Our Version of a Bavarian Christmas

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I can’t quite live with the title “Bavarian Christmas,” since I don’t really know what other people here did. But I can share our experience, at least! I really didn’t do much research or try to start any new traditions or anything like that. We mostly just went with the flow and enjoyed having my husband’s parents here for a week. By the way, all of these pictures were taken by them, as I couldn’t quite bring myself to be the 3rd of five people wielding a camera everywhere we went. Plus they documented everything so nicely!

Our visitors arrived in Munich in the morning, and Jeff and Amelia took a train to pick them up. After a very long day of train (mis)adventures, they all arrived in the evening in time for dinner. The next day, it was really fun to show them around our little town. It was the last day of the Christmas market, so we went there both during the daytime and in the evening.

Grampy enjoys his first cup of gluhwein. (We won’t tell you what number this was for us!)

 Christmas is celebrated on the 24th here. We went to St. Martin’s Basilika in the early afternoon, where they were having the Christmas Mass. Amelia and other children from her kindergarten sang, and the service was short, sweet and casual. Of course, it was a little surreal to be in a gorgeous cathedral for the event!


Most of the snow had melted right before Christmas, so it was very magical to exit after the service and be met with giant fluffy flakes.

 Once we got home, we decided to break with tradition completely and open most of our gifts.

The most exciting one of the evening was the accordion I’d been hiding from Jeff for a month!
On the 25th, we decided to go out in the snow for a little walk. Of course, in two feet of snow, there’s no such thing as a “little walk,” really. We drove up the hill until our car started sliding backward, then decided that was probably about the right place to park and start walking! Maybe it has something to do with growing up in both Southern California and the Philippines, but I have a magnetic attraction snow. When I see a field of snow, I literally get this urge to dive in and swim in it like it’s water. We were so frustrated that we hadn’t bought a sled before all of the stores closed for three days, or even thought to bring a big piece of cardboard. The best I could come up with was taking my coat off to use as a sort of slick surface to slide down the hill on. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, but made my family laugh, so it was worth it.

Cold, yes, but nothing a sprint up and down the trail a few times couldn’t fix!

For the rest of the week, we spent a lot of time wandering around the snowy streets of Amberg, enjoyed a few great Bavarian meals that practically put us and our jet-lagged visitors into comas for the afternoon, read and hung out in our living room, and generally chilled out.

When it was  time for Jeff’s folks to leave, we all took the train together and spent the day in Nuremburg. I’ll save that for another post. Then, it was on to Munich for the night before they took another train to catch their flight back to Portland.

Why do WE look like the weary travelers, when we haven’t even left Bavaria?

It was really fun and meaningful to finally be able to show part of our family what our life is like here– where we live and eat and shop, etc. We had a great Christmas here, and feel so thankful for this great experience! I hope the holiday was really special and memorable for you and yours as well.

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6 Responses to Our Version of a Bavarian Christmas

  1. Anonymous January 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    love your photos! Amelia is such a CUTE little girl, she looks like she is meant to live in Germany…rosy cheeks and all. 🙂


  2. Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    How fun! Super photos (thanks to Phil and Amy) and a GREAT commentary. Thanks for sharing it with us. -Dad

  3. Anonymous January 19, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    Beautiful Pictures!Your living room is lovely with the piano in the corner. Amelia’s rosy cheeks are so cute! Love grandma

  4. Marisa December 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Thank you for posting a link to this! I hadn’t seen it yet. But I can really relate to the beauty of a Bavarian Christmas. It is such a magical and charming place to be this time of year. My mom and I truly fell in love with the experience and are talking about going again next Christmas – this time with my dad in tow as well. And WOW look at that piano! Is that yours and do you have it in England? Or was that in your rental? Either way – what a beauty! To me there is something so magnificent about a piano and it puts the crowning touch on a home.


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