Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent in Bavaria


In my part of the English-speaking world, Advent kind of slips by without much of a fuss. No, that's not true: but it's a different kind of fuss, a fuss that - more often than not - is centred around shops and shopping and buying stuff. A Bavarian Christmas is different: slightly more traditional and slightly less commercial. The Thursday before the first Advent Sunday (last Thursday it happens), the Christmas markets open for the first time in the late afternoon. Within an hour, people have gathered around the braziers, drinking mead and mulled wine in the crispy darkness of a winter evening:

And everything smells so good - stalls with toffee apples and roast nuts, boiled sweets, mulled wine and loads of gingerbread:

Last year Mr Gingerbread and I didn't decorate our house and we celebrated Christmas at our respective families, but not together. It was a hard year and by the time Christmas rolled around, we were exhausted. This year, 2010, has been a tough one but we've just handled it better. So this Christmas, we (well, I - Mr Gingerbread just agrees to keep the peace) are going to celebrate with a vengeance.

First, I bought a traditional Advent wreath. I didn't make it myself, but bought it at our Christmas bazaar:

And we decorated a tree. It's not actually a fir tree but an oleander bush that my mother-in-law gave us (she called it a 'plant' but it's clearly a tree) but the addition of shiny baubles and crocheted snowflakes give it a festive air:

The snowflakes aren't mine, they were a present last Christmas and I've been looking forward to hanging them up all year. My husband is a bit bemused by the (un)timely decorating but plays along in good spirit. So I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the season!


- said...

I think everything looks beautiful and will turn out perfectly.

~Christina said...

my husband and I have already decorated our little apartment for Christmas here in Washington State, and our church (Presbyterian) had the annual advent-wreath making day today too! Our view is that once Thanksgiving is done with here, it's time to start getting ready for Christmas! :)

I love the Oleander, it's so beautiful! It makes me think of "Enchanted April," if you've ever seen that movie. ;) I like your decor, I hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am mine.