It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. The air is chilly, and the flip flops have been put away. Yeah - I finally get to wear boots and a coat. That gets me so excited. I am in the mood to decorate, bake cookies, and light some candles. I just love this time of year. I love seeing the houses all shining bright with lights in our neighborhood. I love Eggnog, and the scent of evergreen everywhere. Most of all, I love the feeling of Christmas - the goodness, the generosity, and the need to think of others first.
I am a big fan of traditions, and most likely because of my being raised in Germany, I cherish these traditions more then ever before. I am so grateful for everything my mom and dad shared with me. The endless hours we spent at german Christmas markets, going from booth to booth just to see the lovely handmade ornaments. Driving out into the country to cut down our Christmas tree even when it snowed. Or how my mom and dad used real candles on the Christmas tree. All of these lovely traditions make my Christmas so much more special. I hope as a mom, that I can pass some of these traditions down to my children, and that they too will appreciate it as much as I do now.
For instance, we love to celebrate Advent in Germany. We always got a chocolate Advent calendar. Thank goodness we are able to celebrate that here in the USA as well. I buy our calendars at World Market right after Halloween. The calendars are gorgeous, and the kids love them I also always make an Advents Wreath. In Germany, I would buy one, but since this tradition is not as popular, I have to make my own. I either choose to get free branches at Lowes, or like I did this year, I buy two wreaths, and then wrap them around a foam shaped wreath with wire. Either way, it takes several hours to finish the wreath, but I love to do it. Lol.
Another tradition we have is all the wonderfully handcrafted wooden ornaments and other german christmas decorations. The kids are finally old enough to appreciate how delicate they are and how much they mean to us. That touches my heart.
Each piece is handcrafted and painted by hand, and if you look real close, you can sometimes see the flaws. For me it makes these decorations more valuable and real. Who doesn't love something made by hand?
Last but not least, we always bake Christmas cookies every year. We like to give them to our friends, our neighbors, teachers and yes even our Postman. As a child, I remember my mom and dad giving our garbage man a little Christmas surprise every year. So when the children were young, we started baking for our friends. Some of our favorite cookies are Raspberry Thumbprints, spritz cookies and sugar cookies.
As you can see, I stay pretty busy at Christmas, as I am sure is true for almost everyone. It is important to remind ourselves about the little things that make us so happy during this special time of year. Traditions remind us of family and friends, but the thought of peace and goodwill throughout the world is what really shines during this time of year. Go ahead and share your christmas traditions below in the comments section. I love to hear how other people celebrate.