Well, it’s not quite Christmas yet, though it’s already in the early hours of Christmas Eve. And Christmas Eve is the main event here in Germany.
What is more, someone must have decided that as a compensation for the past ten years or so of green and wet Christmasses, we deserve a white Christmas for a change. A very white Christmas, since today we got even more snow on top of the snow we already had. It’s still snowing at the moment and will apparently continue to snow through the night. I’m at my parents at the moment, and when I opened one of the roof windows (my parents turn the heater up a bit further than I’d like), there was a fifteen centimeter layer of snow and ice on the roof.
The traffic chaos, that has had much of Europe in its grip these past few days, has gotten even worse. All evening long, there were reports on the radio that all major highways in North Germany were closed. People were advised to stay at home and not drive, unless absolutely necessary. Train traffic isn’t any better. My cousin works in Frankfurt and took the train home for the holidays. Last we heard, he was stuck in Hannover, i.e. a one hour ride away, with no idea how and when the train would go on.
I did some last minute grocery shopping, but apart from that I’m not going out in that weather again. And it doesn’t look as if the frost will let go anytime soon.
Tonight, I decorated the Christmas tree. We always get our tree from the garden (no pesticide addled supermarket trees for us) and because of the past eleven days of solid snow and frost, we weren’t sure whether we would be able to cut down the tree at all. In the end, we managed to dig one of the three likely candidates free, brush the snow from the branches and cut it down. We then let it defrost in the garage for a couple of hours (because it was still full of snow), before taking it indoors. It’s not a good tree by any means – it’s terribly slim and the branches don’t like the heavier ornaments – but it’s serviceable.
I also wrapped up Christmas presents. My own as well as those from my Dad (because he never wraps anything) and my Mom also dumped her presents for Dad on me. A lot of people believe that wrapping presents is superfluous and bad for the environment (because the paper goes to waste), but for me an unwrapped present marks a lack of respect. Giving someone an unwrapped present means, “I am obliged to give you something, but I can’t even be arsed to wrap it and I don’t respect you.” So if you can’t be bothered to wrap a present, you don’t need to give it.