I spent Christmas in Berlin, Germany and it was fantastic. Here’s why.
Merry (belated) Christmas from Berlin y’all!
Liebling and I flew here on Friday, trading in the dry, cold weather in NYC for wet, considerably warmer climes here in Berlin. There’s no snow on the ground and to be honest, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas without the white stuff!
Freaky weather aside, we’ve been spending the last few days basking in the German-ness of Deutschland… and eating (a lot). Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent sitting around tables stuffing our faces.
But more importantly, did I mention that the fam jam is here with me in Germany? My mom flew in from Toronto and aunt and uncle flew in all the way from Seattle to celebrate Christmas in Berlin.
I often say that my favourite part of travel is not the sights you see (the Brandenburg Gate is spectacular even in the rain!) but meeting locals and discovering how the lives they lead differ from your own!
Spending Christmas in Berlin with my German in-laws has thus been a great learning experience, for all involved. At the dinner table over the last days, the level of cultural exchange has been unreal. Amongst other things, we’ve discussed the customs and politics and food from our respective countries and cities, all the while noting how our ideologies and beliefs have been shaped by where and how we grew up.
Breaking bread, literally and figuratively.
There’s been a lot of laughter and use of Google Translate, but also so many moments of understanding and gratitude for having had the means and opportunity to make this trip happen. As someone who has lived in many different countries but still feels strongly connected to home, it was so awesome to give my family a taste of why I love living abroad and exploring “The Other’s” culture.
It was also satisfying to give my in-laws more perspective on who I am and where I come from.
Of all the gifts I’ve received this holiday season, this was by far the best one.
Happy holidays! How have you been spending these last days of 2016? If you give gifts this time of year, what is the best gift you received?