Let there be Peace on Earth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Christmas – A Family Tradition

For as long as I can remember from the days after the war in Germany, 1Christmas has always been the most important event in our family. More than anything else it symbolizes the light that came into the world. For the men, women, and children, who survived the horrors of World War II, this light shining in the darkness had special meaning in a time of hopelessness and despair. For me as a young boy perhaps six or seven years old, there were three traditions that brought the Christmas message of peace closer to my heart.

3

The first custom actually originated in Germany way back in the 17th century. My mother would take tender spruce or fir branches and weave them into an Advent wreath, on which she would place four red candles, one for each Sunday in the Advent season. Later on in the mid 50’s we moved together with my aunt Marie, who enriched the short celebration by playing a couple of Christmas melodies on her recorder.

IMG_9247

The second custom that I really liked was the Advent calendar. It was not an ordinary calendar. It was only used in the month of December and came with 24 doors. Starting on December 1st, I opened the first door to see what picture lay hidden behind it. The pictures were all associated with the upcoming event and would display stars, candles, the Christmas tree, angels, toys, and so forth. On the morning of Christmas Eve, I finally  opened the last door, which was a big double door, behind which I would find the manger-scene showing Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the three Wise Men, and, of course, Baby Jesus in the manger.

175

My wife and I carried on with these traditions after immigrating to Canada. While our children grew up, they became acquainted with the third and in their view most important custom, the celebration of Christmas Eve.

5

After singing a few Christmas carols both in English and German and the reading of the Christmas story, they were allowed to open their presents. Needless to say, they liked our Christmas better and were the envy of the kids in the neighborhood, who had to wait till morning to receive their gifts, which they would find under the tree.

9

This will be the last post before the New Year. So my wife and I would like to pass on our good wishes to one and all. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
10

Autobiography Family Research Germany Photography The Family Tree Project Writing WWII

9 Comments Leave a comment

    • Celebration of Christmas Eve is the big difference. Then there is St. Nicholas Day on December 6. On Christmas Day the Germans eat duck, the Canadians eat turkey dinner. The Advent wreath also is not very well known in Canada. Thanks for your interest in my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes -the Advents wreath- – Presents at Christmas Eve. and Nikolas comes on Dec. 6. not Santa.
    I and my daughter have carried out the German Christmas- but Lisa also das with my Grandchildren the English one,
    so they both enjoy Christmas.

    You Peter and Gertrud Enjoy your wonderful and Blessed Christmas. and A better and greater New Year for 2016.
    Love you both Dearly satay healthy and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Peter,liebe Gertrudbiene!
      Danke auch für diesen schönen Bericht!
      Wir wünschen Euch,Euren Kindern,Enkeln,Eurer ganzen Familie und a l l e n ,die das hier lesen,ein gesegnetes,schönes Weihnachtsfest,ein gesundes ,friedliches neues Jahr!!
      Würde es in unserer Macht stehen,sollten sich alle Eure Wünsche erfüllen! Und es würden keine Kriege mehr geben….
      Es ist schön,dass es Euch gibt!
      Bleibt gesund!
      Edda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos and I look forward to the stories! Please keep sharing this wonderful project 🙂 You will have to try tamales one year for Christmas– you can make them out of duck or turkey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter – A lovely post. We also do an advent wreath and light the candles each Sunday before Christmas. It is not a very common practice among people here but it is one my husband and I started when we were first married. Great picture of you and your wife in the snow.
    Kalen

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Theresa Barker - Lab Notes

sketches in fiction and poetry

WordsVisual

Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

ruthfreter

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

pastpastoring

By a Pastor, for Pastors, for church leaders, and for all Christians who love their Church

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

photoartstuttgart

Präsentation by wordpress

A Suffolk Lane

A diary of my life in rural north Suffolk.

EUROGECKO

exploremore!

A Voice from Iran

Storytelling

Safira's Journey

Create Your Own Happiness

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Mrinalini Raj

I LEAVE YOUR ROAD TO WALK ON MY GRASS.

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

corneliaweberphotography.wordpress.com

This photography blog is about art, passion, people and places

Ultimatetravel

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

To Live as Kate

A modest attempt to share my life with you as I try to find myself.

My Blog

Losing myself in reverie

Karen Painter

Historical Fiction Author

Denney Home Place

~ et mea Messis erit ~

Pure Glory

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Psalms 19:1

Ellie's Blog

Personal Blog

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Simply Photography by Ileana Alberti

“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” Ernst Haas

%d bloggers like this: