Christmas in “Classroom under sails” style

The feeling, when Christmastime is coming, is probably the best of the year: When you put on music and the first song you hear is “Last Christmas”. When you go downtown and everything you see are Christmas lights. When you go to the supermarket and all the candies you see are Christmas cookies. When you look out of your window and all you see is snow. All these things were just usual for my whole life. But now, 16 days before Christmas and 23 days before New Year’s Eve, this typical feeling just isn’t here. On board, all the Christmas songs you hear, are sang by ourselves. When everything you see is the wide, blue ocean with its white horses on the waves. When it is tea time and instead of cake gingerbread is offered. When you look out of a bulleye and waves splash against it.

This is Christmastime in “Classroom under Sails” style.

In fact, before we started our journey, I was scared that Christmas wouldn’t be celebrated the same way as at home – and what should I say, it is correct.  But actually it´s just different and I mean that absolutely in a good way. At home, sometimes I have the feeling that Christmas is a reason for stress and something that is connected with high expectations, but here it is different. Different like everything else. Christmas is just relaxing. For example, in the evening we sat together, played the piano and sang songs, Christmas themed ones and normal ones, it depended on our mood. Back to the song part… As I’m writing this I’m humming the melody of “Bald ist Nikolausabend da” (translation: St. Nicholas evening is near) and as it happens to be, that’s the perfect transition to today:

What’s so special about today? Maybe you asked that yourself? Well, probably not because it’s the 6th of December and that means: St. Nicholas. You wake up and the first thing you think about is what tasty treasures may be in your shoe. And surprise, surprise: One chocolate figure of Santa, some peanuts and a very, very tasty mandarin. So that’s pretty cool and that’s one of the things that are kind of the same as at home.

Another typical tradition which is kind of the same as at home is our wreath with candles. The standard variant would be way to boring, ours is made out of ropes instead of tree needles. But to keep the traditions, candles (of course not real ones but with electric, because fire on board might not end so well) are lit on every advent. All of the candles are coloured different. Another addition to the wreath is the decoration: typical Christmas ornaments. At home I would have said the ones we have are ugly but at the moment these 10 spheres are a daily reminder of enjoying the Christmas time at home. 

And do you know what’s also special about Christmas on our ship? Our homemade or better our ship made advent calendar. Everyday, one or two crewmembers may open one gift card for extraordinary things and activities inside. You can redeem your card on any day, it depends on how and when you like to do that. For example, someone can pick a day, where you get a hot chocolate with clotted cream delivered to your bed early in the morning. Or another student is allowed to use the ship’s galley to bake his personally favourite Christmas cookies. Well, actually, when we baked cookies together,  we mostly ate the (cookie) dough before we had the chance to bake it. All in all, we had a lot of fun together and that’s definitely the most important part about Christmas, and absolutely the most important thing about our whole.