Impressions From Christmas And New Year

Hope everyone has had lovely holidays! I wanted to share a few impressions from the last week:

   We always DIY our advent wreath. I don't know whether this is just a German thing or not, so I'll explain just in case: it has four candles, and four weeks before Christmas you burn only on in the evenings, the third week you burn two candles, and so on. We can't keep the candles burning all of the time (small kids) so we have been using the same four candles since years! This year they are finally burned down and I'm excited about getting new ones next year.

    Christmas markets are fun! There were at least four in my town, full of ornaments, handmade wool products, spices, glühwein (hot spicy wine) and delicious things to eat.

    I always love to peek at the dollhouse supplies. People, these things are tiny, even though they don't look it on the photo You can get everything from kitchen supplies to miniature furniture.

I also noticed mistletoe on a street lamp :)

     At my home, things are done very nontraditional. I'm not Christian, but I love Christmas and have always celebrated it in a rather eclectic way. I love singing Christmas carols, and for the first time this year we actually knew the same songs for the first time (that one of the funny awkward things about having an intercultural family).

     Here is the nativity that my daughter made in her Kindergarden. It's made of wax. My (smaller) son made a lump of something with eyes on one end and a butt on the other (or so he explained. )

     These two nativities are from Bolivia. The smaller one is really tiny, around the size of an euro coin.

     This ornament is one of the ones I have from India. Lovely, isn't it?

    And this one is the start of a lovely tradition: every year we will pick out ornaments that represent us in this year. My smallest son was crazy about trains, so this wooden locomotive was a no-brainer:

Our gift wrapping was quite green this year. If you're curious, google "Furoshiki".

   I don't have any photos of the New Year's eve, but is was a nice one. First we met up with friends at a river and made a bonfire in which we burned old calendars, notes and wishes; then we sang songs, and set walnut candles with wishes in the water.

    After that we headed home. People here set off really lovely fireworks at midnight, so even if you don't go out the celebration comes to you. I always love drinking Sekt (sparkling wine) on the balcony while watching the fireworks, till there is nothing more to see because of the smoke. If there are any French people reading this, there is a (true) joke about Germans in Paris going climbing all the steps to the top of the Montmartre at midnight to be at the best place to see the fireworks*.

* for the rest of the world: the anticlimax end of the story is that the Germans realise that French don't set off fireworks at midnight.

      And finally, I wanted to show off what I have been doing over the holidays: needle felting. It's way easier than wet felting, and the results are really nice. I made this house gnome for a friend:


   That's all about me. How was your Christmas and New Year's ? Any funny / interesting / weird traditions you'd like to share?

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