Advent has definitely arrived in our family. On the first Advent weekend Kaefer put up the Christmas village in front of our fireplace
while I had fun arranging our traditional Advent decoration.
The arch with the candles on top is a so-called Schwibbogen. In the front you can see a Christmas pyramid. The heat of the candles get the wings started and the little singers turn around the church in the middle. These things are tricky! They usually work very well in the beginning, but eventually they don't turn anymore and the wings start smoldering - you can see that this already happened to our pyramid. Those of you who have read about my childhood advent certainly think now that we play a lot with fire... All these little pieces are handmade of wood in the Erzgebirge, the ore-mountain region in the eastern part of Germany. While you can buy them everywhere now, it was more difficult to get them before the wall came down. We got some of our little angels and singers from a family in former East Germany whom we regularly sent parcels.
These are the angels of the ore-mountain art. We have a small orchestra by now and I love these little figurines very much. They are authentic German traditional art.
Last Saturday the Geek put up the Christmas Lights on our house. Now, this is the very first time that we actually decorate our house this way. The Geek had found these lights dirt dirt cheap after last Christmas (I think he paid $0.37 for each strand of lights, and that includes tax!), they are LED (otherwise he wouldn't have bought them) and since we don't have any proper fixings to put them up, the Geek, inventive guy that he is, fastened them with paper clips. Yes, you read that right, paper clips. Not the cheap ones, but the good old ones from Manufactum (oh praise to German "engineering").
And this is the decoration at our doorstep:
Yesterday we finally got our Christmas tree. It was a rainy day, so we didn't go to cut our own tree but chose from the many many trees of a locally owned business.
Kaefer is the one in our family who decorates the tree.
She went to the ice arena afterwards and witnessed the tree lighting ceremony with Snoopy and Woodstock, skating for four hours with her friends. She absolutely loves it and we are grateful that we have this wonderful old-fashioned ice arena in our town.
While my little one did her freezing exercise I prepared the St. Nick's gifts for my neighbors. Today is Nikolaus as we call it in Germany and the kids find one of their shoes filled with sweets, nuts and oranges in the morning. I introduced this tradition to my neighborhood in 2001 in a slightly different way - they find a little bag of German sweets on their front porch in the morning of December 6th. This year I also included a Starbucks frappuccino bottle that I decorated and filled with cocoa powder and mini marshmallows.
Some of our neighbors play Nikolaus for us - this is what I found at my doorstep this morning (the boot belongs to Kaefer and was filled by her loving parents).
I am so thankful for my wonderful neighbors! I love them!
This has turned into a pretty long post, I hope you're not cross-eyed! I just wanted to share this with you. You are such wonderful blogger friends!
Happy St. Nick's to you!