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A Nomadic Christmas

My Christmas is perhaps a little different from the average Japaneses.


As my family has spent a quite good amount of time in Germany and Denmark so, our Christmas traditions have become somewhat mixed. Every Decemberour house becomes adorned with small German figurines and decorated with Nisse(a mythological being from Nordic folklore as the picture shown below);as well as family members who travel in from different countries to celebrate the holidays together.


Let me break down my average Christmas Eve:

24th December – Dawn Breaks

Early Bird’ Syndrome runs in my familyso the house is already bustling to life by 7am. As Christmas Eve is such an important eventpreparations begin early. My familys Christmas dessert which is called Risalamande(otherwise known as rice and almond pudding as the picture shown below), gets made before noon as it needs time to cool in the fridge.


This is a very popular Scandinavian holiday dessert which might confuse a lot of Japanese:

Rice?! As a DESSERT?! Thats ridiculous!– dont knock it until youve tried it! Its very delicious!


The Afternoon – Let the games and drinking commence!

One fact you might not know about Germans is that we love board/card games. Every household owns at least a few card games as theyre a great source of entertainment and they can keep you occupied for a few hours. Pair that with some light alcohol and youve got yourself a fun afternoon!

Alsoin the meantimethe dinner preparations begin. Tonights menu: Raclette.


Evening – The Eve of Christmas 

Our Christmas dinner could probably feed a whole army. Its a feast: the biggest plate of mixed cheeses youll ever seea basket of fresh bread and a variety of smaller dishes encircling the Raclette grill. Its a sight to see!

After our bellies are full and the mountain of dishes have been washedwe move into the living room (in Europeits common to eat in the kitchen). There we exchange presents from youngest to oldest. We laughspout sarcastic comments and drink whilst concluding the night with another game.

Nowtell me:

how do you spend Christmas?



Published inNative Teachers


  1. Keiko Keiko

    Clara, I guess now you are counting down the days to the family gathering Christmas.
    Sadly nobody believes Santa Clause any longer in our family but everybody looks forward to the year end holidays 😉 Skiing !


      “Only 46 days left, but who’s counting? Haha
      I believe Santa does exist but there’s more than one: all of us! Whenever we give something to others, whether it’s in the form of a gift or time, we spread joy. And that’s what Santa represents during this season.? even though your kids don’t believe in him, I’m sure they love the season; after all, family is the greatest gift!