Monday, December 18, 2017

Three Things: Holiday Edition

As often happens, I read a blog post on Confuzzledom that I want to do for myself! Bloggers borrow ideas and themes from each other all the time, and it's fun when others we read follow suit. So while M struggles putting up "the damn tree" and fighting with the string of lights that look like candles, I'll just hide here in the office writing another blog post. In a while I'll pop out to give him my assessment, but I'm always easier to please than he is. "Almost perfect" is good enough for me!

Three Things: the Holiday Edition

Three Things I love about Christmas

  1. Weihnachtsmärkte / Christmas markets

  2. Time off for M. As a teacher, I've always had 1+ weeks off over the Christmas holidays, but here in Germany even M gets to spend less time in the office. The European companies they work with are quiet as well since almost everyone is off for the holidays, but they have clients in other parts of the world who may require attention. At most, though, he only has to pop in for a few hours here and there, and we have more time together.

  3. Bescherung / gift exchange. There are always gifts I either give or receive which are just fun. This year we'll be alone, but there are two gifts I can't wait for M to open! 

Three Things I dislike about Christmas

  1. Santa songs. The absolute worst for me is "I saw Mommy kissing Santa" - Ugh! A few years ago I made two CDs of my favorite Christmas songs, and I really only listen to those. When listening to the radio or watching a Christmas show, I hit "mute" any time a Santa song comes on. I don't have anything against Santa - it's just songs about him that bug me. I like the traditional or classical Christmas songs.

  2. White Elephant gift exchanges. This was funny the first two times, 30-some years ago. But I'm very glad to say I've never heard of this kind of party game going on here in Germany.

  3. Any stress from: rushing, something not being done when it needs to be for dinner, driving in snow and ice to get to church or a relative's house, impatient or overtired kids... We don't have any of that here, but I do associate Christmas in Wisconsin with stress, which is a shame. 

Three Favorite Christmas Movies

  1. the Holiday

  2. Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel - totally kitschig (cheesy), but it's a family tradition

  3. Joyeux Noel

Three Favorite Christmas Treats

  1. Gebrannte Mandeln / roasted almonds

  2. My family's green and red cookies. I've never seen anything like them anywhere else, and I don't know what they're made of or how to describe them.

  3. Chocolate eaten guilt-free

Three Favorite Christmas Traditions

  1. Putting up our Germerican Christmas decorations - my Dept. 56 Alpine Village scene, our Weihnachtspyramid from the Erzgebirge, our Advent wreath, and my nativity scene.

  2. Watching Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel on Christmas Eve

  3. Raclette on Christmas Eve

Three Favorite Christmas Songs

  1. Christmas Pipes, by Celtic Woman

  2. Breath of Heaven, by Amy Grant

  3. Do You Hear What I Hear, by Regney & Baker*
*I just learned that this song was written in 1962 as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Three Favorite Gifts Received

  1. Buffy, my Sheltie

  2. M - we got officially engaged on Christmas Eve

  3. Books. All the books - books are always among my favorite gifts in any given year. Also this storybook my mom made for us, with text from a never-published blog post and photos she collected over the years and from my Schwiegermutter.

Three Gifts I want to give the World

  1. Empathy and understanding, to see that we are all in this together.

  2. Food, stable shelter, and healthcare for every person.

  3. Inner peace and tranquility to weather the difficult times and revel in the joyous ones.

It's your turn! What will your "Three Things: Holiday Edition" look like?


  1. Healthcare for everyone is a good one!

    Is the White Elephant gift exchange like Schrottwichteln? Because if it is we used to do that at work. It was actually fun - we made a game of it and usually I ended up coming away with something I actually didn't mind ;-)

    1. It must be that I never heard of that here because we don't go to holiday parties! :-) Those exchanges were always at "the other family's" Christmas gathering, and it just seemed to me a selfish grab-fest. One person would open the gift they were given, and that person could say "I don't want this - I'll take Jon's case of crappy beer instead." At least I usually wanted what no one else did - a book, for instance. As I said, the first two times it was fun. After that...not so much.

  2. Many of my German friends in their 20-30s have heard of Schrottwicheln. We just had a potluck and did that here. It was hilarious because I read a story with the words right, left, and across in it. Any time those words came up, everyone had to switch gifts. We were laughing so hard.

    1. At least what you just described had a new twist - and it sounds random, rather than people grabbing what they want and rejecting what they don't want. My biggest issue is probably that I don't like big parties - nor party games. At our company's Weihnachtsfeier tonight, one of the guys (a great story-teller) told us about his memories of the Wende (the fall of the Wall). I prefer a good conversation to party games. Bah Humbug, I know. ;-)

  3. It's interesting reading people's different answers to the questions. I did this too (following on from reading it at Confuzzledom too!)

    1. I just read yours - very nice. And I've learned from you & Confuzzledom that there's a difference between a song and a carol - never thought about it before! I never liked "Away in a Manger" either until I heard a different (perhaps the traditional?) melody sung by Celtic Women. I do like that version. I agree it's interesting to read everyone's answers to these questions.