A different type of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas on our ship was way different from what we are all used to when we celebrate with our families. However, in every family, there are traditions and activities that make this time of the year special and we tried to organise some of our favourites on the Thor, too.

Baking a variety of Christmas biscuits together really gets me into the Christmas mood. That is why I was very happy when we got the chance to make some biscuits together with the members of our watch. We all know this from home, but in our daily routine on the ship it is difficult to find time. Besides a fitting time slot and space, we needed the generator to be running all day for the oven and last but not least the ingredients sparsely taken from our rationed food. Eventually, on a Sunday where there are no classes, we met in our watches and took over the messroom and part of the galley for a day. We made vanilla biscuits shaped as moons and some German biscuits which are made by squeezing the dough through a piping bag. It was all a bit different than making biscuits at home but it still brought about some Christmas feelings. The messroom smelt like cinnamon and warm biscuits. And there was Christmas music everywhere. Later, we were allowed to taste the fresh biscuits. They were so delicious.

In the afternoon of December 5th, we put our shoes in front of our cabins hoping that St. Nicholas would find us and fill them with sweets. And surprisingly, he came! In the morning of December 6th our shoes were filled with mandarins and chocolate.

Christmas Day came closer and on December 24th we crafted our own Christmas decoration in one of our project groups: colourful Christmas stars, Christmas trees made out of paper and we even decorated a Christmas tree which was placed on the main deck. There was a special Christmas committee and we planned the final details such as food, the organisation of the watches and the programme for the special night that Torge and Toni would host enthusiastically. We also decided on the image that we wanted to paint on the deckhouse and listened to, of course, some more Christmas music.

On Christmas Eve, the celebration started at 5 o´clock in the afternoon. We met in our most festive clothes on the poop deck. Alex warmly welcomed us with a few words. We stood together, drank tasty sundowners, shared stories, laughs and excitement. Suddenly, a bird passed our ship and it was the funniest view: It did not fly, but stood on a coconut calmly floating through the waves. We all laughed, let go of the last tensions and enjoyed the moment.

The whole night was a blast! The menu was certainly a highlight. Different courses had been prepared throughout the day. We had a salad as an appetizer and for the main course a typical German meal was served, a roast and crispy tofu with ´Knödel´ (German dumplings) some dark sauce and red cabbage. For dessert, we had biscuit rolls filled with a raspberry cream. But of course, there was more than just good food; there was a whole show that made our night very special and unforgettable. There were poems, theatre performances and comedy acts, all created and presented by different members of the crew. My personal favourite was the Christmas story acted out by the theatre group and the comedy sketch by Michi, Korbinian, Anna and Torge.

My most favourite moment was definitely seeing the happiness on everyone´s face when we all exchanged our handmade Christmas gifts.