twelve days, twelve posts

Homesickness is a funny thing. It creeps in without warning and lingers like mist. This Christmas marks many firsts for us; first away from home, first with snow and plunging temperatures, first that we’ve had our very own tree. For all the festive activity sweeping Leipzig, it’s hard to keep the morale going when those moments of longing slip in. Not to worry, I’ve hatched a plan. One post for each of the twelve days until Christmas (incidentally, the twelve days of Christmas begin on December 25th). I mean it as a way to share this new sort of Christmas we’re having, hoping others will share theirs too. To start us off, I’m showing you our Adventskalender, one of Germany’s many contributions to the festive season. There were all manner of tasteful and traditional versions to choose from, but I was rather taken by this garish number with an East German theme. Prize for any one who can name the references!


9 Responses to “twelve days, twelve posts”

  1. 1 Gerri Frederiksen December 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    What a lovely idea, Ali!
    I look forward to your 12 posts of Christmas.
    I can fully understand that all encompassing feeling of homesickness.
    I can remember in Canada, only having to hear a sentimental Christmas song and the tears would come!
    Hang in there and know that all your friends and family are over here in Oz, thinking of you and with you in spirit.
    Try to enjoy your adventure, because it will probably be over with all too soon and life will go back to boring old normalcy! (which I know you probably crave!)
    Enough of the heavy counselling!
    “Buon Natale” Ali, to you, Tony and Rose and thank-you for your always interesting, entertaining and much awaited posts!
    Love Gerri and Torbs..xoxo

  2. 2 Jill December 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Ally….and Tony and Rose,

    Love your sharing. Believe me, we are thinking of you…Have just been looking at pics of last Christmas morning. Showing them to our Japanese guests who asked who everyone was and loved all the colour….and the pool in background. Thought that very funny for Christmas.
    I remember my cold Christmas as an exchange student in the US. All the trimmings that I had always thought were somehow ‘the real thing’–snow, ice etc. But somehow it was like an extra festival…lovely, fun….but not Christmas. I know it was then that I recognised MY Christmas was hot, with sleeveless clothes and barefeet. It must be in the early imprinting. Nevertheless, I’ve always been so grateful for the experience as it has become part of that bigger picture of experience and understanding.

    Looking forward to sharing all your observations, learnings and experiences throughout Advent.

    Lots of love,


  3. 3 Arthur December 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Hi Ally, Tony and Rose,
    We are missing you too! This will be our first Christmas without having all of the family together for at least some of the time. It won’t be quite the same this year. I think it will also be the first time that you will not be spending some time with us at Grassy. That will also be a little hard to endure as I have many fond memories of our times together there. Lots of them centre on boats, flathead and whiting!! Crossword puzzles and “Grassy Follies” also spring to mind.
    We will be eagerly awaiting your daily posts. It seems that you have replaced your camera? Everyone marvels at your photographic skills so keep the photos coming!

    Love for now,


  4. 4 skel December 14, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I can see the Sandman and a Trabant! And I’m sure if I study it for longer I’ll recognise some more Ostalgie references i learnt of during my short stay in the East with you! Missing you very much this time of year Ally (and Tony and Rose). I’ll be lonely on Christmas eve as I lie under the christmas tree and look up through the branches! Thinking of you always and can’t wait to see more photos.

    Lots and lots and LOTS of love,

    Aunty Skel x

    P.S Just spotted the Ampelmannchen (little traffic light man)!

  5. 5 Don Kelly December 14, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Hi Ally, Tony and Rose, channel all our thoughts because we are all thinking of you over there. Your photos and posts are a much read item in our household. Have a lovely white Christmas and stay warm.

    Love from Don Madge Alyce Mark & Denean

  6. 6 Mirjam December 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I love this Adventskalender. Mine isn’t as beautiful as yours but I think the chocolate inside is the same…
    I have never spent christmas without my family and we have always had big parties. For me, these moments are the lovliest ones of the whole year and I treasure them so much. I think I would do everything to spend christmas eve with my parents. So I understand your feelings so well!!! Let’s hope that the feeling of love, peace and hope are the same all around the world at christmas.
    I look forward to the other posts.
    Although far awy from home I hope that Tony, Rose and you will have a wonderful christmas time together and a experience you can share for the rest of your life. You can be sure that friends all around the world will think of you and have you in their hearts.

  7. 7 mavisandfrank December 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Thankyou all for such lovely messages! I feel better already. Dad, no my camera hasn’t arrived yet, these were taken with the tiny little thing you gave me when you bought a new one several years ago. It eats batteries I’m afraid, but a photo is better than none at all.

    Prize for Sarah for spotting three DDR references, well done Skel!

  8. 8 Chris December 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    arrr too late, could have spotted all of them 🙂 Still humming “twelve days of christmas”. The following is against homesickness, because I think it works better than colourful remindings of what once has been:

    Christmas is overrated. It´s not that cool after all. Lots of food and alcohol (bad for your body) consumerism all around and stressful times.
    PLUS: (nationalism included) Christmas is supposed to have snow. That´s why Santa rides a sled and wears a thick coat. We have beautiful Christmas markets. Go for goose. 😛

  9. 9 mavisandfrank December 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Not too late – go for it! drum roll…

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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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