By Lisa Davidson
The four candles on the advent wreath shimmer slightly on the dining room table, a vast variety of delicious cookies on the kitchen counter, the overall joy of Christmas is in the air: There is no better feeling than reminiscing about dreamy childhood memories. I can still see myself decorating our living room with chubby angel figures in white and gold while my grandmother untangled the fake candles for our Caucasian fir Christmas tree.
But the days of contemplative remembrance are over. With two toddlers chasing each other through the house, I can’t manage to focus on a time of reflection. What I can do, however, is to relive my memories with them, trying to create new and even more special ones. Especially, since we are living in Texas now – far from the Christmas of my childhood in Germany.
The old tradition was to trim the tree the night before Christmas eve. On the evening of the 24th, I had to wait patiently until the bright sound of a bell announced, Christkind – not Santa – had finally arrived to put presents under the tree. “Who is Christkind?”, you might ask. That’s a legitimate question, which most Germans probably can’t answer concretely. Martin Luther promulgated the Christ Child as gift-bringer due to his dislike of hagiolatry surrounding St. Nick. Although Luther intended it to be a reference to the incarnation of Jesus, the appearances of Christkind turned into an angel-looking girl with long, blond curls.
I wanted my girls to believe into the magical creature of my childhood, but I quickly had to accept that I can’t compete with the omnipresent Santa and his reindeers. However, the old tradition of opening an Advent calendar each day until Christmas is the highlight of their day.
Unlike my childhood Christmas, we trim the tree to be ready on December 1st. Not because pretty much everyone decorates early in the States, but because I believe it makes the holiday season even more magical. It is my own way to reflect and contemplate, while I look at my grandmother’s ornaments mixed in with our own new ones on our tree – not real Caucasian fir, but still beautiful.
We bake traditional German Christmas cookies, enjoy delicious baked apples, and play in the fake snow they gladly provide at Christmas fairs all over Texas. When the waiting is finally over, Christkind, announced by the bright sound of the original bell from my childhood, brings some of the gifts on Christmas eve, while Santa puts the rest under the tree the following morning. And one day, I hope, my two girls will enjoy their childhood memories as much as I do.
Lisa Davidson, mother of two energetic and drama-prone little divas, age 2 and 4, studied Journalism in Munich and spend most of her time before child writing for various publishers and travelling the world. After multiple moves within and outside Germany, her latest pit-stop brought her to Texas, far from home but not the heart.
Now the days contain less scribbling in journals but accomplishing tricky toddler crafts from Pinterest, less strolling in high heels through European metropolises but trying to connect her daughters with her own culture. She is a busy mommy that knows how hard it can be to be far away from old friends and family and wants to help fellow moms to stay always true to themselves – no matter how stressful life can be or where their journey might take them.