How I Celebrated My Birthday/Christmas in Schufpheim, Switzerland

Have I told you that my birthday falls on Christmas Day, too?

Yep, I’m a Christmas baby, born at around 5am on December 25.  Since I was a kid, I always thought that my birthday celebration extends to two weeks – not realizing that the second week was already about the new year. Lols!

Now that I’m way older, it has become less fun and more like a chore actually.  That’s because being the eldest, I’m always the one planning how our family will spend Christmas and my birthday.  It can get tiring too, as the years went by.  So I kinda began a personal tradition of trying to celebrate Christmas a.k.a. my birthday away from my family.  I know that sounds weird or uncommon.  But it’s just one of the consequences of being a Christmas baby I guess.  You know, the need to be able to celebrate it alone myself, or being able to do special things I like to celebrate and feel my birthday, instead of having a grand celebration with everybody in the world. #dramamuch?

Anyway, so since I was in Europe this Christmas, I planned to celebrate it in Switzerland with my good friend Cherry’s Swiss German family – just to spice things up and make things different. (Hi, Cherry!)

And I had a very wonderful time with their family.  First off, on the Christmas eve, there was a formal dinner celebration complete with all the works. They served us some traditional Swiss pastry with mushroom gravy and veggies (and rice, since we’re Asians, lol!)

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Let’s take a moment to admire my dinner plate setting please.  I even have my name on it!
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Christmas eve dinner is served!

That was a very interesting and tasty dinner, I have to say.  And everything is served one at a time – you know, appetizers first, then the mains, then dessert.  Along side it, we were served with either wine or champagne.  It was a great feeling being part of their family that night. I really felt the warm welcome.

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That’s our dinner table with Linaw and his Uncle Domi by the table

After dinner comes the opening of the gifts. But wait, there’s more! They have some kind of tradition where they hide the kids somewhere in the house while they light up each candle of the Christmas tree. Once done, all the kids are invited into the living room and everyone sings Christmas carols.  It’s funny how we knew the songs, but since they were singing in German, we couldn’t join in.  So I just hummed along quietly while watching the whole family.

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a real Christmas tree with real candle lights!

And then, it was time to open the gifts! We weren’t expecting to receive any, but hey we got some, too! But of course, we got them some polvoron from the Philippines and a panetonne which we bought from Milan.

Right after that, we went to mass at around 11pm.  It was in Schufpheim’s local church and as expected, everything was in German.  But we didn’t mind at all, it was something different.  I also enjoyed listening to the big choir upstairs singing Christmas carols complete with all the right instruments – you know, violin, cello, piano, the works!

On Christmas day, we had cheese fondue for lunch.

Oh my gosh! Cheese fondue! Can I say it was my best meal in my Europe trip ever??? I love cheese so much, and seeing that big pot of melted hot cheese where I can freely dip my bread and savor all the cheesy gooey flavor –ooh, it was indeed Christmas and birthday lunch!

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can you checkout my happy face?

On Christmas day, Cherry also brought us to do a children’s trail up in their mountains.  Sadly, there was no snow at the time. It was so sunny! Just imagine if there was, it could’ve been perfect already. Still, it was a full Christmas day! I am saving all the pictures about that for another post.

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our little hike up the mountain (or hill?) Thank you, Cherry!!

And lastly, here’s a family photo with the lovely, gracious and kind Marty family who welcomed us into their home to celebrate Christmas with them.

Thank you so much!!!

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our family picture after toasting to my birthday

It was a very different, yet lovely Christmas experience indeed. And just because of that, I love Switzerland.

-CHRYZTYNERS-

 

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