“Süsser die Glocken nie klingen”
I ♥ Christmas
Another handmade ornament. This one is from two years ago, when I bought the plain glass ornaments at Michaels and painted them. This particular one was painted with sparkly paint first, and then I painted the Christmas tree. You can use regular acrylic paint, just be sure to let it dry completely.
“Weisser Winterwald” by Peter Alexander
I have lots and lots of cross-stitched ornaments for our tree. This one is one of my favorites.
Simple handmade ornaments. All you need is a box of plain ornaments and a gold (or silver) Sharpie.
I made several of these last year, including this one and one that says Family, and has all our names around the ornament.
“Leise rieselt der Schnee” by Sarah Connor
Santa And Snowman
Found these at Target this year and couldn’t resist! They were in a box of four (2 Santas and 2 snowmen)
And get ready to hear some of my favorite German Christmas songs (boy, is it difficult to find a nice version of them!! You’ll have to ignore the cheesy video on some of them!)
“O Tannenbaum” by Nana Mouskouri
Today is our 12th wedding anniversary. No big plans, just dinner at The Olive Garden.
Today is also Nikolaus Tag in Germany, which was another favorite tradition when I was a child. It’s also celebrated in several other European countries.
In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot, called Nikolaus-Stiefel, outside the front door on the night of December 5 to December 6. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (Rute) in their boots instead. Sometimes, a disguised Nikolaus also visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they “have been good” (sometimes ostensibly checking a book for their record), handing out presents on a per-behaviour basis. This has become more lenient in recent decades.
But for many children, Nikolaus also elicited fear, as he was often accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, who would threaten to beat, or sometimes actually eat the children for misbehaviour. Knecht Ruprecht furthermore was equipped with goatlegs. In Switzerland, where he is called Schmutzli, he would threaten to put bad children in a sack and take them back to the dark forest. In other accounts he would throw the sack into the river, drowning the naughty children. These traditions were implemented more rigidly in Catholic countries and regions such as Austria or Bavaria.
In highly Catholic regions, the local priest was informed by the parents about their children’s behaviour and would then personally visit the homes in the traditional Christian garment and threaten to beat them with a rod. In parts of Austria, Krampusse, who local tradition says are Nikolaus’ helpers (in reality, typically children of poor families), roamed the streets during the festival. They wore masks and dragged chains behind them, even occasionally hurling them towards children in their way. These Krampusläufe (Krampus runs) still exist, although perhaps less violent than in the past.
From Solvang, CA
Hello 2008… Good-bye Christmas tree. It was time to take it down today, but not before taking one last picture of it. Kind of sad to see it go, because it was so pretty. The kids are happy (kind of anyway) because now they get to eat the chocolate ornaments that were on the tree.
Wishing you all peace and happiness for 2008