Christmas Vacation Days 17-19: New Year’s Eve Prep and Celebration

So, I apologoze, I did it again. I slacked off and disappeared for a little while. I love blogging but things have been crazy busy around here lately. But, I promised that I would finish all of my Christmas Vacation posts, so here is a December post inApril………

Christmas Vacation Day 17:

Two days before Sylvester* is when fireworks went on sale in Germany this year, so that was the first thing on the list for Tuesday. Our last New Year’s Eve was very quiet since it was just the two of us, so I was determined to make it as entertaining as I could. I had actually made my shopping list as soon as the ads came out on Saturday, carefully analyzing where I could get the most bang for my buck. It is also a good idea to jump on the shopping right away to beat the feeding frenzy or there won’t be much left to choose from. After snagging the best deals from both Aldi and Lidl, I ended up with 7 fireworks batteries and a total of 294 shots for around 50 Euro. Not to shabby I’d say.
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Christmas Vacation Day 18:

Unfortunately the first event of this day was also to be the first goodbye. My wife’s cousin had to go home so we were meeting at my “Grandma-in-laws” for coffee. It was a nice afternoon though, full of conversation and stories. And as often happens in such situations with people you care about and enjoy the company of, we sat there visiting way longer than planned. As a matter of fact, I had totally forgot that it was the first goodbye until I saw the looks on the faces of two cousins who don’t see each other enough as we all stood up from the table. It is in moments like those that I realize how much my wife must truly love me, having married me all those years ago while knowing that days like these would inevitably come.

Christmas Vacation Day 19: New Years Eve!

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The patience required while waiting to open presents on a Christmas Eve in Germany can be put to good use on Sylvester. When the evening is to start with Raclette though, there is plenty of prep work to be done to ensure boredom doesn’t set in. For those not familiar with a raclette grill, it is kind of like a “double decker” griddle with 8 little pans for individual cooking. It is because of this individual cooking that preparation takes so long as all of the ingredients have to be cut, rolled, separated, or otherwise readied and placed on trays. Once the work is done and the evening arrives though, a Lachs appetizer and a full table for raclette makes it all worth it.

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A typical raclette grill

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A small glimpse of our raclette set up

After dinner we all retired to the living room for drinks, conversation, and watching the New Year’s party in Berlin. Once midnight arrives though it is time to wish everyone a Frohes Neues Jahr*. And when I say everyone, I mean every single person. Much like when Germans toast that it is customary to say Prost to each person separately (and don’t forget to look them in the eye!), New Year’s wishes are repeated to each and every person individually. After that we hit the street to light up the night sky with colorful fire, and for me 294 shots of fire! It’s always amazing to see how many fireworks are set off just in my father-in-law’s neighborhood alone. Once all of the fireworks had been safely ignited, it was time for me to join my wife in wishing the neighbors a Freue Neues Jahr before returning to the living room. After a little more visiting the crowd started to dwindle until it was just the core group left. That held on until around 4 in the morning, and then we all decided to pack it in and get some sleep.

*Glossary:

Sylvester = New Year’s Eve
Frohes Neues Jahr = Happy New Year

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