Weihnachten + Christmas = Christnachten

Truth be told, my expectations in Christmas or Weihnachten are higher than the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I LOVE Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday! And now that we have Emma (insert loud squeal to express excitement about Emma’s first Christnachten), I want to make it so fun for her that she’ll love it as much as her Mama. Here’s how we celebrate Christmas + Weihnachten = Christnachten at Thrasher Home.


  • Christmas is about Christ. It’s not about a fat big man in a red coat with a silly hat and a long beard. I certainly won’t be going all Grinch on my little one but it is important to me that she learns that we are actually celebrating Christ’s birthday on Christmas. While we can play pretend and still like the Weihnachtsmann (Santa), we also put up a non-breakable nativity scene (make sure to watch baby closely as we certainly don’t want her to choke on Baby Jesus). As baby plays with the figurines, I tell her who they are. And we read her the story about Jesus’ birth for bedtime.
  • Christmas is Weihnachten. Or Christnachten. Which looks like this:remote_image20111201-32417-1uelvtu-0
  1. We’re celebrating Christmas on the 24th which is when we have the nice dinner and open our gifts.
  2. I’ve crafted an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. This year Paul still got it, next year it will be for Emma.
  3. Emma can put her shoe out in front of her room on December 5th as we celebrate Sankt Nikolaus (Saint Nick) on the 6th.
  4. I usually make an advent wreath: Every Sunday leading up to Christmas, we’re lighting another candle.
  5. Our house smells of Gluehwein or Punsch.
  6. We are eating lots of Stollen (please don’t call it fruit cake) and Zimtsterne.
  • Christmas is about people. Not (just) gifts. Even though gifts are my love language, I want to teach Emma to focus on her friends and her family instead of rushing around trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. Last year we decided to skip the gifts because I didn’t want to go into labor at the mall and we didn’t have much cash left after getting everything ready for the most precious gifts of all. But it was like someone cut out my tongue and I wasn’t able to speak.
  • Christmas is peace. Why bother with Christmas traditions if you can’t forgive or ask for forgiveness? I’ve been struggling with the loss of a once amazing friendship. As I am pondering over Christmas gifts, writing cards and praying for peace, I have reached out to my friend hoping for peace and forgiveness.
  • Christmas is quality time. Guess why this is my first blog post in December? I’ve been busy playing with my daughter, hosting play dates, visiting museums, getting together with other mommy friends for crafting activities and decorating our house with the help of my little elf. And instead of sitting at my computer at night when Emma is sleeping I’ve been spending more face time with my husband.
  • Christmas is not about spending money. I love to host, I love to make gifts, I love to decorate. All of which requires a bit of cash to make it nice. This is probably my first year, where I truly (try to) focus on spending wisely, making a gift shopping list and sticking to it. We also asked our families to refrain from giving us gifts this year. If they wanted to bless us, we’d love a contribution to our adoption fund.




  1. […] A Toddler To Be Thankful :: A Family Christmas Tradition November 14, 2012 Leave a Comment With Christmas being only weeks away, I wanted to share how we are hoping to teach our almost two-year old Emma […]

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