It’s beginning, as they say, to feel a lot like Christmas. I’ve always loved this time of year – even more so now it’s special for my little Christmas kinder – and it’s definitely magical over in this neck of the woods. My wanderings / waddlings through the glittering streets of Luzern are currently limited, but happily neighbouring windows are filled with Advent candles, sparkling lights (or stars, as the little miss calls them) and an increasing number of Christmas trees. We’ve gotten in on the action as well, counting down the days of the season.
(Incidentally, I am not sure how I parented prior to Advent calendar related bribes; the girl lives for the crappy promotional calendar her father received from work, and our lives are far simpler when she stops to think of chocolate consequences. Advent year round, anyone?)
Every year, my mother-in-law’s close friend hosts ‘Pudding Day’, an event much anticipated during the festive season. Family and friends gather at her house, usually around a month prior to Christmas, to do exactly what the name implies: make puddings. I have never attended but have happily been on the eating side of the equation many times. Although Christmas Pudding is not a Swiss tradition, it’s definitely a Purler one (I think Tim is still slightly disappointed there was none at our table last year), and so this year – fortunately armed with the Official Pudding Day Recipe – the inaugural Swiss Pudding Day was implemented. Naturally, my wee helper was in the festive (gingerbread batter stealing) spirit.
A few friends swung by with their little ones to measure, mix and assemble the puddings (and imbibe festive prosecco, of course). I’m fairly sure the wish Addie made while stirring the pudding was to eat only icing and sprinkles for lunch which, happily for her, came true.
To carry on with the cheer – and in contradiction to the advice of the hospital to stay within about twenty minutes of Luzern until the bubba arrives – we rebelliously hit the road to visit the Christmas markets in Einsiedeln (a whole forty minutes away. Living on the edge, me). Touted as the best markets in our vicinity, we weren’t disappointed as we pulled in to the bustling town.
Centred around a Benedictine Abbey, the town also boasted the ‘largest nativity scene’ in the world. I was imagining a giant-sized cradle filled with a terrifyingly large Baby Jesus, but they meant largest in terms of scope. A panoramic scene, complete with models, the nativity took over six years to create and is a geographically accurate representation of the holy land; all figurine’s joints were fully moveable and all animals were carved from single pieces of wood. It was impressive, but having promised Adelaide enormous cows (with matching enormous ‘mooooooooos’) I am afraid I under delivered slightly.
The markets themselves were fab, though, and filled with exactly the right amount of Christmas fun times (by which I mean every third stand sold glühwein).
Like the enormous Baby Jesus, there was happily no sign of our own baby, and other than meat-on-stick sword fights the afternoon passed merrily. Tonight, we’re preparing for yet another Swiss Christmas tradition: Samiclaus is due to pay us a visit. He leaves good (cough heavily bribed) children peanuts, clementines, chocolate and gingerbread in their boots, which are left outside the door the night prior. Addie has nodded off to sleep saying ‘shoes, cake, shoes, cake’ so I rather think said bribes might have worked their magic.