Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas Music

  Time for one of those question posts... What did your Luxembourger ancestors listen to around the holidays? I know there are some traditional songs, but I don't know what they were. My family, I suspect, may have mixed Luxembourger and German traditions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas Stockings

   It's a little hard for me to talk about Christmas stockings as a family tradition. I know what the stockings held - fruit and other small gifts, in an era when such things were a treat in the winter - but not what they looked like.
   For my generations, the stockings have varied with the years. We have one set of hand-made stockings, intended for specific people. But we also have several store bought sets that match other decorations.  Was this the model my ancestors followed? I'm not sure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: St. Nicholas Day and Black Peter

   I'm still somewhat annoyed I missed St. Nicholas day (somehow didn't realize it was the 6th until the very end of the day!). My family's one story about Luxembourger Christmas traditions relates to St. Nicholas Day. One of my ancestors talked about being frightened of Black Peter (St. Nick's evil sidekick). The site provides a good history of both here. While I have no interest in reviving Black Peter, I would love to see St. Nicholas come back. I relate more with him than with Santa Claus.

    Did you celebrate St. Nicholas Day? What about Santa Lucia? What would you revive?

You can read my previous posts on Black Peter here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Luxembourger Cookie Recipes?

   My family is completely useless as far as Christmas cookie recipes go. I suspect it's the product of a lot of intermarriage... (In my family lines, I have Irish, Scottish, German, French-Canadian, Luxembourger and English. ) Our only recipe that has been passed down is for butter cookies. Why? Because it was easy.
   I'd love to fill in the gap. Can anyone point me in the right direction for finding Luxembourger cookie recipes? :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tech Tuesday: Language Practice

  Like all of us, I study on a regular basis to  keep my genealogy skills up to date. Of course, when I first started doing this, I didn't envision that study would include language lessons. I'm now working hard to study French every day just to make sure those skills are up to date.
  How do I do that? In some cases, the same way I studied French to begin with: worksheets and textbooks. I've also found some great online sources. The site provides French lessons, reviews, and practice. The BBC also offers beginner courses. Of course, German is more useful for Luxembourg...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Calendar: Luxembourger Holiday Foods?

    This is one holiday area in which my family has absolutely no real traditions. Our Christmas foods have changed as our neighbors have changed...which means we've sometimes eaten Mediterranean food, sometimes Scandinavian. Each generation had typical year to year foods, but the parents' foods never matched the children's.
   That has always left me wondering: what are typical Luxembourger foods? Why did my family not replicate them?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Advent Calendar: Luxembourgers and The Christmas Tree

       Okay, I'll admit it. I've been bad. It's hard to keep up with posting when life gets crazy, and my life is definitely crazy. My Luxembourger research has gotten put aside so I can work on my Connecticut families... I'm doing too many projects. You know the drill.

     But the Geneabloggers prompt has gotten me thinking. Starting today, bloggers are using what they call "The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories." These are blog prompts on Christmas topics, taking you right up to Christmas. Christmas is when I'm most aware of my Luxembourger heritage, so I thought I'd dive right in.
  My family is rare for Luxembourgers: it's part-Luxembourger, part-German. As a result, our traditions are a little muddled. Some are Luxembourger; others German. And honestly, I'm not sure what comes from where.

  So here's my plan. Some days I'll share traditions. Others, I may be posing questions. I hope you'll jump in. I have a lot to learn.

    So, here goes! The Christmas Tree... As a little kid, I noticed that my family was the only one to open presents Christmas Eve. Apparently the tradition was to open presents, attend midnight mass, and then eat... And relax Christmas morning. Still our drill. Is that normal?