Merry Christmas!!

Christmas at my home

It is the beginning of December, outside it is getting dark again early, the first ice flowers adorn the windows and you can literally already smell the snow. The roads and houses are decorated with fairy lights and Christmas decoration and the smell of mulled wine, tangerines and gingerbread lingers in the air. For me that means the quiet time of the year begins.
Despite the cold months, the Advent season always makes me feel warm all over. Today I am happy to tell you how Christmas is being celebrated at my home and which Advent customs and traditions must not be missing in families from the Brixental valley.

Decoration is important

Adventkranz© Johannes Felsch

Everyone who knows me knows that I am an absolute fan of Christmas. It goes without saying that a typical Advent calendar and a traditional Advent wreath with four candles are part of the standard decoration and should not be missing. A candle is lit every Sunday in December. Never before! 😊
Some people do this on Saturday evening, light several candles on the wreath beforehand or light the candles alternately so that they burn down nicely at the same time. That would be an absolute no-go for me! 😊😊

In the Christmas bakery

Keksteller© Sandra Kruckenhauser

I love Christmas because, among other things it is family and relatives time. So, my mom always invites to the big biscuit baking at the end of November or the beginning of December. Together with mom, grandma and my sister, three generations will then be behind the stove and “woigln” (as rolling out the dough is called in the dialect) what it takes. After all, it is important to create at least 9 different types of biscuits, which are then distributed to the rest of the family members and eaten with coffee or tea. As it is likely in any family, with so much age difference in the kitchen, there are sometimes minor differences of opinion. But as soon as the generation conflict "Grandma’s secret recipes vs. Thermomix recipe book “ is settled, production in our Christmas bakery is running like clockwork again.

Is the crib in order- all is in order

Krippe© Johannes Felsch

My dad's sanctuary is his self-made nativity scene, which he made a few years ago in the nativity scene building course. It is always proudly set up at the beginning of Advent. He places the wooden figures of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus meticulously in the middle and of course angels, shepherds, ox and other animals should not be missing. The traditional star on the crib stable serves as a guide for the shepherds on their way to the stable and on Epiphany Day the Three Wise Men join them. In our region there are of course a wide variety of cribs. Depending on the taste, the most different types are set up in the Tyrolean families. The most common ones are certainly the oriental or the native nativity scene. On January 7th it will be dismantled and stowed away safely until next year.

The relatives arrive...

Once during Advent we meet for a big family Christmas get-together. This day is all about food and drink 😊. In addition to unique and extraordinary Christmas outfits with which we measure each other, chestnuts, mulled wine and Advent snack, we are all looking forward to the famous baked apple dessert, which has already become an annual tradition. An absolute highlight, and the reason why I mention the family Christmas party here, is without a doubt the visit to the so-called "Uklöpfler". Because what would Advent be without contemplative music?

The “Anklöpfeln” which means “ knocking on” is a tradition in Tyrol. Dressed as shepherds, the “Anklöpfler” or “Uklöpfler” as we call them, go from house to house in Brixental and recite songs to match the Christmas season. This is intended to convey contemplation and is definitely a moment to pause. The "Uklöpfler" collect voluntary donations for a good cause.

Anklöpfler in the Kitzbühel Alps© Kitzbüheler Alpen - Brixental

Let's be happy and cheerful...

Hl. Nikolaus© Dabernig Hannes

I open the sixth door on the Advent calendar, a nice chocolate Santa Claus smiles at me. Exactly, December 6th is the day of St. Nicholas. Together with the angel and Krampus, he goes from house to house to visit the little children, tell them about their good deeds and give them a little present. The parents organise the charitable visit of St. Nicholas in their own household and the gifts for the children. The voluntary gifts to St. Nicholas and his helpers are also donated to a good cause. In the towns and villages around the Holiday Region Hohe Salve there are also every year St. Nicholas evenings and Advent markets with high attendance from St. Nicholas. Children's eyes light up, because there the little ones can pick up a little Santa Claus bag filled with nuts, chocolate and mandarines

Black magic...

Another tradition in the Brixental valley is the “Peaschtl and Teufel-laffn” at the beginning of December. Nowadays, it is usually local clubs that create costumes and organise "Peaschtl runs" - as the group's parade is called. But what exactly is a Perchtenpass?😈 👹
It is said that the Perchten bands, as they appear and look like in the Tyrolean lowlands, were created in the villages of Angerberg and Breitenbach. A Perchten parade is there to drive away evil spirits. In any case, the Perchtenlauf is still an old custom today, which was known in many areas and has been preserved in the places around the Hohe Salve.
But since pictures usually express more than a thousand words, I've added a video that illustrates the custom in more detail. But be careful, the Perchten and Teufel are gruesome figures! And psssst ... if I'm honest, I am a little afraid of these creepy creatures as well 😀😅

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Carina Schmid _ Bauernchristbaum© Carina Schmid

The 24th is getting closer and the anticipation for the "Christkindl" is increasing. But there is still a lot to prepare. For families with small children, the living room is usually locked a few days before the Christ Child arrives and the curtains drawn so that the tree can be decorated in peace and the Christ Child can deliver the presents.

Today it is still the case with us that my parents decorate the Christmas tree on their own one day before Christmas. We are a farming family and therefore have a traditional “farmer's Christmas tree” at home. In contrast to conventional fir trees, ours is decorated with straw stars, red hearts and wooden apples. You won't find tinsel and glitter on our fir tree! 😊

On Christmas Eve, on December 24th, the time has come. Traditionally, we have a real meat broth with noodles and sausages for dinner at home (as with many other families in Austria). “What, you only eat noodle soup with sausages?” you sometimes hear, but there is no big feast. The dish is intended to remind of the simplicity and modesty of the past and the fact that not everyone in the world is equally well off.

With this in mind, I thank you for reading and wish you and your families a Merry, Merry Christmas, a good "Christkindl" and a Happy New Year 2020!



Hoamat - is not a place, but my feeling when I stand at the top of a mountain and enjoy the breathtaking view over the Kitzbühel Alps. This is my balance and my haven of peace. I love my home country, to discover it again and again and to share the most beautiful places and most extraordinary stories. more details

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