Today is Christmas Eve and that means that tomorrow is Christmas Day and I will probably be woken at some ungodly hour by over excited children - I'm praying they sleep longer than the 6.45 that I'm currently awake at (don't know why I'm awake so early, it is so frustrating don't you think, to go to bed looking forward to not having to get up early only to wake earlier than you normally need to? I think my subconscious was fully aware of all the things I need to do today before going to bed and so got me up extra early - thanks!)
German children get their presents on Christmas Eve, sometime between 5/6pm church and going to bed, and ours will get theirs, like all British children on Christmas day - I really need to find out the Santa angle on this...in Britain he doesn't come to your house until the children are asleep and using the Norad tracker http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html you can see where he is...so how do German parents explain this? Jasmine (aged 8 - a believer) tried to explain the Christkind to me - a baby brings presents? Surely not? I clearly need to interrogate a grown up - preferably one with children.
Anyway, the Germans find it equally confusing that our children have to wait till Christmas day for their presents (but it's what they're used to, and anyway, what else is there to do on Christmas day?) Jasmine's teacher even said to me 'but don't they wake up really early?'...hmmm, he has a point!
When we moved to Germany we didn't make any obvious decisions about keeping or not keeping traditions, but having spent 40 odd years in one country it kind of goes against the grain to change things, so what we do is adopt and merge, so our Christmas looks like this:
- Christmas Eve after our main evening meal the children both get one present
- Christmas day they get the rest
- we no longer send Christmas cards, apart from to our nearest and dearest (Germans don't do cards, at least not in the way that the Brits and the Yanks do - too commercial maybe)
- wont watch the Queen's speech - but then we never have (will probably get British citizenship revoked now)
- will have Christmas crackers -had to smuggle them in, you don't get them here
- will have Christmas cake (have to ice it today, would have done it yesterday but was 1 packet of icing sugar short) but will also have Stollen and Baumkuchen (literally 'treecake'...)
- have had the tree up and decorated for almost 2 weeks, whereas most Germans will be decorating theirs just before the present giving (they must have a very busy evening)
- will have Christmas/figgy pudding after the turkey (another smuggled item - thanks mom) I'm not sure what the natives have for pud...
And on that note I guess I should crack on with today's list of 'things to do' (ice cake, make stuffing, prep veggies, go to Lulu's to collect tombola prizes (all 3 of them!!) and eat waffles, make gulasch - tonight's tea which needs to be ready and waiting for when we get back from church after watching Jas being 1st shepherd...we might go up in flames, a bunch of atheists in church on Christmas Eve!
A busy day ahead, but all good fun.
Merry Christmas everybody!