Saturday, 25 December 2010

What does Christmas mean to me?

Christmas is my absolute favourite holiday, I love it even more than birthdays! I love everything about it: how the cold and dark city is gradually transformed into a winter wonderland with the beautiful Christmas lights being hung, the Christmas fairs appearing on squares, how the scent of roasting chestnut and spiced mulled wine fills the air while people sing carols, I love walking in the city around Christmas (of course not shopping, it's crazy jungle out there in the shops!).

This is my favourite Christmas fair in Budapest (it is also the most famous in Hungary and it was even in the top 3 in Europe!): it is located at Vörösmarty tér, where the world-famous Gerbeaud confectionary/bakery is, and thankfully close to my office, so with some colleagues we sneaked out a couple of times during lunch breaks to shop for pressies and drink some spiced mulled wine :-)

Then there are the preparations at home: hanging the decorations in the house, baking Christmas cookies, wrapping presents while listening to Christmas songs. I love this sense of preparation and peace and joy. Each year as soon as December is over, from the beginning of January I can't wait for it to be Christmas again! :-)

A couple of years ago my mom had the great idea that each one of us (my two sisters, my mom and me) should bake at least 2-3 sorts of cookies and that way we wold have a lot of different kinds of cookies to choose from for Christmas breakfasts and offer at family afternoon tea&cookie get-togethers. Since my sisters have exams to study for, I was the only one to bake this year, I  made 3 kinds: hazelnut-chocolate hearts, cinnamon-almond stars and gingerbread cookies.
 If you would like to read about the whirlwind of preparations in my family and how Christmas is spent in our home, read this post I did at Book Lovers Inc. :-)

Christmas to me is the occasion for big family get-togethers: we celebrate Christmas usually until December 29th, because there are so many family members, we got one aunt/uncle and their family per day to visit and have a Christmas meal and exchange gifts with, and I absolutely love that for me Christmas doesn’t end on December 25 for us :-D Love that each day is another occasion for a festive lunch/dinner, seeing more cousins I haven't seen for a year and catching up with them. (We eat roasted turkey with apple sauce only once a year: on December 25! That is a yummy lunch we are always looking forward to each year :-p)

Christmas is also about family movie nights: this time of the year (after almost an hour long debate each night), we watch together a movie (usually seasonal): my absolute favourite is While you Were Sleeping, can't tire of that one! :-)) My dad's favourite is It's a Wonderful Life, so we rewatch that one each couple of years too. 

While You Were Sleeping  It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition)
Don't know why these Christmas themed movies don't have any more festive cover designs?!

Lastly, Christmas to me is eating Christmas breakfast (cookies, Beigli (typical Hungarian Christmas dessert)) leisurably in our PJs while seeing in the background the Christmas tree lit up with the unwrapped presents under the tree, or reading comfortably on the sofa while listening to soft Christmas music and looking up from my book and seeing my family around me, just love that! :-)

With that I'll leave you to your own celebrations, I wish you all a very merry Christmas, have a wonderful time with your loved ones!

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