Letter: December has been a memorable and busy month in GermanyThe time has continued to fly by as I am now approaching six months in Germany. The last month has been a super exciting time with the Advent and Christmas holidays.
By: Kayli Kuhl, Crailsheim exchange student, Worthington Daily Globe
The time has continued to fly by as I am now approaching six months in Germany. The last month has been a super exciting time with the Advent and Christmas holidays.
I find that, in Germany, Advent is celebrated in a bigger and more extravagant way. I got a really cool chocolate Advent calendar from my parents (the Binders) so every day I could open up the door as a way to count down for Christmas. Even more surprising for me was when my class organized a calendar for me in the school too. Every student in my class bought me little gifts, which were then hung in little stockings, and every day I got to open one in school (similar to Christmas stockings).
During the Advent holiday, many of the cities have a big Christmas market. At the market you can buy handmade Christmas ornaments and goodies. Every weekend I got to visit a Christmas market, including Aschaffenburg, Ludwigsburg (where my “guest grandparents” live) Nurnberg and Koln. Of these, my favorite one was the Nurnberg. It is the biggest and most famous one in all of Germany! There were so many market stands there that it took us several hours just to walk through, and having nice “warm for December” weather made it a wonderful day.
The weekend after going to Nurnberg, we set off for Koln. Koln is a big city that is further away (about three hours). Since the distance was further, we stayed overnight so we could see more of the city. Koln is so big it had six Christmas markets, including one that was on a big cruise boat. We didn’t get to all six, but we spent most of our time at the market located next to the Koln Cathedral. The Cathedral was huge! Of course, we wanted to climb to the top to be able to see the view of all of Koln. About 30 minutes and 509 steps later, we were finally to the top. It was definitely a tough climb, but well worth every step. With the beautiful sunny weather, we were able to see for miles and a beautiful view of the Rhein River!
After my weekend in Koln, it was only one short week before Christmas. In school, we were finishing up before the break. On the last day in school we did a secret Santa gift exchange and then a short Christmas service at a nearby church. On the 23rd, I went to a Christmas basketball game. The Marlins (Crailsheim’s professional team) played in the Stadium in Crailsheim. It was fun for me to watch basketball again because there isn’t basketball with the school, and going to sporting activities is something I have missed a little bit. After a good halftime show, and a win from the Marlins, we stayed afterwards for a fun dance. It was a lot of fun!
Then, the next day, was Christmas! In Germany Christmas is celebrated on the 24th of December, and the 25th is more of a family day. We went to the grandma’s in Ludwigsburg for Christmas. I found that it was very similar to how we do Christmas. We went to church at five, where the kids then did a short program telling the Christmas history, and then after church we opened presents and had supper. Then, at 10, it was back to church for the evening service.
For Christmas my family got us tickets for the World Christmas Circus, which was performed in Stuttgart. It was really an amazing performance with acrobatic acts from all over the world and, of course, a fantastic clown. I really enjoyed the performance and the whole Christmas holiday.
But things still haven’t slowed down in the Christmas break. After another Christmas party at my guest brother’s house (he is 31 years old and lives in Crailsheim), we took off for three days in Munich. Munich is a very beautiful city; one of my favorite cities I have ever been to. We stayed with a friend of my family and were then given a mini “private” tour of the city. My favorite area is the old “town square” area with the beautiful city hall and neighboring churches. I also thought that the convenient use of the underground subway was also fascinating. Underground, it is almost like a whole other city with the hustle and bustle.
The whole month of December has been for me a high point of my stay in Germany. Coming up, I am now looking forward to what the New Year will bring. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday, and I wish everyone a good new year.