I love how all of my friends and family have slightly different Christmas traditions. In my family we don't only celebrate a purely German Christmas but we also add some touches from other cultures. Our house is always decorated with fairy lights, something we started in America, and we always bake cookies together because my Dad is a baker and knows the best cookie recipes. Yum! It's also a tradition that Dad and I will go out to buy a tree together (we always have a fresh one), Mum usually doesn't come so we choose a nice big tree (seriously, the bigger the better, haha!). Every year we wait until the 24th to put up the tree with Christmas music playing in the background. Last year, for the first time in probably well over a decade, we replaced our baubles so now the tree isn't white and silver anymore but just silver. Then, in the afternoon or evening we go to a German Church to sing Christmas Carols. When I was little, dad would linger in the house while I got into the car and he'd place the gifts under the tree and turn on the fairy lights. My parents distracted me as we drove off and when we came back home I thought Santa had arrived! Nowadays we open our gifts on the sofa with candlelight, a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
Dinner on Christmas Eve is - a very German thing - Frankfurters with mustard. That's because families usually prepare a bigger meal the next day and just want to make something quick and easy. Then we go to bed. On Christmas day we'll have Raclette or Turkey, sometimes Fondue as well - when I was little I'd complain about the "stinky cheese" now I can't get enough of it! This year, as opposed to having an advent calendar, I made stockings for everyone, we are also going to another Carol Service on the morning of the 25th. On boxing day, we've made lunch reservations and will go out for a simple meal.
That's Christmas at my house. I'd love to celebrate a more English Christmas next year but for now I am really excited for Thursday next week! Do you celebrate Christmas? I'd love to know your traditions!