Well, well, well, it's been a while hasn't it? I don't know what's gotten into me. So much busywork, so little time and it's almost Christmas!
December in Germany is all about bringing a little light into the darkness. We still have a couple of weeks until the shortest day of the year and it's already dark by 4:30 p.m. That can get a bit depressing.
The first Advent Sunday was November 29, time to light the first candle on the Advent wreath. We took a less is more approach this year, dispensed with tradition and made do with a simple arrangement of four candles and some shiny things. It looks nice on our coffee table.
Can't do without the Lichterbögen
, though. We have three now and I love the way they look in the windows. Lichterbogen or Schwibbebögen
, as they are sometimes called, originated in the Erzgebirge
, the Ore Mountains between Germany and the Czech Republic. The candles are supposed to light the miners' way home after a hard day's work.
One thing we usually do on the first Advent Sunday is to visit our town's teeny tiny Adventsmarkt
. I love the old church as a backdrop.
And of course no German December is complete without an Advent calendar. We're well into the chocolatey goodness!
And here's something I had hidden away and just found the other day. My very first Advent calender. It must be over 40 years old now, I can't remember when I first got it but I know my younger brothers had the same one with little boys on it. So sweet.
This past Sunday was Nikolaustag
when St. Nicholas fills boots or stockings with all sorts of treats. Bearing cookies, we went to visit my father-in-law in his care facility and had a little celebration there.Vanillekipferl
Really happy gingerbread man
The Hannover Weihnachtsmarkt
(Christmas market) is on until December 23, so while we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to take a look.
The market is divided up into several areas...
The Medieval market is home to many fascinating hand-made items
At the Finnish market you can buy a wooly hat
and feast on reindeer sausage or cedar-planked salmon
Mmmm! I thought I was back in B.C. for a minute there!
The more traditional part of the market offers lovely Christmas decorations and sweet treats
And let's not forget the wild and crazy places where you can eat to your heart's content and get all sorts of warm drinks to warm you up on a cold day.
sells something called Jagertee
means hunter in German and this is a variation on the spelling), black tea mixed with rum and spices. Sort of like a German hot toddy, I suppose.Glühwein
(mulled wine) is always popular and this place will also make you up some Tiger Milch
(tiger milk) if you so desire. Not quite sure what that is, but it's guaranteed to contain copious amounts of alcohol.
The market wasn't as crowded as it has been in the last few years and I really enjoyed it, coming home with a few treasures for our tree.
Since Sunday we've been burning two candles which means we're halfway to Christmas already. Wow, time flies when you're making cookies! And I've been making LOTS of cookies because these large and hungry people I live with keep eating them. Which keeps ME from eating them. And that's a very good thing, believe me.