I’ll take my chances here to say, that Germany has some of the best Christmas markets in the world, there are hundreds and people from all over the world come to see them. To see just one would be a pity and we made it our mission to go to as many as possible.
One of the most known in Berlin, is probably the one in the Gendarmenmarkt or Alexanderplatz, the first one is one of the biggest and it is so popular that they started charging an entry fee. But tear not, it’s just an Euro. The second one has a Ferris wheel, an ice rink and close to it there a fun fair.
I’m a Graphic Designer, so when it comes to stationary, illustrations and cards, I have a healthy obsession with them all. But you don’t have to be in this industry to appreciate fantastic Christmas Cards.
The last couple of years in New Zealand, a month in advance I would send my family and friends Christmas Cards (usually from Typo or Kikki.K) I don’t care if they say ‘the future is here, everyone uses emails now’ I will always get excited to receive an actual letter/card/postcard.
I went to Butlers yesterday to pick up a few bits and pieces for a secret santa gift and I found these adorable mini cards, which I’m probably going to stick to each present ( now everyone who reads this will know the present came from me and le boyfriend, anyway…)
Anyways, surfing through the internet I’ve also found these other cards that I loved. Tell me, do you usually go for a funny Xmas card, a holiday/cutesy one, a serious one or all three? (or none)
I couldn’t do 12 days of Blogmas without sharing a cookie recipe, and I couldn’t do cookie recipes without attempting a gingerbread cookie. 6 or 7 years ago, my sister and I attempted baking gingerbread cookies, but we used real ginger instead of ground ginger spice and we ended up with an awful cookie with bits of ginger flesh, and that put me off trying it again for…7 years.
This was also a great excuse to use some of my cookie cutters. I left my favourite gingerbread men one (the one I use for these ones) in New Zealand, but I brought with me a little kit that has a tiny gingerbread men cutter.
If you want to try this spicy cookies as well, check the recipe below and let me know how they went. For us they were a hit, and most of them were gone in less than a day.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended.
- Add molasses and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and gradually stir in until blended and smooth.
- Wrap the dought in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 190C. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured (I’ve used powered sugar) surface.
- Roll dough to a scant 1/1.5 centimetre thick.
- Cut out cookies with desired cutter.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies).
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
- After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
You can’t have Christmas without Christmas films, and I remember December in Argentina when I was young there was a tv channel that would always show one of these movies every Sunday.
I truly believe some of them can be watched all year round. So I thought I would make a quick list of some of my favourite Christmas movies.
Top Christmas Films
Home Alone (1 and 2)
For me, this is one of the Christmas movies. After a misunderstanding, Kevin McCallister stays home alone, while their family goes on vacation without him. He has to take care of himself and the house while there are two burglars in his neighborhood roaming around. If you are looking for something funny and you don’t mind (or even like) other people’s pain, you’ll enjoy this film.
I believe this is my Mom’s favourite holiday movie. Two completely different women exchange houses during the Christmas period, to escape their lives in the U.S and England. Plus Jude Law is a Babe in that film…
Jingle all the way
I can’t say I’m a massive fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I love Kindergarten Cop and Jingle all the Way. He plays a busy father who forgets to get his son his favourite action figure for Christmas and he has one day to get the last one before every other parents gets it. Continue reading
As I write this, I realized this year is going to be a year of first. First real Christmas Tree, first Christmas Winter, first chocolate advent calendar.
I make the distinction of saying chocolate because two years ago a got a beauty calendar and in New Zealand people do chocolate calendars, but it is so hot during summer that the last couple of years I couldn’t really bother to get one. But this year is different, it’s cold and miserable outside and there’s nothing better than getting to the end of the day, open a little door and get a piece of chocolate.
But first, I’m not sure if this is done somewhere else but I was told that Germany is pretty big on the Adventkranz, which is a Christmas wreath with four candles in it. Every Sunday, four weeks before Christmas you have to light one of the candles, until all four are lit the Sunday before Christmas.
As for our advent calendars, I’ve decided to go for a classic chocolate one, a Milka chocolate one and since le boyfriend actually prefers lollies to chocolate he went for a Haribo calendar. To be quite honest he is the one winning here, since every day till now he got little bags with mini gummibears.
As for the beauty calendars, this year I decided not to get any, but after researching and reading other blogs these are some of my favourites.
If you still haven’t got one but want one, you should get it, it doesn’t matter if the month already started..go for it! Do you have any advent traditions like the Adventkranz?
Ever since the thought of moving to Berlin crossed our minds, I’ve been researching Christmas trees, where to get them, how much they last, how expensive are they…. This is the first time we are going to spend Christmas during winter, and in a place where people buy actual trees! I couldn’t miss out.
We found, quite close to home, a little pop up tree shop with hundreds of trees from different ‘farms’, sizes and types of ‘pines’. We decided to go with a medium size one that was a little less than 30 Euros, it’s a pretty decent size and fits perfectly on one of the corners of our living room.
As you may gather from the tittle this year I’m doing Blogmas again. This time, 12 days of Blogmas. What a way to start it all than with a Q&A on Christmas!
1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Mmmm, it’s hard because I don’t think I have a specific xmas movie, but I usually see “Love Actually” and “Home Alone” during that time of the year, so they should qualify as favourites.
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
I come from Argentina,and there we celebrate Christmas on the 24th, so we usually open presents after midnight on Christmas eve.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
When I was young we spent a couple of Christmases and my grandmother’s brother house, with all of my father’s cousins, their kids and their cousins. We were heaps! I remember every time at midnight a sweaty Santa (xmas during summer) would suddenly appear on the roof and get down some stairs, give a couple of gifts there and then ‘he’ would guide us to the living room that was packed with presents. We were more than 20 there…so if anyone got at least one present you can image the amount of presents stacked against the tree.
4. Favourite festive food?
Hands down Vitel Tone, veal eye of round with creamy tuna sauce with capers. I can eat buckets of that thing, and there is nothing better than getting into the kitchen the next day, grab a piece of bread and make yourself a cheeky Vitel Tone sandwich.
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
Here I’m going to count gifts I’ve received when I was young. I think and the ones I can remember two of my favourite gift were, When I was around 11 I received a cassette and cd player, kind of like a jukebox I could have in my room, that poor player went from Britney and the Spice Girls to a Goth Emo phase history. And the other thing I remember I went nuts for was an inconspicuous brown box that was filled with makeup. every colour eye shadow you can image, glitter lip gloss, brushes, the lot.
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
I have to say I think only this year I’ve discovered what I call a Christmas scent and it’s the one of Apple and Cinnamon candles.
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
I don’t think so. We do always used to spend Christmas with family and New Years with friend, and we do have more traditions around New Years.
8. What tops your tree?
We gave away our Christmas tree when I was young and never actually got another. But a couple of years ago Le Mother got some Stilleto shaped decorations that I loved. This year we are thinking of getting a real tree, but still have no decorations, so we’ll have o wait and see.
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I can’t really remember, I don’t think I ever asked so something really crazy though. I do remember one of my friends had one of those easy bake ovens and a McDonalds play set you could make you own McMenu (you would used sliced bread and make it into fries and whatnot) and I thought it was awesome, but I can’t remember asking for one.
10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
I’m a sucker for hosting and decorating for events (I am my mother’s daughter,) so decorating the house, Christmas baking and giving gifts is some of the things I love about the holidays. This year specially, It’s going to be the first time we are spending Christmas during winter and I’m hosting Christmas Eve at our place.
Hope this gives you a little insights into my Christmas life, if you’d like to continue the tag copy and paste the questions below and don’t forget to tag me in it so I can read it. I’m going to personally invite all the girls from #BrunchClub to take part. And I’ll link them below if you want to read them to!
- What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
- Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
- Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
- favourite festive food?
- Favourite Christmas gift ?
- Favourite Christmas scent?
- Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
- What tops your tree?
- As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
- What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
Today we are going to talk about the Dampfnudel, and how a tiny bread roll save a whole town from being killed.
A Dampfnudel is a steamed sweet of savoury bread roll that can be served as dessert with warm vanilla sauce and sometimes plum jam. It’s steamed with butter and milk making them buttery on the top and a crispy caramelised bottom.
Many Germans which I’ve spoken to say Dampfnudels remind them of the winter holidays, when they go skiing and get a warm Dampfnudel from the nearest cafeteria, but these little rolls have been here for years, with its first recipe being found in a book from 1811 but dating really since the 1600.
It’s said that once, in the region of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the town of Freckenfeld, a Swedish army entered the town during the 30 year war. They promised to murder everyone and rip the town to shreds unless they were fed. Luckily a baker by the name of Johanes Muck, his wife and his apprentice got to work and with little and basic ingredients such as flour, milk and butter there were able to make 1286 Dampfnudels to feed the army and saving their town.
As a memorial of what happen there is a Dampfnudeltor (Gate) with 1286 little ball-shaped rock to commemorate the baker and the moment the city was spared.
[ extra note: they are quite hard to make…it took me two tries and I’m still not convinced]
On a ‘type’ note:
Dala Floda is fairly new font, designed by Paul Barnes in 2010, it is inspired by the worn and eroded lettering found on gravestones. This is why even thought it seems to pair with other renaissance fonts, it has a stencil feel to it.
Are you planning to move to Germany? If the answer is YES, then make sure you have all the necessary documents to make your stay hassle free. Also I will talk about the Unmeldung and Abmendulg.
So what’s an Anmeldung?
An-mendulng (separable verb… I know.. why German why?) simply mean to register. If you are planning to live in Germany (tourists of course don’t need to apply for this) you need to register in the country. It is expected of expats to register in the first month they’ve arrived and within 15 days of signing a contract for an apartment.
Why is it important?
Well, to begin with, it’s illegal to stay in the country without registering (tourist excepted of course.) There is no way to get away from it and if you don’t register you will be fined [or deported] Also is it impossible (or extremely difficult) to get certain things with out and Anmeldung as well (Bank accounts, internet/gas/electricity contracts.)