Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Night before the Swiss Christmas

I wasn't really going to write anything this evening, but somehow out of not knowing what to do I am here. It is the 23rd December and for the Swiss the last day before Christmas. In Switzerland we celebrate on the evening of the 24th December. The custom is that the tree is then put up and decorated. The children have to go in another room and the parents decorate the tree. The children are then called and to see the decorated tree with the presents and are to believe that some mysterious person came and decorated it for them, known as the "Chriskindli" (baby Jesus loosely translated) which is the Swiss custom, The children should then do something under the tree, sing a Christmas carol, play something on an instrument or perhaps say a poem. When my kids were younger and all four were at home it was quite a concert until they were all finished. They then were allowed to open their presents. Somewhere in between all this a meal is served. There is no real rule about what to serve. It is not such a custom to make a turkey at Christmas in Switzerland and I usually buy a good piece of meat from the butchers with veg and the trimmings.

Christmas Lights in Feldbrunnen

Our small village of Feldbrunnen has been decorated with Christmas lights since the beginning of December and they will remain until the first week of January. Our local town of Solothurn also has their Christmas decorations and this year they invested a bit more and put some new lights up across the streets.

Main Street, Solothurn, Christmas 2008

I had my last working day today for this year. The shops are open tomorrow until some time in the afternoon and afterwards in the evening everyone will be celebrating. Of course Christmas day and Boxing day are also being celebrated. Usually visits are made to members of the family where invitations are made to lunch etc. We will be celebrating tomorrow evening together, but as our family has no small children any more everyone will be doing their own thing probably. For me and my other half it is just a nice time at the end of the year to relax and take it easy.

So on this note I would just like to wish everyone a happy Christmas from Switzerland.

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