Invited to spend Christmas with a friend and his family in Germany

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Hi everyone!

 

A German friend who I've gotten quite close with while finishing our Masters and self-quarantining in New York City has invited me to spend Christmas with him and family in Germany. I'm very excited because I've never been to Germany before and have developed quite a crush on him haha.

 

For a bit of context, his family is Bavarian, we're both in our 20s, and I'm from Canada.

 

What do you think should I bring for them when I visit? Is there anything that I should be aware of? Although I've done some research into German Christmases (e.g. celebrating on the 24th, eating goose, it's a family time, etc.), it'd be amazing to hear some first-hand experiences from all of you!

 

P.S. He knows that we'll also be spending my birthday together, which is the day after Christmas (the 26th) :)

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When we lived in Canada, gifts for UK and German family members included:

Mountie or Chipmunk dolls for little ones,  smoked salmon, ice wine for others. They all seemed to enjoy Canadian themed, small gifts. Have to say I did my gift shopping at the airport shop!!

Have fun!

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1 minute ago, RedMidge said:

When we lived in Canada, gifts for UK and German family members included:

Mountie or Chipmunk dolls for little ones,  smoked salmon, ice wine for others. They all seemed to enjoy Canadian themed, small gifts. Have to say I did my gift shopping at the airport shop!!

Have fun!

Haha very cute!! I'll definitely take advantage of the duty-free shops at the airport ;)

(And bring ice wine, of course!)

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1 hour ago, confu said:

..has invited me to spend Christmas with him and family in Germany.

 

Given that his family is Bavarian are you going to be staying in / near the city of Munich or in some one-horse village half-burried under snow in the Alps?  Both will have their charms.

 

You might have to be a little careful about what you are allowed to import.

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13 minutes ago, HEM said:

Given that his family is Bavarian are you going to be staying in / near the city of Munich or in some one-horse village half-burried under snow in the Alps?  Both will have their charms.

 

You might have to be a little careful about what you are allowed to import.

 

Good question! I haven't confirmed the details yet, but he mentioned that he's from a smaller town close to Nürnberg--although he likes to go skiing haha. Do you think that affect things?

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Maple syrup generally goes down well.

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Just be aware that German men can be dark horses when it comes to romance and love. I met one years ago on a dating site and turns out he already had a girlfriend, which he mentioned after a number of “dates” and was only there to improve his English as it was an English-speaking dating site. I’ve heard similar stories from other women as well in terms of German men being misleading about their intentions.
 

In my experience, when a German man is interested, you’ll KNOW it. If you’re left wondering, chances are that he isn’t. Take it from someone who wasted way too much time trying to figure out if I was actually in a relationship or not 😅
However, when I met my now husband, it was CRYSTAL clear that he was interested in a relationship.

 
Although seeing as how sacred Christmas is in Germany, an invite it could mean something...

proceed with caution and don’t expect too much ;)

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2 hours ago, Santitas said:

Just be aware that German men can be dark horses when it comes to romance and love. I met one years ago on a dating site and turns out he already had a girlfriend, which he mentioned after a number of “dates” and was only there to improve his English as it was an English-speaking dating site. I’ve heard similar stories from other women as well in terms of German men being misleading about their intentions.
 

In my experience, when a German man is interested, you’ll KNOW it. If you’re left wondering, chances are that he isn’t. Take it from someone who wasted way too much time trying to figure out if I was actually in a relationship or not 😅
However, when I met my now husband, it was CRYSTAL clear that he was interested in a relationship.

 
Although seeing as how sacred Christmas is in Germany, an invite it could mean something...

proceed with caution and don’t expect too much ;)

Wow, that's misleading for sure! Luckily, this one is confirmed to be single. However, it seems like the line between platonic and romantic relationships in Germany is drawn a bit differently haha

 

I really do appreciate the advice though, Santitas! I don't have the most dating experience in general, let alone with Germans, so it's really helpful. I will proceed with much caution 😂

 

If you don't mind me asking, what did your husband do that made it so clear for you?

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4 hours ago, confu said:

If you don't mind me asking, what did your husband do that made it so clear for you?


He asked me to marry him 😂

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28 minutes ago, Santitas said:


He asked me to marry him 😂

Hahaha that definitely leaves little doubt!

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3 hours ago, confu said:

Hahaha that definitely leaves little doubt!

Yup. Dead giveaway!
Happy for you, @Santitas!

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On 9.5.2020, 18:34:44, confu said:

What do you think should I bring for them when I visit?

Since Nürnberg is not in the Alps, I doubt that there would be snow over christmas.

I would suggest you to bring cold weather and snow..

That would increase the Christmas feelings.

 

PS

Don't bring animal products, could cause problems at the customs.

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That's a lovely invitation! Christmas is beautiful in Germany and celebrated wholeheartedly in even the less religious regions. Bayern is still traditionally very Catholic. 

The four weeks before, Advent,  is marked strongly by cosy family and friend meet ups around the Advent candles with lots of Glühwein, hot soup and cakes. Christmas markets are everywhere.

Where I live there isn't much marking of the Twelve Days of Christmas. But things hot up again for Sylvester, New Year's Eve, which is huge here. 

Choirs and concerts are lovely at Christmas, I do hope by then we'll be allowed to sing and play ... 

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1 hour ago, Feierabend said:

Bayern is still traditionally very Catholic. 

But Nürnberg is part of Franconia and protestant. Franconia was only given to Bavaria by Napoleon as a reward for having supported him in his wars.

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3 hours ago, Feierabend said:

That's a lovely invitation! Christmas is beautiful in Germany and celebrated wholeheartedly in even the less religious regions. Bayern is still traditionally very Catholic. 

The four weeks before, Advent,  is marked strongly by cosy family and friend meet ups around the Advent candles with lots of Glühwein, hot soup and cakes. Christmas markets are everywhere.

Where I live there isn't much marking of the Twelve Days of Christmas. But things hot up again for Sylvester, New Year's Eve, which is huge here. 

Choirs and concerts are lovely at Christmas, I do hope by then we'll be allowed to sing and play ... 

Aww that does sound lovely! And very cosy :) 

 

I've never celebrated a "real" Christmas before since my immigrant family isn't religious at all haha, so I'm excited!

That said, fingers crossed everything will be closer to normal in the months to come. For better or worse, it doesn't seem that temperature has an effect on the spread.

 

1 hour ago, jeba said:

But Nürnberg is part of Franconia and protestant. Franconia was only given to Bavaria by Napoleon as a reward for having supported him in his wars.

Haha this is something that confuses me about German geography. While he described himself as Bavarian and seems to be Catholic, he wouldn't technically be Bavarian, right? If Franconia comprises the majority of the North of the province?

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3 hours ago, confu said:

Haha this is something that confuses me about German geography. While he described himself as Bavarian and seems to be Catholic, he wouldn't technically be Bavarian, right? If Franconia comprises the majority of the North of the province?

Don't get into all that stuff, it's just people being goofy.

Nürnberg is in Bavaria so he is Bavarian. Plus you said near Nürnberg, near is relative. I'm a 45 minute drive south of Nürnberg (south of the Weißwurstäquator) and it is quite Bavarian, and very Catholic.

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55 minutes ago, BobbyDigital said:

Don't get into all that stuff, it's just people being goofy.

Nürnberg is in Bavaria so he is Bavarian. Plus you said near Nürnberg, near is relative. I'm a 45 minute drive south of Nürnberg (south of the Weißwurstäquator) and it is quite Bavarian, and very Catholic.

Haha, thanks Bobby!

It does make me quite curious about the region's history and religious divides now :)

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2 hours ago, confu said:

Haha, thanks Bobby!

It does make me quite curious about the region's history and religious divides now :)

 

I don't know a single German person who goes to church here even though they are all supposedly Catholic. The kids do the first Communion thing and they enjoy all the Catholic holidays as do we. They pay their church tax so they can marry in the church, etc.

 

Of course, I only know about 100 people.

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

I don't know a single German person who goes to church here even though they are all supposedly Catholic. The kids do the first Communion thing and they enjoy all the Catholic holidays as do we. They pay their church tax so they can marry in the church, etc.

 

Of course, I only know about 100 people.

 

100 is a lot of people! I've only met 4 or 5 Germans here in NYC, and most of them have flown back home haha

That's kinda of a relief though, because I'm not sure how I would feel about spending the holidays in church 😂

 

I wonder if I'm overthinking things a little. We're just friends after all, and it's entirely possible that international travel won't be normalized any time soon...

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On 10/05/2020, 21:49:42, Santitas said:

Just be aware that German men can be dark horses when it comes to romance and love. I met one years ago on a dating site and turns out he already had a girlfriend, which he mentioned after a number of “dates” and was only there to improve his English as it was an English-speaking dating site. I’ve heard similar stories from other women as well in terms of German men being misleading about their intentions.

 

Heh, I had the same experience my first year in Germany. Met a girl at a house party, got on well, so invited her out. A few weeks, several dates, doing pretty date-like things. For evening activities she brought a friend of hers along, who was polite but rather cold to me, sometimes giving me stink eye. First warning sign, but I didn't know what to make of it then. German women were new to me, and I was getting used to what I would call strange or even rude behaviour, so eh, I rolled with it. Beyond that, I won't kiss and tell!

 

Then one day she wants to invite me to her house. OK, now it's getting interesting. It's for a party. Well, OK. For her boyfriend's birthday. Wait. What. The. Fuck?!? Yea, her boyfriend of like several years, they live together. He's turning 25 or whatever, so she's having a big party. No wonder her friend was so cold to me. I asked her straight up why didn't she mention she had a boyfriend this whole time? She had a sheepish look and didn't really answer.

 

I told a female German classmate and friend about it, and she couldn't explain either. Perhaps her conscious kicked in, but I assume I was just used largely for free English practice. Not for the last time either. 

 

I look back and kinda laugh now, but at the time it annoyed me.

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