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Monday, January 7, 2013

Home is Where The Heart Is... Christmas in Gelsenkirchen

Hello again, sexy readers. Been awhile since we've seen each other. But not to worry, I have some fantastic tales coming up for you!

A good friend of mine kindly invited me to stay with her and her family for Christmas, and so I was fortunate enough to have the full German Christmas experience. A few things I found out: Germans take Christmas very seriously. Like they do everything else (I kid, I kid). From kilometers of Christmas markets spread around the cities, to mass deforestation of fir trees, to the overconsumption of Spekulatius and mulled wine, Christmas is a big deal here.

Christmas with the Spickermanns

As I waited near a gl├╝hwein stand in Buer, I looked out for my friend. I was to meet her family today, to get acquainted with them before I stayed over for Christmas. Suddenly I hear some loud German chattering behind me. It was Lioba and her sister. Shortly we were joined by her parents, her brother, and a tall bearded man with piercing eye and several rings in his ear (her sister's boyfriend). The knots in my stomach slowly undid themselves and they remembered to speak some English every now and then, and as we drank the steaming beverages in the cold, they invited me for dinner, to which I accepted.

On the 23rd I went to watch Lioba sing with her choir. The atmosphere was great, with gospel music and the smell of pine and smoking wood in the air. The day after was of course Christmas eve, so around 2pm I packed my stuff, presents for her and her parents, and a large Maltese dessert called coffee gateux (which we always make for Christmas with my family back in Malta). Later that evening we went to mass, and even though it was in German and I'm not particularly religous, I still enjoyed the ritual. That evening we all had dinner together, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fondue and some delicious homemade bread, and I was quite touched by how welcome I felt... I even got some presents!!! :-))) We played some games, and Lioba played the piano and we also sang a German Christmas song together (she taught it to me that afternoon, you can check it out here: - it reminded me a little of a Christmas scene in a black and white movie!!

That night we didn't sleept much, as we took some wine up to the bedroom and spent 4 hours talking! Seriously, I kid you not. We got like 3 hours of sleep, then spent the day with her extended family - uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandparents - there were so many people related to each other it reminded me of Malta.

I never ate so much cheese in all my life.

And home-made white chocolate liquor... they gave me a bottle to take home and I'm enjoying the last of it as I am writing now :)

We also enjoyed some more live music:

and some gift-giving... ( BESCHERUNG!!)

...and some MORE food...

and that concludes my best Christmas ever!! <3

NEXT BLOG will be about my second couchsurfing trip, this time to Aachen! And stay tuned, because next week I will be in Sweden ;-)

Happy New Year y'all!!

1 comment:

  1. You have been an enrichment for our Christmas! Thanks!:)

    und: Das ist genug!