Wednesday, November 23, 2011

... in pictures

I love traditions! 
Especially during Christmas time!

My mum and I talked about Christmas and our traditions during one of our drives to my grandmother’s house the other day. Well, we mostly discussed if it would be possible for her to cook something else this year on Christmas Eve. Here in Austria we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. In the morning we decorate our tree, then we have lunch and afterwards we take a long walk with our dog. After coffee I start wrapping the presents for my parents, then put them under the tree and afterwards we wait. I am usually too excited to read something and that is why I am surfing the internet, posting Christmas wishes on blogs, Facebook pages and sending e-mails to friends further away. At five-ish my dad lights the candles on our tree, we feel overwhelmed with joy, start unwrapping our gifts and then we have dinner. We always have the same dinner on Christmas Eve and mum and I discovered that we are having it for almost 20 years now.  

About five years ago a friend of our family moved from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Vienna and we started celebrating Christmas Eve with him and either his partner or his son, depending on who was coming to visit him over the holidays. These were wonderful Christmas dinners but the food stayed the same.

This year something is different. My mum always told me that we don’t go to a Christmas Market until the beginning of December and I always stuck to that. This year I haven’t! Christmas Markets opened on November 12th and I went to one on the 15th for some punch before my late lecture on Tuesday. It was a strange feeling but I told myself that drinking punch is not really attending a Christmas Market. On Monday my uncle, who is a musician, played at the Christmas Market before Karlskirche here in Vienna. My mum and I went there to hear him play and to wander between the stalls, it was dark and cold, we had Vanilla Pear Punch, parts of my family were there and it was the beginning of Christmas season for me.

Since then I noticed how much Vienna had changed into Christmassy mode during the last two weeks. Christmas lights are up, shop windows are decorated, you can buy roasted chestnuts and potatoes on basically every street corner, Christmas songs are playing, I am in the mood of lighting candles and it is so freezing cold.

Maybe Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year!

The reason why I am writing this long post is because I want to show you some pictures from Monday evening and my visit to the Christmas Market before Karlskirche and maybe because I am really looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year. 

rather empty Christmas Market
some people before the Punch booth
Musicians - my uncle is the one far right
my cousin Juliane
 And who knows, maybe this year our Christmas menue will change as well? 

1 comment:

  1. I love our Christmas traditions too. We have so many of them and we're constantly adding to them, thanks to our "try something new" tradition. Every year, we have to try something new and if we happen to enjoy it, it becomes a permanent fixture. Last year, it was cookie mixes in jars and we loved that. The year before, it was a gingerbread house and the less said about that, the better.

    And beside "try something new", my Christmas Eve is still very similar to the way it was when I was little. I'm well into my twenties and I still leave a glass of whisky and a mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph because it simply wouldn't be Christmas without doing that. :) And my Mum still reads me 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and we have our traditional Christmas Eve viewing; the Christmas specials of The Vicar of Dibley, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line, plus Muppet Christmas Carol.

    And every other year, we make sure that we go to a Christmas market abroad. There's a big German Christmas market in London, on the South Bank, but nothing compares to actually going to Germany and seeing the markets there. Last year, it was Cologne and there's so much that I want to remember for the rest of my life about that trip. Mostly the people. There were so many people who heard us speaking English and then switched languages, asking us how long we were there for, had we been to Germany before, what did we think so far and telling us where the nicest food was to be found. It's one of the friendliest cities I've ever been to.