Christmas started very early for me this year. Christmas starts for me whenever I first watch Love Actually. And this year it was mid-October when my mum realized that it was the last chance for us to watch the film together before Christmas. The next time I arrive home will be late afternoon on 23rd December after 11 hours on a train – not exactly the perfect time to watch my favourite Christmassy movie. There I was, then, watching the film whose plot starts 5 weeks before Christmas (and everyone is already in holiday mood) more than 2 months before Christmas Eve. Then I came back to my German home and had to hold the horses until the first Sunday of Advent because I was afraid that if I stretched the pre-Christmas season to more than 2 months it would lose parts of its charm. I think it was the right decision.
I watched Love Actually on German TV again last Saturday. It felt right, oh, so right in the middle of Advent. The older I get, the more I really appreciate and cherish the waiting because I have noticed that the days of Christmas pass by so quickly that you hardly manage to enjoy the time properly. That is why I love the German tradition of Advent wreaths so much. We have them in Poland, too, but usually only in churches. I did my Advent wreath myself this year incorporating a German tradition into my Polish heritage. Once I’m back in Poland, however, everything will be as it always has been, according to my family’s Silesian traditions. If you want to find out more about Christmas in Poland please read my article from last year.
Has it ever happened to you that you casually mentioned a wish and it came true fourfold? Well, something similar happened to me. On 30th November I complained that I had no Advent calendar this year. The next day I found the first one on my desk in the morning, another one in the afternoon and a third one on the table at home in the evening. I got the fourth one on the 7th when a Santa Claus package from Poland arrived at our office. I think I have never had so many calendars before… Speaking of Santa, he comes to Polish (and also German) children on 6th December and either puts presents in pre-prepared stockings or arrives in person. I remember having to prepare a poem or a song for him when I was a little child and to sing or say it to him when he came. I also had to write letters to him and the Baby Jesus (who brings my presents on Christmas Eve) with my wish list. I usually attached tiny gifts for them, too.
Customs and traditions evolve a bit when you grow older but the extraordinary, charming spirit of Christmas stays the same. Arriving home so late I won’t be able to bake traditional Christmas gingerbread, but nowadays I have to buy many more presents so maybe one counteracts the other. Well, that reminds me – I still have to go shopping! I hope you all get the nice presents you hope for and your Christmas wishes will also come true. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!
P.S. I need to tell you a secret – sometimes I even watch Love Actually in summer! But shh…