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‘Twas the night before Christmas..

December 24, 2010

…and I decided to share another golden snippet from my Great Aunt’s memoirs, circa 1930 – Germany

“The Christmas time was always exciting.

On the night of December 6 we could already put a highly polished shoe into the window, and the next morning it was filled with little surprises. We made all our presents ourselves. The whole house was cleaned until it sparkled.

Oma’s living room was “The Christmas Room”, and Mutti’s living room “The Present Room”. All locked up and very secretive. The doll houses and kitchens were taken down from the attic and secretly freshened up, our dolls disappeared for a while (they also got new clothes).

On Christmas Eve Mutti first took us to church, and then we had to sit downstairs in the dining room and eat our wieners and buns, and wait. Finally we could hear the bell and ran up the stairs, the door opened, and we saw the Christmas tree glowing in the light of real candles, and of course decorated with sugar ornaments.”


“First we had to sing and say a poem or two; only then did Opa open the French doors and we were allowed to look at the presents. Everything was unwrapped and beautifully presented on a big table. We found our dolls again and everything else that belonged to a beautiful Christmas.  There were also cookies and sweets, oranges and bananas – all treats that were almost impossible get the rest of the year.”

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Here is a photo of her coming back from an early morning ski run in Sweden in 1950:

My Great Aunt is one of the most fearless, thoughtful, intelligent, witty and strong willed people I have ever met. I’m so very thankful to have had such a wonderful opportunity to really get to know her these past few years.

Merry Christmas to you dear readers, I hope visions of sugar plums dance in your heads tonight…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 31, 2010 7:14 am

    Thank you for sharing your great aunt’s description of Christmas. Commercialism has unfortunately coached us into experiencing and ‘having’ Christmas continuously for the 4 weeks or more before the event. The delayed gratification involved in waiting, and seeing the tree with all the presents on one appointed hour created a far more genuine excitement – even over revisiting old toys! I just love this description. It reminded me of our own childhood Chrismas’s where the tree would magically appear on Christmas morning. All practical things arrived as presents – nightgowns, boots, a sweater + the toys and we were all so excited to get them.

    THanks for sharing. Many blessings for the New Year.

    Carolyn

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