Traditions Old And New

Julia Zierer on her seasonal happy place

A veritable jack of all trades, Julia Zierer studied fashion design, later working as editor for an online magazine and now as a talented freelance photographer.

She was behind the camera for Chanel and BOSS, and published her work in publications such as VOGUE and L'Officiel. Her warm personality and inspiring attitude is fuelled by her hunger to create – apparent in all of her work. We sat down with her to talk about where she draws inspiration from and where her very own happy place is.

Julia, where is your happy place?

I can’t really say if it's defined by a single place in the world. For me, it’s more the feeling of being with those who are most important to you and with whom you can let go and be yourself. If I had to choose some far-flung destination, then I would say British Columbia. I went on an incredible roadtrip with my boyfriend and fell in love with the natural beauty of the Western Canadian province.

Do you have a special Christmas tradition?

Yes! My family has adopted many customs and traditions over the years. My mother and I always decorate our tree on the morning of Christmas Eve and listen to Christmas songs and sing whilst doing so. We also have another tradition where we watch home videos of previous holidays and family gatherings after dinner and marvel at how quickly the year has flown by.

For some, it’s a special hot beverage, for some a certain song. What puts you in the mood for Christmas?

The smell of freshly baked gingerbread and Christmas biscuits puts me straight in the Christmas mood. Then there’s my grandmother’s shortbread, coconut macaroons, cinnamon stars. This year, I even started baking in November because I just couldn’t wait any longer! I love spending cold winter days kneading dough and trying out new recipes – preferably ones with cinnamon or cardamom, both of which are smells I always associate with Christmas. Takes me right back to my childhood!

Is there someplace that you would like to celebrate Christmas if you could?

I would love to celebrate in a cabin someplace in the Alps, surrounded by mountains and silence. Instead of unpacking presents on Christmas Eve, I’d start a big snowball fight, but only if my family came with me. Without them, it’s not Christmas.

Do you celebrate Christmas in the same place every year?

Even though I’ve lived in Berlin for nine years, I have celebrated Christmas for the 32 years of my life at my family home in Bavaria together with my family. And this year for the first time with my son, I’m so excited to see his reaction. Hopefully the Christmas tree will escape unscathed.

Photos courtesy of Pascal Rohé

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