Christmas Eve will be a story (based on a true story); one that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Christmas Day and Boxing Day (UK) will be observed as holidays for you to enjoy (off-line). Though we will probably post a poetry prompt for you die-hard bloggers.
We wanted to start the week by learning about different cultures and how the Christmas holiday is celebrated. Celebrations may include many things: food, songs, things the family or community does. There are things your family does that is it's own unique celebration. We would love for you to share how you celebrate. You could write a poem about your celebration or a funny story. Please feel free to link in and/or share in the comment box.
As I thought, a Christmas tree had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, I refused to have one for years...and how our children suffered as everyone else had one of course! As I didn't change my mind, one Christmas Eve, my eldest daughter (she must have been six or seven then) told me, this year we will have a tree as she had crafted one herself - and there it stood in our living room - made of a broomstick and colored paper...so we were celebrating Christmas around this broomstick tree and from then on - we started to have real christmas trees...
So the Christmas tree is one tradition we have - in 95% of the German households it's a genuine tree, cut in a forest. Usually we put it up in the living room the day before Christmas Eve and leave it there until the 6th of January.
The Advent wreath is my personal favorite Christmas tradition, dating back to 1839.
Pastor Wichern was at this time the leader of an asylum for homeless boys in Hamburg (The Rough House) and in the dining room, he hang up a huge cartwheel for "his" boys with 19 small and 4 big candles and every evening, the boys would light another candle to show them, there's hope in their
Something you might know is the "Star of Herrnhut" which was the Christmas challenge for the boys of the Missionaries home Niesky in Herrnhut/Germany by their math teacher in 1821 - and since then re-built a million times and well known in most countries of the world.
And it was Martin Luther who re-arranged the date when the children would get their Christmas presents from the 6th of December to the 24th of December.
The reason for changing the date was that he said: Nicolaus was a good man, but can't help us any more - but on Christmas, God gave us his only son and every year this gives us a reason to celebrate. His wife and all the people in this small church in Wittenberg didn't like this at first - until
he introduced the song he has written for this Christmas celebration in 1535 - > "Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her" - > "From heaven above I come"
This is one of my favorite Christmas songs and we used to sing it a lot with the children. And one year, we went skiing and Tim, my son (he was quite small then) was sitting in the chair lift and singing full sound "From heaven above I come...." and all the people around were smiling...
So we will decorate our Christmas tree on the 22nd or 23rd of December - will go to church on the 24th at around 5pm - then have Christmas Dinner with the family (Fondue most years) , sing the first stanza (we only know the first stanza by heart..) from all the christmas songs that jump to our mind with me playing the guitar and then unpack presents under the Christmas tree.
Last but not least, let me share a Christmas poem and then extend my German Christmas experience to a tour round the world...
Oh Sing me silent Holy Night
oh sing me silent holy night
when angels held their breath in awe
and wonders tender, true and raw
were born just when the time was right
I can’t hold on to what is wrong
my soul entwined in brightest light
with him who's stronger than the law
oh sing me silent holy night
a new poem structure, created by One Stop's featured friend Luke Prater.
We will have an opportunity to learn more about this style in the New Year.