A merry little Christmas


I’ve been home for a while now, and it’s been (mostly) perfect. No matter how little I miss home when I’m not here and how few traditions or memories I connect with this place, Christmas always feels more like Christmas when I’m with my family at my parents’ house.

This & that
We had a single day of snow over the past couple of weeks so Christmas here most certainly was not white. It was rainy and warm. We spent Christmas Eve as we always do, though: setting up the tree and decorating it in classic red and white, doing a long walk at the widlife sanctuary in the (relative) cold at dusk, and then coming back to a warm and cozy home to exchange gifts and eat good food. Instead of lamb, which we usually eat on Christmas Eve, my dad made duck and deer this year (photos to come) which was delicious!

Over the holidays we also read in our old children’s Christmas books that our parents used to read to us throughout December when we were little. We had Glühwein and fresh mint tea. We met the extended family at restaurants to eat more and promise to see each other more regularly next year (which we never do). I tried the Toffee Nut Latte at Starbucks and decided it must be their best pretentious Christmas novelty drink yet. I spent many evenings playing cards with my mom.

Material Christmas
I got some lovely Christmas presents, some of which I had mentioned to “Santa”, some of which were a wonderful surprise. I got Stephen Fry’s book “Moab is My Washpot”. It’s his autobiography and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since I got obsessed with his television show “QI”. I also got a gift card to a bookstore, and a couple other gift cards. My mom gave me my favorite perfume (“Glow” by J.Lo) (don’t judge, it smells really fresh and light and soapy). And my brother, sweet guy that he is, somehow remembered that I mentioned this particular H&M sweater a couple months ago and got it for me. Oh, and San sent me a lovely handmade Christmas card that made me so happy! I love getting regular mail – thank you, San!

Meeting old friends
On Thursday I went to a breakfast meet-up at a small local café with a bunch of old girlfriends from high school. We don’t usually see each other during the year because we’re never in the same country, much less the same town. But we always meet on the day after the holidays (December 25 and 26 are Christmas holidays in Germany), when everyone is here to visit their families back in this little town that we came from. By now, our group has grown to include two husbands and a little baby girl who tag along, and it’s just- lovely. We don’t talk about the negative stuff; we skip right over all the everyday complexities of growing up and creating a life because we don’t see each other often enough to fill everyone in on the details. And so it’s nothing but old memories and jokes and banalities. Just the right thing after a Christmas spent with extended families who excel at asking exactly the wrong questions about How Your Year Has Been and Your Plans For The Future.

We did a short trip to Holland yesterday (is it odd that I mainly miss the Dutch supermarkets? I loved them most when I lived there, their selection and quality of food somehow is so much better) and hit the Christmas market again. I just made a last batch of Christmas cookies and will pack for my trip to Sweden later. Am trying really hard to enjoy all of this as much as possible!

If you celebrated, I hope your Christmas was wonderful!

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With my mom


I spent today with my mom, who had taken the day off work so we could hang out. We drove to the big city nearby, and just did whatever we felt like at any given moment. Stopped at H&M to try on flannel shirts and pullovers. Had caramel lattes at Starbucks. Looked at cutesy winter decoration stuff in small stores that smelled like Christmas and played modern jazz. And yes, I did in fact seek out the men’s fragrances section at a large department store in the hopes of spotting Alexander Skarsgård in his Calvin Klein ads, WHAT OF IT? I just needed to smell that Encounter fragrance once. Once. And take home a flyer with his face on it because they had them and I could. SHUT UP AND GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, EVERYONE.

I also bought a Stutenkerl (bottom left photo). It’s a traditional pastry sold at bakeries this time of year. I don’t know the story behind them but they remind me of my childhood and they are delicious, so there. Sweetest part of the day, though? Looking in those dressing room mirrors and being genuinely content with what I saw. Most delightful reward for months and months of hard work.

This has to be the most unnecessary product in the world. A tiny cup of ice cold latte macchiato, with a pre-packaged extendable straw, by Starbucks, sold at regular ol’ supermarkets. What even. And yet I bought it. Because I’m weak. And just not cool enough to resist awful mainstream chain foods and drinks.

Cool enough for pretentious artsy photo edits, though.

Win, win?