I do apologise for the distinct lack of drawings this month! There has been a lot of paperwork instead, that's why.
It's going to be German Christmas today, that is, Christmas eve everywhere but here that means not much and back in Germany people will be unwrapping presents. I still find that a bit odd, but got used to it over the last ten years to a point that I don't get melancholy any more. It used to be kind of disturbing to have Christmas twelve hours late, getting dragged out of bed bloody early when I was still recovering from a night of trying to feel reasonable about it all, and then being made to play party games before I'm allowed to open one present at a time while everyone is watching (feeling a bit like Gollum wanting to go ssssh, my precioussss, grab the lot and scamper off under the kitchen table instead). And the mistletoe sprigs, lurking everywhere - someone told me if you don't spot them in time people are legally allowed to physically assault you in any way they like, and when I first saw a room decorated with them all over I got very frightened. I mean, no one bothers to explain all those customs in detail, right? And how are you supposed to know which ones are sacred, the paper crowns or the carrot stumps by the chimney, and are they going to suddenly all go WHOOP and set something on fire? ARRGH they are!!! I still get freaked out for a second every time the pudding lights up, before I remember it's not a dangerous accident.
All in all, my beloved time of dark, quiet unwrapping and squirreling away of presents and then falling asleep in a nest of them and waking up late to a day of feasting turned into something other and thoroughly menacing. But like jet lag, it faded. And also I am allowed to open as many presents as I like on Christmas eve now, and strangely I find I quite enjoy saving them up another day instead. And the moment after the panic about the burning pudding is passed is actually one of happy greed and joy thinking that it's been waiting for months getting nicer and nicer in a dark pot just so I'll be allowed to eat a huge chunk of it. And no one makes me play games any more, all in all, people are very kind to me, and this year we even baked some German biscuits... and I found myself wondering how I ever had the discipline to freeze the butter first and make the dough hours or days in advance and rest the biscuits for days after baking. And we didn't, and they came out very nice indeed, although I was quite happy no fellow Germans were around to be scandalised by the irregular shapes and the sticky Barbie glitter icing gel.
I shall take them around to a friends' house tonight and be merry, but first I'll cook the red cabbage for tomorrow, with apples and goose fat and cinnamon and cloves, which is my Christmas job, what with being German and all.
Merry Christmas everyone!