Christmas Abroad

Andrea R-M_WreathAndrea R-M. grew up in a little village called Wilhelmshorst near Potsdam in Germany and her family were convinced she would never leave. Yet in 2004, she received a scholarship to study journalism at Pennsylvania State University in the United States. One of the few things she took with her was a small collection of handmade straw stars, which she had received from her mother when she was a child.

As their name states, these simple, but beautiful typical German Christmas ornaments are made out of straw, which is trimmed and tied together with thread. Straw stars were probably first produced by those who could not afford to buy decorative objects for their houses and resorted instead to using cheap materials and DIY methods to create their own.

In 2006, Andrea spent her first Christmas abroad in Pennsylvania where she showed off the stars to her boyfriend and future husband. In 2008, she followed her partner to Mumbai where they married in 2009. With many of the western Christmas traditions lacking, celebrating Christmas in India wasn’t quite the same as in America or Germany. Eventually, Andrea ordered a large artificial Christmas tree and a variety of additional decorative objects from Germany to adequately prepare her home in India for the festive season.

Andrea and her husband moved to London in 2013 with their daughter and son who are now five and three years old. Andrea is a stay-at-home mother at the moment and enjoys the excitement it brings with it: ‘I never thought I would love being a mother this much! But then I also thought I would never leave Germany and now I have already been abroad for over ten years!’

Object Information

  • Year of Production: about 1985
  • Producer: Ines Martin
  • Place of Production: Wilhelmshorst, Potsdam
  • Material: Straw, woollen thread
  • Size: 5 x 5 cm
  • Colour: Yellow