Glühwein, Bratwurst, cotton candy, crepes, roasting chestnuts – these are just a few of the wonderful smells that greet you as you enter a Weihnachtsmarkt. Booths decorated festively selling everything from leather goods to wooden toys to candles to intricate glass & wooden Christmas tree decorations to puppets line the market area and everyone wandering around seems to be in a happy mood. This is just one reason why I love Germany at Christmastime.
The day after we arrived in Germany, the whole family (except my mom) spent the late afternoon/early evening wandering around the Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt. I was so excited to finally have Loren experience everything I had told him about this wonderful Christmas tradition. The Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt is spread out between 6 city squares, and we wandered through most of them taking in all the sights and smells. It was raining pretty steadily that evening, but it was magical nonetheless.
We couldn’t stay away, so Loren, Emberly and I went back downtown to the market the next day to explore more and dine on Bratwurst and Nutella crepes. Naturally, Emberly just napped the entire time, so we’ll just have to go back when she’s older and can ride the carousel like her big cousin!
If you ever plan on going to Germany (or Europe for that matter) during the Christmas season, I highly recommend checking to see if wherever you’re going has a Weihnachtmarkt!
Christmas has long since come and gone, but here I am finally documenting the greatest holiday.
We arrived in Germany a few days before Christmas to spend the holidays with my parents and a few of my siblings.
Since Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, instead of the annual evening Christmas Eve service, we had a special Sunday morning service, then came home to get ready for an evening of family traditions. One of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions is a fondue dinner before opening gifts, so of course that was a highlight. After dinner and a special Scripture reading, the babies & toddler opened their gifts before we put them to bed and the rest of the family opened gifts. (Side note: growing up, we used to open gifts on Christmas Day, but eventually switched to the German way of doing things and opened them all on Christmas Eve.)
On Christmas Day we slept in a little, had a large delicious dinner that my mom prepared, took a walk, had “Kaffee & Kuchen” (coffee & cake) then played some games in the evening.
And now for the barrage of pictures (get used to it, several more posts with lots of travel pics coming).
It’s safe to say that Emberly’s first Christmas was a success, and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with my family in Germany!
As I mentioned yesterday, we had two parties this weekend. As soon as Abby’s party was over, we headed home to finish setting up for our annual holiday party. I usually like to have a party sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but between weddings, new job training and the holidays themselves, it didn’t happen until now. Which turned out just fine and I may start doing it every January instead of December. It’s all just a plot to keep up my Christmas decorations longer. 😉
Anyway, we squeezed 4 other couples around the table for a Raclette dinner and chocolate fondue. Raclette is a Swiss meal that involves lots of melted cheese and potatoes. We used to eat Raclette regularly in Germany while I was growing up, and when my parents sent me my very own Raclette grill for Christmas, I knew we had to have it for the party.
After we were stuffed, we exchanged white elephant gifts and played a few other games before taking awkward family photos. We had such a fun and laughter-filled night, and once again, I am so grateful for the friendships we’ve established here!
Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!
What a wonderful weekend full of hanging out with friends!
Friday night, we went over to Adam and Molly’s for a delicious lasagna dinner, good conversation and a Christmas movie.
Saturday after running several errands in all the insane Christmas traffic, we headed over to Blake and Savannah’s for a very fun Murder Mystery Party. We were all assigned different parts and dressed up to character. Even though we all ended up guessing the wrong suspect (it was actually Loren), we had a blast and can’t wait to do it again!
Sunday afternoon after church, we drove to the little town of Metamora to meet up with our Cincinnati friends Caleb and Chelsea. We had a delicious late lunch at The Farmhouse catching up and then wandered around the town. Even though most of the shops were closed for the season, the ones that were open were completely decked out for Christmas. So many antique stores and gift shops! It was a fun afternoon catching up before we headed home in the bitter cold.
I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for Christmas! I’m looking forward to celebrating with family and staying warm.