From my childhood in Germany, I remember the ADVENT KALENDER. From December 1 to Christmas Eve day each number on the calendar had a little door (paper flap) and each day you would open one of the doors to a picture of the season: snowfall, Christmas ornaments, Angels, Stars, Candles, Cookies and so forth.

On Christmas Eve, we all (kids, parents, grandparents, uncles & aunts) gathered ‘round the WEIHNACHTSBAUM (Christmas Tree), exchanged gifts, wished each other happiness and sang LIEDER (songs) such as OH TANNENBAUM or HEILIGENACHT (Holy Night). One of my grandfathers played the mouth harmonica for background music. I can still smell it just thinking about it: apples and chestnuts roasting on the stove.

Peace to all,
Eric Carle