Once upon a time there was a little girl. She lived in a country far away where Christmas was celebrated on Christmas evening. It was the custom that the children had to spend all afternoon in their rooms to wait for “Christkind” to arrive. The parents decorated the house, the Christmas tree was set up and the house smelled of freshly baked cookies. It took hours for the parents to prepare. Everything had to be perfect: the tree, the lights, the flaming candles, Christmas carols playing and the burning fire.
In the meantime, the children were waiting and waiting, the afternoon seemed endless. Our little girl in the story had to wait, too, and it seemed also endless to her. The excitement rose over as the time passed, and the clock was ticking in slow motion. At least this is how it felt to our girl. Would the living room be as magic as last year? Would she get the presents she was wishing for? Would she remember the poem she had learned for the evening? Mom said that she had to say the Christmas poem first before opening the gifts. Our little girl practiced the poem one more time to make sure she would make it right.
After many hours of endless waiting, finally there was the moment when the parents walked into her room saying: “Now it is time. Christkind has arrived.” The little girl heard the ringing of the Christmas bells which were inviting the whole family to unlock the door to the living room. When they entered the room, our little girl was startled by the shining lights and the magnificent beauty of the tree – it felt magic. She was so overwhelmed that tears ran down her cheeks – tears of happiness and joy that once again, she could have this wonderful experience. She thought about how much she loved Christmas, and how much she would cherish this moment forever. Christmas to her was family, love and her home shining in beautiful lights. Her tears still running down her cheeks, she recited the poem to her mom, dad and older brother. She remembered all the verses and inhaled at the perfect moment like it was her last breath. Her tears stopped running, she smiled and her joy transformed her and will stay with her for the rest of her life.
The little girl with the big smile was me. This is how we celebrated Christmas growing up in Germany. Today Christmas still unleashes my inner child. It makes me cry and laugh, but above all it makes me very happy to spend this time of the year with my own family – my husband and my little boy. We also invite good friends to share our joy with the ones we love. This is what Christmas is about and I am grateful that my parents gave me the gift of wonderful memories that I can hand to others for many years to come.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas with the ones you love. Make it very special for others and for yourself and create beautiful memories that will last forever.