Christmas Market

Anne here, thinking about markets, in particular craft and Christmas markets. I love going to outdoor markets. There's always a sense of adventure — what unexpected gem might you find? I recently went to a "German Christmas market" that was a fund-raiser for charity and run by volunteers from a multicultural old people's home.  IMG_2639

The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny, and even though I arrived just on opening time, it was still pretty busy. Lots of people had turned out for it. 

There was certainly plenty of German food, with stalls serving bratwurst and kransky sausages and frankfurters served with sauerkraut and or fried onions in a bread roll, there were lots of amazing cakes, pies and pastries and sweet treats, and lots more. 

IMG_2612There were stunning gingerbread houses — I've always wanted to make one, but never got around to it. But though all the food looked and smelled enticing, I was able to resist, because I was on my way to meet up with friends for lunch.

The craft stores interested me most.  Some stalls were very Australian, like this stained glass stall with all Australian bitds, expecially the very colorful parrots we have here.

All the usual kind of things were on sale — toys, clothes, pottery, jewelry, tablecloths and tea-towels—too lovely for drying dishes, I thought, but perfect for a Christmas gift. One of my friends, who has recently become a grandmother, was drawn by the big stalls, and was mightily tempted by all the tiny cute outfits people make these days for babies. IMG_2614

I had come in the hopes of one particular German-style craft, small plain wooden ornaments for my tree. Years ago, when I was a backpacker, I was in Zurich, in Switzerland. It was mid December, and I was on my way home after a year of being away. 

The shops were full of the most gorgeous Christmas things — they really know how to do Christmas there, and to my delight it was really cold and snowing. (Remember I'm from Australia, where Christmas usually comes with hot summer weather, and all the cards and shop windows are full of fake snow.) It was like a christmas card come to life and I loved wandering the snowy streets at night, enjoying the snow and just looking.

By then I didn't have much money left, so I stayed away from the expensive shops, and ate my dinner at street stalls (usually a sausage in a roll with mustard and sauerkraut.) IMG_2680

I came across a small street market— even there I couldn't afford to shop, but I wandered around enjoying the scene. Snow, a stall roasting hot nuts, another selling sausages, and hot wine, crafts stalls with embroideries, jewelry, little scenes in glass balls — for me, it was like something out of a fairy tale. 

There was a woman there who sat quietly among all the busy throng, cutting out Christmas ornaments from wood, using only a jigsaw — no bench or anything, just the jigsaw in her hands. I watched, fascinated, and after a while we started talking. All the time we talked, she cut out ornament after ornament, so swift and deft —I'd wielded jigsaws in the past — tricky things I'd found them. But her ornaments were perfect. Of course, I had to buy one — just one. And I always wished I'd had the money to buy some more. One lone wooden ornament is a little sad, really.

IMG_2617So fast forward umpty-mumble years, and here I was at a German Christmas market under a hot, sunny sky and . . . Lo!, there was just this kind of ornament. Not hand made as I watched by a woman who hardly seemed to concentrate as she talked and laughed and turned out ornament after ornament, but still so pretty. 

The ones on the dark red background are what I bought. IMG_2684

And of course I had to buy these little bees, as well as more traditional Christmas motifs. It's been suggested to me that I should paint them, but I think I might leave them as is, in pale unfinished wood, like that first one. What do you think— to paint or not to paint?

And what about you? Do you enjoy going to markets? Have you been to any Christmas ones lately? Tell us about your markets.

125 thoughts on “Christmas Market”

  1. Going back umpty-mumble years (LOL), as a student in London with little money I would shop for Christmas presents at various street markets. Pettycoat Lane was a favourite. I remember how a stall owner would demonstrate his wares by displaying a high quality example and then sell lesser quality packaged stuff. The trick was always to get in quickly and buy the demo piece!
    Coming forward umpty-mumble years, Mrs Q and I frequently visit local art and craft markets, hoping to discover an unrecognized artistic genius, but now with a little more money to spend. Most recently we bought a beautiful picture of flowers and butterflies produced by the batik technique.
    https://www.mariethereseking.uk/shop/batik-giclee-prints/english-garden/
    Our house now seems to have as many pictures as books … rather chaotic but we are very happy!

    Reply
  2. Going back umpty-mumble years (LOL), as a student in London with little money I would shop for Christmas presents at various street markets. Pettycoat Lane was a favourite. I remember how a stall owner would demonstrate his wares by displaying a high quality example and then sell lesser quality packaged stuff. The trick was always to get in quickly and buy the demo piece!
    Coming forward umpty-mumble years, Mrs Q and I frequently visit local art and craft markets, hoping to discover an unrecognized artistic genius, but now with a little more money to spend. Most recently we bought a beautiful picture of flowers and butterflies produced by the batik technique.
    https://www.mariethereseking.uk/shop/batik-giclee-prints/english-garden/
    Our house now seems to have as many pictures as books … rather chaotic but we are very happy!

    Reply
  3. Going back umpty-mumble years (LOL), as a student in London with little money I would shop for Christmas presents at various street markets. Pettycoat Lane was a favourite. I remember how a stall owner would demonstrate his wares by displaying a high quality example and then sell lesser quality packaged stuff. The trick was always to get in quickly and buy the demo piece!
    Coming forward umpty-mumble years, Mrs Q and I frequently visit local art and craft markets, hoping to discover an unrecognized artistic genius, but now with a little more money to spend. Most recently we bought a beautiful picture of flowers and butterflies produced by the batik technique.
    https://www.mariethereseking.uk/shop/batik-giclee-prints/english-garden/
    Our house now seems to have as many pictures as books … rather chaotic but we are very happy!

    Reply
  4. Going back umpty-mumble years (LOL), as a student in London with little money I would shop for Christmas presents at various street markets. Pettycoat Lane was a favourite. I remember how a stall owner would demonstrate his wares by displaying a high quality example and then sell lesser quality packaged stuff. The trick was always to get in quickly and buy the demo piece!
    Coming forward umpty-mumble years, Mrs Q and I frequently visit local art and craft markets, hoping to discover an unrecognized artistic genius, but now with a little more money to spend. Most recently we bought a beautiful picture of flowers and butterflies produced by the batik technique.
    https://www.mariethereseking.uk/shop/batik-giclee-prints/english-garden/
    Our house now seems to have as many pictures as books … rather chaotic but we are very happy!

    Reply
  5. Going back umpty-mumble years (LOL), as a student in London with little money I would shop for Christmas presents at various street markets. Pettycoat Lane was a favourite. I remember how a stall owner would demonstrate his wares by displaying a high quality example and then sell lesser quality packaged stuff. The trick was always to get in quickly and buy the demo piece!
    Coming forward umpty-mumble years, Mrs Q and I frequently visit local art and craft markets, hoping to discover an unrecognized artistic genius, but now with a little more money to spend. Most recently we bought a beautiful picture of flowers and butterflies produced by the batik technique.
    https://www.mariethereseking.uk/shop/batik-giclee-prints/english-garden/
    Our house now seems to have as many pictures as books … rather chaotic but we are very happy!

    Reply
  6. How lovely to hear your reminiscence of a long ago Christmas market with real snow, and a most modern one in Australia–and finding the same kind of wooden ornament! I agree that sealing the wood would be wise, but I’d leave them unpainted. Though they’d look cute painted as well.
    As of the bees–Napoleon’s emblem!

    Reply
  7. How lovely to hear your reminiscence of a long ago Christmas market with real snow, and a most modern one in Australia–and finding the same kind of wooden ornament! I agree that sealing the wood would be wise, but I’d leave them unpainted. Though they’d look cute painted as well.
    As of the bees–Napoleon’s emblem!

    Reply
  8. How lovely to hear your reminiscence of a long ago Christmas market with real snow, and a most modern one in Australia–and finding the same kind of wooden ornament! I agree that sealing the wood would be wise, but I’d leave them unpainted. Though they’d look cute painted as well.
    As of the bees–Napoleon’s emblem!

    Reply
  9. How lovely to hear your reminiscence of a long ago Christmas market with real snow, and a most modern one in Australia–and finding the same kind of wooden ornament! I agree that sealing the wood would be wise, but I’d leave them unpainted. Though they’d look cute painted as well.
    As of the bees–Napoleon’s emblem!

    Reply
  10. How lovely to hear your reminiscence of a long ago Christmas market with real snow, and a most modern one in Australia–and finding the same kind of wooden ornament! I agree that sealing the wood would be wise, but I’d leave them unpainted. Though they’d look cute painted as well.
    As of the bees–Napoleon’s emblem!

    Reply
  11. Those batik paintings are lovely, Quantum — not what I expected at all. (I’m used to different kinds of ethnic batik.) My house is full of paintings, too — I don’t understand houses with no pictures, or hotel style chosen-to-match-the couch ones.
    As for the dodgy market stalls — yes, I was tricked in London once, thought i was buying an antique piece of scrimshaw, and realized later it was some kind of acrylic imitation. But I still like it, and still have it and it reminds me of London markets in a different way. *g*

    Reply
  12. Those batik paintings are lovely, Quantum — not what I expected at all. (I’m used to different kinds of ethnic batik.) My house is full of paintings, too — I don’t understand houses with no pictures, or hotel style chosen-to-match-the couch ones.
    As for the dodgy market stalls — yes, I was tricked in London once, thought i was buying an antique piece of scrimshaw, and realized later it was some kind of acrylic imitation. But I still like it, and still have it and it reminds me of London markets in a different way. *g*

    Reply
  13. Those batik paintings are lovely, Quantum — not what I expected at all. (I’m used to different kinds of ethnic batik.) My house is full of paintings, too — I don’t understand houses with no pictures, or hotel style chosen-to-match-the couch ones.
    As for the dodgy market stalls — yes, I was tricked in London once, thought i was buying an antique piece of scrimshaw, and realized later it was some kind of acrylic imitation. But I still like it, and still have it and it reminds me of London markets in a different way. *g*

    Reply
  14. Those batik paintings are lovely, Quantum — not what I expected at all. (I’m used to different kinds of ethnic batik.) My house is full of paintings, too — I don’t understand houses with no pictures, or hotel style chosen-to-match-the couch ones.
    As for the dodgy market stalls — yes, I was tricked in London once, thought i was buying an antique piece of scrimshaw, and realized later it was some kind of acrylic imitation. But I still like it, and still have it and it reminds me of London markets in a different way. *g*

    Reply
  15. Those batik paintings are lovely, Quantum — not what I expected at all. (I’m used to different kinds of ethnic batik.) My house is full of paintings, too — I don’t understand houses with no pictures, or hotel style chosen-to-match-the couch ones.
    As for the dodgy market stalls — yes, I was tricked in London once, thought i was buying an antique piece of scrimshaw, and realized later it was some kind of acrylic imitation. But I still like it, and still have it and it reminds me of London markets in a different way. *g*

    Reply
  16. Thanks, Mary Jo, but I didn’t buy the bees for Napoleon — I’m still slightly spooked by your fictional suggestion of him being sent to New South Wales and how that might have affected us here *G*. The bees are in memory of my Dad, whose beekeeping I inherited. And because they’re pretty.
    There were a lot more lovely wooden ornaments on this stall — the photo in the blog barely does justice to the selection, but I had to restrain myself. Sadly.

    Reply
  17. Thanks, Mary Jo, but I didn’t buy the bees for Napoleon — I’m still slightly spooked by your fictional suggestion of him being sent to New South Wales and how that might have affected us here *G*. The bees are in memory of my Dad, whose beekeeping I inherited. And because they’re pretty.
    There were a lot more lovely wooden ornaments on this stall — the photo in the blog barely does justice to the selection, but I had to restrain myself. Sadly.

    Reply
  18. Thanks, Mary Jo, but I didn’t buy the bees for Napoleon — I’m still slightly spooked by your fictional suggestion of him being sent to New South Wales and how that might have affected us here *G*. The bees are in memory of my Dad, whose beekeeping I inherited. And because they’re pretty.
    There were a lot more lovely wooden ornaments on this stall — the photo in the blog barely does justice to the selection, but I had to restrain myself. Sadly.

    Reply
  19. Thanks, Mary Jo, but I didn’t buy the bees for Napoleon — I’m still slightly spooked by your fictional suggestion of him being sent to New South Wales and how that might have affected us here *G*. The bees are in memory of my Dad, whose beekeeping I inherited. And because they’re pretty.
    There were a lot more lovely wooden ornaments on this stall — the photo in the blog barely does justice to the selection, but I had to restrain myself. Sadly.

    Reply
  20. Thanks, Mary Jo, but I didn’t buy the bees for Napoleon — I’m still slightly spooked by your fictional suggestion of him being sent to New South Wales and how that might have affected us here *G*. The bees are in memory of my Dad, whose beekeeping I inherited. And because they’re pretty.
    There were a lot more lovely wooden ornaments on this stall — the photo in the blog barely does justice to the selection, but I had to restrain myself. Sadly.

    Reply
  21. Right now there is a wonderful Christmas market at 14th Street – Union Square in NYC. They have lovely ornaments as well as unique gifts made by local craft artists. Food vendors are available and crafts for kids. It’s a fun and beautiful group of booths to look through.

    Reply
  22. Right now there is a wonderful Christmas market at 14th Street – Union Square in NYC. They have lovely ornaments as well as unique gifts made by local craft artists. Food vendors are available and crafts for kids. It’s a fun and beautiful group of booths to look through.

    Reply
  23. Right now there is a wonderful Christmas market at 14th Street – Union Square in NYC. They have lovely ornaments as well as unique gifts made by local craft artists. Food vendors are available and crafts for kids. It’s a fun and beautiful group of booths to look through.

    Reply
  24. Right now there is a wonderful Christmas market at 14th Street – Union Square in NYC. They have lovely ornaments as well as unique gifts made by local craft artists. Food vendors are available and crafts for kids. It’s a fun and beautiful group of booths to look through.

    Reply
  25. Right now there is a wonderful Christmas market at 14th Street – Union Square in NYC. They have lovely ornaments as well as unique gifts made by local craft artists. Food vendors are available and crafts for kids. It’s a fun and beautiful group of booths to look through.

    Reply
  26. I’ve been to the Weihnachtsmarkt two years running now. My sister lives in Germany, so we found some German Christmas cards to send her. My parents are taking German lessons, so my mom bought two German children’s books to read. And of course we bought Pfeffernusse, and some other treats 🙂

    Reply
  27. I’ve been to the Weihnachtsmarkt two years running now. My sister lives in Germany, so we found some German Christmas cards to send her. My parents are taking German lessons, so my mom bought two German children’s books to read. And of course we bought Pfeffernusse, and some other treats 🙂

    Reply
  28. I’ve been to the Weihnachtsmarkt two years running now. My sister lives in Germany, so we found some German Christmas cards to send her. My parents are taking German lessons, so my mom bought two German children’s books to read. And of course we bought Pfeffernusse, and some other treats 🙂

    Reply
  29. I’ve been to the Weihnachtsmarkt two years running now. My sister lives in Germany, so we found some German Christmas cards to send her. My parents are taking German lessons, so my mom bought two German children’s books to read. And of course we bought Pfeffernusse, and some other treats 🙂

    Reply
  30. I’ve been to the Weihnachtsmarkt two years running now. My sister lives in Germany, so we found some German Christmas cards to send her. My parents are taking German lessons, so my mom bought two German children’s books to read. And of course we bought Pfeffernusse, and some other treats 🙂

    Reply
  31. Thanks, Tez. I meant to go last year, but didn’t. This year there were two lots of inspirations — firstly I wanted to donate some of my foreign translations, which I did. And secondly, the market was just a small detour off the highway to the Mornington Peninsula where I was meeting up with friends for lunch. Serendipity.
    I didn’t buy any food, because I thought having to leave it sitting in a hot car for half a day would do nothing any good. I just looked up Pfeffernusse and found this recipe for it. Looks yummy.
    https://www.daringgourmet.com/pfeffernuesse-german-iced-gingerbread-cookies/

    Reply
  32. Thanks, Tez. I meant to go last year, but didn’t. This year there were two lots of inspirations — firstly I wanted to donate some of my foreign translations, which I did. And secondly, the market was just a small detour off the highway to the Mornington Peninsula where I was meeting up with friends for lunch. Serendipity.
    I didn’t buy any food, because I thought having to leave it sitting in a hot car for half a day would do nothing any good. I just looked up Pfeffernusse and found this recipe for it. Looks yummy.
    https://www.daringgourmet.com/pfeffernuesse-german-iced-gingerbread-cookies/

    Reply
  33. Thanks, Tez. I meant to go last year, but didn’t. This year there were two lots of inspirations — firstly I wanted to donate some of my foreign translations, which I did. And secondly, the market was just a small detour off the highway to the Mornington Peninsula where I was meeting up with friends for lunch. Serendipity.
    I didn’t buy any food, because I thought having to leave it sitting in a hot car for half a day would do nothing any good. I just looked up Pfeffernusse and found this recipe for it. Looks yummy.
    https://www.daringgourmet.com/pfeffernuesse-german-iced-gingerbread-cookies/

    Reply
  34. Thanks, Tez. I meant to go last year, but didn’t. This year there were two lots of inspirations — firstly I wanted to donate some of my foreign translations, which I did. And secondly, the market was just a small detour off the highway to the Mornington Peninsula where I was meeting up with friends for lunch. Serendipity.
    I didn’t buy any food, because I thought having to leave it sitting in a hot car for half a day would do nothing any good. I just looked up Pfeffernusse and found this recipe for it. Looks yummy.
    https://www.daringgourmet.com/pfeffernuesse-german-iced-gingerbread-cookies/

    Reply
  35. Thanks, Tez. I meant to go last year, but didn’t. This year there were two lots of inspirations — firstly I wanted to donate some of my foreign translations, which I did. And secondly, the market was just a small detour off the highway to the Mornington Peninsula where I was meeting up with friends for lunch. Serendipity.
    I didn’t buy any food, because I thought having to leave it sitting in a hot car for half a day would do nothing any good. I just looked up Pfeffernusse and found this recipe for it. Looks yummy.
    https://www.daringgourmet.com/pfeffernuesse-german-iced-gingerbread-cookies/

    Reply
  36. I have not been to a Christmas market this year, but I hope to! We bought some wonderful paua shell angel ornaments as a memento of our trip to New Zealand a few years ago (my first return in some forty years); we also have some Korean traditional instrument ornaments as a memento of a trip there (my daughter plays some of those instruments). Christmas ornaments are fun and they don’t take up a lot of room!
    I particularly enjoyed the picture of the glass art above, Anne, as we had a white cloncurry corella bird when I lived in Australia as a child.

    Reply
  37. I have not been to a Christmas market this year, but I hope to! We bought some wonderful paua shell angel ornaments as a memento of our trip to New Zealand a few years ago (my first return in some forty years); we also have some Korean traditional instrument ornaments as a memento of a trip there (my daughter plays some of those instruments). Christmas ornaments are fun and they don’t take up a lot of room!
    I particularly enjoyed the picture of the glass art above, Anne, as we had a white cloncurry corella bird when I lived in Australia as a child.

    Reply
  38. I have not been to a Christmas market this year, but I hope to! We bought some wonderful paua shell angel ornaments as a memento of our trip to New Zealand a few years ago (my first return in some forty years); we also have some Korean traditional instrument ornaments as a memento of a trip there (my daughter plays some of those instruments). Christmas ornaments are fun and they don’t take up a lot of room!
    I particularly enjoyed the picture of the glass art above, Anne, as we had a white cloncurry corella bird when I lived in Australia as a child.

    Reply
  39. I have not been to a Christmas market this year, but I hope to! We bought some wonderful paua shell angel ornaments as a memento of our trip to New Zealand a few years ago (my first return in some forty years); we also have some Korean traditional instrument ornaments as a memento of a trip there (my daughter plays some of those instruments). Christmas ornaments are fun and they don’t take up a lot of room!
    I particularly enjoyed the picture of the glass art above, Anne, as we had a white cloncurry corella bird when I lived in Australia as a child.

    Reply
  40. I have not been to a Christmas market this year, but I hope to! We bought some wonderful paua shell angel ornaments as a memento of our trip to New Zealand a few years ago (my first return in some forty years); we also have some Korean traditional instrument ornaments as a memento of a trip there (my daughter plays some of those instruments). Christmas ornaments are fun and they don’t take up a lot of room!
    I particularly enjoyed the picture of the glass art above, Anne, as we had a white cloncurry corella bird when I lived in Australia as a child.

    Reply
  41. I would not paint them, but seal them somehow. If they are painted they will just blend in with all the bright and colourful decorations that we are offered every Christmas, pretty though they be.

    Reply
  42. I would not paint them, but seal them somehow. If they are painted they will just blend in with all the bright and colourful decorations that we are offered every Christmas, pretty though they be.

    Reply
  43. I would not paint them, but seal them somehow. If they are painted they will just blend in with all the bright and colourful decorations that we are offered every Christmas, pretty though they be.

    Reply
  44. I would not paint them, but seal them somehow. If they are painted they will just blend in with all the bright and colourful decorations that we are offered every Christmas, pretty though they be.

    Reply
  45. I would not paint them, but seal them somehow. If they are painted they will just blend in with all the bright and colourful decorations that we are offered every Christmas, pretty though they be.

    Reply
  46. I definitely would leave them unpainted, though they would be darling painted as well. I have never been to a Christmas market though I do go to a local craft show around Christmas, which might accomplish a similar purpose. The pictures you shared and your Ornaments are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing the story of your first Christmas market. It was enchanting.

    Reply
  47. I definitely would leave them unpainted, though they would be darling painted as well. I have never been to a Christmas market though I do go to a local craft show around Christmas, which might accomplish a similar purpose. The pictures you shared and your Ornaments are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing the story of your first Christmas market. It was enchanting.

    Reply
  48. I definitely would leave them unpainted, though they would be darling painted as well. I have never been to a Christmas market though I do go to a local craft show around Christmas, which might accomplish a similar purpose. The pictures you shared and your Ornaments are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing the story of your first Christmas market. It was enchanting.

    Reply
  49. I definitely would leave them unpainted, though they would be darling painted as well. I have never been to a Christmas market though I do go to a local craft show around Christmas, which might accomplish a similar purpose. The pictures you shared and your Ornaments are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing the story of your first Christmas market. It was enchanting.

    Reply
  50. I definitely would leave them unpainted, though they would be darling painted as well. I have never been to a Christmas market though I do go to a local craft show around Christmas, which might accomplish a similar purpose. The pictures you shared and your Ornaments are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing the story of your first Christmas market. It was enchanting.

    Reply
  51. Paint would make them less than what they are right now.
    My world has gotten smaller, but at one time I loved walking up and down aisle after aisle to find treasures at open air markets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  52. Paint would make them less than what they are right now.
    My world has gotten smaller, but at one time I loved walking up and down aisle after aisle to find treasures at open air markets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  53. Paint would make them less than what they are right now.
    My world has gotten smaller, but at one time I loved walking up and down aisle after aisle to find treasures at open air markets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  54. Paint would make them less than what they are right now.
    My world has gotten smaller, but at one time I loved walking up and down aisle after aisle to find treasures at open air markets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  55. Paint would make them less than what they are right now.
    My world has gotten smaller, but at one time I loved walking up and down aisle after aisle to find treasures at open air markets. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  56. Seems there’s no room for controversy here. I too would protect the wood but leave them unpainted. And for the above reason — they are more distinctive that way.
    I have enjoyed your descriptions of the two Christmas markets as well.
    Umpty-mumble years? You’re all babies to me!

    Reply
  57. Seems there’s no room for controversy here. I too would protect the wood but leave them unpainted. And for the above reason — they are more distinctive that way.
    I have enjoyed your descriptions of the two Christmas markets as well.
    Umpty-mumble years? You’re all babies to me!

    Reply
  58. Seems there’s no room for controversy here. I too would protect the wood but leave them unpainted. And for the above reason — they are more distinctive that way.
    I have enjoyed your descriptions of the two Christmas markets as well.
    Umpty-mumble years? You’re all babies to me!

    Reply
  59. Seems there’s no room for controversy here. I too would protect the wood but leave them unpainted. And for the above reason — they are more distinctive that way.
    I have enjoyed your descriptions of the two Christmas markets as well.
    Umpty-mumble years? You’re all babies to me!

    Reply
  60. Seems there’s no room for controversy here. I too would protect the wood but leave them unpainted. And for the above reason — they are more distinctive that way.
    I have enjoyed your descriptions of the two Christmas markets as well.
    Umpty-mumble years? You’re all babies to me!

    Reply
  61. Thanks, Kareni — the paua shell ornaments would be beautiful, I know. I love paua shell. (For others, paua shell is the NZ maori word for abalone shell). I have all kinds of ornaments that remind me of different things and people. Your mention of the instruments reminded me — I have a little plastic Greek balalaika that I hang every year, a gift from a young Greek girl who came to my school on exchange for a year. After she went home, she sent me this little ornament and I think of her every Christmas as I hang it on the tree.
    The glass birds were lovely. I was so tempted to buy several, but resisted because I’m trying to get rid of “stuff”. (I took the makers’ card though.)

    Reply
  62. Thanks, Kareni — the paua shell ornaments would be beautiful, I know. I love paua shell. (For others, paua shell is the NZ maori word for abalone shell). I have all kinds of ornaments that remind me of different things and people. Your mention of the instruments reminded me — I have a little plastic Greek balalaika that I hang every year, a gift from a young Greek girl who came to my school on exchange for a year. After she went home, she sent me this little ornament and I think of her every Christmas as I hang it on the tree.
    The glass birds were lovely. I was so tempted to buy several, but resisted because I’m trying to get rid of “stuff”. (I took the makers’ card though.)

    Reply
  63. Thanks, Kareni — the paua shell ornaments would be beautiful, I know. I love paua shell. (For others, paua shell is the NZ maori word for abalone shell). I have all kinds of ornaments that remind me of different things and people. Your mention of the instruments reminded me — I have a little plastic Greek balalaika that I hang every year, a gift from a young Greek girl who came to my school on exchange for a year. After she went home, she sent me this little ornament and I think of her every Christmas as I hang it on the tree.
    The glass birds were lovely. I was so tempted to buy several, but resisted because I’m trying to get rid of “stuff”. (I took the makers’ card though.)

    Reply
  64. Thanks, Kareni — the paua shell ornaments would be beautiful, I know. I love paua shell. (For others, paua shell is the NZ maori word for abalone shell). I have all kinds of ornaments that remind me of different things and people. Your mention of the instruments reminded me — I have a little plastic Greek balalaika that I hang every year, a gift from a young Greek girl who came to my school on exchange for a year. After she went home, she sent me this little ornament and I think of her every Christmas as I hang it on the tree.
    The glass birds were lovely. I was so tempted to buy several, but resisted because I’m trying to get rid of “stuff”. (I took the makers’ card though.)

    Reply
  65. Thanks, Kareni — the paua shell ornaments would be beautiful, I know. I love paua shell. (For others, paua shell is the NZ maori word for abalone shell). I have all kinds of ornaments that remind me of different things and people. Your mention of the instruments reminded me — I have a little plastic Greek balalaika that I hang every year, a gift from a young Greek girl who came to my school on exchange for a year. After she went home, she sent me this little ornament and I think of her every Christmas as I hang it on the tree.
    The glass birds were lovely. I was so tempted to buy several, but resisted because I’m trying to get rid of “stuff”. (I took the makers’ card though.)

    Reply
  66. Thanks, Laura. Yes, I never painted the original wooden ornament and it still looks lovely, so I think I’ll keep these new ones the same. I, too love natural wood. I cringe at those TV demonstrations where they take a beautiful piece of wooden furniture and slap paint over it and then back it around with chains and things to make it look “distressed.” I’m usually the one who’s distressed. *g*

    Reply
  67. Thanks, Laura. Yes, I never painted the original wooden ornament and it still looks lovely, so I think I’ll keep these new ones the same. I, too love natural wood. I cringe at those TV demonstrations where they take a beautiful piece of wooden furniture and slap paint over it and then back it around with chains and things to make it look “distressed.” I’m usually the one who’s distressed. *g*

    Reply
  68. Thanks, Laura. Yes, I never painted the original wooden ornament and it still looks lovely, so I think I’ll keep these new ones the same. I, too love natural wood. I cringe at those TV demonstrations where they take a beautiful piece of wooden furniture and slap paint over it and then back it around with chains and things to make it look “distressed.” I’m usually the one who’s distressed. *g*

    Reply
  69. Thanks, Laura. Yes, I never painted the original wooden ornament and it still looks lovely, so I think I’ll keep these new ones the same. I, too love natural wood. I cringe at those TV demonstrations where they take a beautiful piece of wooden furniture and slap paint over it and then back it around with chains and things to make it look “distressed.” I’m usually the one who’s distressed. *g*

    Reply
  70. Thanks, Laura. Yes, I never painted the original wooden ornament and it still looks lovely, so I think I’ll keep these new ones the same. I, too love natural wood. I cringe at those TV demonstrations where they take a beautiful piece of wooden furniture and slap paint over it and then back it around with chains and things to make it look “distressed.” I’m usually the one who’s distressed. *g*

    Reply
  71. Thank you Laura. Christmas always brings out the nostalgic in me, and though that time in Zurich was early December, it’s my only snowy near Christmas experience.
    Even though here in Australia, Christmas time is usually hot, (and sometimes roasting) those of us of European ancestry have been brought up on tales of snowy Christmases, so we all want to experience it at least once.

    Reply
  72. Thank you Laura. Christmas always brings out the nostalgic in me, and though that time in Zurich was early December, it’s my only snowy near Christmas experience.
    Even though here in Australia, Christmas time is usually hot, (and sometimes roasting) those of us of European ancestry have been brought up on tales of snowy Christmases, so we all want to experience it at least once.

    Reply
  73. Thank you Laura. Christmas always brings out the nostalgic in me, and though that time in Zurich was early December, it’s my only snowy near Christmas experience.
    Even though here in Australia, Christmas time is usually hot, (and sometimes roasting) those of us of European ancestry have been brought up on tales of snowy Christmases, so we all want to experience it at least once.

    Reply
  74. Thank you Laura. Christmas always brings out the nostalgic in me, and though that time in Zurich was early December, it’s my only snowy near Christmas experience.
    Even though here in Australia, Christmas time is usually hot, (and sometimes roasting) those of us of European ancestry have been brought up on tales of snowy Christmases, so we all want to experience it at least once.

    Reply
  75. Thank you Laura. Christmas always brings out the nostalgic in me, and though that time in Zurich was early December, it’s my only snowy near Christmas experience.
    Even though here in Australia, Christmas time is usually hot, (and sometimes roasting) those of us of European ancestry have been brought up on tales of snowy Christmases, so we all want to experience it at least once.

    Reply
  76. I definitely wouldn’t paint them. They look so natural and beautiful as they are. Here in Co. Waterford, in Ireland, we have a Christmas festival that started a couple of years back. It’s called Wintervalle and it’s been a great success. We’re not a huge city and we were badly hit in the last recession and we’re still only recovering. Unemployment is still quite high here. So every year we have this to look forward to and it certainly does lift the spirits. This past year they’ve done up a lot of the city too so it looks fabulous at the moment. My daughter and I go in every year to see the lights switched on and we’ll go in for the afternoon in two weeks time. We’ll wander around all the craft and food stalls and have lunch and just basically chill out.
    It does my heart good!!!

    Reply
  77. I definitely wouldn’t paint them. They look so natural and beautiful as they are. Here in Co. Waterford, in Ireland, we have a Christmas festival that started a couple of years back. It’s called Wintervalle and it’s been a great success. We’re not a huge city and we were badly hit in the last recession and we’re still only recovering. Unemployment is still quite high here. So every year we have this to look forward to and it certainly does lift the spirits. This past year they’ve done up a lot of the city too so it looks fabulous at the moment. My daughter and I go in every year to see the lights switched on and we’ll go in for the afternoon in two weeks time. We’ll wander around all the craft and food stalls and have lunch and just basically chill out.
    It does my heart good!!!

    Reply
  78. I definitely wouldn’t paint them. They look so natural and beautiful as they are. Here in Co. Waterford, in Ireland, we have a Christmas festival that started a couple of years back. It’s called Wintervalle and it’s been a great success. We’re not a huge city and we were badly hit in the last recession and we’re still only recovering. Unemployment is still quite high here. So every year we have this to look forward to and it certainly does lift the spirits. This past year they’ve done up a lot of the city too so it looks fabulous at the moment. My daughter and I go in every year to see the lights switched on and we’ll go in for the afternoon in two weeks time. We’ll wander around all the craft and food stalls and have lunch and just basically chill out.
    It does my heart good!!!

    Reply
  79. I definitely wouldn’t paint them. They look so natural and beautiful as they are. Here in Co. Waterford, in Ireland, we have a Christmas festival that started a couple of years back. It’s called Wintervalle and it’s been a great success. We’re not a huge city and we were badly hit in the last recession and we’re still only recovering. Unemployment is still quite high here. So every year we have this to look forward to and it certainly does lift the spirits. This past year they’ve done up a lot of the city too so it looks fabulous at the moment. My daughter and I go in every year to see the lights switched on and we’ll go in for the afternoon in two weeks time. We’ll wander around all the craft and food stalls and have lunch and just basically chill out.
    It does my heart good!!!

    Reply
  80. I definitely wouldn’t paint them. They look so natural and beautiful as they are. Here in Co. Waterford, in Ireland, we have a Christmas festival that started a couple of years back. It’s called Wintervalle and it’s been a great success. We’re not a huge city and we were badly hit in the last recession and we’re still only recovering. Unemployment is still quite high here. So every year we have this to look forward to and it certainly does lift the spirits. This past year they’ve done up a lot of the city too so it looks fabulous at the moment. My daughter and I go in every year to see the lights switched on and we’ll go in for the afternoon in two weeks time. We’ll wander around all the craft and food stalls and have lunch and just basically chill out.
    It does my heart good!!!

    Reply
  81. Teresa, I think you’ve just demonstrated why the ancients had a winter festival, and why Christmas was grafted onto it — to cheer people up, and celebrate life. I’m so glad your city responded to tough times with an uplifting, feel-good festival. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time — and that the local economy revives soon.

    Reply
  82. Teresa, I think you’ve just demonstrated why the ancients had a winter festival, and why Christmas was grafted onto it — to cheer people up, and celebrate life. I’m so glad your city responded to tough times with an uplifting, feel-good festival. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time — and that the local economy revives soon.

    Reply
  83. Teresa, I think you’ve just demonstrated why the ancients had a winter festival, and why Christmas was grafted onto it — to cheer people up, and celebrate life. I’m so glad your city responded to tough times with an uplifting, feel-good festival. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time — and that the local economy revives soon.

    Reply
  84. Teresa, I think you’ve just demonstrated why the ancients had a winter festival, and why Christmas was grafted onto it — to cheer people up, and celebrate life. I’m so glad your city responded to tough times with an uplifting, feel-good festival. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time — and that the local economy revives soon.

    Reply
  85. Teresa, I think you’ve just demonstrated why the ancients had a winter festival, and why Christmas was grafted onto it — to cheer people up, and celebrate life. I’m so glad your city responded to tough times with an uplifting, feel-good festival. I hope you and your daughter have a lovely time — and that the local economy revives soon.

    Reply
  86. I have been to a German Christmas market. They are quite popular and we do usually have the right weather for it on the East Coast of the U.S. I especially enjoyed the imported marzipan! And I also got a lovely delicately embroidered table runner.

    Reply
  87. I have been to a German Christmas market. They are quite popular and we do usually have the right weather for it on the East Coast of the U.S. I especially enjoyed the imported marzipan! And I also got a lovely delicately embroidered table runner.

    Reply
  88. I have been to a German Christmas market. They are quite popular and we do usually have the right weather for it on the East Coast of the U.S. I especially enjoyed the imported marzipan! And I also got a lovely delicately embroidered table runner.

    Reply
  89. I have been to a German Christmas market. They are quite popular and we do usually have the right weather for it on the East Coast of the U.S. I especially enjoyed the imported marzipan! And I also got a lovely delicately embroidered table runner.

    Reply
  90. I have been to a German Christmas market. They are quite popular and we do usually have the right weather for it on the East Coast of the U.S. I especially enjoyed the imported marzipan! And I also got a lovely delicately embroidered table runner.

    Reply

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