Ok, here we celebrate "heiliger Abend", that means holy night.
It starts on the 24th as soon as it gets dark, about 4 pm now, the familie comes together at oma's place and we drink hot chocolate and eat her christmas cookies (the very best!!) and sing songs. then about 6pm the "christkind", christchild, brings the presents. Nobody ever saw this child, but as it leaves a little bell sounds, the children are allowed to go into the room where the christmastree stands, also brought by the christkind and the (real) candles are lit.
We sing silent night and one of the children reads the bible, the Luke evangelium, and so it happened ...............
Then everybody embrases each other and wish merry christmas and (thank God for the kids) the presents are opened.
After that we prepare the food together and eat baked fish (no idea what this fish is called in English, here it is called "Karpfen"), potatosalad, green salad, and a special salad "Sellerie" (no name for that either)
Desert is a hazelnut-Parfait with hot cognac-cherries. (delicious!!)
We drink lots of very good Austrian wines with the food and talk and tell stories.
The children eat and as soon as they are ready, may go and play with their new things.
Mostly we go tho midnight mass, but when it is too cold or the children are too tired, we go the next day.
O, I forgot, for the children there is a childrensmass on the 24 th at 3 pm, here the figures for the christmascrib are brought in and placed in the little chapel, with a lot of singing and happiness.
So all in all, it is a real family afair, very homey and easy going.
Each year though on the 24 th, there is a big charity-program nationwide and, either you give money or you go there yourself and help. Here they help disabled children, families who lost parents or came into trouble losing their housing, whatever.And of course the refugees get a good part of this money.
This year, at this moment, this charity got almost 80 million AS!!
So I am blessed and I know it!!
Have a great christmas yourself!
Take care, Renee