For as long as I can remember, my family has talked about venturing to Europe at Christmas time, primarily to make the pilgrimage to the old village in Austria where Silent Night was first performed, by candlelight, on Christmas Eve.

My Opa made the trip when he was a young man and said it was one of the best memories he had, so it was something my dad had always talked about doing.

Enter 2019 and my family finally decided to make to the trip to Europe for Christmas, and to finally give ourselves the gift of seeing this wonderful experience in person.

I met my family in Munich a few days before Christmas (they went early to spend a few days in Paris), and we were able to run around Germany and Austria for the first time as a family in almost 20 years. We were able to go back to the small village in Germany where my Grandfather was born, as well as to spend a quality evening with our cousins who still reside in Germany.

From there, we ventured to Salzburg, which is where we celebrated the holiday and were able to make the trek to the Silent Night church on Christmas Eve (in the pouring rain) and ring in Christmas. On Christmas Day, we actually celebrated by doing a tour of Salt Mines in Salzburg (a fun experience, actually!), as well as once again do the Sound of Music Tour. From there, it was a drive back to Munich, where we spent one more night, before taking a train to Berlin to finish out the trip. It was quite the Christmas, and one I will never forget.

Scroll through for a photo diary from our unforgettable European Christmas!