Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas traditions

As I've gotten older, the build up to Christmas has become more and more stressful.

All the pressure to come up with the perfect gifts. So many cards to send. Not to mention work being especially busy and keeping on top of the usual stuff- grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. No matter how hard I try each year I am never fully organized and always end up trying to race around for a last minute present or I'm praying each day that something ordered online will be delivered in time!

Once all the busyness is over though and I'm spending the Christmas holidays with family the stress melts away and it's a really lovely time! Every family has there own little traditions I've noticed from chatting to people and there's something really nice about that.

In Ireland we celebrate on the 25th when we open presents in our pajamas in the morning then go to church. We have stockings with our names on them where Santa leaves little gifts. After we often drop in to visit family friends for tea and mince pies and then come home to prepare the big dinner and eat around 4pm; Turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, roast ham. For dessert plum pudding which is lit first using brandy then enjoyed with custard or cream. This is traditionally what the majority of families eat in Ireland that day. We sit around and have good conversation for hours. Then in the evening we might play a board game such as Cluedo or Trivial Pursuit and then later watch a movie. We'll usually wear silly winter jumpers and take selfies by the tree.

I've always thought Germany does Christmas well. The decorations are really pretty and many towns have temporary markets and even ice skating rinks built from the end of November. When we spend the holidays with my husband's side here in Germany, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th. After a big lunch, a little bell is rung, we leave the room and the Christkind delivers the presents under the tree. After opening presents we might go out for a nice walk, also to digest our food before the next meal! We'll wear silly reindeer headbands or hats and take photos. The meal on the 24th is usually fish. Then on the 25th there is another big lunch this time duck or goose. What each family eats varies based on where they are from. For dessert there is always Christmas plätzchen (cookies).

what Christmas traditions do you have where you are from?


  1. I always thinking Christmas is a lot of stress for something that's over in 2 days. I've been buying gifts since September!

    At my dad's we always play board games on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day we open presents in the morning, have Christmas dinner at around 1 or 2pm then go to my grandma's for Christmas tea - although I'm told this year my dad and sister are going to grandma's for boxing day lunch instead. This year Jan and I are spending Christmas at home, just the two of us and we don't have any traditions yet. Currently it's 12:30pm and he is still in bed. Hopefully once we have kids he'll actually get up while it's still morning so we can do something with the day ;)

    1. Oh yeah we play board games too. Some of them like Cluedo are fun but ones like Monopoly always go on for ages I think and get boring!
      Wow, I can't remember the last time I slept in till 12.30! Hope you had a nice day and happy new year!x

  2. Happy Christmas! Our Christmases growing up sounded very Irish -- presents under the tree in pajamas on Christmas morning followed by a huge afternoon meal.

    These days we are very chill -- just bake cinnamon rolls, play with the baby, and go out for Indian food! Later we'll go to Grandma's house to open presents with the cousins. I'm not sure what we'll do going forward, but right now we don't need a tree for the cat and the baby to eat and destroy, haha. And my husband and I aren't big on buying presents at set times (or much at all). We just buy what we need. It'll be interesting to see how our son leads us as the years go by. We'll probably just do whatever he wants!

    1. That sounds nice! Hubby and I aren't big on buying presents either. I'm not sure yet what sort of Christmas we'll have when we decide to just celebrate together as a family and not visit anyone. It was so sweet seeing Mini opening presents this year but really she already has way too many toys!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to post about how we celebrate Christmas at home and abroad.

    Germany does do Christmas well, I agree. As a Scot stopping by to visit this blog, I will say that, over the last few years, the market tradition seems to be spreading to UK islands too! However, the markets in Germany are by far the original and best imo.

    Christmas traditions here seem very similar to what you have in Ireland, but there is more emphasis on New Year traditions here. In particular, "First Footing" with Whiskey and Shortbread in hand is common to mark the start of a new year.


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