Saturday, 1 December 2012

Looks like Christmas is getting nearer

Xmas tree Langendorf

Although it is standing on a wet surface, it is getting colder and the snow is still up in the mountains, but gradually thinking about coming to our level. This is the Christmas tree greeting us outside the local supermarket. The Christmas tent selling the decorations, candles and whatever has been standing outside the supermarket since mid November. After all you have to be early to maintain a nice turnover.

Not that I am anti Christmas. I do not believe in it, but it is a time of the year where we can relax and enjoy - at least as a golden oldie. I really do not know how I coped with the Christmas stress when I was a working woman with two boys and a husband, plus other guests at Christmas. It was all planning and logistic I suppose.

I made the list of food to cook already in November and prepared the order for the local supermarket. Just turning up on Christmas Eve wanting all the special meats is not a good idea. You just get the leftovers from the butcher that no-one else wanted. I remember baking  two weeks in advance, our special Christmas biscuits - all my own work.

Biscuits, Christmas 2008

It is not worth the work today, just for me, Mr. Swiss and my two boys. The youngest arrives on Christmas Eve with all sorts of goodies and I have enough problems keeping my hands off diabetic damaging foods.

Then, of course, there are the present hunting expeditions. knowing what to give  everyone. Luckily as the boys became older, their taste was reduced to something from the Bank of Switzerland known as Swiss Francs.

Of course a small problem are Christmas Cards. In Switzerland, no bother, the Swiss do not send each other Christmas cards, so you are not disappointed when none arrive. England is another kettle of fish. If you do not send a Christmas card, then you could have problems. English people seem to have a psychological list of all people they expect cards from. They count the amount of cards they receive and you are probably put on some sort of black list if you do not send one. In this sense I do buy and send Christmas cards, but only to England.

We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve in Switzerland, starting with the evening meal. If you have a Christmas tree, which everyone does, you put the wrapped presents beneath it. We do have a Christmas tree. It is about 50 centimeters high, has 8 electric small lights and stands somewhere on a table. Luckily envelopes are not so big, so you can actually still see the tree when the presents are arranged around it. We discovered that our cats love a real tall Christmas tree with decorations, but we did not love what they wanted to do with it, so we gave up.

In the way of Chrismas decorations, we have a so called "Weihnachtskranz". This is a wreath decorated with four large candles and usually fir tree twigs, although the twigs might be substituted by something plastic Christmassy. Outside the supermarket they had a table full of them. The idea is to light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent, and then one a week until the Chrismas week when all four are usually burning. So enjoy your Christmas preparations, make the most of it, it is only once a year.

Christmas Decorations Migros Langendorf


  1. I'm quite lucky in that Christmas is an easy time for me. I only have three people to buy presents for (Joanne and my parents). I have a standing invitation to go to stay with my parents at Christmas, too. Actually, it's more of an expectation on their part, really!! And as I am away for the main days of the holiday, there's no point in putting up a tree or other decorations.

  2. Forgot to say, I really like that last photo. Looks really festive.

  3. I think when you light the first candle it's at Advent (Lent is later in the year.

    I put up a small tree this year and gave the big one to my daughter (both artificial). When my daughter was growing up we always got a live tree

    People don't send cards as much as they used to it seems (too expensive). I will say I would prefer no card to a digital card.

  4. Cards are going away due to the digital age here. I really enjoy them, but I get fewer every year. My favorites were just inserts of pics of the family. Great biscuits. Looks yummy.

  5. Good Morning, Pat and Happy Advent (pssst Lent is around Easter, I think Ash Wednesday if you are Anglican or Catholic, that is) We light the first candle on Adventkransen tonight, the first Sunday of Advent, the last being Sunday 23rd, and we celebrate Christmas on 24 in the evening, the Danish way. I have not done a Christmas Card in years, but funny enough, have bought this year to send to all my Danish family. I guess I am getting to be a softie, now I am getting older (though also more cantankerous in other ways)

    I love your cookies *snaps one*
    Hugs to you and snuggles to the cats, Mousie waves a royal hello

  6. OH dear, am really getting older. Of course it is Advent and not Lent. Language mixup and I am not really into it. will correct.