For the first twenty five years of my life we spent our Christmas holidays in Germany. German Christmas was the only Christmas I knew. I loved it. It was the highlight of the year. White German Christmas.
Our grandparents, Omi & Opi, who we only had the chance to see a few times a year, spoiled us rotten and my sister Alex and myself enjoyed every single moment of it. We went to the town’s open air Christmas market and devoured some junk food & drinks. Bratwurst mit pommes for us children & Glühwein for the grown ups (there is nothing like a good glass of hot Glühwein to warm up your frozen self from the below zero temperatures).
Opi chose the perfect Christmas tree to put in the living room and he decorated it together with my mom as we were not allowed to see it before Christmas eve – talk about German rigid rules ;). As we grew older, the tradition slightly changed and Alex helped him out with the decoration. The most vivid Christmas memories I have are from the moments they drew the curtain open and we could finally see the most beautifully decorated real Christmas tree.
Back to Greek reality. I love this country but I can’t say the same about Greek Christmas. It is just not the real thing. There is no snow (obviously), no real Christmas spirit (especially in the latter years of financial difficulties) and the sight of the real Christmas trees that are sold on the sides of the streets depress me since we have so little forests left due to the massive destructive fires this country has suffered throughout the last decades.
Up until two years ago I could pull the ‘others might have big green Christmas trees but we prefer the small wooden Scandinavian look alikes’ stunt, but I have to admit that Yiannis no longer buys this shit from his mom. Last year when my brilliant mother in law suggested in front of Yiannis that she will gladly give us the Christmas tree which she had bought in Chicago almost 40 years ago, he seized the opportunity and begged me to accept the offer. Two days later we decorated his first big Christmas tree.
So there is no real debate for me. I prefer having the
extremely toxic smelling plastic tree and have my conscious clear then having the amazingly gracious and beautiful real tree to decorate my living room. If it were for me, I would be perfectly happy with just the wooden one. And I guess N. wouldn’t mind if we had NO decoration whatsoever 😉