?

Log in

No account? Create an account

All you ever wanted to know about GERMANY!

Deutsche Kultur


December 20th, 2009

I need Christmas advice! @ 05:42 pm

mw_europe:

I realize I left it kind of late, but now here it is the Sunday before Christmas and I haven't figured out what to give my neighbors.  These are people who we wave to and say Morgen or Abend to, help with putting their garbage cans out, talk about the weather, etc.  Not close friends for sure. 

We are probably known as "those Americans" to the rest of the people on the street, which is short.  There are only 7 houses that I would want to give something to. 

At home (i.e, Seattle or San Diego) we gave hand-made marzipans, cookies or fruit.  The first year we lived in Germany, the kids were here and we did make marzipan fruit, but the general reaction was fairly cool, I guess because marzipan is so common here.  The next year I made cookies, which were better received.

Now, this is a new neighborhood and I have a chance to do better.  The people are mostly single people and are older (that's to say, 60+), 3 quite old (i.e, about 90).  There are no young children or families.

So what do you think?  Wine? Cookies?  At this point, I'd have to buy whatever it is.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 
Share  |  |

Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:phqbethel108
Date:December 21st, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
(Link)
Cookies seemed to go over well with my German landlord. Especially "American" cookies. I think I made pretty everyday cookies like thumbprints and chocolate chip, gingerbread, and maybe some snickerdoodles. She brought me baked goods every so often, so I made cookies to bring to her.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mw_europe
Date:December 21st, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Our landlord doesn't seem to like sweet things. It's very odd: how can you not like sugar? But he has always shaken his head when I've brought him American muffins or cookies. The rest of the neighbors may not agree with him, but he says that Germans don't like things too sweet.

Every time he says that I ask myself who is buying all the sweets I see at the local bakeries!
[User Picture Icon]
From:zimtkeks
Date:December 23rd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
As far as I know, American muffins etc. tend to be sweeter than the German ones; maybe that's what he meant.
I still think homemade cookies are a great gift, though.

I'd never give presents to all my neighbors, by the way. I'd just wish them happy holidays. You must be really nice. :-)
[User Picture Icon]
From:ma_ca
Date:December 21st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
(Link)
I think cookied are fine, just keep in mind that crispy isn't very nice to old teeth ;D
[User Picture Icon]
From:nimielle
Date:December 21st, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Will you come and live in my neighborhood please? Pretty please? ♥

Seriously though, that's such a lovely thing to do. With our closest neighbours back home, we just put little bags of "Stutenkerle" and a chocolate Santa in front of each others doors during Nikolaus and for Christmas we have tea together and chat, there's also cookies (everyone loves cookies). Can I just say "epic fail" for those who didn't like handmade marzipan. That's just wrong to "not like"! Again, will you move in next door from me? My neighbours here and I, we chat sometimes, but besides actually wishing each other a "Merry Christmas" there's nothing in the form of christmas happening between us.

I'd suggest running to the shop, buying some of those nice bags (the one you always get cookies in from people, transparent, with little stars etc on them), buy some ribbons to go with the, mutilate some christmas trees outside where you live and tie those to the bags later. In the shop, just get any kind of nice, non too sweet Christmas candy, put all of the stuff into the bag, making it look good and then sort of make a loop out of the ribbon and just tie it to people's doorknobs, if that's how you want them to find it. Most awesome thing to find on Christmas morning EVER! Also, I'd generally recommend giving dark chocolates, because as far as I can tell from working in a chocolate museum, the older people get, the more they like darker chocolates. Depending on how much you want to spend on the things, you should check out stuff from Lindt, Hachez and Niederegger before all others. Lindt has some pretty spectacular Christmas chocolates (also dark and OMG, SOOO GOOD!) as well as Lindor (if you buy the nicely wrapped up ones, they always look nice in this kind of arangement and they also have different levels of sweetness), they also have "Gewürzmandeln" I think they are called, with milk and dark chocolates. Hachez mostly just looks nice, I can't really recommend any chocolates in particular and Niederegger has the best Marzipan and Nougat in Germany, as far as I know and can tell from trying myself.

I know my recommendation isn't exactly cheap, but since you were talking about getting those people wine etc. it didn't sound like that much of an issue. If money is a question, you could go to Aldi and buy Blatterkrokant, Baumkuchenspitzen, Marzipankartoffeln, Nougatzapfen and those little chocolate-y things with liquor inside, the liquor stuff is also really popular with older people. And well, traditionally, you could chuck in some Santa shaped candy and also some nuts and tangerines, nuts like Paranüsse, Peanuts and Walnuts are the most traditional and if you put in "Aachener Printen" which is technically gingerbread, you pretty much can't be any more seasonal, unless you buy a "Christstollen" to go with the thing as well.

Haha, sorry, my recommendation turned from something small to a gift-basket affair. D: Hope it still gives you inspiration.

Cheers and Happy Christmas!
[User Picture Icon]
From:mw_europe
Date:December 21st, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
thanks for the suggestion. I may print it out and take it with me to Aldi! I like the idea of hanging whatever on people's doorknobs....
[User Picture Icon]
From:nimielle
Date:December 21st, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That sounds like a good plan and honestly, Aldi has some pretty good chocolates actually.

Something that's a bit more expensive there, but also comes in all sorts of awesome flavours and types is the "Moser Roth" chocolate, they have like dark chocolate with oranges and almonds, dark chocolates with peppermint, regular dark, milk, nuts, lots of them, just check them out. (I am assuming you are going to go to an Aldi-Sued, right?). I've found Moser Roth has limited editions with pistachios and macadamia, pistachio is really really good!

Aldi also has Nougat, Gewürzmandeln (the ones with the powdered sugar on them), Spekulatius and just a word of advice, rather give them the "Printen", the "3 kinds" gingerbread things are nice enough, but everyone's eaten more than their fair share of them by now, also, filled gingerbread, is probably too sweet. I think I might be forgetting something, but what you've got on that list so far should be enough anyway.

I am glad you like!

Happy Christmas to you and I hope people like what you choose!

All you ever wanted to know about GERMANY!

Deutsche Kultur