Saturday, December 1, 2012

German Christmas

December 1st, can you believe it? This year has flown by but it has been filled with wonderful blessings. Our youngest son got engaged and joined the Air Force, our oldest son graduated from Paul Mitchell and is gainfully employed   I started my blog, met a great bunch of foodie ladies that I work with at Foodie Friends Friday, we started Daily Dish the online magazine, participating in the Foodie Pen Pals, Great Cookie exchange...yes life has been busy but fun!

So to kick of this holiday season, I am going to share with you, my friend Jutta who is from Germany. I have written an article for her about American Christmas Traditions and she is sharing with us her German roots! I hope you enjoy this exchange as much as we have. You can visit her at Hungry Little Girl .


Hello to all Fans and Followers of Spatulas on Parade!
Dawn is a close Foodie Friend of mine, and I am very excited to be guest blogging here today!
I’m Jutta from HungryLittleGirl and I will tell you a little bit about Christmas in Germany – the traditions and (of course) the food :)
My personal childhood memories of Christmas time are putting the tree up together with my grandpa, sitting in front of the fireplace to roast some chestnuts, Christmas music all day long and baking cookies with my grandma (enough to serve the whole neighborhood)!
Christmas eve I had to leave the room and wait patiently until I heard the bells of the Cologne cathedral ring (played from tape so loud that we pretty much opened Christmas Eve for all families around us).
This was the sign for me to go back to the living room, because the Christmas Angel was there and brought the presents – yes, in Germany it’s not Santa, who brings the presents!


4 Generations coming together – Christmas last year

This brings me to the Christmas Traditions in Germany:
First of all I have to say, that we have 3 days of Christmas in Germany, and we celebrate on all three of them (this can be very exhausting).
The first day -Christmas Eve- is December 24th. This is the day you spend with your closest family (spouse and kids). You eat some Schnitzel and potato salad and open the presents. After all that you go to church at midnight to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
Day 2, December 25th, is planned for celebrating with your families (parents, siblings, uncles, aunts). On that day you eat a goose or a duck with dumplings and red cabbage before opening presents.
Day 3, December 26th, is meant for friends. You meet up with your best friends and enjoy lots of cookies and cake, and of course open some presents!
As I already mentioned, our presents are brought by the Christmas Angel, a blonde beautiful girl in a white and gold dress, with wings :)
Santa is coming on December 6th to bring some little things for the kids, like chocolate, nuts, oranges, some clothes and a little toy. This makes the waiting time for kids a little easier!


My son with the Christmas Angel

Most of the Christmas time we spend on our Christmas markets (one more beautiful than the other). Everything is shiny, good food and Gluhwein everywhere; kids are smiling and non-stop Christmas music. It is an amazing feeling, when all people on the market start singing Christmas songs together and the Christmas angel appears (I always have to cry, because the bond and love between all the people is so strong in that moment)!


The Christmas market where I come from


People drinking Gluhwein and sharing laughs

 Germans are very controlled with everything. We do everything exactly how it is supposed to be done, there is a rule book for everything :) 
This also means, we ALL eat the same things for Christmas – On the 24th you either have Schnitzel and potato salad or Wiener sausages with potato salad. The 25th means goose or duck and the 26th you are on a strict cookie and cake diet ;)
 
Schnitzel – Wiener – Duck


Here are some of my most favorite German Christmas Cookie recipes:







Even though, traditions in Germany are quite a bit different, we all celebrate Christmas for the same reason: the birth of Jesus! A wonderful time of the year to forget all the anger, stress and frustration, simply being there for each other, sharing smiles, love and peace! Taking some time to just dream away and being thankful for all the beautiful things life has to offer!

With this being said, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a joyful time with your loved ones, lots of good food and hopefully some unforgettable moments. Take some time to look at all the shiny things and feel like a kid, at least for 5 minutes!

Jutta