Hello everyone! It is Christmas Eve! Which means that it is the last day of Advent. As you may or may not know, I live in Germany (and have done most of my life) but I am originally British, so we kind of have a mix of christmas cultures.
Advent is a massive thing in Germany. We have christmas markets where you get Gluhwein (alcoholic wine drink with spices in it) and they come in these really awesome mugs which you can keep. I personally don’t drink Gluhwein- I could if I wanted to next week, but I don’t like it…. but it smells good and the mugs are really interesting and each one is unique ( see picture below) We also have something called an Adventskranz where there are four candles and you light one every Sunday for four Sundays before Christmas (again, see picture below) You also sing a little song that goes…
“Advent, advent ein lichtlein brennt. Erst eins dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier. Dann steht das Kristkind vor der Tür.”
Because of the first candle being lit four Sundays before Christmas, it was actually the last Sunday of November, so we have had our Christmas tree up since just before then and it still looks amazing!
Then, we also have a family advent calendar hanging on the wall and each day a person gets a little gift. My sister and I both get nine presents each and my parents get three each (it is much harder for them to find small things for each other than for us). This calendar is pictured below hanging on the wall.
Finally, we have a chocolate christmas tree. This is just for my sister and I. My dad used to do it too, but now he is trying to keep his weight down for his triathlons, so he doesn’t anymore and my mum can’t eat chocolate. In the picture below it is bare of any chocolate because we ate the last ones today. Next to it you can see are traditional christmas cake which we decorated yesterday.
Now, I’m going to show you all of the wonderful things my mum bought me for advent (my dad doesn’t buy me gifts for advent because he has work so my mum does it for both of them). I just want to quickly mention that I am not bragging, I love everything and I am only doing this because I am always interested in what other people get for Christmas (which is also why I will be sharing with you what I get for Christmas and my Birthday in the coming week). By the way, sorry for the bad quality of the picture, I am having to take pictures on my computer because my old phone doesn’t work and it is hard to hold still and get good angles.
1,2 and 3- the first three things I got for advent weren’t really advent presents, but I got them during this time so I am going to count them as gifts from myself. I got the second and third books in the Dark Elements Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Stone Cold Touch and Every Last Breath) because I finished the first one and needed to continue with the series. I ended up finishing all three over the two days I was sick.
The paper that you can see is #3 (rhyme!!) and is the prequel novella to the Snow Like Ashes series “Icicles like Kindling” by Sara Raasch which is only available for free online and can be found here. I just printed a copy.
4- The next thing I got is hard to see in this picture but it is a black rubber that says “Write, Erase, Repeat” on it. I love it and it erases really well.
5- The next thing are these really cool bookmarks that say ‘YOU ARE HERE’ at the top. They are made of card and are pretty awesome. You fill them out: they have a place for the title, author, date started, then notes with a space for the page number and date finished at the bottom of a box to tick if you didn’t finish. It is especially handy for school books (if you don’t own them) or library books because you can’t write in them and when you give them back you have to take out any post-it-notes, so you can keep track of the most important stuff on the bookmark, which I think is pretty neat.
6- Christmas socks. Ah, christmas socks. I wear them once a year. But it is a family thing. Both my sister and I get them every year (my dad just wears normal socks) and I let my mum borrow mine, but usually she just wears fuzzy socks because her feet get cold. This year mine have christmas pudding on, which I absolutely love and eat as much as I can every year.
7- Two paintbrushes. If you didn’t know, I really like to paint random abstract things and I had put paintbrushes down on my wishlist so my mum put them in the advent calendar for me and they are really, really lovely to paint with.
8- A silver pen. My sister got a gold one and I got a silver. It writes really nicely and is perfect for present labels 😉
9- Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons. These aren’t pictured here because I gave them to a friend as a birthday present because she shares my love for chocolate, but we can’t get English chocolate here, really, so my mum brought some over on one of her many trips to London (she literally visits, like, six times a year).
10- Maybelline Colour Show “Burgundy Kiss” nail polish. This is a really pretty colour and when I finally get around to filing and taking care of my nails, I will be sure to make good use of it. I think it might have been my mum subtly hinting that I should stop biting my fingernails (I can’t help it- I do it when I’m nervous, stressed or bored and I picked it from a friend when I was 4).
11- Revision tags. I take school very seriously and I love using post it notes, so these were perfect. There are five different colours and each colour has something else written on it: dark orange says ‘REMEMBER THIS’, blue says ‘VERY IMPORTANT’, orange-yellow says ‘DON’T FORGET’, green says ‘SUBJECT’ and pink says ‘REREAD THIS’ and then there is some space to write a note and they have arrows.
12- Lastly, I got this gorgeous little notepad with peacocks and gold detailing on the front. It is absolutely beautiful, so I have inserted a picture especially of it (and also because I cannot describe things to save my life).
On Christmas Day it will just be me, my sister, our parents and the dog. We don’t do Christmas with family because my mum’s family is in England and my dad’s family is in Scotland and we live in Germany and it is all a bit too complicated, so we enjoy it as a smaller group. However, we do always have friends over on Christmas Eve and this year we are having a get-together/ party with just one family- my mum is friends with a woman called Jane and so she will be coming over with her husband and their kids (a daughter about a year older than me and a son a year younger). My mum is frantically preparing food (all homemade and nearly all unhealthy, of course) but the table is already looking fabulous, although it isn’t finished yet, so I thought I would show you what it looks like at the moment. And yes, that is the side of my head in the picture- this is what happens when you take photos with the computer.
Before I leave you for this post, I wanted to ask a question. If you have a stocking where do you put it on Christmas Eve? I have mine on the end of my bed. My sisters hangs hers from a bed post and my parents put theirs on the floor beside their bed. And I have friends who put them in the living room. So where do you put yours? Have you always done it that way?
Have a wonderful christmas (or just a wonderful day if you don’t celebrate) and if you would like to see some more festive pictures feel free to follow me on twitter @Rogan_Keira.
P.S. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this, but I thought I probably should: I’m not religious, my immediate family just does Christmas as a traditional and cultural celebration and not a religious one. Which is why I haven’t mentioned going to church or anything and is also one of the reasons I can post tomorrow 😀 It is also one of the reasons we don’t do Christmas with my grandparents- both sets would want to go to church… and different churches at that!!!
P.P.S. Wow, this post is over 1,500 words long. That is a lot. Hope I didn’t bore you and that there were enough pictures.
P.P.P.S. One last bit of housekeeping. I have a new feature, called Readers Recommendations and I need some holiday recommendations (as well as some other types for future months) so if you have books to share, please click here to check it out.