Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Montag, 27. Dezember 2010

Celebrating Christmas in Germany

I admit, it was really weird, and sad not to be home for Christmas.  I missed seeing my father, sister, stepmother, aunt, cousins, godparents.  I missed all the festive Christmas visiting.  I missed the Americanness of it all, Christmas lights, shopping, and home food.  I'm even sad that we aren't home for the big blizzard of 2010. 
I am so thankful to Joern for working really hard to help make my Christmas here very special. 
On the 23rd, we headed out to buy a Christmas tree.  We went back and forth about getting a tree, but in the end, I realized that one would be really special considering this will be our last Christmas in our apartment.
Afterwards, we headed down to Stuttgart, for the final day of the Christmas market.  I am so happy we went, although we both realized that we don't spend enough time at Christmas markets.  They are so lovely, and so special, and Stuttgart's is so close, there is no reason not to spend more time there.

Afterwards, Joern surprised me by taking me to the movies.  We went to see Little Fockers.  Yeah, it was a pretty light story, but provided some good laughs. Even better was that we went to see it at the Corso Kino in Vaihingen, which is an Original Version movie theater.   This means it isn't only English movies, but all movies are played in their original version, even if it is French or Hindi.  I just happen to be lucky that most of their films are in English. 
When we got home from the movie, we decorated our tree.  It was very important to me that it was finished by Christmas Eve.  I was pretty impressed by how the tree came out.  We used most of the ornaments that we bought eight years ago, when we last had a Christmas tree here.  They aren't the best looking plastic ornaments, but with some silver beads and bows, and some white lights, the tree came out pretty nicely!  Plus, we had a few ornaments from our travels here, and a few that had been given as gifts.  One of my favorites is the Parma Proscuitto that was a magnet that seems best hanging on the tree.  So we have an ornament from Baltimore, MD; Cape Cod, MA; and Parma, Italy.  Very cool.

 I do have a lot more ornaments that have already been packed away waiting for our new house.  I can't wait to unpack my mom's old Christmas ornaments, as well as the rest of those picked up on our travels.  They bring back such powerful memories.
On the 24th, we received some sad news, no one had bothered to get a Chistmas tree for Joern's grandma, nor had anyone given her cookies.  Christmas cookies, or Plätzchen as they are called here (or Brotle /Gutsle in Swabian,) are a gigantic tradition here.  I know that many Americans bake Christmas cookies at home, but it is a much bigger deal here.  Joern's grandma used to make such yummy cookies, and I am sure that they are a really big part of Christmas for her.  Both Joern and I were heartbroken at this thought, so we ran out and bought an artificial tree for Oma, so she will never not have a tree again.  I also got to work making cookies.  I made Vanilla Kipferl (like vanilla crescents,) checkerboard cookies, chocolate dipped, and coconut cookies.  It felt so good to pack up a beautiful plate of cookies and deliver them to Oma!  As my aunt said, maybe there really was a reason why we stayed in Germany this year.

For Christmas Eve dinner, Joern and I headed over to his parents' house. German traditional Christmas Eve dinner is sausages and salads. In Joern's family, it is a mixture of sausages, and "Spezial Salat", which we have since discovered is called Prussian Potato Salad. Which makes sense as Joern's father is from former Prussia.

After dinner, we decided to brave the snow that had been falling heavily all day, and took a ride. Since my car is meant to drive in the snow, we had no concern that this was a mistake. It was such a beautiful drive through the snowy, very silent roads and towns.


Town on the Swabian Alb

Neuffen Town Hall


During our ride we stopped in Urach to take pictures of the adorable town center. We got there around 11:30 pm, and were so amazed that when we got out of the car to take pictures, we heard beautiful music.  Some musicians were standing in the church tower playing Christmas carols so that it resounded over the town center.  With the snow falling, the lights, and the music playing it was like magic!

We got home after midnight, as the heavy snowfall slowed down our driving.  When we woke up on Christmas Day, it had pretty much stopped snowing.  But here in Neckartailifingen, we got an easy 8 inches of snow.  It was so pretty.  I decided to make a breakfast that my mom used to make on Christmas day when I was a teenager.  We were so sad when we realized she had misplaced the recipe.  So, I was so excited to realize that I could Google the recipe.  I made a sausage braid, that was so yummy!
Later  in the day, I got ahold of my friend, Mandy.  We had planned on meeting up with Mandy and her husband because we were going to dog-sit for their dog, Abbey.  When I called Mandy, we ended up with a surprise invitation to Christmas dinner with mutual friends, Heidi and Julie.  I could not believe how awesome it was to be invited to Heidi and Julie's for dinner.  We ate at around 5.  It was a fantastic group of  people, Heidi and Julie and their son Aiden, Mandy and her husband Doug, and Mandy's brother and his wife.  We had a great time and ate great food.
It was really a perfect ending to my first Christmas away from home. 

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