Monday, 29 December 2008

Christmas in Deutschland

Simon and I have just spent our first Christmas ever away from our respective families. We would have liked to go home but it wasn't possible because Alexander is a little young to travel and we haven't been able to get him a passport yet.

I have always gratefully enjoyed my Mum's festive cooking (and last year my Mother-in-Law's) so I'd managed to reach the age of ~ahem, cough, ahem~ having never cooked a full Christmas turkey lunch. I was a little anxious abut how my attempt would turn out. Luckily my only judge was Simon and he wouldn't have complained if I'd served up beans on toast*.

chocolate eurosSome planning ahead ensured I had all the essentials for an English Christmas: I managed to source Christmas crackers and cranberry sauce from an expat supplies shop in the centre of Cologne and my Mum brought over a Christmas pudding when she visited earlier in the month.

In my humble opinion I think the lunch turned out okay. Unfortunately April wouldn't touch her portion - instead she sat for the entire meal fashioning rudimentary hats out of the remains of the Christmas crackers. In fact, all she ate for her Christmas lunch was a couple of chocolate Euro coins. They were our nod to the fact that we were spending Christmas on the Continent.

*One of his favourite meals, but only when accompanied by salad cream.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Christmas joys

Christmas decorationsAlexander is now 3 weeks old. He's managing to stay awake a bit longer in the daytime now and is more inquisitive about his new world. Both sets of grandparents have been to visit the new little man and his sister.

Neither my parents nor Simon's had been to Cologne at this time of year before so we were able to introduce them to the joys of the Christmas markets. market stalls

There was some sampling of mulled wine - which resulted in squiffiness in the middle of the day - and the purchasing of treats to eat and spangly things for the tree. These photos of the market stalls were taken by Simon.

I hope the man in the fetching blue coat (see the photo above) isn't picking his nose...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

O tannenbaum, O tannenbaum

I suspect that April is now learning German at a faster rate than her parents. Yesterday she pointed to one of the Christmas cards on our window sill and I could have sworn she said 'tannenbaum', which is German for 'Christmas tree'. She does have quite a few German toddler mates so perhaps she's learning from them.

Christmas treeOn Sunday I ventured out for the first time since Alexander was born. I left him with his daddy for a bit while I took April to the local Christmas market. I had only been meaning to browse but I ended up buying this little Christmas tree to adorn our sideboard. I wanted to have something quintessentially German to bring out every year at Christmas - so that when we are eventually all back in England we will be reminded of our time here.

N.b. I also bought a BIG bag of pink candyfloss at the market (it smelled so good, how could I not?). I shared some of it, but mostly ate it all by myself. Well, my midwife did say that I need to keep my blood sugar levels up...