Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Traditions: Celebrating Your Heritage

One of the reasons I love Christmas the way I do, is because my parents have always woven in our heritage into the season. My dad was born in Germany, and Mom is from Holland. So, of course, we celebrated the holidays in a Dutch and German way! When I married my husband, we kept my traditions and decided we would also celebrate his Swedish roots at this time of year. We are a busy bunch in December -- we have much to celebrate.

On the German side -- we've done Advent Calendars as long as I can remember. My first one was from my Omi -- full of beautiful glittery pictures and surprise pictures behind every little window. I was enchanted. Later, Omi and Opa sent us German advent calendars every year; and these had chocolate ... and I was even more enchanted! LOL

I still get the same kind to this day. I just love the German art.


At my Omi's house, I would always find plates of German treats out at Christmastime when we would visit. To this day, I am instantly 5 years old when I taste a certain lebkuchen and have marzipanstollen (marzipan Christmas cake).

Marzipanstollen and lebkuchen

We used to do an Advent Wreath every Sunday when I was growing up, and this is a tradition I would love to get back to in my own little family. I haven't done it in years. I'd really like to get back to this spiritual tradition on Sundays during the season.

German Advent Wreath

More later this week on what we do for our Dutch and Swedish celebrations.

Do you incorporate your heritage when it comes to Christmas? What do you do?


Debbie said...

I would comment, but you did a much better job of it. Did you mention the time when Andrew thought he would get a bigger present if he left out his cowboy boot, and he had them absolutely jam-packed with grass?? :-) My kids like that story...Ethan now wants cowboy boots! LOL

Mama Williams said...

I have German heritage too. We love to make struessel or apple kuken (which of course I can't spell). :)
It's so fattening. 2 pounds of butter! We only indulge once a year.

Wendy said...

Looks like I have a German kindred spirit!

I miss my Apfel Kuchen! Waaah. I'll have to see if I can lighten the recipe's calorie count before I can indulge again.

Rebekah said...

Of course we share a lot of the same traditions, but this one is from Chris' side. On Christmas Eve we have biscuits and gravy. We have to celebrate our Southern heritage, too!

Anonymous said...

Add matching ribbons at the base of each candle and a tall white one in the center (for Christmas day itself) and you'll have the Advent wreath that's on our formal dining room table at this very moment!

I grew up with that tradition in both the Episcopal and then Lutheran churches and Mom (German heritage) often had the wreath but we didn't follow through with lighting the candles each Sunday. DH and I have been trying harder to maintain this fun tradition with our boys. :) Betsy

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I would love to do more with my heritage but do not. I love the reminder of what my german grandparents did when I was little. I think that as long as we are focusing on Christ that we are doing good. Too much Santa and the materialistic side of the holiday makes me crazy!!