Tip: With a straw or styrofoam ring as a base, the Advent wreath works particularly well.

Pocket

Tip: With a straw or styrofoam ring as a base, the Advent wreath works particularly well.

Taste the punch every now and then until you are satisfied with the taste result.

It is not easy to answer when winter actually ends. What kinds of early spring are there and why you feel better as the days get longer. 

When does spring begin? Why are our hormones going crazy? Is vitamin D important? Why are we so tired in spring? Are spring fever a wives’ tale?

Butterflies in the stomach and on the flowers, sun on the skin and in the heart: when the migratory birds return and it finally comes back to spring on the calendar, it’s not just plants that bloom. We also feel the new season. But does spring really start on March 1st? The answer is yes and no. 

When is the beginning of spring?

There are three different dates:

Calendar beginning of spring: This day is also known as the astronomical beginning of spring or equinox. On this date, day and night are exactly the same length. Because the inclination of the earth’s axis towards the sun changes over the course of the year, the seasons arise. Spring in the northern hemisphere begins when the sun is exactly at its zenith over the equator and facing north "wanders". This year, this will be the case on March 20, 2021 at 10:37 a.m. Meteorological beginning of spring: Meteorologists prefer to calculate their climate data in whole months. For them, spring therefore begins on March 1st and ends on May 31st. Phenological spring: The beginning of spring can also be read in the garden at home – depending on which plant is in bloom. Phenology – Greek for "Doctrine of the apparitions" – derives the individual spring phases from this. When hazel bushes and snowdrops are in bloom, the so-called early spring has come.

In the Middle Ages in particular, people were more likely to orient themselves towards the phenological spring and still introduce peasant rules that are partially valid today.

Why are our hormones going crazy?

Just like plants, humans turn to the sun as soon as the first rays penetrate the clouds. So it is no wonder that people flock to parks and cafés as soon as the sun shows up after winter and the day length increases.

In spring, the sun is higher in the sky again, which means that more sun rays reach the skin and penetrate it. Once the UV-B radiation has reached the thin epidermis, the body begins to produce a substance that has long been underestimated: vitamin D.

Is Vitamin D Important?

Vitamin D is actually not a real vitamin, but an essential hormone. We cannot ingest enough with food, so we have to go outside regularly. From studies with submariners who see no adultfriendfindet sun in their tin tubes for weeks, we know that we can store vitamin D. But the supply will probably only last for a few months. After the dark winter at the latest, many Germans have a shortage – and long for the sun.

The scientific name of the hormone already reveals how valuable vitamin D is: Calciferol, in German "Kalkbringer". The hormone helps get lime (calcium) to where it’s needed – bones and muscles. In spring, our muscle strength increases, the bones become denser and therefore more stable. A day outdoors makes up for eight days without sunlight.

Why are we so tired in spring?

The solar radiation does not only work through the light, but also through the warmth. This is how some researchers explain the springtime fatigue that afflicts some. You have to imagine the first days of spring like a very mild permanent sauna: The warmth causes the veins to widen, the blood pressure drops, and we feel tired and limp at first. Once the organism has adapted, the springtime tiredness is over.

Are spring fever an old wives’ tale?

The riddle of spring fever remains. Why is it that we feel fresher, happier and maybe more attractive at this event? We don’t just benefit from the sun’s rays on our skin. Much more light falls on the retina in the eye than in winter; even the sunniest winter day is only as bright as a dreary day in summer. The spring light now inhibits the production of melatonin in the brain via receptors in the retina. Especially in winter this has us "Sleep hormone" tired and exhausted.

The less melatonin is formed, the better serotonin can work. Serotonin is considered to be "Happiness hormone" Depressed people suffer from a lack of it. The more light, the more serotonin. So spring is a kind of free light therapy.

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Does spring harm us?

However, spring has one downer: The all-important UV-B radiation is only available in combination with UV-A radiation – and it ages the skin. So we are noticeably wrinkled, but are stronger, happier and healthier. Or, to paraphrase Hesse: there is a withering inherent in every blooming.

Sources used: own research

For many people, comfortable handicrafts are simply part of Christmas. Children in particular enjoy the small handicrafts that deliver beautiful results within a short time. This is how, for example, Christmas decorations or small gifts are created.

Ideas for your advent calendar
Photo series with 7 pictures

Handicrafts: A nice pastime, especially before Christmas

Children are usually very creative. You can act out your imagination, for example, with handicrafts. And what time would be better for handicrafts than the days and weeks before Christmas? It is now cold and uncomfortable outside anyway, so that young and old prefer to make themselves comfortable in the house. Handicrafts are a nice pastime that is fun and that children can pursue alone, but also with parents or grandparents.

A self-made Advent wreath is particularly suitable to ring in the Advent season. The wreath is easy to tie with a few green fir branches and flower wire. Tip: With a straw or styrofoam ring as a base, the Advent wreath works particularly well. Then you put the candles on firmly and safely. Creativity is required when decorating, so Christmas figurines as well as cinnamon sticks get on the wreath.

Great results with simple means

Crafting is not about creating sophisticated works of art. Often great results can be achieved with very simple means. For example, children can make pendants for the Christmas tree out of biscuits or dried orange slices. Simply pull a string through – and the decorations for the Christmas tree are ready. It’s even more colorful when cardboard, scissors and pens are used. The children can either make their own drawings or use coloring pages.

Why not make a gingerbread house with your children? Prepare the gingerbread dough according to the recipe and bake it rolled out flat on a baking sheet. The gingerbread pieces only have to be cut to size and can then be glued to the gingerbread house with icing and decorated as desired.

Christmas handicrafts as small gifts

Many children make small gifts for their parents and grandparents for Christmas. For example, they make flowers out of crepe paper, make beautiful window pictures out of cardboard and tracing paper or decorate a box of chocolates with Christmas motifs. With a little imagination, beautiful gifts can also be made from gingerbread and sweets.

Christmas time: Christmas crafts – instructions with iron on beads Christmas gifts for children – what to look for Bridging the waiting time until the presents: tips Coloring pages with Christmas motifs: coloring fun for children Home.de: Christmas decorations – from Advent wreaths to Christmas trees Heimat.de: Decorating a Christmas tree – tips

Another nice idea: Grandpa and grandma in particular are happy about a recent photo of their grandson. Parents can help with taking pictures. The children then make the frame for the photo themselves and in this way give the gift a very personal touch. The picture will definitely get a place of honor with the grandparents.

When you design the Advent season, the children’s wishes should be taken into account. For the little ones, it’s a time of waiting and impatience. With the right tips you can ensure a balanced mood.

Ideas for your advent calendar
Photo series with 7 pictures

Shaping the Advent season: tips for children

There are different ways in which you can organize the Advent season. The Christmas atmosphere is particularly intense for children. The dark days mean there is less time to play outside.

Because of this, boredom often arises, but you can use it sensibly. Content from elementary school can be wonderfully combined with great activities. A popular variation is singing Christmas carols.

Christmas time – making music together

If your child is interested in musical instruments anyway, you can offer a duet. The recorder is considered to be one of the first discoverable instruments.

Almost all Christmas carols can be played wonderfully. This type of occupation not only creates a distraction, but also increases the cohesion within the family.

More tips against boredom

Reading can also be a great activity. In general, people read less and less in Germany. This is particularly due to the development of new leisure opportunities. When in doubt, it is crucial whether interesting textbooks are available.

When there is fun, reading quickly becomes a wonderful activity. A third way to pass the time is to play a board game. This not only trains social interaction, but also promotes education. Modern knowledge games ensure that your children learn with ease.

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Do handicrafts or bake cookies

Some manufacturers offer separate copies that are tailored to the Christmas season. Doing handicrafts together or baking cookies can also ensure a lot of fun in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas in kindergarten is always a very special experience for little girls and boys. If parents and educators have prepared the Christmas party well, it will definitely be a success. Here you will find some tips and ideas for the Advent celebration in kindergarten.

Christmas in other countries: this is how people celebrate here
Photo series with 8 pictures

Christmas in kindergarten: preparations

The Christmas party in kindergarten usually takes place during Advent. Together with your children, the teachers will make some preparations by this date so that you can celebrate Christmas in the kindergarten together in a cozy atmosphere and entertain the parents with small performances. This often includes making Christmas decorations, which are then used to decorate the kindergarten, or rehearsing a small Christmas play. In addition to the Christmas stories and characters, children also learn to behave socially and to work out something together with others.

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