Posted in Christmas, Holidays

4th Advent

It’s the 4th Advent today, the last Sunday before Christmas is here. Four weeks leading up to Christmas, we celebrate the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and finally the 4th of advent. On this last Sunday, four candles are lit on a decorative wreath, signifying that Christmas is here. Family gathers over cookies, hot cocoa, Christmas Carole’s, mulled red wine, while visiting Christmas markets, filled with booths of handmade treasure and other magical things.

The wait is over, especially for children who anticipate for the “Christkind” to bring many presents and goods. I was lucky to see the Nürnberger Christkind while I was in Germany. Dressed in gold with her curly hair and magical crown, she represents the spirit of Christmas in the most angelic way. You can’t help being drawn in to her soft voice delivering her Christmas message to children and adults alike.

It’s the magical time of the years, a time filled with spirit, believe and hope. A time that is hard for some of us who have lost someone special and who adjust to this magical time without. May you always remember the magic of this season and know that you are not alone.

Posted in Christmas, Europe, Holidays

Christmas spirit

It’s been ages since I spent Christmas in Germany, and I have always dreamed of being here for the holidays. Although my favorite time of year, it was a time that made me homesick and sad while in the states. And now that I’m here things once again have turned out a lot different as imagined. We change and so do our life’s. We don’t stay the same, our experiences change, although our memories from times past may always stay the same. This Christmas is different as the ones I remember from my childhood. Mom is at a nursing home and we haven’t baked any cookies together. We haven’t gone sledding down the hill with our dog chasing after us. There haven’t been any cozy evenings of crafting straw stars and ornaments, while drinking spiced cider and Glühwein. Times have changed and what I held onto all these years were the memories of the past. We all have them, and not all are bad, some actually warm our hearts.

Life always has a few curveballs in store for us and things seldom go smooth. Perhaps sometimes it’s best not to imagine or expect anything at all. It might sound negative, but by nature I am an optimist, and still can’t help but wonder if the perfect scenarios even exist. Would we learn something if they did? More times then none we have to roll with the punches and our successes and challenges lie in learning to do it well. And to learn not to resist, I think is an additional asset that will assure success.

I am here for Christmas this year, and despite the pros and cons, it is nice to re-emerge into some of our German cultures. I am exited to visit the Christmas markets and catch the spirit admiring the lit up booths, lining up the old inner cities. Many handmade items will be on display and I’m sure that I won’t be able to resist a little souvenir. I am looking forward to taking some picture and watch people mingle.

The picture above showcases the lit up Christmas tree in my village and a little red ginger that has taken refuge under the tree.