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A Catalan German Christmas

Marc, Catalan, and Elke, German, reside together in Berlin with their daughter Matilda. This year they will spend their first Christmas in Catalonia.


22 December 2010 10:50 PM


ACN / Neus Pérez

Berlin (ACN).- \u201C100% Catalonia\u201D. This is what the Christmas season means to Marc Llop and Elke Schü?ler, a Catalan-German couple living with their daughter Matilda in Berlin. This year, they will spend Christmas in Mollerussa (next to Lleida) with Marc\u2019s family. Matilda, who is not even a year old, will celebrate Christmas for the first time in Catalonia. But it will be Elke\u2019s first Christmas in Catalonia as well. The Catalan caga tió, the Three Kings and the German Christmas cookies 'Plätzchen' will all be part of the family\u2019s Christmas this year.

This Christmas will be a special one for Marc, Elke and Matilda. It will be Matilda\u2019s first Christmas and Elk\u2019s first Christmas in Catalonia. Marc will return home for the holidays after spending the past year in Berlin.

If Germany and Catalonia were to have a Christmas competition, Catalonia would win. \u201CWe are spending Christmas at home in Mollerussa. Our German grandparents are here all year, so for Christmas\u2026there wasn\u2019t any discussion\u201D, explained Marc. Elke agreed with him. \u201CMarc\u2019s parents do not get to see the baby often, so of course we are spending the holidays in Catalonia.\u201D

Elke\u2019s parents, who live in Bavaria, are able to see Matilda more often. \u201CMy parents are sad that we won\u2019t be coming for Christmas. Especially because of the little one, if it was just me\u2026they wouldn\u2019t care\u201D, joked Elke. \u201CMy mom is hoping that we won\u2019t be able to fly due to snow and we will have to come home to her house\u201D, she added.

\u201CFor me, I cannot imagine Christmas here [in Berlin]\u201D, said Marc. \u201CWe will probably always spend Christmas in Catalonia. It is very far and we will go for vacations\u201D, said Elke. Elke has been informed that the caga tió will give the gifts this year. \u201CThe log will give the gifts. I have been told that it is ready and that grandpa is prepared\u201D, she commented. 

In Mollerussa, the Llop family will celebrate Three Kings Day early and not on the 6th of January. \u201CUnfortunately this year we have to make some kind of invention because we cannot stay until Three Kings Day. We start work again in Berlin on the 3rd of January\u201D, explained Marc. Marc hopes that one day Matilda will be able to see the parade.

German Christmas traditions

In Germany, \u2018Christkind\u2019 (the baby Jesus) is in charge of the children\u2019s\u2019 gifts. But Elke does not think it is absolutely necessary for Matilda to receive gifts from \u2018Christkind\u2019 too. \u201CNot necessarily, this year we will see how they celebrate in Catalonia\u201D, she stated. She has learned about the traditions of the caga tió and the caganer, which she does find \u201Ca little strange\u2026but fun\u201D.

Some regions of Germany, such as Bavaria, celebrate Three Kings Day. But in Germany the kings do not bring gifts as in Catalonia. Instead, they go from home to home singing songs and write their initials and the date on each door.

In Germany, preparing for Advent- prior to Christmas-time- is much more intense than in Catalonia. Most homes have an 'Advendkranz', a fir wreath with red candles, one for each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas Day.

This year, Elke has not had time to decorate the house. \u201CSince we will not be here on Christmas Eve, I think it is important that we continue the tradition of Advendkranz," explained Elke. She wants to teach German Christmas traditions to Matilda, but not until she gets a little older. This year she made the German Christmas cookies 'Plätzchen', which will be travelling with them to Mollerussa.


  • Elke, Marc, and their daughter, Matilda (by N. Pérez)

  • Elke, Marc, and their daughter, Matilda (by N. Pérez)