Happy New Year 2019!

Hello my beloved readership,

merry Christmas and a happy new year 2019! Every country, culture and religion has its very own traditions for these international celebrations. In the following I want to introduce you to the most important ones from the Armenian culture sharing my personal Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration and experience with you.

Ante-natal preparation intense class for couples, baby shower party, last weeks before maternal leave… Due to the baby Christmas was blue for us this year (you can try to guess the gender J) as if Christmas and New Year’s Eve time along with the preparations, from decorating to arranging gifts for your beloved ones, as well as celebrations (at work) connected with it would not be enough the end of this year was even without far travelling and sicknesses (thank God) more than busy enough for me. That not enough there was a whole lot of mixed and tensed feelings involved as well.

“Maybe you have to watch a beautiful Christmas movie first before pulling yourself together.”
– Fall4Me

Christmas – Rich In Any Way

Audrey Hepburn has a very famous saying that is: “Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist!”, if you think that the magic and miracle of Christmas is just touching people in kitschy Christmas-movies you are definitely missing one of the most important things in life: the belief in prayers and something higher than us. So, maybe you have to watch a beautiful Christmas-movie first before pulling yourself together but is that not better than not recognizing anything at all?
Personally, for me, it was such a Christmas-movie that I have watched, while my husband was at work and I have had a whole lot of household to do, that has given me the strength and wisdom that I needed to finally take the first step and do a call that was as tough as a final exam but in the end has broken a heavy state of heart and brought me back full happiness that I have been missing for more than a year. With that, my biggest wish for Christmas had come true.
I conclude that it indeed was not a bad idea that with a beautiful movie running beside lot of household is done much faster and easier. Especially because during that time I can dedicate myself best to my thoughts.

Usually Armenian girls are predestined to help their mothers with full effort for the preparations on the day of Christmas – while Americans are competing with their Christmas garden-decoration we Armenians are competing with our Christmas- as well as New Year’s Eve-tables: You cannot have enough

  • food
  • gourmets
  • delicacies
  • warm dishes
  • cold dishes
  • side dishes
  • meat
  • fish
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • cakes
  • drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)

et cetera on your table.

A traditionally rich set table for Christmas

If you are lucky enough to have a mother like mine, she spared me in my high-pregnant state leaving me with the easiest and fewest of work which has caused me a really bad conscience and worry about her doing everything all alone. The happier I was later on to know that my father and my brother have helped her this time.
On the other hand I could not complain since that had given me time to do important making-up-calls which took their time and were necessary and fortunately successful.
Nevertheless I have not remained idle, me and my husband had prepared very delicious cream puffs which we have brought with us to my parents’.

Homemade cream puffs

Other than us, in Armenia people are celebrating Christmas on January 6th, which is known as the old/ancient Christmas – Sylvester correspondingly on January 13th. Nevertheless as times have changed and so has the celebration. Therefore December 31st is Christmas as well as New Year’s Eve both in one for in Armenia and therefore nowadays a huge celebration. We, however born and grown-up in Germany are celebrating Christmas like many others all over the world on December 24th with gifts, family come-together and a rich set table even though with Armenian and Russian delicacies and keep the celebration of January 6th rather small.

Some must-have plates for Christmas or rather New Year’s are:

  • Main dish: Salmon (but for those pregnant of us who cannot stand fish something with meat for example: pork joint, duck, turkey or Kofta – which are kind of Caucasian meat balls)
  • Salades & Side Dishes: Salad Olivieh & Vinaigrette
  • Desserts: Cream puffs for Christmas doughnuts (as German tradition)
  • Side-dessert: very important nut mix

As last year we would have surely paid my husband’s part of the family a visit for December 25th but probably everything came to the right time with me being high pregnant and therefore unable to do such a long travel and tough stay. By that time I had still been in a clash with a part of this family and my husband taking party for me – as husbands are to do – as well stood in a disappointed position therefore we did not really have the motivation to travel there. But, thank God, we are living in the time of real-time-communication and video-calls so that you can be together from a distance if you have the will to.

Despite all the turbulences and hardships ahead everything was perfect for the holy night. Everything was peaceful and in harmony, beautifully decorated, very deliciously prepared and even the gifts were precious as usual in every way.
Hint: In order to escape the chaotic and overly full shops and streets I have bought and reserved most of the gifts online so that my shopping for Christmas gifts with a big baby bump was well-directed and short. In case you do not trust online-payment-services or want to pay after receiving the item most of the shops offer payments on account or even payment directly in the shop at pick-up.

Christmas gifts beautifully packed
We do not put our gifts right under the Christmas tree but on the extension of our selectional sofa in order to safe them from our dog.

Rich in every single way.

Johanna and husband Florian from Fall4Me in gold for Christmas
My look for Christmas thus baby bump: – Golden dress by Clockhouse/C&A – Basic top by New Yorker – Jacquard Pumps by Orsay – Earrings by Tosh – Lipstick by Debby
A Christmas tree decorated in white and silver
At least they could not take away my traditional task from me: decorating the Christmas tree.

From Sylvester To New Year’s Eve – Satisfied?

Preparations over preparations and celebrations. You hardly have time to collect enough sleep in order to be fit for the festivities, so when is there time left to dedicate yourself to your thoughts at the very last days of the year?

Sure, you can say that you do not need to leave this up to the very last minute but personally, I do not agree because anything can happen, even up to this very last minute. I believe that there might come something where I might say “this made my year!” That is why I keep my very own tradition and recap of the year this late.

These are:

  1. Creating a collage of my most favorite moments of the year to share in with friends – therefore I use my favorite self-done shot in the nature (of a sky, landscape et cetera) as background image.
  2. Very privately and personally just for myself: I am writing four (in total seven) little papers: in each one of the four I record
    – What was good about this year – what do I want to maintain for (at least) the year coming
    – What I do want to improve in the year coming
    – What I do want to take aim for and start with in the year – concerning projects
    – What was bad about this year – what do I not want to happen again.
    I copy the first three ones in order to keep them somewhere personal (while burning all others on the first day of the new year and let the ashes fade in the air) save and sound for one year so that I can go through them at the end of the next year again pull a conclusion. From the fourth one I do not need a copy because I want the bad things to burn and get away once and for all.

So, after all was made-up with everyone for Christmas and everything at home prepared to welcome the new year – I believe that even if you are not celebrating at home you should set a table and tidy up as God welcomes every home – although I could be more helpful to my mother for this event but I ended up between New Year’s Eve dinner and the countdown to write my papers later than late but still in time.

One thing I am still struggling about with myself is: am I satisfied with this year’s Sylvester? Thus the countdown I always feel like I am missing the hit of the new year. Apart from that within all the hectic I felt about this year’s congratulations pretty heartless but that may just be my impression.
Another thing that drove me mad was that I was looking forward watching a beautiful firework safely from our balcony in my exceptional state. As if one led to the other with the first time I heard about the discussion of fireworks being good or bad this time I was forbidden to even watch it the way I planned it since our neighbors from the other side needed to fire so awfully that it crossed danger for the first time I in all those years. That ruined my mood completely for the first hour of the new year. Nevertheless I basically like the firework and think it is essential. It is normal that at some places in the cities is forbidden but with that you traditionally fire away the bad of the passed year.

Sparklers as replacement of wild fireworks
Even without a glass in your hand and wild fireworks outside you can still wear a smile on your face.
Black, glitter and purple for Sylvester
Three labels that could not harmonize better with each other: – Shawl by s.Oliver BLACK Label – Dress & clutch by Orsay – Pumps by Buffalo – Watch by Chanel – Lipstick by Dr. Pierre Ricaud

Black, glitter and purple for Sylvester

Last but not least: I hope that you have had a satisfying year-ending and as result of that a great and encouraging start into the new year! Unbelievable(!) another decade is reaching its end… I wish everyone of you all and only the best for this year, lots of strength, health, wisdom, success, good luck, blessing and moments of joy. May everything you have taken aim for come true, so that in the end you can look back to a fulfilling decade, my beloved readership. At this point I want to thank you for your support, your loyalty, your kindness and love! I am looking forward to another great year with you full of fashion and inspiration (and definitely less or no more belated articles if possible)!

Love, Johanna

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