It’s the best time of the year, not sure if it really is but convinced that it’s the most special and sentimental time of the year. Here in the US the season starts the weekend after Thanksgiving; the Christmas tree gets set up and the lighting gets installed; the brighter and colorful the better. My personal start is since three years the Christmas song at the end of the annual school play. “Have a holly jolly Christmas” always touched me to tears and I’m thankful for everything: my family, friends, health, freedom, laughter, the common situation, the new Pink song, food, weather, and and and … Awww do you know this feeling, sniff? My girls think I’m awkward and I think who cares and my eyes start watering again.
I love the rides back home in the evening along the extensive and affectionate decorated houses. Lightning everywhere, a Santa on the roof, some reindeers in the garden, a flashing wreath on the door, glistening fairylands. Often I allow myself a detour through a new neighborhood and I’m always over the moon when I find a new gem.
Another big thing: the tree itself. Real or artificial, colorful or color coordinated, conceptual decorated or full with lifetime memories, typical ornaments or sappy ones, and particularly for us Swiss: real candles or LED? I enjoyed all of them this year! Artificial, colorful, methodless, sappy and full with gifted ornaments at our home, LED lights (didn’t found real Christmas candles in a shop and it’s not necessary because the LED’s were already fixed at the tree…). Real, color coordinated, conceptual decorated with beautiful vintage ornaments collected over years and real candles at my moms house, yep I’m a chip off the old block………………………………………………… I started to write this blog a couple days ago and used my memories, tradition never change, right? 12/24 I made contact with our actual tree: Please keep the old tree in your mind, I still don’t know what I should write about the new one. Something like “A social act to a poor branchless tree that finally found a beloved and warm home” or “Hey big world, is there someone who is feeling sorry for a tree with a special look?”. Aaaawwwwwww we have friends that rented for the first time a Christmas tree and now our family adopted one, yep tradition is changing.
But not at my sisters: real, color coordinated with a mix of vintage and sappy ornaments and real candles. Sorry but there’s nothing better than real candles, already the process of lighting up is special and then the reflection of real flickering in the ornaments, priceless. A beautiful big one with all kind of ornaments in my sister in laws house, a beautiful color conceptual one in my friends house and a lovely small one still in the garden pottery and already on its way to growing bigger for next year in another’s friends house. All beautiful in their own way.
Not to forget the Christmas markets, cookies, Christmas songs, the glamor and dazzle of gifts in their paper and ribbons and better the cathartic crunch and crinkle as we unwrap them. Chilly weather and a hot cup of glühwein or eggnog (this one warms up from the inside, after three or four…) in our hands, the smell of pine and the hopeful faces and sparkling eyes of the kids. And the pumkin spice flavor get replaced with peppermint: peppermint chocolate, cookies, lattes, m&m’s, coffee, Lindor truffles, marshmallows, vodka and popcorn, really?
Perhaps the most magical thing about Christmas is the kindness of the people. Here a warm hug, there a bright smile, good vibes everywhere. Nice words, generosity, a card from a friend, a special gift, a little something, crooned Christmas songs, peacefulness! Should last all year, right?
I hope y’all enjoyed the holidays as we did! We had a fabulous time in Switzerland. A huge thank to our families and friends for hospitality, hugs (it always feels like we never were away) and cooking efforts. We got everything: bratwurst, fondue, röschti, zürich geschnetzeltes, spätzli, tartar, bündnerfleisch, käse, spaghetti vongole, filet im teig, guetzli and an endless amount of chocolate, enough energy for the 13 miles trough the woods end of January. Cheers!!