Christmas is nearly here. It is honest! Now I know there are 4 weeks until the big day itself (24 shopping days for me) and it's not even December yet and the 1st of Advent isn't until this Sunday but everywhere around me, here in Germany the decorations are going up and Christmas trees are being bought...mad eh? And I'm not talking about just the retail outlets either - they've had their Christmas stock on the shelves since September and have been playing festive music for almost as long, but normal people, like you and I, are buying trees and stringing lights and hanging wreaths on front doors...quite, quite bonkers if you ask me!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm no bah humbug Scrooge, I love Christmas, I love everything about it (although I'm quite happy to skip the whole religious side of it - just call me an atheist ok?) I like the buying of presents, the wrapping of presents, the making the cake (that's on my list of stuff to do this weekend - got to buy the fruit first (tomorrow's job) and then set it all to soak in vast quantities of brandy for at least a week...it is, by no stretch of the imagination suitable for children, alcoholics or those about to operate heavy machinery) I also enjoy the buying of the tree, decorating the tree and hanging lights in every window (don't find the writing and sending of Christmas cards too inspiring but here in Germany they don't do cards, so now the only ones I have to do are those for people outside of Germany & I better go a move on with those I guess or they won't get there in time)
BUT surely putting up your Christmas decks in November is just a bit premature? I've had it explained to me in previous years that the lights are put up as 'winter' decorations, in the same way that the Germans like to put pumpkins around the front door for an autumnal display or spring flowers in February, so I can kind of forgive that.
However, yesterday I witnessed several elderly women buying Christmas trees and karting them off home. That I do not understand. Why on earth buy a fresh Christmas tree 4 weeks before Christmas? Because in Germany the tradition is to decorate the tree on Christmas eve and not before, so these trees have been bought 4 weeks early to lie around in the garden or on the balcony gradually getting drier and drier...crazy, the only possible reason is that the earlier you buy the more choice you get and so the more symmetrical and perfect your tree...and the more dessicated and needle-less it will be come December 24th!!
We'll get our tree maybe 2 weeks before Christmas and decorate it IMMEDIATELY and then I will make a point of standing it in the front window without the shutters down or any curtains drawn for any nosey person walking past to see, just to give them the pleasure of tutting to themselves about the crazy Ausländers traditions!!
dedicated to Muna!