I promised to tell you about a Campfire Tales tradition.
A few years ago, on a river cruise down the Danube during December, I discovered the joy of gluhwein at the Christkindlmarkt.
(Translations: mulled wine; Christmas Market.)
Once home, I sought out a recipe (this one, I think it was) and now I make it every year, particularly when it comes time to decorate the tree. Trust me — VERY Christmas-y!
- I use water, but add the juice of the peeled orange.
- Don’t spend big $$$ on wine, but don’t buy the cheapest. Expensive wine won’t add to this experience, but cheap wine can take away.
- Make the syrup for about 30 minutes. Then add the wine and heat just until hot.
- Recipe can be doubled/tripled/etc.
More importantly, please permit me to expound for a minute on traditions.
The thing about traditions is that they are shared. In my previous post, I mentioned that tradition is the opposite of foreshadowing — meaning, traditions are symbols that remind us of the story after we know how it goes.
But the story isn’t, “One time I floated down the Danube drinking sugary wine at Christmas.” The story is all of our lives and the lives of those around us, getting together (however you are comfortable with that, be it in person or on Zoom), and sharing an experience, and of ourselves.
Being together IS storytelling. That’s what we remember, special moments with people we love.
(Guess what? There’s more. Sharing special moments IS loving people. Ha! And here you thought you were only tolerating your family, when all this time you’ve been showing them love…)
Wishing you happy holidays, filled with traditions (or the start of new ones).
Cheers! ~ Chad