December in our street is pretty amazing, everyone puts lights up in late November and they all switch on, on December the first.
In our street we have people from all over the world and we all share our celebrations.
On December the fifth we have Krampusnacht. Our neighbour dresses up as Krampus and wanders up and down the street looking for naughty children. He dresses up in horns and a mask and we dance wildly in the light of the moon. His wife brings us pfeffernüsse and gingerbread men.
Sixth of December is Saint Nicholas day. He was a great gift giver and if we leave our shoes out on the doorstep, Saint Nicholas fills them with sweet treats.
On the eighth of December we can hear our Buddhist neighbours when they chant in celebrating the day of Enlightenment on Bodhi day. They stay up all night and then they meditate so they become very quiet. When they share food it is vegetarian.
On the thirteenth of December all the girls in the Norwegian family down the road dress in long white gowns with a circlet of leaves on their heads and they sing beautiful songs to Saint Lucy or Santa Lucia. They carry lit candles in a procession down the street to attend church. We all stand outside and watch and they give sweets to the little kids.
We have a carols night in our street and sing songs by candle light. It is usually on the weekend before Christmas and most of the neighbours join in.
On the 21st of December we all stay up late and bring out our telescopes. It is the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest night here. Some of the Christian people go to church and the pagan people dance in the street with guitars and drums. Sometimes our Jewish neighbours have Hanukkah and light candles in their menorah but the day is not always the same for them.
Lots of people come to our street to see the lights on the houses and it gets crowded but it is so much fun seeing all their happy faces.
Some people put their Christmas trees up at the beginning of the month and the lights twinkle through their windows every night but other don’t decorate until Christmas eve on December 24th.
Yuletide starts on December 25th in the cold middle of Europe a long time ago they used to bring in a big log and burn it for the 12 days of Advent or Christmas until January the 6th but in our street we have a party and everyone brings something to eat and we put bright cloths on picnic tables. Someone always makes a Yule log cake and it is delicious. If it is a hot day we all go to the beach.
December 25th has lots of celebrations. It is Christmas for the Christians and most of them give gifts to each other and have their family travel from far and near to share big feasts with them. The Newtonians in our street are some science and computer geek guys who either don’t believe in religion or are sceptical so they celebrate with pizza and philosophy and drink toasts to Newton whose birthday in the old calender would fall on this day.
Everyone waves and drops on by and many chairs are put out in the front yards so people can sit and chat about this and that. They talk about festivals old and new and children run about showing off their new toys. Christmas is my favourite time in the street. There are lots of new people; bright lights and all the food I could possible eat.