Yes, I know that Christmas has been over for four days now, but I was pretty busy with a large translation job, so here is the somewhat belated obligatory 2020 Christmas post.
In spite of the pandemic, our Christmas wasn’t all that different this year. I spent the holidays with my parents whom I see almost every day anyway. And since most of the extended family we used to see on Christmas have passed away by now, the only other people I saw – briefly and with sufficient distance – were neighbours.
Unfortunately, there was no suitable tree in my parents’ garden this year, so we had to buy one. It’s a Nordmann fir like pretty much all commercially sold Christmas trees in Germany. It’s a nicely shaped tree, too, though I will never understand why Nordmann firs are so popular as Christmas tree, because the long needles actually make decorating the tree more difficult.
I decorated the tree on the evening of December 23. It was a lot of work, because we have a lot of ornaments, including many vintage ones which are more than fifty years old and very delicate. Still, I think the tree turned out well.
Christmas Eve is the main event in Germany, so we had coffee/tea and Dundee cake, which I baked just after lunch, because cake with lots of fruit and a shot of whisky just feels very festive to me.
Afterwards, we had the traditional Christmas dinner in my family, which consists of herring salad, served with homemade walnut bread and equally homemade Café de Paris butter. The recipe for the butter may be found here. The recipe for the herring salad goes back to my grandmother. I shared it in this guest post over at the Skiffy and Fanty Show almost three years ago. Though nowadays, I half all the ingredients, because otherwise you’ll have enough salad to last you well into the new year. Unless it goes off first.
After dinner, we unwrapped the presents. Because of the pandemic, I ordered everything online this year, even things I normally would have bought in person, which wasn’t ideal, but worked out fine in the end.
Finally, here are some random decoration photos:
The Virgin Mary of the glowing heart ornament is a favourite of my Mom’s and actually inspired one of my stories, where a similarly glowing figure scares a would-be thief into mending his ways.
The Playmobil nativity scene is back as well. The shepherds are actually farmer women and children, since male shepherds were unavailable. Though I also imagine that farmer women would have had much more practical gifts for Mary and her child than either the three wise men (whom Playmobil does produce) or the male shepherds. I’ve also decided that should I ever come across a Playmobil drummer, I’ll purchase him or her and add them to the nativity scene as the Little Drummer Boy from the song.