I have been to many countries across the world due to my very very very generous parents, but I have to say that when it comes to Christmas, Germany is the most magical place to celebrate it in. Every store is decked out with reds, greens and silvers; wreaths hug doorways and tinsel clings lovingly to rooftops, while Christmas music sung by deep, sonorous voices fills the brisk, fresh air.
Snow covers sidewalks and falls softly onto eyelashes, colouring the scenery in a hue of cold, glittery Wonderland. Hands are warmed by gluh wein or hot chocolates spiked with rum, while the soft laughter coming from cafe chairs warms the heart.
At night the Christmas spirit really comes to life as the Christmas trees that stand charming and cheerful in every city square are lit up, while the gold and silver lights than hang along walkways and link every building to one another are set ablaze, making happy faces even more beautiful in the festive glow.
The people are decorated just as festivally as the streets, the black coats lit up with colourful scarves, hats, gloves, and, most importantly, glowing cheeks and smiles.
We spent our Christmas in Hohenschwangau; sharing a bottle of wine at a gloriously garnished table underneath a Christmas tree, while a live band (the cutest married couple you ever saw) sung Christmas tunes; watching the snow fall just outside the window as Neuschwanstein was lit up and stood blazing against the black sky.
I think I fell more in love that night.
Not just with Joel, but with Christmas, kindness, and life.