Since childhood I was very much attracted to Christmas. In those days , in children story books I saw many times nice pictures of Santa Claus , Christmas tree with gifts around , snow and a table full of cakes and cookies....I was really fascinated by these pictures and always wanted to celebrate Christmas.
In year 2000 few days before Christmas me and one of my friends went to a mall in Camp area, pune near Westend cinema. It was all nicely decorated for Christmas and shops were full with gifts in very attractive packing....whole environment was very beautiful. Me and my friend were drinking coffee there and I told to my friend, it will be so nice if we get a chance to celebrate the Christmas in a real Christmas celebrating country like Somewhere in Europe or America. And to our surprise, next year my friend got married and went to USA and celebrated Christmas there and I got job in Germany and got a chance to celebrate Christmas there :) seems like Santa really heard our wish and apparently fulfilled it too. :)
In 2001 first time I got a chance to experience the real Christmas, its preparation, snow and all fun. But still I was not very happy as I didn't celebrate it with any family.
Soon I got familiar with the German Christmas market concept. Every year 4 weeks before Christmas, in every German city and town starts the Christmas market. Its fun to go there with friends and drink Glühwein which is a warm spicy traditional German winter drink made from warmed wine. Eat special traditional food, enjoy small shopping. My favorites in Christmas market are Glühwein, Schupfnudel, rosted chestnuts, and warm waffles. Going to Christmas market every year is like tradition for me and my husband. :)
In year 2004 I celebrated Christmas with my real German family...well that was my husband's family. :) First time I also got my gift kept under the Christmas tree. It was really a fun to celebrate it with family.
In our family this 2 and half days of Christmas are celebrated traditionally with the whole family and close relatives. Normally in catholic families Fish is cooked on 24th Dec. for the dinner. Well in my family nobody is very religious but still my mother-in-law cooks very testy fish with different cooked vegetables and salad on 24th dec. After dinner all the relatives gather to have fun, give gifts, drinking good wein, eating christmas cookies and special small breads cooked by my mother-in-law specially for christmas. My mother-in-law decorates her Christmas tree every year very nicely. We all keep our gifts under the tree and then in the night the gift opening starts. That’s the best part :)
Remaining 2 days we all gather together at my in-laws house and just eat and eat and drink and chat till late night.
In these two days my mother-in-law and her sister cooks really good food. Normally for lunch some very good and rarely cooked meat like a deer or rabbit is served with soup, salad, special German noodles called 'Spätzle', Knödels and different sauces. These Knödels are normally made in two different types. One from the bread and another from the potato. My favorite is potato knödle . My father-in-law cooks it very good. Different wines, beers and small shots increase the test of the food.
After this heavy lunch we all go out for a long walk in the forest behind the house. After coming home from the freezing cold ; coffee and Christmas sweets are must.
Normally in the evening very light dinner is served. Normally for dinner we eat different salads, different types of breads, cheese, Asparagus rolled in ham.
After these Christmas days then slowly everybody starts to pack back to go back home with the decision to make diet for next few days which hardly happens :)
This Christmas is exactly like I always saw in the pictures and movies....
For me the biggest attraction of Christmas was the snow but now after living almost 10 years here, I can definitely say that I really hate the snow now. But still I love to have white Christmas. Christmas without snow is not a real Christmas. I wish to have snow for Christmas but then after that wish to have nice warm, sunny weather. :) I hope Santa Claus will hear my wish and hopefully fulfill it too :)
But till then Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. Have a white Christmas with lots of gifts and fun.