fly the seven seas

Observations of a Sydney girl rocking Germany


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The festive days

And just like that, Christmas has come and gone. Just when the magical feeling finally manages to become a welcome distraction, I find myself taking my last bite of the Christmas pudding, wishing the past few days would extend a little longer.

This year however, we created something extra special, something for the books. This year saw two families unite for Christmas – my parents and younger brother flew from Sydney to join the Christmas rituals with Alex’s immediate family. And although this meant that the usual Sydney contingency was a little smaller than usual, we hope the crew will understand (perhaps not with all the tempting photos of snow and oversized portions of turkey we sent)…

Our german Christmas celebrations, in comparison to my Sydney celebrations, stretch over a few days – appropriately titled by Alex’s father as ‘the christmas rally’ – with multiple meals shared together, elaborate brunches, nights of singing and dancing until the candles burn out, walks in open fields, some Christmas socks, indulgences and the wish for snow. And given the extra special occasion this year, we had it all – including a good 20cm of snowfall overnight.

The rally officially kicks off on the eve of the 24th – with special family rituals and traditions – and usually ends on the 26th, known as the 2. Weihnachtstag (Stephan’s Tag / Boxing Day). This year we were lucky enough to extend this for another day – any excuse to let the rally continue.

I’ve infiltrated some “australiana” in to the festivities, for it wouldn’t be Christmas to me without the annual booze-filled Christmas cake and Christmas pudding (with lucky coin of course). And with the addition of mum’s true blue accent and dad’s recurring cry of “oh sheeeet” – the australiana was definitely present among the Stollen and tunes of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Since I’ve joined Alex’s family celebrations, Alex and I have taken responsibility over the official bird served on the 26th. This year it was a mega Turkey, served with baked sweet potato and Schmorkraut (sweetened sauerkraut) – boy it was good.

Rather than bantering on, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the festivities while I go and burn off the extra something I’ve found around my waist.

I hope the festive days were just as special where you were – Happy Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten and bring on 2015!

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Weihnachtsmarkt München

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Rindermarkt, München

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Roasted chestnuts

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The mother of all drinks – the Feuerzangenbowle

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Last minute butcher action in the old town

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The Christmas cake

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Langoustin

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The hilltops of Bronnbach

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A snowy Altstadt, Wertheim

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The Wertheimer Burg, all dressed in white

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Das Weihnachtsgefühl – the Christmas feeling

Germans know how to get into the spirit. When they celebrate something they go all out.

When invited to a themed party they will be without a doubt dressed appropriately from head-to-toe.

When they invite friends over for a ‘Grill- session’ they will ensure they have a surplus of cold beers available and extras on hand for just-in-case.

When going out to party you can be assured they won’t be home before the wee hours of the morning.

It is no surprise then that the annual celebration of Christmas is rejoiced with vivacity, as if one would think it wouldn’t return the next year. In this way you could say that the German spirit at Christmas gives meaning to the word festivities.

I’ve seen a few Christmases around the place – and I can say that while the effort put into the light displays on the homes of Sydney’s houses is astonishing, and despite how much I love the festive feeling throughout New York around Christmas – Germany takes the pretty light displays, decorated street lamps, ice rinks and the official town Christmas tree that one step further. The Weihnachtsmarkt transports these festivities to the next level.

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