Hello everybody, how was your Christmas? Or Hanukah or Jule or winter solstice or Quanzaa or whatever you celebrate! It doesn't matter so much, does it?
My family celebrates very much in Christian tradition, with tree and charols and everything, although as far as I know none of us perceives themselves as christian. But the tradition holds things that are important for us, we are having a lot of fun, and this makes it work as a ritual, regardless of what philosophy is behind it.
First is the yearly quarrell of who gets to choose the tree. Officially, we all get turns to choose, but we don't keep track of it, so there's always somebody who claims it't their turn and somebody who says they're wrong. It is much fun and we like to have huge discussions about it. This year my dad got to choose and as always he wanted a really small tree. When we were kids we always managed to outnumber him with our pleas for a big tree, but now we are grown up and much more easy going. ;o)
It was the first year the three of us girls went to get a Christmastree all by themselves. We briefly discussed getting one in a pot, but then Picoletta fell in love with this one and we had to take him home.
In the afternoon we started decorating him. It is a very important part of the celebrating to decorate the tree together, since the 'Christkind' does not do it anymore. Picoletta and Trev got to work, whilst my mom surveilled them from the sofa.
And my dad got busy in the kitchen, his favourite part being the cooking:
I think decorating trees is a very cool invention. It brings light and joy and creativity and common activities into the dark days of winter. Doesn't that sound like anti-depressiva to you? It certainly is for me!
After dinner we all sang Christmas carols. We get to choose our favourite ones and we sing until we've sung everything we know. It is accompanied by much laughter whenever we get to the line "Owi lacht" because we still don't know who Owi is supposed to be, and much discussions when we quarrel about what goes together, 'Mehl und Salz" and "Brot und Schmalz" or the other way round, and much embarassement, when we realise we don't get past the first verse anymore. We'd often start the second one with much optimism and then everybody ends up going "hmmmm hmm hm" and trying to look as though they were singing actual lyrics.
It is a celebration of the common memories that we have of all the Christmasses we've celebrated together, an acknoledgement of each member of the family as we get to choose 'our' songs, and honouring our ancestors as we sing the songs that they've handed on and taught us. A ritual that makes the bonds of our family stronger and makes sure our history continues.
(Caramel still has to learn the lyrics, but she sings beautifully! )
Then it is everybody's favourite time: Presents! Everybody gets crazy!
All the presents I got this year were on my wishlist, so no big surprises, but since I had been looking forward to them very much, and they were all things that I know I will use a lot I was very! happy about them!
In the picture above you can see me going crazy about a mill that presses wheat into Müesli flakes, sth that Trev and me wanted to get ever since we got to use one in the yurt workshop and realised how awesome they are.
Then I got these adoooooraaaable houseshoes, and Trev has to threaten me with choccolate withdrawal to make me take them off for sleeping. ^^
That's the slippers I made for my dad:
Caramel got a bit scared and found a great place to hide!
Kisses were thrown around
Oh, wait, I forgot there was one surprise, and a great one! Trev made me these mufflers:
Aren't they cool? I've wanted such ever since last Christmas I think (don't ask me why), and he went and made them for me!!
I was so happy I grew an additional pair of eyes!
No, Picoletta is not passing out from too much Gluhwine... ;o)
She is putting on her shiny new piercing!
(No, she had it done some time ago. She only got a new jewel for it. Jeez, guys!)
She got me this fantastic book by Sven Nordqvist I posted about here.
Oh another little surprise: Now Caramel and me are all set for round the world tour in our Volkswagen bus!!
Isn't it funny Trev and me got each other presents in exactly the same colors? He's wearing this scarf I made him that was a veery challenging pattern and turned out to go much smoother than I had thought. Still it was quite a lot of work and a lot of hiding and working whenever I got the chance and he wasn't around! ;o)
It is always amazing how fast this very special evening flies by. I have a hard time understanding that some people dread this 'must' event with their families and relatives since for us it is always about fun and about everybody wanting to be together, it wouldn't be a problem if somebody decided not to come. Well, it would be sad and not the same, but nobody would be angry or insulted or anything like that. Presents are the same, if we have ideas for surprises we love to get each other stuff, but if we don't it isn't a big drama, we'll just announce it and people know they have to communicate their wishes or they won't get anything significant that year.
I am very glad to be able to enjoy the holidays in this stressfree environment with happy and healthy people that I love. Several things this year made me realise how lucky I am to be able to write about Christmas so carefree and happy and proud. I don't want to show off, I am just overflowing with happiness and gratefulness that I want to share. I am aware that I am very blessed and I pray that all the people who's lives are filled with sorrow and grief can find soothing in whatever way life may present it.