Freitag, 25. Dezember 2015

The First Day of Christmas

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A partridge in a pear tree.

(Actually my True Love gave me an inspiring collection of art books.)

I made this last year with Michelle, with intents to make the rest later...
Christmas Day

We had no particular schedule today so no rush and no stress. We started with lighting the tree again, and our Christmas Day service, which includes German carols, and readings on the theme of Immanuel, God with us.

Sigmund needed to check on the construction site, so all the rest of us tended to other things. Then we gathered in the living room with the tree lit again and music - from the sound system that Florian installed for Mom while she was away yesterday; nice surprise! - and opened gifts. We had two guests, Thomas' friend from across the road (he lost his mother this year and we sort of adopt him), and Florian's friend from Serbia. Our elf distributes the gifts. Before she started, she read a Christmas short story she wrote this morning. (I hope she will share it with you.)

A most deluxe hand-made leather-bound Serbian Bible in a carved wood case from her brothers for her Bible collection

A lovely lamb's wool scarf for Mom, who wants to go see the store in Serbia from where it came.

A hand carved wood Creche made from a single round branch, hinged and painted. From a mission project group.

Then it was evening and time for supper: This year we did what most Swiss traditionally do, have Fondue Chinoise (meat fondue with a vegetable broth). This is eaten with pickled vegetables, a variety of sauces, and whatever else we pulled out and put on the table. Our Serbian guest brought some specialties, including a scrumptious pepper .....mmmm.....not really a sauce, and not really a cream, but something like a spread. Wonderful anyway.
I forgot to get other pictures of the meal...

This is a long leisurely dinner, with conversation, discussion of the meaning of Maria's story, and at the  end, after cookies and chocolate (yes, fast day tomorrow), we had Thom lead us in a quiz of fifty questions about Christmas, from a paper we get. Some were easy to answer - when is the Orthodox Christmas, Myra of St Nikolaus fame is in what country today, what is myrrh, what was Joseph's profession, etc, - but do you know which traditional name goes with the African Wise Man (Caspar Melchior or Balthasar?), how old is a two meter tall Christmas tree, what is Glögg, to what does "Christmette" refer,  what is the Russian Christmas man called, why are the Christmas Islands called that, and in what Canton is a community called Weinacht?  (Answer: Outer Appenzell)

Tomorrow most of us are going to Singrüeni, so Maria will write the post here, D.v.and I hope so will others.

Merry Christmas and Eleven more.


  1. All I know is that Glogg is a drink. Spiced wine I think.

  2. Whee, Mom! We don't even have to go to Novi Sad to get those pretty pieces from Ivko! Look:
    (Of course it'd be more fun to go to Novi Sad to get them, but ordering online takes less time. And when you add the cost of fuel, it's cheaper, too.)

  3. Than
    Thanks, Maria, for looking up the site. Let's do.

    Pam,you are right. Glögg is a Scandinavian spiced wine.
    Answers to the others:
    Orthodox Christmas is about Epiphany, or January 7 (they use Julian calendar)
    St. Nikolaus came from what is today Turkey.
    Myrrh is a tree resin.
    The African wiseman is usually called Balthasar.

    A two meter Christmas tree is about ten years old.
    Christmette refers to a family get-together.
    The Russian Christmas man is Father Frost.
    And the Christmas Islands are named for the Day Captain James Cook sighted them.
    Now you know.

  4. Ok, so I did know several of those. I think my brain wasn't fully engaged when I originally read the blog post. Thanks for the quiz!