Advent in a German Village

 

Advent in Germany

A time of hope, anticipation.
Crisp air outdoors. Candles,
lights, wreaths abound. Advent
calendars to count down.

Small surprises, sweets
behind the tiny doors.
Shouts of glee at the
prizes in little hands.

Smells of fir boughs,
pine cones, gingerbread
houses, baked goodies.
Traditions and rituals.

My classroom desk in
Germany held wonderment
as I entered. An Advent
Wreath with a lit candle awaited.

Thirty faces watched my
reaction of surprise as
I expressed thanks to all
the smiling faces.

How different it was this
Fulbright Year of teaching
in Germany. Still years later
our lives are forever changed.

Moonlit walks on snowy
December nights through the
village in Germany. Memories.
Outdoor Christmas markets

adorn towns with sights,
smells, sounds of Christmas
music. Rich traditions and
new cultural experiences.

December 6, a special day.
Children place one shoe
outside their door. Nikolaus
eagerly awaited to fill it with goodies.

The Christ Child visits on
Christmas eve when families
gather to exchange their gifts.
Church services at Midnight.

There is much to be said
for sacred family time and
celebrations. Stores closed
on Sundays and holidays. These

fond memories remain in our
hearts and minds forever
treasured and shared in
future holiday celebrations.

This love of the old fashioned
Christmas in simpler times – when
people take time to value one
another and share their love.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Advent Wreath, Advent, Nikolaus, customs, Germany, traditions, cultures, Fulbright to Germany and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Advent in a German Village

  1. What a beautiful post and I can feel your joy and gratitude. Sounds wonderful. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann a beautiful post celebrating the joys of the Christmas season. Your time in Germany sounds magical, your sense of awe and delight evident in every word. Yes, a time to value each other, time for each other…time – that precious commodity which seems in short supply. Thank you for sharing your experiences in Germany and reminding us what Christmas is all about. One question to which I should know the answer, do they celebrate On Christmas Eve or Day as well in Germany? Wishing you a very special weekend. 😀😀 Happy 2nd Advent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my dear friend and fellow blogger, for such kind remarks. The sense of awe remains with me today and with each trip to Germany. The Germans actually close all businesses by midday on Christmas Eve and open presents and celebrate with family. On Christmas Day, they have a special meal and celebrate with family. On Dec. 26, they celebrate with friends. So, businesses remain closed for two and one half days for Christmas. We open our presents on Christmas Day because we sing in the church choir for three services including Midnight on Christmas eve. Also Christmas Day one in the morning. How about Sweden? Christmas eve as well? Happy 2nd of Advent to you as well. Oh, one more thing, the Germans use mostly white lights to decorate store fronts whereas in the US, colored lights are the norm. I prefer the white ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Arno Bode,cologne ,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    eine wundervolle emotionale Schilderung von deinen Eindrücken und Erlebnissen in Deutschland zur Advents- und Weihnachtszeit.Durch deinen Lehrauftrag hattest Du die Möglichkeit in Deutschland eine Variante kennenzulernen zu dem sicher etwas anderem Zerimonell des Begehens der Advents- und Weihnachtszeit in den USA.
    Die christliche Weihnachtsbotschaft ” Frieden für die Ganze Welt “scheint in heutiger Zeit in Vergessenheit geraten zu sein,wenn man sich die Welt-Nachrichten anschaut.
    In dieser besinnlichen Zeit sollte friedliches Miteinander den Stellenwert den es in früheren Zeiten inne hatte,wieder mehr an Bedeutung bekommen.Weihnachten darf nicht nur ein Konsumfest sein.Der Glanz von strahlenden Kinderaugen ist durch nichts zu ersetzen.
    Sicher ist im forgeschrittenen Alter das Festhalten an alten Traditionen als durchaus koservativ zu bezeichnen.Aber schöne Erinnerungen behält man halt lieber in Erinnerung.
    Wir wünschen Dir ,Deiner Familie und Deinen Lesern eine schöne besinnliche Vorweihnachtszeit
    und ein fröhliches Weihnachtsfest bei dem hoffentlich alle Wünsche erfüllt werden.
    Nochmals meine Begeisterung zu Deiner Veröffenlichung,
    Liebe Mary Ann, Dir und Deinen Lieben eine schöne Zeit
    Dein Arno

    Like

    • Your thoughtful comment is very much appreciated by this writer, Arno. We do live in different times, but in our hearts the important parts of life still remain. In Germany, the focus I recall most was celebrating Christ’s birth and celebrating with family. Our traditions in the US are different, but we have a strong, abiding faith and relish the simple things of life. I have long told our children and husband I don’t really need any presents but ask for a poem from them. Something personal from the heart means more and remains longer. As we age, there are more important things in life than buying presents. Spend time with family and loved ones. Go for that coffee and conversation with a good friend. Cherish these fleeting moments. To you and yours, we wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. All the best,

      Mary Ann et al ^__^

      Like

  4. Beautiful post that truthfully captures the joy of the season for children and adults alike. Fantastic visuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your kind comment. I’m glad I was able to convey to young and old alike. The lit Advent wreath on the table holds special meaning since my father fashioned this out of wood and painted it for all his daughters. Thank you and happy Advent wishes for you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

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