The year is coming to an end. The last working day of this year was last Friday. Now that I can leave work behind me for the rest of this year, Christmas-Presents is the main subject. I have one day to go until christmas eve. Fortunately I have a lovely girlfriend which helps me in finding appropriate presents for the family. Most of the Family is hers anyway :-). Luckily, she bought a car lately, this makes finding a present for her a lot easier.

Tomorrow we will go to her uncle’s place for the annual christmas party. Most of her family from her mother’s side will be there. All in all about 20 People. It is nice to see the family gathered all together around a huge chrismas tree which is surrounded by presents. When I was a kid the main focus on christmas was the nice food, cookies everywhere and of course PRESENTS. Nowadays its still the nice food and loads of cookies, but also the mulled wine and the „getting together“ will be highlights of the evening. Last week mi girldfriends grandfather (Fathers side) celebrated his 81st birthday. On such occasions, the whole family comes together. This is a somewhat new experience to me as my family is schattered all over the world. Of course, you get together as well now and then, but usually only for weddings, christenings or funerals. Last time was the funeral of my Grandmother back in 1999. Since then I haven’t seen anyone of my family except for my cousin (he and his wife came to visit my Mum in 2006).

It is nice to see such family gatherings now and then. Although there always is a quarrel between some of the family members. But hey, you can’t choose your relatives, can you?

On her grandfather’s birthday I had a discussion with one of my girlfriend’s uncles and a cousin about such familiy-internal fights and quarrels. I roughly explained my point of view and that I can look at it from some distance, as it isn’t „my“ family. Both uncle and cousin said that I was somewhat wrong, as I belong to the family just like the others. They took me somewhat by surprise. But this means a lot to me.

Most of the time you hear that christmas is to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. Of course, Christmas is a religious celebration after all, but to me it is the time when you get toghether with the family. Also, I use this occasion to reflect on the past year, what has happened, what have I achieved and what will the new year hold in stock for me.

In this sense, I whish you all a merry christmas.