Tuesday, December 24, 2013

And to All a Good Night


It's Christmas Eve - the important day for us with our German Christmas tradition.

We celebrate Christmas Eve. In Germany, shops and everything else close around 2:00 pm on Christmas Eve, and a beautiful silence covers the entire country. A silence that will be broken in the later afternoon by the ringing of church bells, when the churches call for the first services for families with young children. More "grown-up" services follow later, and finally the big Mass at midnight, with candlelight when even the lights on the huge Christmas tree are all real candles. It is so atmospheric. Presents will be given in the evening, after church.

We have two Christmas Days, but the "big" day is always Christmas Eve. I loved it when the entire country went silent in the afternoon, expecting the beauty of this very special evening. I loved singing and listening to our old Christmas carols - I still do. The sound of the church bells ringing in the dark and silent night - it really is "Silent night, holy night" - my favorite Christmas song of all times.

Our traditional German Christmas decoration, handmade in the Erzgebirge

It's this special silence of Christmas Eve that I miss here in the US. Since leaving Germany 12 years ago, I have never experienced this kind of Christmas Eve anymore. It's one of the few times in a year when I really miss my home country.


I wish all of you a merry and peaceful Christmas, and perhaps you can feel a little bit of this special silence.

Blessings to you!


13 comments:

Jeanne said...

once here, a long time ago, it was like that here too... when i was growing up. Something I really also miss so much! The hush, the expectation. So sad to see the stores and the people "milking" this season right until the very last moment. I also love the Christmas eve service and just came home from mine. There is a large church not to far from me, and the bells will be ringing at midnight from their bell tower. You really have to look carefully for the silence here. Blessings to you on this night, and tomorrow!

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you, for the silence and the beauty.
I hope that both Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day are wonderful.

Christine E-E said...

Happy holidays, carola...

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Ich wünsche dir und deiner Familie ein schönes Weihnachtsfest.

LG
Renate

JoZart said...

It is magic and I am lucky to have experienced it when visiting my family there. The happy relaxed bustle of people getting fresh veg, flowers, fruit, bread and holly wreaths on the market then it all winds up in Lueneburg around mid-day. Peace!
Do you watch "Dinner for One" at New Year? I love this reasonably modern tradition and the film is hilarious. Amazing too that it's an English film watched by so many in Germany at this time.
frohe Weihnachten
Jo x

Friko said...

You and me both, Carola.
At Christmas I always feel homesick.

It’s been peaceful and gemuetlich for us and I am glad that we don’t pay too much attention to the razzmatazz of commerce.

Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Das hast du wunderschön beschrieben. Ich hoffe du und deine Lieben hatten ein frohes Weihnachtsfest :)

Irene Rafael said...

I have never heard of the silence on Christmas Eve. It sounds almost magical. My very good friend likes in Hamburg. I can picture her there in the cold, enjoying the silence and anticipating the festivities. Have a continued happy holiday season.

gina said...

The German customs do sound very special -- especially when a whole country follows them. Perhaps you'll have to plan a trip for next December. :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Your traditions from back home, sound so beautiful! I love your decorations ;o) I hope you had a very blessed Christmas ;o)

see you there! said...

I am just getting to my Christmas blogging rounds. Hope yours was Merry. My family does the tree/presents on Christmas Eve too and then a special family dinner on Christmas Day. I think it is rather sad that here in the US stores are open no matter what.

Darla

Vagabonde said...

I hope you had nice Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year with much happiness and success in whatever you do.

Marcie said...

Beautiful holiday images and sentiments. Wishing you and yours all the best in this up and coming new year!