Merry Weihnachten and Frohe Christmas

Ahhh Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. And since we also call it Weihnachten at our house, it is twice as wonderful here.

My wife thinks I am full of it, by the way, because I just ran those opening sentences by her to get her opinion. Apparently I have given her the impression that I don’t like Christmas. I know exactly how this happened. I complain every year that the stores put their Christmas stuff out earlier and earlier. I complain for the first two weeks or so of every December that you can’t get away from Christmas music. I will state here and now, for the record, that I am not a scrooge! I actually like Christmas. I love seeing the smile on my family’s face when they see the yard is decorated. I like Christmas music for a week leading up to Christmas. I like Christmas movies. I HONESTLY like giving gifts. What I don’t like is how everybody overdoes it. More is not always better. You know why Christmas is so special? Because it only happens once a year. If it was Christmas all year, it would be plain old normal. Instead, they try to stretch it earlier and earlier every year, and watering it down in the process.

But, back to my point.  At our house, Christmas is twice as nice.  We have American traditions, and we have German traditions.  Nikolaus, Saint Nicholas, Weihnachtsmann, Santa Claus, Christkind, Chris Cringle. They all visit our house, sometimes combined and sometimes not.  We open presents on Heiligabend. (Christmas Eve), and on Christmas morning.  We go to the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) and we…..wait.  Oh yeah, we losers from (my part of) America don’t have anything as cool as a Weihnachtsmarkt.  Or glühwein.  Come to think of it, we Americans don’t have a second day to celebrate Christmas like the Germans do, either.  Man, we got the shaft somewhere along the way.

Anyway, my point is that twice the traditions equal twice the goodness!  There’s only one problem.  In America, Santa Claus brings the presents the night before Christmas.  In Germany, the Christkind (Christ child) brings the presents the evening of Christmas Eve.  And oh by the way, the tree is put up closer to or on Christmas in Germany and the presents don’t get put under the tree until Christmas Eve (and absolutely all the presents come from the Christkind in Germany, not just some).  Our solution for that problem actually turned out to just be even better for our son.  We put up the tree during Thanksgiving weekend so we can enjoy it longer, and we put some presents under it.  Since he is German, the Christkind comes on Christmas Eve and he gets more presents.  But since he is also American, Santa Claus comes that night while he sleeps and he gets even more presents.  Like I said, twice as nice! 

What is the point of all of this?  I am not exactly sure.  Too much glühwein, probably.  I think I rambled a little bit.  Or a lot.  Either way, enjoy your Christmas. Twice as much if you are as lucky as us!

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