Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt

I am in love with German Christmas tradtions. Sure, there are things that I have taken with me from the US of A, like stuffed stockings and unwrapping pajamas on Christmas Eve (we didn’t do that in my famliy growing up but my boyfriend Franz and I decided to!), but most of the German traditions speak to me more. Yesterday, as most of you know, was the second Advent. Last Advent was a little sad because Franz and I neglected to buy an Advent wreath in time to light the first candle on November 30th. So, since all of the stores and flower shops decide that nobody ever forgets to buy an Advent wreath (but seriously, who forgets that??), they only had tiny, one candle wreaths. So, like last year I decided to build my own. It’s modest, but it serves the purpose. We then got to light the first candle on December 2nd, while Franz sang the Advent song.

Another German tradition I am in love with is the WEIHNACHTSMARKT. It’s pretty much the best thing ever invented. It means Christmas Market. Every year at the end of November, each city builds their own Weihnachtsmarkt with many different stands where you can buy all sorts of things! There are stands for crepes, Glühwein (Glühwein, for those of you who don’t know, is sweetened, spiced, heated up red wine), roasted nuts, Bratwurst, fries, ginger bread, basically all unhealthy foods your heart could desire. But there’s more! (hard to believe, right?) There are stands to buy presents like leather gloves, wooden bowls, hand made jewelry, hats and scarves, trinkets like porcelain lamps, lighted stars, statues built out of tools and co. It really is a magical place.

Aside from that there is the hanging of candles on the christmas tree. I love that. On Christmas day the whole family lights all (12-13) candles together while singing Christmas songs. It’s basically beautiful. Don’t get me wrong I loved Christmas with my mom, and I only have good memories of eating all of the blue candy canes off of the tree at my Nana’s house and getting in fights with my sisters because they wanted a blue one, too (this is for real). I also loved the fact that my mom let us open our stockings right when we woke up Christmas morning so she could get those few precious minutes of sleep. You have got to admit, it’s a pretty savvy plan! What gets me the most is that it’s not the gifts I recieved that I remember the most, but the memories of spending time with my family. Back then I didn’t know just how much those memories would be worth to me one day. I will always cherish those memories, but it’s nice to be creating some traditions of my own!

I feel like a real grown up!! And yes, I know that saying that sentence proves that I definitely am not. Those feelings vary from time to time. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel like a kid again on Christmas day!

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