Köln is definitely a city where you can revel in Christmas. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to revel this year between my school and family commitments. We still managed to have some fun though…
A new Weihnachtsmarkt popped up in a small square located between my school and home, so I was able to check it out after school one day.
The whole family made it to our neighborhood Weihnachtmarkt that is only a five minute walk away. The girls are drinking hot Kinder Glühwein (nonalcoholic, obviously) in the pic above.
The girls put their boots out for Sankt Nikolaus’ visit on December 6th. I wrote about that tradition in this post.
They made lots of these traditional Spritzgebäck cookies with Opa (a long-standing family tradition).
They made some great Christmas Art..
“Christmas Guinea Pigs”
We checked out a few stores so the girls could get some ideas for Christmas presents..
Kiera headed straight for the dragons, of course!
We were too busy this year to make the trek out to the Bergischer Weihnachtsmarkt im Wald to cut down our own tree (previous posts on that amazing place can be read here and here). Simon and I decided to just buy a smaller tree in one of the city squares. The girls were not thrilled with it. They were a little upset that it was so small, but got over it pretty quickly. They decorated it on Quinnie’s birthday with friends (pic below).
Kiera found this discarded Charlie Brown-looking Christmas wreath on the street and insisted on bringing it home.
Christmas gifts for the girls’ teachers. I asked around, and it seems most parents here don’t give their kids’ teachers Christmas gifts. Someone even said that the idea was odd- almost like you were trying to bribe the teacher or something. Sorry, I’m American- I can’t not give them presents!
After my German language exam was over I could finally relax a bit and decided to head to the Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom. The Glühwein helped me relax even more 🙂
Christmas Eve at Tante Ruth’s
She and Maxim made an amazing dinner (including the Knödel above).
But the girls’ favorite will always be the guinea pigs!
Then back home to get ready for Santa and his reindeer…
Christmas morning. Santa and the reindeer ate their treats (and left the Nutcracker)!
Santa also left this awesome banner on the tree!
He puts a Lebkuchen cookie in their stockings every year.
Quinnie’s new Bommel (fuzzy colored balls kids here wear hanging from their belt loops or jackets).
Quinnie got a Bommel/ Pom Pom maker!
Above all, I think the girls will always refer to this Christmas as “The Furby Christmas.”
They hardly ever ask for presents, but this year, for months before Christmas they talked about (and drew pictures of) these Furbys. Their after school program had a Furby day where all the kids were allowed to bring in their Furbys. Ever since then they’ve been obsessed.
A small sampling of the many Furby pictures they’ve drawn (below)…
Kiera got right to work drawing a portrait of hers.
Furbys talking to each other (Kiera also got that stuffed dragon). Side note for parents: Furbys are the most annoying toy ever.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without some new Playmobil!
I gave Quinnie a big bag of this embroidery thread so that I could teach her how to make the friendship bracelets that I grew up making. She and her friend Ella love making them!
I also gave them this cool comic about the ghosts of the Kölner Dom.
It was a whirlwind of a Christmas season. Unfortunately there was no snow all winter (and only one day of snow last year).
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!