Monday, December 16, 2019
Last Saturday we had out Winterfest at the German Language School. Usually we have a Weihnachtsfeier (Christmas party), but this year we opted for something different, and I think we were quite successful in this new way of celebrating the season.
One of our board members loves to bake and she outdid herself in platters of cookies baked according to German Christmas cookies recipes. There were quite some of my favorites, especially the Vanillekipferl (left to the Haselnusskeksis). My mom used to make them every year. They are a bit tricky to make, but hers were always delicious. These ones tasted just like hers. I also love Zimtsterne which was another staple in my mom's home. Christstollen - or Weihnachtsstollen - is a typical Christmas baked good that is only eaten during the holiday season. I'm not a big fan, but I know that many love it. It is not easy to make, so we always bought ours.
My all-time favorite is gebrannte Mandeln - almonds roasted with sugar and cinnamon and best eaten while still warm. I don't think there is a single Christmas market in Germany without gebrannte Mandeln. Unfortunately they were placed right next to the popcorn machine (the only un-German item at our Winterfest) which threw a weird yellowish light onto the almonds.
Of course there was singing of some German Christmas carols, a few performances by the kids' classes and the little (and bigger) kids could decorate cookies. Please note that Ella's cookie here is already half eaten...
We had set up a few booths to have a Christmas market with an ornament exchange, ornaments and German books for sale and a silent auction. People were mingling, drinking hot chocolate and spiced cider and there were some old fashioned fun games for the children.
And of course Santa - or der Weihnachtsmann, as we say in Germany - came and brought a few goodies for the kids. There were also gifts for the teachers which was a lovely surprise. It was a wonderful little Winterfest and something we will definitely do again.