Christmas from Germany to Arizona

Dec 18 2017, 5:10 pm in , , , ,

Happy Holidays!

     The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a tide of memories and traditions. I spent many of my early childhood years on an Air Force base in Stuttgart, Germany, and my parents adopted some of the customs of the region. We’d put our shoes outside the door on December 5th for St. Nicholas (his feast day is Dec. 6th) and if we were good, they were filled with goodies the next morning.

                                                                                                                                                                        We also had an Advent Calendar filled with chocolate, and nutcracker soldiers on our mantel. And something I didn’t recall until I was shopping at Cost Plus years ago…soft gingerbread cookies, frosted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     When the military moved us to Texas (this time living off-base), we were introduced to new cultural traditions. Lining the sidewalks with luminarias, visiting the River Walk for beautiful lights and mariachi music, and eating tamales on Christmas day are all part of the local traditions in San Antonio. And, Las Posadas was a recreation of the Mary and Joseph’s journey from door to door, seeking refuge. The church would often recreate this in a nearby neighborhood.

 

     For the past several years, we’ve celebrated Christmas in northern Arizona, where snow is not unheard of. With three kids, I’ve maintained the tradition of the tree, stockings, and advent calendars. We deck the house out with lights. When my daughter was in ballet, part of our annual celebration was watching her dance in The Nutcracker while the local symphony played. 

 

     This year, we’ll have our Annual Gingerbread Houses (preassembled because, for me, nothing drives away Christmas cheer like having to assemble one of those things). We’ll bake snowball cookies because they’re my husband’s favorite, and decorate sugar cookies because my youngest loves those. And since my daughter loves the soft German-style gingerbread cookies, we’ll be making a visit to Cost Plus, too. At our house, Santa will more often find beer than milk, but no worries—he always makes it to the next house.

 

 

     A bittersweet note this year is the Polar Express. If you haven’t heard of it, it was an animated movie (starring Tom Hanks in multiple roles) based on a popular book. As we are a railroad town, a local train company (which usually travels to the Grand Canyon) puts together a Polar Express experience annually, and the movie is recreated for thousands of lucky children on an hour-long train ride in an old-fashioned train car. Santa even hands out a souvenir bell at the end, as he does in the movie. We’ve done this a couple times in the past, but this may be our last time. My youngest is still a believer, but, sadly, this will probably be the final year. He’s already questioning things, but seems eager to keep believing, so I’ve been vague in my answers unless he presses me. He hasn’t yet.

     Wherever and however you celebrate the season, Happy Holidays and good tidings to you and yours!

                         Cheers,

                                                Anne Marie

 

 

Anne Marie has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling.  Her passion for understanding the human race is now satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and award-winning author of romantic suspense.  

She writes to reclaim her sanity.

Find ways to connect with Anne Marie at www.AnneMarieBecker.com. There, sign up for her newsletter to receive the latest information regarding books, appearances, and giveaways

   

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