So determined am I to break through the final frontier – accepting the German Winter – that I have become obsessed with ways to not only survive the colder months, but thrive. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Nevertheless, it’s what I’m doing – surrendering myself to this dark, icy season/half a year, and letting it do what it will. (Check back with me in January, when I’ve come down off my glühwein high and Santa has been and gone and I’m in a corner, scoffing Vitamin D pills and glowering darkly at my scarf collection, winter jacket and snow-battered boots.) When it’s just days and days of this …
I have already started a list of things I would like to do this Winter, like build a snowman (original, I know). But I haven’t stopped with a Winter Wish List. No. Among other things, I have already started enjoying Christmas treats. Bring on the Lebkuchen and that hot, spicy wine. I have bought ‘cookie cutters’ in the shapes of reindeer, Christmas trees and, I think, rabbits. I have dragged my Advent calendar out from storage and invested in a new, dare I says it, sensational one for SG (no I haven’t hung them yet, I’m not completely mad. Besides, the rule-loving German who resides in our household just wouldn’t stand for early Advent calendar hanging, I already pushed the boat out with Lebkuchen in October.) I have stocked up on candles bearing any vaguely festive scent; apple, cinnamon, vanilla, and chocolate. I have already started the Christmas present list – ie: who I have to buy for and what I will likely buy. And I know precisely when the Weiden Weihnachtsmarkt begin and I plan to be there on opening night, stuffing any sort of confection I can get my hands on, into my pale little wintry face.
I have also been perusing Pinterest, something I try and avoid, because it’s more of a rabbit hole than American Mommy Blogs (and their birth stories and ‘What I Wore’ installments). But it has proven inspirational for my Survival Plan, by providing recipes for serious hot chocolates (condensed milk = means business) and alternatives to Christmas trees. As inspirational as Tchibo.de, from where I have already purchased Christmas roller stamps for card-decorating purposes.
Along that vein, today, we went to Ikea. In my mind, such a jaunt not only counts as a day trip when it takes an hour to get to, and strolling around Weiden just won’t cut it as a cure for cabin fever, but also forms an integral part of my Survival Plan. Ikea has the best apple and cinnamon candles, which provide the most delicious, Christmassy scent and, come festive season, a wonderful array of treats. Swedish glühwein (red and white) ginger biscuits in tins, enormous amounts of chocolate … you know, all the stuff you need to eat your way through the long, dark nights of November-March. And hotdogs, plenty of hotdogs.
So here I am, twelve days into November, around six weeks out of Christmas. Feeling good. Feeling strong. Feeling almost aggressive. Bring it on Winter, bring it on (although don’t feel you have to go too crazy, keep it all in the spirit of fun and games).