Let's be real: giving presents is not as easy as you might think. More often than I'd like to admit, I've tried to buy gifts for friends and relatives and left the store packed - but only with things for me and no gifts at all.
Christmas is the time of lights and candles. In Germany, the Christmas season is therefore rung in with Advent wreaths. Traditionally, a candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas, so that all four candles burn on Christmas Day.
After the starter last week, the main course now follows: Lamb with Christmas spices.
In western cultures there are gifts for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, baptism, weddings and many other festivities. The gift wrappings only serve to hide the content. In Japanese culture, there are fewer opportunities to make and receive gifts. ‘Ochugen' takes place in summer and offers the opportunity to show oneself through gifts. ‘Oseibo' is celebrated in December and stands for independence.
Every year just before Christmas, Germany's largest chocolate festival takes place in Tübingen. Although chocolate is not my number one priority, it is nice to see what new things the Chocolatiers come up with. Because chocolate is not only delicious but also versatile.
For many, December is not only associated with the Christmas season but above all with exam stress. Mid-December is the time for the exam phase for university students. This means stress, many hours in the library and at least as much time at home or in study groups working through the notes and texts.
Christmas markets are the most fun when you visit them with your loved ones. A short break at the waffle stand, shopping, a cup of mulled wine and nice conversations with other visitors and sellers.
One of my favourite Christmas traditions is presents. I am much more happy about the surprised face of the recipient, the joy and the gratitude than about the gifts themselves. I much prefer to give away gifts than to receive them myself.
Every year, Christmas comes as a total surprise – apparently, just when you least expect it. Otherwise, there is no explanation for the fact that on 24.12. there are still countless stressed people running around looking for last-minute gifts, ingredients for their Christmas dinner and who knows what else. However, Christmas can be so simple and relaxed - if you have a plan.
Most people associate Christmas with two things: Family and good food. However, if we are honest, this holiday usually means stress and bad moods - not least because the cook is always alone in the kitchen and spends zero time with their guests. Let us do something about this!