"Christmas in Austria"
I am from a family of ten children. We had no gifts, but we did have beautiful Christmas tree, which my Dad decorated behind the closed door.
My Mom always made a large pot of Potato Soup and fresh bread and a large Apple Strudel.
After all of us kids got cleaned up and dressed in our best clothes, my Dad would ring a little bell, which meant "Christkind has arrived" and we were allowed to go in and see the beautiful Christmas tree. My Mom would start out with singing Ave Maria and after that we all sang different Christmas Songs.
Later on, we visit some of our neighbours to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. The parents all sat together for coffee and us kids played games.
At 10:00 pm, my Mother would heat up "weisswurst" for us. After that, we went to the "Midnight Mass" in our little town. Since we lived a long way from the Church (about an hour walk), we had to start out early.
The most beautiful memory about the Christmas Midnight Mass was that at midnight a trumpet player would stand in the Church tower and play "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" and then we all walked home in knee-deep snow.
No gifts. No fancy food. But, a beautiful Christmas it was while I was growing up in a large family.
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