This year Christmas was a rollercoaster for me since I was not able to be back home and nor was my family with me. I spent this Christmas with my lovely boyfriend and his parents.
For me an average Christmas entails baking some cookies with maybe a pie. Other than that I spend maybe a day shopping and I am ready for the holidays. This year was certainly different.
I always plan to bake like there is no tomorrow and have different sortiments of all kinds of sweets and lots of them, but then when time rolls by reality sinks in and I never bake as much as I plan. Well this year was a tad bit different. Since for my birthday I was given a mixer I wanted to bake something that would require me to use it, and also find a recipes that my European boyfriend wouldn't find too sweet. Since most Europeans will say American baked goods are too sweet for their taste. So I found a really yummy Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipie that I thought would be perfect, and of coarse an eray of cookies. Gingerbread was number one, cinnamon stick cookies, vanilla kipferl, and last minute butter cookies. Did I mention we were only 4 people?
Don't go thinking we just had cookies for Christmas, no we had a feast just as well before we even began to think about eating cookies.
Last year in Vienna it would not stop snowing and it snowed almost every other day it was my first ever white Christmas. This year on the other hand it was not white and around 40F which is warm for Vienna at Christmas time.
So with a good 6 to 8 hours of baking I was not finished with any Christmas preperations. Shopping anywhere in Vienna that has more than 3 major stores is pretty much the biggest headache you could imagine. People were not shoving and fighting over anything or atleast no where I was shopping but just the mass of people everywhere was astounding.
One nice aspect of this Christmas was the tree, even though it is much smaller than back home my boyfriend and I went out together to buy our tree. For me it was the perfect tree buying experience I can remember. Normally, buying a tree entails going to atleast 3 different locations to find the perfect tree and is pretty boring. This time all I had to do was point and say that one looks good and after having the boyfriend haggel the price a little we were on our way back.
In Vienna and I would say some other European countries it is tradition that the baby Jesus angel brings all the gifts aposed to Santa. In German Santa is called Weihnachtsman litteraly meaning Christmas man. Also in Vienna after baby Jesus brings the gifts on Christmas Eve he rings a bell to notify the children that he was there and it is time to observe the pretty packages. In the States Santa brings our gifts Christmas morning and only a few gifts from family can be opened on Christmas Eve but Christmas morning is when children get to dive in. For me this was a bit strange since I am used to opening gifts in the morning so when Christmas day came around in the morning the little child inside of me was sad not to have anything to open in the morning.
Even though it was a bit sad not to be with my family this Christmas, I felt very blessed and grateful for what I had since it was what I would call a perfect Christmas just having my family there would have been the icing to the cake.