Merry, merry


I can’t believe how time flew by and now we already have December 24. The plan is to go on a short walk and then tonight we will sit down for our Christmas Eve dinner (German sausages and potato salad), 4 candles burning before we sit in front of the Christmas tree to unwrap presents. Did you know that in Germany you do the presents on the 24th instead of the 25th? There is no Santa coming down the chimney and no socks on the mantle – oh wait, we do have the socks on the mantle. I guess that’s what happens if you mix up the traditions.

Earlier this month I received my package from the Secret Santa Mug Swap that San from the in between is mine organized. I like little surprises so much and mug I received from @thecarolinaetc is so pretty, don’t you think?

World Market haul

To make our Christmas dinner I took the 30 minute trip to our closest World Market in the area. Regular hot dog sausages just won’t do for Christmas. Our local market which carried German products closed recently because the owners retired so longer car drive it was. The kids had fun, too I think since I asked them to pick the sweets. Pico Balla Haribo are our favorite. I was crying a little inside about the prices ($10 for a glass of sausage) but if it tastes a little like home that’s what it is. My son even found a present for his big sister: a magnetic hourglass what he thought was really cool (and I think she will, too).

GIngerbread honey cookies

Instead of writing blog posts I spend quite some time recently making cookies. We made our traditional gingerbread honey cookies twice because the first badge was finished in no time. Since cookie time is over I will save the recipe for next year and share it then but I am so happy I finally found a good recipe that will make your own gingerbread spice (in Germany they sell premixed spice packets for this and a lot of recipes ask for it).

I also made cinnamon stars, San’s Vanillekipferl, black and white cookies and another almod type cookie. We also made marzipan potatoes (no potato involved just powdered sugar and almond flower and cocoa powder mostly) which are not pictured. This morning I put a plate of our goodies together for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. I think we are ready for the holidays to come and I will make note of a couple future blog post ideas.

I wish you a very merry Christmas if you happen to celebrate and to everyone else: I hope you will enjoy a couple quiet days that will leave you refreshed for the days to come.


German traditions – the advent calendar

Counting down

Since today is December 1st the count down to Christmas using the advent calendar begins. My kids were happy to learn this morning that they are getting one this year (lucky them that I finished it before we were in Las Vegas). Did you know that it’s origin goes back to the 19th century and seems to lie again in Germany? The main purpose was to count down the days until Christmas Eve and to shorten (or sweeten) the wait.

When I was a child we mostly had chocolate filled advent calendars similar to the ones you can find at stores these days. Each day you open a door and find a piece of chocolate with a different motif. When I was little we sometimes used the molds to fill with candle wax when all was done.
My first boy friend back in the day made one for me with a little present each day similar to the one I made for my kids this year (above).
Sally, from Little Hiccups made an activity advent calendar for her kids what I think is very cool, too. I found another one over at eighteen25 that uses cut out snowflakes and doubles as decoration.
There are pretty cool picture advent calendars. They come in all kinds of sizes and pictures (including postcard size) that will reveal a new small picture each day. In old times it used to be christian motifs but the newer ones show Christmas markets, teddy bears, cats – there is something for everyone.
By now you probably saw the Lego advent calendars when shopping (at least it’s hard to miss if you have kids) and there is a list of other companies that make them these days as well (teas, jam, games, christmas ornaments, the list seems endless).
Through another blog I came across the Reading Countdown Advent Calendar from Everyday Reading. Oh, how I wish my kids were still younger.
In Germany they also have book advent calendars that tell a story over 24 chapters and my favorite German kids character “Die Maus” has an online calendar with a clip hiding behind each door (sorry, that it is in German only).

I am sure I could continue this list a while longer. Do you have an advent calendar at home and which one would you prefer if you would get one?