11 min read

Have you already found all the gifts for your loved ones? Or are you looking for some Christmas inspiration for yourself? Whether you want to do something good for yourself or for others – the ndion editorial team will give you their personal recommendations for Christmas time.

by the ndion editorial team

Helge Aszmoneit
Helge Aszmoneit © Lutz Sternstein

“Switch off!” is the motto of Helge Aszmoneit, Manager Information Services at the German Design Council. She prefers to gaze into the eternal ice and wait for 2023 while being warmed by ginger syrup.

What moves

Great cinema and always a pleasure to watch: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The drama about the revenge of a mother who lost her daughter in a violent crime and accuses the failure to clear it up via large billboards. Brutal, nasty, subtle, with a lot of black humour and an outstanding Frances McDormand in the leading role, who tries to come to terms with her pain and anger.

What helps

The OFF switch! A switch not to be underestimated and still present on all devices. Use it now and then – or more often – to escape the constant availability and the associated temptation to distraction. You can also save energy with it. Actually quite simple – and yet so hard …

What lasts

Eternal means lasting, imperishable, constant, timeless. We can no longer take the time to stop climate change, especially when it comes to the melting of glaciers. You should take time for the exhibition Eternal Ice at the Museum Sinclair Haus in Bad Homburg. On display are works by 17 artists who not only depict the dramatic situation, but also show that life in and with the eternal ice can be both challenging and enriching. On view until 12 February 2023. For those who can’t make it: the exhibition booklet with texts and pictures of the artists is available as a free download.

Ewiges Eis
Tiina Itkonen, Untitled (Icefjord), lulissat, Greenland Landscape Series, Fotografie, 2016 Tiina Itkonen

What warms

Ingwer-Sirup Weihnachtszeit
© private

Ginger syrup
300g fresh ginger (peeled and crushed in a blender), 300g fine cane sugar or 150g honey, 3 organic lemons (peel, pulp + juice crushed in a blender), 1l water. Put everything together in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and fill into bottles. Pour syrup (amount to taste) into a mug, fill with hot water. Always warms.

What comes next


Mariama Keshmiry
Mariama Keshmiry © Lutz Sternstein

Mariama Keshmiry, responsible for media cooperations and advertisements, first lights a candle before she pulls out her pen to write in her diary for six minutes. Maybe she pours herself a mulled wine beforehand? But for sure, one or the other film classic is on her agenda for Christmas time.

What lasts

Some classic films just belong at Christmas. For me, Christmas time is Lord of the Rings time. The legendary film trilogy about Hobbit Frodo and his companions is on my watch list every year in the extended cut at the holidays. The complete series is a whopping 695 minutes, or 11 hours and 35 minutes, making it a veritable marathon. Nevertheless, I don’t want to miss this Christmas tradition and will immerse myself anew in the fascinating world of Middle Earth every Christmas.

What warms

What can’t be missing at Christmas time? The mulled wine, of course! For all those who find the crowds at the Christmas markets too much, here is a recipe for my favourite, the red mulled wine: 1 litre of good red wine (e.g. Merlot or Pinot Noir), 4 tbsp. brown cane sugar, 1 organic lemon, 1 organic orange, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves, 1 star anise. Briefly toast the cane sugar in a saucepan and deglaze with the red wine. Add the lemon and orange juice and all the spices. Leave the mulled wine to infuse for at least three hours, then pour through a sieve and enjoy!

What lights up

Sitting on the couch with a blanket, drinking tea while reading a book or watching a film – that’s how I imagine the perfect winter evening. What you can’t do without: a Christmas-scented candle that makes the scenario even cosier. My absolute favourite candle: the Yankee Candle – Red Apple Wreath, which smells of baked apple and homemade biscuits, and has a burning time of up to 150 hours.

© Yankee Candle

What helps

6-Minute Diary, © UrBestSelf

To feel good all around, a positive mindset is extremely important. Especially during Corona, many people’s daily thoughts were full of worries and they faced completely new challenges in their daily lives. During this time, the 6-minute diary helped me a lot to keep a positive attitude. You only have to take three minutes in the morning and three minutes in the evening. The book helps to see life from a different perspective and to focus on the beautiful things and has become a fixed part of my morning and evening routine.

What moves

Cinema has always fascinated me. It is always a new experience to sit in an auditorium with strangers, to immerse myself in a story with them for two to three hours, to laugh, cry, marvel or be frightened. So it’s no wonder how happy I am that the cinema has slowly recovered from the effects of Corona and you can finally experience full cinemas again. My tip: Avatar 2, which has been longed for for years, will be in cinemas from 14 December. So why not surprise a loved one with a cinema voucher and travel to Pandora again after a thirteen-year break?

What comes next

A turbulent year 2022 comes to an end. Now it can only get better. I wish all readers a great, successful and above all healthy 2023!

Nuria Mayer
Nuria Mayer © Lutz Sternstein

Talking to friends in a relaxed atmosphere, visiting a theatre or museum, or pouring candles – social media manager Nuria Mayer comes to rest during the Christmas season.

What moves

In addition to a large portion of world-weariness due to many current crises, I am moved by the ongoing suffering of the cultural sector. In many areas, the number of visitors to cultural institutions is not as high as it was before the Corona pandemic. I am saddened by the fact that events that were always fully booked in the past have to worry about continuing. After all, visits to the theatre, cultural centre, museum or concerts strengthen our social cohesion. So how about a voucher for valuable cultural time as a Christmas gift for your loved ones?

What ligths up

Candles have a very cosy effect on me, especially at Advent and Christmas time. But if you value sustainability, you have to look closely at the ingredients. Paraffin as a petroleum product is problematic, stearin is often made from palm oil, and beeswax and soybean oil do not have a good eco-balance due to their often long import routes. Homemade candles made from old wax residues are a sensible alternative. My tip: encourage friends and neighbours to collect and arrange to pour candles together.

What comes next

For me, board games are indispensable at Christmas time with my family. It’s nice that it will soon be time again to revive this activity that is often so neglected in an adult’s everyday life. In recent years, team games have proven their worth with us. They are communicative, fun and entertaining. With games like “Just One”, “The Mind” or “The Game”, what is particularly appealing is that you cannot win individually, but only as a team.

The Mind
© Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag GmbH

Was wärmt

Was gibt es Schöneres, als sich im Winter mit einer Wärmflasche, Decke, einer Tasse Tee oder Kaffee und leckeren Plätzchen aufs Sofa zu verkriechen? Aber was dabei wirklich wärmt, ist ein ausgiebiges Gespräch mit einer guten Freundin. Soziale Kontakte geben Energie und sind ein wertvoller Ausgleich zur Arbeit. Sie sollen sogar vor Burnout schützen. Nichts zaubert so viel Wärme ins Herz, wie Zeit mit unseren Freund*innen zu verbringen.

Was dauert

Sprache unterliegt einem ständigen Wandel. Es dauert, bis eine geschlechtergerechte Sprache auf breite Akzeptanz trifft und sich in unseren Köpfen etabliert hat. Aber wir dürfen dabei nicht vergessen; Sprache hat Macht. Sprache kann soziale Ungerechtigkeiten und Diskriminierung abbauen oder begünstigen. Gemeinsam können wir den Wandel hin zur geschlechtergerechten Sprache und Gesellschaft beschleunigen. Warum fangen wir nicht bei uns selbst an?

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner

When it gets colder outside, ndion author Thomas Wagner wraps himself in a blanket and makes himself comfortable with a good whiskey and several daily newspapers. Or else he braves the cold and heads off to Frankfurt am Main to visit an exhibition or two.

What moves

Oh, I am constantly moved (often enough ad nauseam) by politics, concerned about climate change, horrified by war and all the misery in the world. Francis Picabia, painter, writer, Dadaist and car driver, said: “The head is round so that thinking can change direction.” To succeed in this and to learn more (than on the internet and TV) about current backgrounds and understand connections, read a national daily newspaper (even better: several).

What warms

If you want to be successful in designing, you should not rely on just one card. The principle works well if you don’t want to freeze when the room temperature is lowered. So wrap yourself in a woollen blanket (such as “Digital Sunrise Merino Wool & Silk” by Zuzunaga) – and then drink a glass of Scotch or Japanese whisky. (Lagavulin 16 years tastes peaty, Nikka Coffey Malt vanilla).

What lasts

In the turbulent, disruptive times we are living through, anything that lasts is to be welcomed. Reading a thick novel would be worth a try again. Take Robert Musil’s “Man Without Qualities”, for example, or, which can only be done in stages, Proust’s “Recherche”. Or something as wonderfully exhilarating as Nabokov’s “Pnin”. Also available as an audio book.

What lights up

Countless books (for example by the Büchner Prize winner Emine Sevgi Özdamar or the philosopher Donatella Di Cesare) contribute to enlightenment just as much as stimulating conversations. A light can also dawn on you in the museum. If you are driven by historical interest, try Guido Reni in Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. If you appreciate perspectives on the present, take a look at Rosemarie Trockel in the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. She likes to confront the self-important subject with experiences that change it.

Exhibition view “Guido Reni. The Divine”, Photo: Städel Museum – Norbert Miguletz

Ulla Weismüller
Ulla Weismüller © Lutz Sternstein

Ulla Weismüller, Senior Editor at ndion, is always on the move – by bike or on foot – braving wind and bad cycle paths. For the quiet moments of the day, she recommends podcasts that make you a little smarter or taking a look at contemporary children’s and youth literature.

What takes time

I cycle a lot, but often with little pleasure. The reason is a non-existent network of cycle paths. The distance from my home to the nearest city centre is no more than 10 km, but the ride is like a North Pole expedition. An expansion of the cycle paths – also in rural areas – would lower the hurdle of daily cycling. It is worth taking a look at Scandinavia, where comfortable, illuminated cycle paths run alongside main roads and lead to the destination on the fastest route. Will cycling ever become a pleasure in Germany? That will probably take some time.

What helps

The winter wave of illness has long since rolled in. Whether RSV, influenza or Covid-19: lie down in bed, drink a pot of tea – and watch Only murders in the building, in which Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short investigate a murder in their New York apartment building and publish a True Crime podcast on the side. The now two-episode series may not quite help against a viral infection, but it certainly makes it more pleasant.

What moves

Once a week I am strongly moved – by my running group. A group of communicative women of middle age – commonality: motherhood – lace up their running shoes in wind and weather and do their laps around the park. From A for ABC running drills to Z for (heart rate) zones: we torture ourselves through all the nastiness of a polished workout with panting and laughter, shared suffering and common goals. And who knows, maybe next year we’ll run a half marathon after all.

Running in all weathers © private

What comes next

Christmas time is always the time for a little magic. And if you like it not only magical, but also ironic and humorous, you should visit a show by Siegfried & Joy in 2023. No, they’re not the ones with the tigers, although these striped fellows do play a role in various forms. The magic duo delivers one surprise moment after the next on stage and when you think you have them figured out, they leave the spectator with his mouth open time and again. If you want a little taste, check out the gentlemen on Instagram. But for the real magic, we recommend the magic show that tours Germany, Austria and England in 2023.

More on ndion

More articles on Design.

Share this page on social media:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email