Christmas sure is the best time of the year. For me, it means home and family. In other words, no matter where I am in the world, I spend each Christmas with my loved ones. I guess, that’s the reason why I get all giddy and excited at the end of every November. It might also explain my love for Christmas movies such as Elf. Each year and with that I mean the time after November 24th, I am all wrapped up in things related to my favorite season. In short, from November 24th all the way to December 27th, there is no room left for Mumford and Sons and Harry Potter, each and every hour is dedicated to ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ It might sound a little obsessive but that’s just the way I’m wired.

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It seems to love Christmas as much as I do!

Well, I grew up within two different cultures, the Finnish and the German one.  Thus, my family and I we either celebrate Christmas in Finland or in Germany.

Personally, I’m still surprised how my parents got me and my siblings to believe in Santa Claus or the Christ Child for so many years. For instance, every Christmas celebrated in Germany I got presents from the Christ Child, however, every other Christmas in Finland Santa Claus was coming to town.  If that doesn’t confuse a child than what!? But I guess, as long as there are gifts a child tends to believe anything their parents and grandparents tell them.

Did you know that Santa Claus only visits the Northern part of Germany, whereas in the South Christmas is all about the Christ Child? If not, now you do. 😀 The reason for that is not Santa’s dislike for the South, but my part of Germany is still very Catholic.

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A friend and I at Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi.

Truth be told, I love both my Finnish and my German Christmas traditions. In Finland, as long as there are still children present, an actual Santa Claus comes by the house. In other words, parents or grandparents can place an order for Santa Claus or Joulupukki, if they want him to appear on Christmas Eve. Yes, there is such a thing as ordering Santa Claus to come visit for about half an hour in Finnish Lapland! 😀 In Germany, on the other hand, my family and I go to church and for some ominous reasons one family member always seems to be sick at around the same time. After church, a bunch of presents can then be found under the Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, the actual German Christmas Day meal is kind of a disappointment. In short, on December 24th we tend to eat sausages and potato salad. The good and fancy food is served the day after Christmas Eve. Then we eat Christmas goose or ham. ❤

 

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Another item of my never-ending bucket list: Christmas in NYC check!

Nonetheless, Christmas markets are the best part of the German Christmas season. There’s actually one in every city and town which means there are hundreds of different markets across Germany, some small and some quite big in size. Each market, however, has its own theme which is mostly inspired by its city’s history. I’m from the Stuttgart area and one of my favorite Christmas markets is in Esslingen am Neckar. There are medieval half-timbered houses in its historic city center. Thus, each year this city hosts a medieval Christmas Market. One part of my German family lives in Ludwisburg which also belongs to the Stuttgart region. Ludwisgburg, as an example, is a Baroque city and the city of palaces. Hence, their Christmas Market is inspired by the baroque style. No matter what Christmas market you visit in Germany, it usually is all about the mulled wine anyway. 😀 Truth be told, Christmas Markets are beautiful and definitely worth a visit!

 

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A picture with Santa Claus was too expensive, we had to make do with a Christmas tree.

For me Christmas is family time, whereas New Year is about my friends. I guess the older I got, the more disappointing each New Year celebration became. As a child, I was all about staying up late and seeing fireworks. Nowadays, I struggle with making it to 12. I guess the less you expect from New Year the better it actually is. In the past, my friends and I always tried to make big plans and they usually failed. This year, we just want to spend time together and have a great meal. So from now on, my New Year’s Eve is about food, friends and lots of sparkling wine! 😀

 

Thank you guys for your support. Keep on doing that, it means the world to us Below Zero Super Heroes! I wish you all a Merry Christmas! ❤

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