I often complain about not being home for the holidays, but the truth is, there is really no place I would rather be this Christmas than right here in northern Bavaria. (Of course, I wish my family would hop on a plane and join me here...they would be in for a Christmas treat!) When people ask if I am going home this year, I say no and try my best to look disappointed. But the truth is, I am not. Don't get me wrong, I love going home, but Christmas in California is hectic and just a little too warm. It can be more trouble than it is worth to go for a holiday. Besides, I am excited and happy to be staying here this year. It is the first time Peter and I are spending Christmas in our home and it has so far been the most heartwarming, wonderful experience.
I have done my very best to create a real grown-up Christmas for us. I was getting a little tired of the unsettled feeling of Christmases past and decided it was time that we act like adults and have Christmas traditions of our own. Up until this year in my life everything has felt so temporary and Christmas always reflected that. I never had a tree or decorations of my own. I never put any effort into making wherever I was living Christmassy. I always knew I was going home, that my Christmas tree was there, or for the last few years, in Peter's parents home. I still felt like a child, reliant on parents to make Christmas special.
All that has changed this year and I have taken everything into my own hands. I have put time, effort and money into making my home homey, into making it feel permanent. And I have done the same, now in December, to make it feel Christmassy. I have started to collect Christmas decorations that I can box up and store in the basement until next year. I have bought strings of lights and a Christmas tree stand that I can use for years to come. I have committed to this place, at least for a little bit longer, and have definitely committed to this man.
|The perfectly perfect tree.|
I bought our Christmas tree on Saturday. I negotiated the transaction in German and conversed with the man who helped me carry it home, explaining to him my Christmas traditions and asking about his. I piled on ornaments which belong to Peter and I and nestled it into the corner. It is a beautiful tree--perfect in every way. Unlike many German trees, it is tall and lean and quite dense. There are a lot of branches that stick out randomly, making it look very natural and woodsy. It is slightly too big for our apartment, but it fills the space with love and joy and is representative of so much more than the holiday it is known for.
This year, our tree is a symbol of love and commitment. It is a symbol of building a life together and of permanency. It is a symbol of growing up, getting older and creating and living a life that is your very own. It is a symbol if appreciating and loving your roots but of moving and creating your own traditions with the people that you have come to know and love. For me it is a symbol of a full heart.
|At the moment, sitting on the couch, looking at the tree.|
Christmas sure has brought me a magical gift this year; I hope it brings you one, too.
|Positioned just between the living room and dining room so you can see it from both!|
|With stockings and a garland on your makeshift fireplace. This room is too cute and cozy isn't it? I love the slanted, paneled ceiling.|
|A cute ornament from my mommy!|
|A pretty glass ball from grandma Dettling hanging in the window.|
|Looking towards the dining room.|
|The "fireplace" and couch.|