Adventstimmung – in the mood for advent

Most years Christmas takes me by surprise. I’m busy with classes and whatever else and all of a sudden its the 24th of December and I wonder how I could have missed the signs of Advent the weeks before…For some reason this year is different. I’m already thinking about Advent and Christmas and its just the beginning of November! The other day I bought 2kg of mandarins (as a fruit of the season I tend to associate it with Christmas) and I feel like buying walnuts and baking lots and lots of Christmas cookies…Last week I also paid Aldi and Lidl a visit (no, I’m not in Germany – these stores exist in Spain – though they have lots of different wares) and not only did I find Christstollen (a typical cake/bread eaten around Christmas) but also Lebkuchen, Spekulatius and chocolate Santa Claus…Everything more than double the price, but nice to know its there…

Funny though that while in Germany, it kind of bothered me to see the stores full of “Christmas goods” months before – after all, Christmas isn’t really just about candy, right? No, definitely not – as much as I love candy, there’s more to it than that. So thinking about Advent and Christmas also reminds me of the memorable way my church in Freiburg chose to share the Christmas story two years ago – by re-enacting it. Building a time machine in our church along with a market place, synagogue, carpenter’s shop, shepherd’s field – and stable. A guide welcomed visitors from the present century and transported them back two thousand years to show them what happened one starry night in Bethlehem – what Christmas is really about: the birth of Jesus. The birth of a King.

A charming guide posing with a fierce Roman soldier =)

So maybe there’s still several weeks to go til Christmas – or even til the first of advent – but I’d rather think about Christmas too much or too early than have it rush by me in the midst of all that’s going on during that time of year which is so often perceived as stressful…

Anyone who is feeling stressed and happens to be in Madrid is welcome to come by for some cookie baking/eating…

And anyone in Freiburg – I encourage you to experience the Christmas story in the Dreisam3 (Weihnachtszeitreise in der Pauluskirche) It’s worth it! And c’mon – you get to use a time machine! =)

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