For a while I worked in Singapore. There are all kinds of cool things about Singapore, including the access Singapore provides to the rest of Asia, but I found myself desperately missing seasons. Without seasons, months and years pass by with little evidence. When it was over in Singapore, it felt good to touch down in Switzerland in mid-autumn and feel the crisp air and see all the colors on the trees as the leaves were changing.
The rhythm of the seasons sounds the drumbeat of traditions from year to year and generation to generation. The smell of Mom’s first apple pie in the autumn, pumpkin carving at Halloween, the joy of the first snow day, reflecting on life in the long dark evenings of the winter, the snow melting in rivers in spring, flowers bursting forth, opening day in baseball, lazy days by the pool in summer, smoke of BBQ’s on a hot summer night, fireflies – the weather cycles and permeates our moods. The special foods of the season give taste and texture at gatherings of friends and family. All of this forms and recalls our dearest memories and underlies what in time becomes tradition.
Germany has its own special traditions and while it is hard to pick a favorite, the run up to Christmas has to be one of them. It’s our last Christmas in Germany so we hope to enjoy it as much as possible.
Today we started our Adventcalendar. Many German families re-use the same calendar, filling it with new goodies each year. Also popular around here are the beer advent calendars with a beer for each day and, of course, the traditional chocolate filled calendars. For us, there is only one choice. Our son is a Legomaniac and so every year the Lego advent calendar it is! First there is the countdown to start the calendar, followed by the Christmas calendar countdown itself. I was awoken at 5:45 this morning by a very excited boy who was ready to open the first day. It might be a long December!
First Snow, Winter 2017-2018