Hello, I’m Jenni, and I live in Edinburgh with my husband and two boys, aged 4 and 8. I write a family lifestyle blog called The Bear & The Fox, with a focus on family friendly craft ideas, recipes, travel tips, and kids books. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Real or fake tree?
Always real! I’m originally from Germany, and everyone there I know has real trees. My parents even put real candles on theirs!
Christmas pudding or chocolate log?
I have to confess, I’m neither a big fan of dried fruit nor of chocolate cake, so can I have some trifle instead?
Sprouts or no sprouts?
I love sprouts, I’ve been eating them since they started hitting the shops in Autumn. For Christmas we spruce them up with pancetta and chestnuts, after one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes. My kids won’t touch them, but that just means more sprouts for me!
Presents in morning or afternoon?
In German tradition, the main celebration is on Christmas Eve, which is also when you would open your presents. Since we now combine German and British traditions in our family, we open half of our presents on Christmas Eve, and the other half on Christmas Day after breakfast.
Santa or Father Christmas?
Santa. And on Christmas Eve we are visited by the German gift bringer ‘Christkind’ (which literally translates as ‘Christ Child’ but is usually envisaged as a Heavenly angel type character).
Ginger bread or sugar cookies?
Well, we’ve baked sugar cookies six times so far this Advent…
Coloured lights or white lights
Always white lights. I can’t remember ever having coloured ones.
Angel or star on top of tree?
Neither! We have a ‘Christbaumspitze’, which translates as ‘Christmas tree point’ – it’s like a big silver bauble but with a tall pointy bit on top.
Hot chocolate or mulled wine?
Hot chocolate with the kids, and then a nice mug of mulled wine once they are in bed! In Germany, we also have an amazing variation on mulled wine, where a sugar cone is soaked in rum and set alight, and the melting rum-infused sugar drips into the mulled wine. It’s called ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ and you can get it at the Christmas markets there.
How will you be celebrating Christmas?
It’s just the four of us this year. On Christmas Eve, we’ll be going to a service at the German Church here in Edinburgh in the afternoon, and afterwards we’ll have ‘Bescherung’ which literally translates as ‘the gifting of presents’. Then we’ll eat potato salad and sausages, and watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. On Christmas Day, we’ll open our stockings in the morning, then have a full Scottish fry-up and open the rest of our presents after breakfast. Sometime in the afternoon we’ll have our Christmas dinner, after a nice long winter walk (weather permitting). We never have the full turkey and trimmings, but we always cook something special. This year we’ve decided to have duck.
Come back tomorrow for DAY 24 and see who our next blogger is!