Remembering Advent in a German Village


Today’s blog recalls an earlier era when our children were young and living in a magical German village during my first Fulbright year. They counted down the days until December 25 with Advent calendars and put a BIG shoe outside their door the evening of Dec. 5 for a visit from Nikolaus on Dec. 6. This poem is reprinted with love from us to all our family, friends and readers during this Advent season. It is a time to value one another and to share our love.


Advent Season 

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,
pinecones, gingerbread
houses, baked goodies.
Traditions and rituals.

20953670_10100163191470425_5445444207750094041_nt and e with babi

My classroom desk in
Germany held wonderment
as I walked in. An Advent
wreath with a lit candle.

Thirty faces watched me
as I reacted in surprise and
expressed thanks to all
the smiling faces.

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

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

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

One shoe outside the door
awaiting the visit of Nikolaus
to fill it with candy and fruit.
A revered day – December 6.


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, holidays. These

days remain in our hearts
and minds to be forever
treasured and shared in
future shared holidays.

We love the old fashioned
Christmas when people
take time to value one another
and share their love.


This entry was posted in Advent Wreath, Advent, Nikolaus, customs, Germany, traditions, cultures, German village life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Remembering Advent in a German Village

  1. Wonderful memories, Mary Ann! ❤ Wishing you and yours a blessed and beautiful Advent Season. xo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Arno Bode,Cologne,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    die faszinierende Schilderung Deiner Erfahrungen mit dem Ablauf der Advents- und Weihnachtszeit in Deutschland während Deiner Lehrtätigkeit berührt tief Herz und Seele.Ich freue mich,daß Du diese Zeit mit Deinen Kindern hier verleben konntest.Diese Erlebnisse des Frieden in der Weihnachtszeit bleiben bestimmt das ganze Leben in Erinnerung und im Bewustsein.Dir,liebe Mary Ann,Deinem Mann und Deinen Kindern wünsche ich auch in den USA
    eine besinnliche friedvolle Zeit.Ich weiß,daß sich die Art des Begehens der Weihnachtszeit ein wenig von unseren Gepflogenheiten unterscheidet.Euch alles,alles Liebe und Gute ,
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lieber Arno, unsere Familie wurde bereichert durch unsere Jahre in Deutschland und durch die Teilnahme an und den Unterricht an deutschen Schulen. Ja, diese Erfahrungen werden ein Leben lang erhalten bleiben. Unsere Kinder sind heute verständnisvolle und tolerante Individuen. Die Welt braucht mehr solche Menschen, damit das gegenseitige Verständnis der anderen zum Weltfrieden führt. Es beginnt mit einer Person. Dies ist eine magische und doch spirituelle Zeit des Jahres für uns. Ja, unsere Traditionen mögen etwas anders sein, aber in den Herzen und Köpfen aller von uns ist Liebe und der Wunsch nach Frieden und Glück. Von uns zu Dir und Deiner Familie, wünschen wir Euch einen spirituellen Advent und ein wunderbares, friedliches Weihnachten und Neujahr. Liebe Grüße, Deine Mary Ann 🙂


  3. Hab ein wunderschönes erstes Adventswochenende, Mary Ann! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Lovely post. I haven’t seen a snowman in oh so long. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the lovely comment. Sometimes we have lots of snow to build snowmen. A fun activity to be certain. Since we receive the most snow of any city of our size in the lower 48, I anticipate we will do that again this year. About 120″ on average. So enjoy the snowmen!


  5. Wonderful! I have to apologize for late revisiting. Sorry! Wish you a great, blessed Advent Season. The “good old time” was much more better in this. Now its only the chocolate figure, and perhaps some songs. 😉 Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann, this is a lovely poem of Christmas celebration and your years in Germany were formative for you all. I love the snowman photo…is that now? Have you had so much snow? We had a tiny fluttering and you should see the excitement that generated! Ahh…once the advent candles are out,the first one lit then the peace of the Christmas season is upon us. Hope you had a lovely special first adventure! 😀❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Annika. The snowman photo is a few years ago. My daughter recently sent it so I included it. We have had dustings of snow here and there, but nothing major yet. I hope it holds off for the next three weeks so I don’t have to drive to night rehearsals and performances. Look to your twitter account for a note from me. Advent candles at church. We both have been too busy with music making. I’ll simply light a couple candles this weekend to make up for it. Love this magical time of year. Enjoy your family and Advent.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed your poem and memories from a German Christmas. We were blessed to spend one Christmas in Germany while we were living in England. We went to a Christmas Eve service in Munich, and I was thrilled to recognize ALL of the music, from the organ pieces to the carols. We are Lutheran, so these things were part of our heritage. Snow fell gently every day. What a magical time it was!

    Liked by 3 people

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