Friday, March 13, 2009

Christmas Time In Germany

Christmas is probably my favorite time here in Germany. Everything is cold, sometimes white with snow, it gets dark really early and the Weinachtsmarkts are open. These are a special event that I truly enjoy. The last time I went to one, though, was before I was pregnant with Katja. Since then, I have been pregnant or pregnant or with a newborn or two in the hospital, you know the story.
So, this Christmas was special. I went to the Weinachtsmarkt.

Weinachtsmarkt in Hannover

Here is a picture of this big thing they build in the middle of the city. It looks like a giant Windmill. They sell Gluwein and Cocoa and food from this building. They have many of these, only smaller stands all over the city. That is the joy of the whole thing. You can shop and buy neat little crafty things. You can just stroll and eat. The whole city is lit up with Christmas lights.

Christmas Tree by the Marketkirche in Old City Hannover

Each city that has a Weinachtsmarkt has a Christmas tree. Ours is in the old part of the city next to the market church. We do not have much of an old city left after the Allied bombings. There is a great Weinachtsmarkt in a town close to us, Celle. They still have many old, old houses. I want to go there next year.

Nanny Sarah's parents came to visit us from Canada.

They stayed with us for a week. They had a great time and the girls really liked them a bunch. Baby Sarah thought that Papa Nielson was super.

She has good taste!!

They did a bunch of traveling and playing hockey.I had a great talk with Sarah' Mom, Donna, about how on Earth you can survive with five kids and how to handle things financially. I think I will post her ideas about that later. We celebrated an early Christmas celebration with them before they flew home to Canada. I did check their suitcases before they left to make sure they had not tried to take one of my babies!!!

Then I decided that the actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day we would take it easy and have no guests. It never turns out that way. Uncle Wolfgang is a bachelor and I cannot tell him not to come. He is always invited. So, as usual, I got a bit carried away and tried to cook this major Christmas dinner.We do not have frozen rolls here or Betty Crocker, so I made homemade rolls. They were the best part of the meal. I did a turkey, and homemade dressing (again, there is no Stove-Top here. No Stuffing at all in fact). Then I went online and found a recipe for Green Bean and Blue Cheese Gratin. I cooked that while watching the video online. God, my computer was my best friend. I looked up a bread recipe on it and was tabbing back and forth between the green beans and "how to tell if your turkey is done" and giving orders to Samantha. I am out of my mind. It will probably happen again next year.

Samantha and Uncle Wolfgang

Baby Sarah looking cool in the new outfit Nanny Sarah bought her.

My sister helped out with the present buying (thank you again Aunt Becky) which was a Godsend.We also got a donation from a nice lady in Midland. We payed off the medical debt with donations, a gift from my Dad and by selling off things on ebay. There was not anything left over for Christmas. So, I was so happy when I was actually able to buy them presents. It turned out wonderful.

Where did all the presents go??

I really wish Germany had a Walmart here that I could go to during Christmas and get a Christmas position at. I did that one year when I was single with Samantha. I worked a bunch and put presents on layaway and was able to make that year successful. There is just not an easy way to earn cash here.

Christmas was a success. I learned a bunch this year. I am going to buy stocking stuffers throughout the year. I am also going to try not to cook another Turkey. It is for the birds!!


Kenneth Taylor said...

Your Uncle Kenneth loves you and would love to see some photos of you and the girls. Going to see your Dad in May.
Love Kenneth

Anonymous said...

Are you still in Germany? I lived there for 4 years--got married there and had our 3 kids there. We left almost 9 years ago and I still miss it a lot. I loved it in Germany and your pictures and story about the Weinachtsmarkt sure brings back memories. We will have to start saving up! I would love to hear an update.