Like many people I have mixed feelings about holiday period and Christmas especially. I am not and never have been religious so it feels weird to have this holiday that I never asked for while being bombarded with Christian messages. I guess Easter time is similar. I do like having time off work, though. And even more than that I love giving gifts to the people I love.
Last year was the first year that Tom and I spent completely separate from our families and friends back home. Unfortunately, it is also Tom’s birthday so I think he has some resentment for the holiday and generally dislikes it. His normal tradition is to go play golf with his brother all day, which I find a perfect solution.
So, in 2012 we cooked a festive Christmas lasagne with roast vegetables and a festive Christmas chocolate cake. We exchanged a few small gifts and watched movies with the heating on and probably didn’t even leave the house. What would be the point?! Everything is shut!
This year, our friends Ruaridh and Georgia have recently moved to Munich and have invited us as part of a larger group of their friends to their place to celebrate together. Tom and I have booked our train tickets down for Christmas Eve and will head home on the 27th which gives us a few days to spend with our pals and catch up on the latest as the last time we saw them was just before they moved from Berlin to Munich.
A huge menu has been planned which already makes me feel a bit weird (there’s something about the idea of so much food that just makes me a little nauseous) so I have offered to make a light pearl barley salad (something like this one) and perhaps a cranberry crumble for a taste of home with a touch of christmas to it!
A kris kringle style gift swap is being organised for our little group with a gift price limit set at either 5€ or 10€ depending on who one asks. I’ve been thinking that an edible gift is probably the best option as there is no saying who will be getting which gift and I don’t know everyone who will be attending. Perhaps a jar of homemade vanilla extract or even one of homemade caramel… It depends how much time I have to prepare, I suppose.
I hope we will also have internet connections for a few calls home to family and friends on Christmas morning. It will be evening there though, so they may be napping after having eaten too much. My family is not terribly sentimental about Christmas either, but it is a good reminder that we all appreciate it when we keep in touch.
I also can’t help sort of hoping that it will snow. I realise that this is exhaustingly romantic, but it pleases me to imagine a white christmas. It feels like the end of a Dickens novel. Well, the end of A Christmas Carol, at any rate. I might even set up our ‘tree’ this weekend!