Christmas Lesson Learned

Last year, we had a really lovely Christmas vacation in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We decided that since we couldn’t do a traditional Christmas, we’d do it exactly how we liked. And it worked out very well. We’ve learned that Christmas is what you make of it–and that doesn’t always mean doing it the “right” way.

This year, we thought we’d try it again, but, given that we had no idea what our long-term situation would be, we tried to spend a little less on the “ferienwohnung” than the year before. And, for the same reasons, we waited too long to make a reservation, so we didn’t have a lot of choices available. So, we found a place on airbnb that looked OK.

As it turns out, that was not the best plan. This year’s apartment is clean and everything (and the heat is working now), but really small, very strangely decorated (even for Bavaria) and awkwardly designed. Actually, it is two hotel rooms that they decided to put together and call an apartment. So, much of the listed square footage is the hallway between the two rooms and not usable.

My son put it best: "what the heck is that?"
The decor goes a bit beyond the usual antlers and taxidermy. As my son says, “what the hell is that??”

There’s no space for us to spread out, and now that we are four adults, we really need to spread out! Nowhere for us all to watch movies together either, which is what we like to do at Christmas. (And, for various logistical reasons, I’m sleeping between two snorers, argh.)

TV placement FAIL.
TV placement FAIL.

We’re making the best of it, but the two introverts, especially, are suffering! It’s nothing personal, you understand, but we just need to get away from people for a little while every day. And I am not crazy about crowds. We went into Munich yesterday, and that Christmas market crowd was a bit much.

So, today, the two extraverts are going skiing on the Zugspitze, which should take all day. My introverted son and I are going to completely ignore each other, which makes us both very happy 🙂 I’m going on a long hike with headphones and my camera, and he’ll do, well, whatever it is he does. Maybe I’ll take him out for a dunkelweizen in the afternoon if I’m feeling sociable again by then.

A day of peace and quiet–the perfect early Christmas gift to both of us! I am sure we will be completely restored by the time we all crowd into the apartment again this evening.

The morals of this story are: 1.) if you are going to spend Christmas somewhere, and your kids are old enough to fend for themselves, rent a big apartment even if it costs a fortune! And, 2.) Give your family introverts a little space now and then and you will be rewarded with smiles when you get back.

We’ve decided to go back home on the 26th, two days early, just to get out of this weird apartment. Also, my son really wants to get home for his girlfriend’s birthday–we were planning on putting him on a train back to Vienna that day, anyway.

Fortunately, the landlord was unable to redecorate the view.
Fortunately, the landlord was unable to redecorate the view.

So, OK, lesson learned. But, Garmisch is still a nice town in a lovely setting. We have a reservation at a great restaurant here for Christmas dinner tomorrow. I loves me a hearty Bavarian meal for Christmas dinner–and no dishes afterwards! It’s supposed to snow, too, so maybe we can go hiking in it. And I’ll figure out a way for us all the watch movies together on Christmas if I have to rearrange all the furniture in the place to do it.

We’ll just appreciate home more when we get back!

One comment

  1. I enjoy reading your blog posts. They are very entertaining and interesting. This sounds like a fun way to spend Christmas minus the awkward layout. My husband works for DOD and we spent over four years in Japan. I love all your overseas stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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