercial in a way—handmade ornaments and crèches were for sale—they were much more. I cherished walking through the stalls, smelling the roasted almonds and anise cookies. I loved getting chilled enough to warm up with the warm spicy Glühwein. Choosing gifts for family was a joy—all sorts of hand carved German crafts were available. It was a full sensory immersion experience in all things warm, fuzzy and well, Christmassy.

Now when we celebrate Christmas, I love adding the elements from the years that we lived in Europe. Somehow, they’ll always be a part of me.

Interested in sharing your memories? My website, Treasure Chest of Memories, has tips, resources, and a blog about memory sharing.


4 thoughts on “Christmas Away from Home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s