It is our second Christmas in Germany, and I can’t decide if I prefer the simple white lights used as Christmas decorations here, or the multi-colored ones of North America.
I think the white ones are a remnant from the days of wax candles – you didn’t have the options electricity gives. The displays here aren’t as colorful as the ones I am used to, but there is still a certain beauty involved.
The Christmas tree goes up in the Sulzburg market square at the beginning of Advent, a reminder of the impending birth of the Christ-child. I know the practice has pagan roots, but for the last 500 years or so the decorated tree has been associated with Christmas.
We don’t have a tree in our apartment. I thought about getting one, but talked myself out of it. I figured if I bought a tree, then I would need to buy a tree stand. Then I would need to buy ornaments and lights. We have all that in Ottawa, but Ottawa is far away.
Worse, after Christmas was over, I would have to find a spot to store those ornaments and lights. German apartments don’t usually have closets, for clothing or anything else. We do have one small closet, but it is rather full with suitcases, seasonal clothing and food (it doubles as a pantry).
So the tree in the market square is the closest we will come to having a tree this year. It is too big to fit into the apartment. It is beautiful to look at though, both in the day when you can admire it as a giant fir, and at night when it is magically lit.