It was nice to be able to visit Bruch and celebrate Christmas with my wife’s parents, and to be able to visit extended family members around the Eifel.
My father-in-law was an accomplished photographer, and here he looks to capture the moment with his camera; as we were the two principle family photographers in those days.
Christmas Eve always began with someone in the family playing traditional German Christmas hymns on the piano and my father-in-law playing the wooden flute – with the rest of us singing along.
In Germany Christmas presents are traditionally exchanged between family members on Christmas Eve, with visits to extended family members on the first and second Christmas days to do the same; here David’s aunt spends time with David and his new giant, green frog.
David sits with his aunt and uncle on the couch and shows his excitement on Christmas Eve, which only later added to his curiosity, wondering what Santa would bring on Christmas morning.
David sits with his uncle on the couch, practicing his “all grown up” look during a pause in the action on Christmas Eve in Bruch.
Even a little guy can slow down from time to time, and here David and his uncle share a quiet moment with David’s new frog friend.
One aspect of Christmas that everyone loves is all the good food over the holidays, and here David’s aunt shares a hot cherry sauce and vanilla ice cream dessert with him.
David practices driving his new miniature car dashboard with me, which was only a preview for his actual driving practice that would take place with me years later.
Wearing his flannel lumberjack pajama top over the rest of his clothes as sort of a joke, David begins to resemble Santa himself.
This picture of David with his beloved “sheep” was taken at another relative’s house, and as with all small children – David was the center of everyone’s attention.
David’s great grandmother gives him a hug while he holds “sheep” – it was a special treat for David to grow up knowing both of his great grandmothers.
Here both of David’s great grandmothers sit on the living room sofa, while the image of my father-in-law is captured in the mirror above them.
David’s grandfather organizes a photo album while David plays with a new toy race car – and gives the camera a look of uncertainty.
It was a cold, crisp Christmas Day in Bruch without any snow, and the small Christmas tree on the terrace was decorated with lights and illuminated at night.
This was a newer area of Bruch, up the hill from the center of the village – where many houses were being built to enjoy the sunshine – away from the nearby shadows of the hills.
The sunshine advantage of being up the hill in an open area, means that the road going down the hill into the center of Bruch remained in the shade and was often icy in the winter.
The winter sun often just clears the neighboring hills in the winter months, casting long shadows both in the morning and afternoon.
A new concrete block house under construction in Bruch waits to be covered in the traditional white “putz” – which is a very hard cement and stucco like material that is applied with trowels.
This small pasture enjoys the December sunshine, as it sits in an open area between streets – and away from the hills and forests.
David and I sit with David’s great aunt and uncle on the sofa at a relative’s house over the holidays – a traditional time of visiting relatives on the first and second Christmas days.
One of David’s great-great aunts reads to him over the Christmas holidays in her home in Farschweiler, Germany, during our visit.
Another one of David’s great-great aunts reads with him during our visit – the amount of quality attention that David received was excellent for him.
The camera catches David in the middle of a wave, standing in front of a relative’s Christmas tree – while holding his new book like a little scholar.