Christmas in Berlin (for those of you who aren’t on Instagram)

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

-Charles Dickens-

I always get sad around Christmas, but it’s not why you think. I miss my family and friends, of course, but we didn’t really have those traditions that make the festive season anything more than…you know, *whispering suggestively* that time of the year.

If I ever have a family of my own, I’ll rectify that with all manner of sparkle.

There are a whole number of factors, and some history behind it to boot, but it probably wouldn’t be very prudent to detail it here. Being back in the northern hemisphere, I have something else to consider…lack of sunlight. We’re in the middle of Berlin winter now, and the sun goes down around four in the afternoon, and I think this is what’s at least partially responsible for this latest extended bout of insomnia.

The holidays make me panic. Quick! Find someone who I can bond with, if only temporarily, and vicariously absorb their family’s festive cheer before you resort to emptying a bag of snyder pretzel bits and watching Love Actually on your portable hard drive!

(But mostly I get caught up in a Dickens novel, glaze a ham and play something on the piano.)

But I’m doing something a little different this year. Christmas Eve I’ll spend with a fellow Aussie doing the traditional orphan’s Christmas, and Christmas Day I’ll volunteer at the refugee shelter in Mitte. I won’t go anymore into it, because I’ve never done it before so I don’t know what it entails or if it’ll be a great experience, though I’m hopeful. I just think it’s important. And people keep telling me that Christmas is about looking out for each other…so why not? After all, if it’s good enough for Dickens…

New Year’s Eve I’ll spend on the side of a mountain in Salzburg, Austria…breathing fresh air and twirling in a blue peasant dress a la…


And while Christmas still makes me sad, and while I still miss the sun (God, how I miss it)…there is joy to be found at the Christmas markets in Berlin. After a traumatic week (being followed home by a guy from the gym and ditching him in a grocery store U-Bahn stop) and some insular time to recover yesterday, I ventured out into them this afternoon. I watched so many happy people drink mulled wine, play with their children, eat bratwurst and buy gifts for loved ones. These are memories worth keeping.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. And I wish you all a Merry Christmas.



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