‘tis the season to rush back and forth

This Christmas will be different for me. Since I moved in with my boyfriend, I won’t be with my family on Christmas Eve but only on Christmas Day.

 On the one hand this makes me a little sad but on the other hand the 24th of December is always pretty stressful in my family.

 Since my mom is Catholic and my dad is Protestant, we always have to organize Christmas Eve with great care in order to be able to visit each and every choral performance, nativity play and holy mass.

At the climax of my family’s involvement we would have to visit two following masses in Protestant church because my mom and I would sing in choirs (yes… my Catholic mom sings in a protestant choir. Ecumenism right there!), rush home and go to holy mass in catholic church because my older sister would be singing in its choir and the both of us would also be part of its nativity play.

What further complicates things is that each of these performances includes time for rehearsal and thus different times for each family member to remember… Also, because my family’s involvement changes in quality and especially in quantity, each and every year we need to organize anew. Last year only my mom and dad would sing in choir and yet we first went to protestant church to hear them sing and afterwards to holy mass in Catholic Church.

So you might get an idea of our rushing back and forth between churches and performances on Christmas Eve…

 What I look most forward to on this Christmas-Eve-Marathon is singing “Silent Night” in Catholic Church. This calm song actually does not let me calm down, but rather gets me excited. For it’s the last song sung in Holy Mass on Christmas Eve it means the rush is over and my family and I are only getting back home and actually spend some time together.  

When we get home, my sisters and I would go upstairs and wait while my parents (..umm.. I mean little angels who have spent the entire night and day decorating the Christmas tree and wrapping up presents in the locked-up living room) would light up all the candles on the tree and elsewhere in the living room. Once the bell is rung my sisters and I would come downstairs in the candle lit living room and after all the rushing back and forth my family would just sit together and talk, give and get presents, eat potato salad and wieners, and eventually read all the Christmas letters from family and friends.

 Now that I am writing this, I do get a little sad, that I won’t be spending Christmas Eve but only Christmas Day with my family. Obviously I do look forward to Christmas Day as well.. My mom definitely is the best cook there possibly is. Thus the entire house does not only smell of cookies, but also of turkey, filling, dumplings and much more delicious food… which is a bummer for the dog 😉

Our dog Abby craving some turkey



I actually do love the way my family celebrates Christmas Eve and I will definitely keep up some of my family’s Christmas traditions.

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About Katharina von Witzendorff

Katharina studies Anglistics/Americanistics and Social Studies at Rostock University.

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