Donnerstag, November 24, 2005


No Thanksgiving in Germany

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, who is celebrating today. Here in Germany, there is no such celebration as Thankgiving. We are all starting the Christmas or Advent Season on Sunday with the first of four Advent Sundays leading up to Christmas. We have very nice traditions here, that go along with those weeks before Christmas. I had a wonderful Christmas in Canada in 2001 and a good December in the US, but it was not the same. Christmas in Germany is less commercial, or at least I am trying to tell that to myself. We have beautiful Christmas Markets in every town, where you can buy little presents, ornaments, food and drink Glühwein and Cocoa and soak up the smell of Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Bratwurst. On every Advent Sunday, we light a candle on a wreath and every child gets a Christmas Calendar with 24 doors in December. I think what I missed in the US is the involvment of "christian" traditions in everyday life. I am just so used to having all those church traditions corresponding with my life, that I really missed that. I can understand, why the Americans do have a strong seperation of church and state, but we do not ( I know we do have that in theory, but reality is so different).
We have soo many christian holidays, where we do not have to work (Jan 6th, Easter Monday, Pentecost Monday, Ascension Day, Feast of Corpus Christi.....)
Okay, I am getting sidetracked. What I was going to say, is that I LOVE Christmas time and that I love being home during that time and spending time with my family and friends. I guess everybody does, no matter where they live.

Chicago puts on a German-style Christmas Market every December and I'm sure I'll go there this year too, it's pretty neat. Holiday Time is fun here, it only has to be "commercial" if you want it to be, most people get together for family dinners and do family activities etc. I'm grateful that we are a secular country because I'm not religious at all and would feel very uncomfortable being bombarded with "Christian" traditions. I think Americans are much more tolerant and sensitive to that than the Europeans, but Thanksgiving is the one holiday where pretty much everybody celebrates, no matter what the religion/culture. I don't think Germany has any holidays like that, and I'm sure the Turkish citizens must feel very excluded.
I'm not religious at all, but I really enjoy the German Advent season with all the traditions and symbolism. It's so nice to do the same thing every year at the same time. We'll be attending our town's Adventsmarkt this Sunday.

I never found Christmas to be all that commercial in Canada, but I guess it depends how you celebrate it. Some people in Germany go totally overboard too but we like to keep it low key, combining German and Canadian traditions.

Crystal - why would the Turks feel left out? The have their own traditional celebrations after Ramadan every year.
Your traditions sound very nice. I think I would enjoy them too.
Happy Thanksgiving to you even though you don't celebrate the day. I do like the sounds of your Christmas.
Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes! Have a beautiful peaceful Advent season. :)
I also thank you, very much, for your Thanksgiving wishes!!
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