Anna Recklies, mother of three children and our expert for breastfeeding, carrying and baby sleeping has collected your views and the best tips.
We have asked about your Christmas traditions and you have reported us diligently. There were very unanimous things mentioned, but also some unusual traditions, which might serve as inspiration for one or the other family, because some of them thought that they had not yet found their own traditions with the new generation. Many of them adopt the traditions of their parents and celebrate Christmas the same way since their own childhood, others strive to create and consolidate new traditions with their own children.
The family celebration together
Preparations for the presentation of the presents
At the centre of the traditions is clearly the COMMON family festival. On at least one of the holidays many family members come together. Some families reserve Christmas Eve for themselves and their own children as the family nucleus and do not turn to relatives until the holidays, others meet on the 23rd and celebrate together for days. Going to church together, watching the nativity play and decorating the Christmas tree together are the most common traditions. Closely followed by singing Christmas carols (with a little luck and instrumental accompaniment). The ringing of a small bell shortly before the presentation of the presents is also deeply anchored. An acoustic detail that shapes childhood memories.
Many go out together, take a walk or, depending on where they live, go into the forest together and feed the forest animals. Some of them even cut down a Christmas tree in the forest, the big-city people at least buy it together. The children are often allowed to choose the tree. The children may not notice that much if someone is missing during a walk or officially needs a nap. They have time to prepare the presents and when the family returns home, the presents have just been put under the tree. Running and moving together, giving the Christkind or Santa the chance to leave the presents there and as a digestive aid - the Christmas walk is particularly functional.
Eating ice cream in winter?
Saying poems and reading the Christmas story and baking cookies create a special atmosphere. Few pray, some get the light of peace. It is more unusual to go to the Christmas market with the whole family or to eat ice cream together.
Others count stars, put on Christmas sweaters or take an annual family photo. Deceased people are visited at the cemetery and perhaps given a little Christmas tree at the grave. A family donates sleeping bags and other winter clothes to the homeless aid organisation, along with a walk on Christmas Eve.
Very important - the banquet
The core of the family celebration is the banquet. Several dishes seem to be particularly popular. Potato salad and raclette were mentioned the most. Sausages come either with the potato salad or green cabbage or red cabbage. Fish or fondue have been mentioned several times as well as 12 different dishes that are served. 12 dishes for the 12 apostles, 1 place remains free if someone else comes and straw for the animals must not be missing.
The classic roast (goose, duck, turkey or also a hare) was not mentioned so often. But also traditional African food, roulades, lentil soup, pea soup, toast Hawaii, toast with caviar, ninerlei, sandwiches and sauerkraut are occasionally on your tables. In some families the hospitality of the guests always falls on the same family members, others cook together and again others change from year to year, so that the load is approximately balanced.
Presentation & the rest of the evening
You are welcome to pull the following presents apart through a dice game. Only with a 6 a gift may be unpacked and handed over. Some families have reduced the flood of gifts very much and are wanking, so a single gift for everyone. Some, however, also deliberately put the presents on the morning so that the children can enjoy the long-awaited gifts more.
In the evening parlour games enjoy great popularity, also the common watching of films (mentions of Sissi over Astrid Lindgren films, Lord of the Rings or proven Christmas films to Die Hard) is celebrated by many families with simultaneous consumption of all Christmas cookies.
A few families go on holiday over Christmas, Prague seems to be a popular destination.
We hope you are now richer in inspiration and wish you a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.