Monday, November 30, 2015


One of my favorite things about being back to Europe is that our kids can now experience the traditions that we grew up with. I, of course, miss some of the US traditions (Halloween, pumpkin patch, Thanksgiving...) , that we picked up while living there and will try to keep them alive here in Germany as well but there is something about seeing your child experience festivities and little pleasures that you still recall vividly from your own childhood.

November and December are the perfect months for those type of festivities.  We started with the St. Martin's Day Lantern walk on November 11. The kids made their own lanterns at preschool and we walked on the streets surrounding their school when it was dark outside. The kids were proudly carrying their lanterns, often containing real candles (yes, even the 2-year old one's), singing songs like this one. Our kids were too scared to carry a real candle, so we used plastic sticks with a battery-operated light instead. :) The lantern walk is one of my favorite childhood memories!

With the start of advent season this Sunday, we have entered another phase of beautiful festivities centered around Christmas. The kids had an "advent meditation" last Thursday night at preschool.  I did not snap a picture so my explanation will have to do it here. Their preschool has the shape of a circle, so they have a beautiful round room in the middle. The teachers had set up a big candle in the middle, all rooms were dark. Around the candle, fir branches were laid out in the form of a snail, building a walkway leading to the candle. Along this "fir branch walkway" little stars cut out of paper had been placed on the floor. One child after the other received an apple with a candle sticking out of it. The children walked quietly to the big candle, lit their little candle on the big one and placed their apple candles on one of the stars. It was beautiful. This time both of our kids were proudly lighting and holding the candles.

It looked a lot like this picture here, that I found online:


On Saturday, Sophie and her preschool friends got to perform an advent song that they had practised for weeks on the stage of a small, local Christmas market. Again, she was so proud, and we parents of course too.

Yesterday, we did light the first candle on our modern advent wreath and tomorrow, the kids will open the first package of their advent calender

December 6 marks the next festivity: St. Nicolas Day! And the few weeks left until Christmas will surely pass by very quickly. I will write more on the traditions as they come closer.

What is your favorite childhood tradition?

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