Over the holidays, my husband and I flew to the United States to spend the jolly Christmas season with his side of the family. To us, Christmas means family and is the most special season of the year. Join us on our travels. We are happy to have you with us.
Thirteen red and white stripes along with fifty stars waved in the early winter winds. The sun was just rising above Lake Michigan in Sheboygan and painted the sky in bright shades of gold and red.
It was 6am on December 25th, when we rushed downstairs where Christmas jingles and Christmas cheers set the tone of our family holiday. On the wooden dinner table, where we left out a cake with cookies and a glass of warm milk, was now a note with shaky handwriting: “Very interesting cookies. Ho. Ho. Ho. –Santa”.
(I assume that Santa was attempting to write with his left hand.)
Still in our jammies, we sat around the Christmas tree, which was ornamented with royal blue and silver balls. A chain of lights spiraled around it and a golden star throned its peak. Below, wrapped presents have been piled up like boxes in a Tetris game. My favorite pieces of decoration are the stockings hanging in front of the fireplace, which were now filled up with chocolates and bonbons.
It appeared to be everybody’s birthday as we all got a present. Traditionally to our family, the youngest hands out the presents. –It’s the beginning of our two hour long ritual. – The name tag on the boxes has our names, a seasonal greeting and from “Santa”, “Buddy, the Elf” or our pets “Fonzi and Gladys”. We open the presents clockwise and watch each other unwrap one present each at a time. Shake the box. Does it rattle? Is it heavy? It’s probably a drum set.
Even though presents appear to be a centerpiece for Christmas day, it’s not really about the presents. It is about what they symbolize. It’s the box that says “I think about you” and “I want to make you smile”.
The “Making Spirits Bright Event” in Sheboygan is the event to indulge in the bright Christmas feeling just a little longer. The drive-though Christmas garden displays 325,000 dazzling lights and can still be enjoyed until December 31st.
As this season lights our spirits up like no other, also check out Christmas Gardens Berlin.