In one week, Marcus and I will fly to Berlin to spend Christmas with his family in the East. The last time we had a German Christmas was in 2009, a visit that also took us to the Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) in Dresden. It’s a magical city, but even more so with a mug of Glühwein in hand and sparkling lights all around. Besides visiting Dresden, we’re looking forward to visiting family, walking through the snowy woods, and eating at our favorite restaurants in Berlin. I can’t wait to step on the plane and head East for Christmas!
What are your plans for the holiday?
The tree is up, the ornaments are hung, the first presents are wrapped, and the lights are glowing. This will be our first Christmas in Amsterdam – in past years Marcus and I have always visited family in Oregon or Germany – and therefore our first Dutch Christmas tree! Although I don’t think it was grown in the Netherlands, Bavaria more likely. It was strange to not cut the tree down ourselves, but we found a cute one at the flower shop around the corner. And probably the smallest tree I have ever had. It makes me so happy to wake up each morning and plug the lights in, casting a warm glow over the living room.
The beginning of December – possibly my favorite month of the year. Sparkling lights, songs of cheer, and wonder all around. Not to mention, a time for creative advent calendars.
Marcus and I will head to Berlin for the weekend, to dine at our favorite restaurants and sip Glühwein (mulled wine) as we walk around the Christmas markets. Next week, it will be time to put up a tree and start mailing holiday packages homewards. How will you spend the first part of the month?
As in past years, my little blog goes a bit quiet around the holidays. Especially this year, which brought me home for the first time in two years. With the last Christmases spent in Berlin, it’s wonderful to be home again.
Written on the first morning:
After a long but smooth flight, I have arrived in Oregon and am ready to throw myself completely into the holidays. Writing at 5am in the quiet kitchen of my parent’s home, I have fresh cantaloupe and warm coffee with a view of a blooming poinsettia and the gingerbread house my mom made with my little niece. Soon my younger sister and our black lab/boxer Tauri should begin to stir and we will bundle up for a morning walk to the ridge over a Christmas tree farm with a range of mountains as a backdrop. The main task of the day is to send a Christmas package to my grandmother.
Okay, all is not perfect. I have serious jet leg from the nine-hour time difference and also need a bit more time to adjust to the general American cheerfulness in place of the more blasé attitude of the Dutch (which I really do love). The layover in Seattle was a bit of a shock to my system. In any case, it is so good to be home.
In one week, I will be at the airport in Amsterdam holding my ticket to fly to Portland. The long flight is always worth it once I get a glimpse of the glorious Cascade Mountain Range out the plane window. I am especially looking forward to this little owl that is hanging on the Christmas tree waiting for my arrival, a gift from my older sister whom I can’t wait to see. Counting down the days…
Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things that I have enjoyed, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.
A few things I enjoyed this week:
1. Spending time in Berlin. It never grows old.
2. Listening to the serene music of Breathe Owl Breathe discovered via NPR (pictured above)
3. Loving the photos of snow on Boston’s Big Picture
4. Finishing (almost) the last Christmas shopping thanks to Etsy and Creature Comfort‘s gift guide (pictured below)
5. Looking forward to the Funky Christmas Market at Westergasfabriek today
After an eventful past week, I bring you Weekend Links, a collection of interesting bits and pieces. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things that I have enjoyed, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.
A few things I experienced last week:
1. Loving the music of Agnes Obel, a Danish pianist. Perfect for the fast-coming winter (pictured above, via 11.54)
2. Intrigued by this article about the divergent personalities of siblings on NPR
3. Reading a Thanksgiving reminder Back to the Land by Maira Kalman (pictured below)
4. Sifting through my photos from Oporto, Portugal and Köln, Germany. Coming soon…
Enjoying a festive time in Germany! I am currently in Berlin where the snow is falling fast and 2010 is drawing near. Have a Happy New Year!
Weihnachtsmarkt an der Frauenkirche in Dresden.
A view of the Elbe in Dresden.
Der Reichstag, house of the Parliament in Berlin, with flags flying.
Snowfall in Berlin, outside the Wintergarten im Literaturhaus, my favorite place to enjoy tea and a book.
Tomorrow the month of December begins, along with one of my favorite holiday traditions: the advent calendar. Although the advent calendar of my childhood will always remain my ideal, there are many inventive and creative designs that makes the advent calendar more than just another decoration. The calendar above, by David Fussenegger, is one example.
The Eric Carle Dream Snow pop-up advent calendar.
The Könecke Advent Sausage, designed by Butter, is truly German.
Noix de Coc advent boxes that can have left two sides of the box blank for custom designs (via Bodie and Fou).
A DIY Beer advent calendar.
And Modern Cottage‘s calendar made from an antique type drawer.