Christmas as you celebrate it

By Laura TomassiniLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

From gherkins on the Christmas tree to juliennes and cat buns from a rabbit book – when you say Christmas, you say traditions, and they are quite different in every family. There are many special customs, not only on Christmas Eve, because the preparations for the feast of all feasts already begin during the Advent season.

"Some play with Playmobil, you play with your 'Krëppchen'." Cathy Morizet looks at her mother's Christmas work with a laughing eye and one that sparkles with admiration: a medium-sized but impressive nativity scene, equipped with specially collected moss, suitably arranged tree bark and carved wooden figures. Every year, the small installation is the highlight in the family’s living room next to the original decorated Christmas tree, especially on Christmas Eve, because the entry of the miniature Jesus into his cradle officially heralds the festive distribution of gifts.

"We always did it this way: While the manger including all the trimmings was ready, the Christ Child was still missing. That was very exciting, especially when the children were still small, because they all waited for the time when they could finally unwrap the presents. They ran and jumped around in the living room and suddenly there it was", Joëlle explains the tradition. The mother of two introduced the custom to her family herself, because when she was young she didn't know the game neither.

A deco-effort that pays off

"My parents rarely set up a nativity scene", says Joëlle. But even as a little girl, she accompanied her grandmother to churches around the country to marvel at the various nativity scenes, and she also admired her neighbours' manger every Advent. "I've always found it insanely beautiful, and even though I get annoyed about lying on my stomach for several hours every year again, it's a thrill every time."

Back when the children were sent out of the room or to their grandfather so that mother Joëlle could welcome the Christ Child to the manger, last year the tradition had its first break – much to the dismay of the family. Now, on December 24, Joseph, Mary and their flocks can respire, because their baby Jesus will appear again in the magical Joëlle way. The Christmas tree will also shine in its full glory in 2021, because after the initial decoration by the grandparents and the subsequent gold-and-blue frenzy, the branches of the Christmas tree have been adorned with small treasures from all over the world for some years now.

You want more? Get access now.

  • One-year subscription

  • Monthly subscription

  • Zukunftsabo for subscribers under the age of 26


Already have an account?

Log in