This will be the first time in 34 years that I have not been home for Christmas. So far it just hasn't seemed like Christmas time to me. I see all the decorations, hear the familiar songs, (yes, even in Germany) and am surrounded by the things that should evoke memories of Christmas past, but they just don't seem to fit with Christmas present.
One thing could be that we haven't even put up our Christmas tree. Now I am not the kind to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving (this is the last Thursday in November for those non-Americans), but normally the middle of December I start getting in the mood. Last year I made my mom wait until just a few days before Christmas because I wanted to put the the tree with my two nieces. I think they had more fun decorating themselves.
Last year we slept in Christmas morning and slowly started moving to the kitchen all still in our PJ's (except for my mom the earlier riser) and cooked a nice family breakfast together...Eggs Benedict. This is the kind of breakfast that dreams are made of...at least my dreams. With having gone the previous year without all my American food comforts, lets just say that this hit the spot. I think my husband had more fun trying to take artistic photos of the food than eating it...how random!
But what topped the season off, and what I think takes a good Christmas and turns it into great one is....SNOW! So much of my childhood is tied up with memories of snow and for me it somehow completes Christmas.
But these are somehow the musings of Christmas past. Things that will somehow never be the same again.
I have, however, totally fallen in love with the Christmas markets here in Germany and even working them is fun. We seemed to have even started a few new traditions of our own like meeting the same friends at the Hamburg Christmas market for the last three years. We drink our spiced wine and eat what I like to call "meat on a stick". (this is the most delicious grilled pork grilled over and open flame and leaves you with the feeling...wow, I can't wait until next year!) And I look forward to what the "Ghost of Christmas yet to come" holds, meshing two worlds into one to form new Christmas traditions.