EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It's Hodgepodge Wednesday again and time to team up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.
Take a look at her blog and join in the fun.  You can click on the link above and follow her instructions for participating. It only takes a moment and she is always asking intriguing and topical questions.  I look forward to seeing you there!

 1. What does it mean to have the 'holiday spirit'?
     Answer: Opening my wallet and giving till it hurts?  Bringing out the eggnog and putting the blindfolders on?   For me, it is being able to contemplate what Christ's birth has meant for us on earth.  God's grace is the true spirit of Christmas and it is good to be reminded that without it we would all be living without hope.  

2. What sits atop your tree (s)? Why?
     Answer:   A silver ornament that somewhat resembles a star.  It was a last minute purchase this year and nearly forgotten when I suddenly realized that all of my Christmas decorations were left back in the states. It has no meaning, but I'm glad I remembered to get it.  The tree would look rather bare without it :-D.

3. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?
    Answer:  Just yesterday after returning from Edinburgh, Scotland with my husband.  I was able to pull off an entire surprise as an early Christmas gift for him.  I booked flights, the hotel, a car, tickets to a concert in Glasgow, and two days with special friends at their home in Ayton, by the sea.  His bags were packed and he had no idea where he was going or why.  He was ecstatic and thanked me copiously for planning this getaway trip for him.  I patted myself on the back for being able to pull it all off without a hitch.  It was a great success!

4. Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?
    Answer:  Probably sight since there is so much to see, but my sense of smell is always predominate.  I'm loving the pungent and spicy scents of the boughs of evergreen and the tree at the moment.  I've enjoyed the sweet, heady smell of a home made Blackberry Gin, a crackling fire in the fireplace, the crisp fresh air from the Alps after a newly fallen snow, and the aroma of buttery scotch shortbread baking in the oven.   I will miss them all when Christmas is over.  

5. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?
    Answer:  Breadcrumbs.  German's slice their own bread and I'm always wiping up breadcrumbs from the cutting board.  I believe they breed and multiply at night while we're asleep.  The counter top is their playground and no amount of wiping will eliminate them all. I know.  I've tried!

6. What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Big meal? Breakfast tradition? Open the cookie tins and have at it? 
    Answer:  We like wine & canapes on Christmas Eve if we are home for the holidays.  A warm baked brie, Italian breadsticks, some Greek and Spanish olives, and lovely goat cheese in figs wrapped in proscuitto will do.  Generally speaking, we are normally traveling to see family so we don't often have this luxury.  

This year will we are having our first Christmas in Germany and we are planning to get together on Christmas Day.   Since our guests will be expats, like ourselves, we will most likely have a traditional sit down meal. At the moment, I'm leaning towards a juicy ham, scalloped potatoes, and a vegetable with lots of amazing wine.

7. What is the best thing about winter? 
     Answer:  I can store food on my balcony and save precious refrigerator space (German refrigerators are the size of the ones in most college dorms).  Oh, and we live in a penthouse on the top floor so all of the heat from the residents below us helps to lower our electric bill.

Other than that, the Alps nearby are mighty gorgeous in winter, but I still need to learn to ski!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Answer: I plan to start all of my Christmas shopping on Amazon today.  Say a little prayer for me to finish today too!


Joyce said...

I spent all day Tuesday on Amazon so I can relate. I'd like to come to your house Christmas Eve : )

And I'm so glad your trip went forward! I love Edingburgh...I'm glad he was so thrilled with it all.

Merry Christmas!

Judy said...

Amazon is the best! I did my share of shopping there this year!

Taylor said...

I loved the surprise trip you planned! Nice!

Good luck with the Amazon shopping. I did lots through Amazon this year, too!

Jill said...

I'm glad your trip went so well. You should be patting yourself on the back for that kind of accomplishment! : ) Happy shopping today, and I hope you get everything finished. (I hope I do, too.)

edshunnybunny said...

Your description of those holiday smells was heavenly!
Its interesting that German refrigerators are small...I wonder why?
I'm hoping that you holiday shopping on Amazon went well, too.

Cathy said...

My brother and sister-in-law lived in Germany for about 6-8 months and they told us about the little fridges too. I would imagine the balcony would be a big help in that situation. I hope all goes well with your online shopping.