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Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Impressions

This year, we did something totally different for Christmas:  we traveled as a family to Germany to spend the time there, a big change from our usual Florida Christmases.  You may think this was an odd choice - leaving here where the weather is lovely this time of year, for a cold and wet climate. 

We had a special reason too - we now have a small family house for our vacations, and I was anxious that the kids should be able to visit it with us and help us get organized - which they did, and we are especially grateful to our son who did a lot of work outside clearing bushes and even cutting down a tree (no small problem, the tree was hanging over our garden from the edge of the forest)

We did take some time off too, as you can see - these photos are from Kaysersberg in Alsace, the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer.  Kaysersberg has a beautiful and famous Christmas market, spread throughout the small town.  Although it was a cold and wet day, we still enjoyed walking around.

The house decorations are lovely and understated.  Interesting arrangements of natural things and a few touches of color with ribbons are more usual than the flashing multicolored lights seen in the US.

This was especially beautiful as it started to get dark, the nativity in the square in front of the church.  There is a concert in the church each Sunday afternoon of Advent, but it gets very crowded and was full before we got there.

Our daughter got her wish for some snow, here is the church in our new village.  The village is a very nice and lively community, with a living Advent calendar in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.  We were invited to attend and really enjoyed the warm welcome and conversations with our new neighbors.

I took this picture because it reminded me of strength and resilience in the face of adversity - something I should think about more often.

This in front of the church.

And this is a small glimpse of our house and barn.  The house was built in 1898. 

A view of the village from the mountain behind our house.

The chapel on the mountain directly above our house (well, maybe not directly, a half hour steep climb !)

No tree this year for us, we were working on getting the basics set up, but we had to have a little Christmas atmosphere.
You may remember this quilt ? 
So here is our living room in candlelight.

Our first gift for our new house from Lou thank you so much, it is beautiful and just right - there is a niche in the wall and we put this lovely cross stitch in there.

The view from my bedroom window.  I love the church tower.  The bells chime each quarter hour, and count out the number of hours on each full hour after chiming all four quarters.  I woke up at night a lot at first, but then I got used to it and found it comforting. 


Angelikas quilts and knits said...

Liebe Heather, die Fotos sind wunderschön und das Haus scheint ein richtiges Schätzchen zu sein :-) Da fällt es nicht schwer, es gemütlich einzurichten.
Liebe Grüße und frohes Neues Jahr


Lou said...

oh, it's so beautiful.
Please, come back to Europe often, Heather.

Donna in SW PA said...

It looks just wonderful. Glad you had such a good time Donna

stadtgarten said...

Liebe Heather, ich wünsche Dir ein gutes, gesundes und glückliches Jahr 2012!
Wie schön, dass Ihr nun ein Haus hier in Deutschland habt, ich nehme an, es ist in dem Ort, wo Dein Mann herkommt, wenn ich mir die Bilder so anschaue! So habt Ihr immer wieder einen Grund, nach Europa zu kommen!
Vielleicht lernen wir uns dann ja auch irgendwann einmal "live" kennen:)
Lieb Grüße, Monika