Breaking Christmas Eve traditions
The above photos summarize a typical Christmas Eve afternoon of my childhood until I was 13. My sister, brother and I were sent upstairs after lunch. About two hours later or so my mother called us to come downstairs and said that the Christ child was there (photo 1). My sis and bro had waited for this call the entire time. The two were usually very exited. I was usually just feeling sick as I just had difficulties with the oily food we had for lunch. Still today I feel sick after oily food.
Once we arrived in the living room, we had to stand in front of the Christmas tree (photo 2) and my mother requested that we sing a Christmas song with her. After that song each of us kids had to recite the Christmas poem that we had learned in school. We did not like to have to do these “performances.” However, she insisted on them, while our father said she should stop it. He said that we were to old for this blah. I recall that he had said it for at least three years in a row.
After this ceremony, we sat down at the dinning table and she told us which gifts were for whom. They weren’t packed. Thus, we looked at the details (photo 3). We were not allowed to play with the one toy that was among our gifts before my parents called it quit. The other gifts were clothes we needed. My mom usually called it quit after an hour or so when we all had drunken coffee and eaten mom’s home made cookies. they were really good, but I couldn’t eat them because I felt so sick from lunch.
This tradition of singing and reciting poems rapidly stopped when I was age 13. While waiting upstairs, my brother complained about having to recite a Christmas poem. My sis was crumbling about the ceremony as well. Thus, I suggested we sing a mock Christmas song. My bro and sis loved the idea. We all thought it is fun. Thus, when we were called downstairs, we went towards the tree, looked at each other, my sis nodded, and we started singing the mock Christmas song. My dad joined the song. He took my mom in his arms, and said “I told you they are too old for that. Just accept it and join the song and let’s have a nice day.”
Today I think it was rude of me towards my mother. She was really into these German Christmas traditions. It probably was one of the worst Christmases in her live having to accept that we kids had out grown the routine.
Keeping Christmas Eve traditions
Well besides getting sick with the traditional food, there are other aspects I still have not outgrown the tradition. At my parents’ house, we always dressed casual on Christmas Eve. Today’s OOTD is an example of the polished, casual style that was typically worn on Christmas Eve at my parents’ house.
In this OOTD, I went for boyfriend jeans with a cashmere wool sweater and wedge sneakers. To add polish I accessorized with a matching floral scarf and necklace. To stay warn in not well heated rooms, I wore my new leather motorcycle jacket like a blazer.
Another Christmas Eve tradition that I kept from my parents is to make a potato salad for dinner. Here you can find the recipe.
Have a nice Christmas Eve.
Tomorrow you can find a traditional West German Christmas outfit here on High Latitude Style.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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