Friday, December 24, 2010

My favourite day of the year!

Christmas Eve has always been my favourite day of the  year, it has a different meaning these days as different traditions have taken over my life, but as a kid and even now in my own heart it is the most magical day of the year. As a child the anticipation of the "Christkind" to arrive and deck the tables with gifts and light the room with lights was just so magical. Usually our Christmas tree went up Christmas Eve morning, so we didn't have weeks and weeks of having a tree up before the actual day. If our house would have been bigger, and the living room not joined with the dinning room, we would have not even been allowed in the living room for that day, and would have not seen the tree until 6 pm Christmas Eve, when the "Christkind" rang it's Christmas bell and Christmas carols were coming from the living room. And I think that's what made it so magical back then, because the living room was transformed into this room of lights and scents and atmosphere that you didn't see or experienced on any other day until that moment...Christmas Eve. Even now I still think the whole atmosphere is lost on a bright sunny Christmas morning, the tree just doesn't have the same effect as it is light outside anyway, but that's just me and I guess whatever you are used to. I usually would go with my dad and pick up my grandparents and great aunt to bring down to our house for the holiday, by the time we would be back, my aunt and uncle would have arrived and everybody was there enjoying their time together. As the afternoon went on we kids and my Opa would get very antsy and hoping it was time to leave that area of the house soon, because the sooner we could leave, the sooner the "Christkind" could arrive. Mostly we spent the time sitting in my room, waiting in anticipation with Grandpa entertaining us with stories and jokes and six o'clock couldn't come soon enough, and we would get really quiet and just listen for the bells to ring. Of course the older we got the more funnier it was actually, because we kept all these little kids traditions but weren't as anxious anymore as we were as tiny tots. When we heard the bells ring, we would line up by height ( I guess so everybody could see the same visual effect at the same time) at the locked living room door, and the door would just open like magic and there it was the lit up, festive decorated living room with the sounds and scents of Christmas. Presents everywhere, usually everybody had a spot in the room where his or her presents were stacked, but we weren't to rush and unpack, no we all sat around the couch and sang Christmas carols, which seemed to take forever as little kids, as teenagers it was another thing to make jokes about and cause many laughter. After the caroling it was present time and then dinner time. We usually got to stay up until midnight that evening and of course it was hard to leave your new favourite toy in the living room and go to bed. Usually all our presents stayed in the living room until New Years Eve, so it was that we all played together in one room all day long, and for me that was the fun part and the spirit of the holidays, to be together no matter what you do. Awwww back to reality....This year however, I have nothing to do today but enjoy the day, the house is cleaned, the groceries are bought, the wine is chilling and everything that I would usually do on this day is this year done. So it will be a totally ME day, even though the kids are all home, AH will be home earlier than usual, nothing gonna take away from my magical time of this day today, enjoying the music, the snow outside, the mood of Christmas. 
May you all find the peace and joy of this day and remember it throughout the years.

Das Christkind (German "The Christ-child", pronounced [ˈkʁɪstkɪnt]) is the traditional Christmas gift-bringer in regions of Austria, the Czech RepublicCroatiaSloveniaGermanyItaly,LiechtensteinSwitzerlandSlovakiaHungary, parts of Hispanic America, in certain areas of southern Brazil and in the Acadiana region of Louisiana. Promulgated by Martin Luther, explicitly to discourage the figure of St. Nicholas, at the Reformation in 16th-17th century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.The Christkind was adopted in Catholic areas during the 19th century, while it began to be, in a rather surprising turnabout, gradually replaced by a more or less secularized version of Saint Nicholas, the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas, Santa Claus) in Protestant regions.The Christkind is a sprite-like child, usually depicted with blond hair and angelic wings. Martin Luther intended it to be a reference to the incarnation of Jesus as an infant. Sometimes the Christ Child is, instead of the infant Jesus, interpreted as a specific angel bringing the presents, as it appears in some processions together with an image of little Jesus Christ. It seems also to be rooted in the Alsatian-born myth of a child bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Children never see the Christkind in person, and parents tell them that Christkind Bescherung) when the parents say that they think that the Christkind who has brought the presents has now left again. In some traditions, the departure is announced by the ringing of a small bell, which the parents pretend to have heard or which is secretly done by one of the adults in the family. Since the 1990s, the Christkind is facing increasing competition from the Weihnachtsmann in the American version of Santa Claus, caused by the use of Santa Claus as an advertising figure. (Need citation. Santa Claus as advertising figure has been prominently used in the United States since the Macy's Department Store Thanksgiving-to-Christmas marketing campaigns of the 1870s.) Christkindl or Christkindel are diminutive versions of Christkind. Christkind and Belsnickel are also found among communities of Volga German descent in Argentina. A well-known figure is the Christkind at the Christkindlesmarkt inNuremberg, which is represented by a young woman chosen every year for this task.


Melodie said...

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the people and critters of Laughing Duck Farm!

AJ-OAKS said...

I could feel the anticipation and anxiety of the waiting till you got to open presents!
Great memories!
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Joan said...

I can see why you miss your childhood traditions and how magical it was. Love the history lesson, so much I did not know. I have always thought Christmas Eve the most magical part of Christmas, I never wanted to go to sleep I enjoyed the peace and calm and the anticipation of what was to come.