Thursday, December 27, 2012


The festivities have begun. Christmas is different when your children have grown up. And it has always been different for us since most of our family are in Europe.

This is our church St. Martin's. No white Christmas this year.
Finally I remembered to take a photo of the small tree with all the straw ornaments. When I was a child I would make many straw stars every year. I don't know what happened to them? Most of these are bought.
The lace tree in the loft. And of course my Hartensteiner Adventsstern. This star is very unique and famous all over Germany. It was and still is made in the town my father was born and grew up. This star is older then my children. I can't ever remember an Advent without it.
I actually made two new bobbin lace ornaments this year for the tree.
Sarah's in-laws Kathy and Mike arrived on Saturday Dec 22 to spend this special time with their son Wade and Sarah. All four came over in the evening to have dinner with us. Sarah had requested "my" Taco Salad which my neighbor Lois Jeanne in St Louis had taught to me many years ago. I didn't take one picture all evening but we had a wonderful time. This was next day's lunch from the leftover cheese sauce ... made by James.
Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day Sarah had to work but she had worked it all out to make the best of it. Christmas Eve James and I were invited to their house for Christmas Dinner. Wade and his parents had prepared everything very nicely. James was making his roast potatoes and I had brought my Spinach Salad with the horseradish dressing. This is Sarah and Wade's Christmas tree.
This is the second year that they had a "real" tree. Sarah had preserved a couple of slices from last year's tree trunk and asked me for suggestions how to make an ornament out of it. This is just a trial sample I did with my wood burning tool. It will be a project for after Epiphany when this year's tree comes down. 
I did take photos of Jimmy and Schatzi who were on their best behavior that evening.

We did a little gift-opening after the meal and before all of us went to the midnight mass at St Martin's. Sarah was delighted with the gift from her sister. Helen knew exactly that Sarah would like this necklace.
James and I had some presents under the tree too. This picture was taken for Helen to show her thumbs up and kiss kiss for my new quilt calendar. She is always afraid that I might get bored about getting one, but I love it. When I sent her this picture she asked right away whether the vest I was wearing was Sarah's present to me. Eagle eyes! Yes. Love my vest too.
James is getting ready to open his present from Helen too.
Christmas Day!  James and I went to the morning service which is always for only a few people since there are two services the evening before. But we enjoy the quieter service with close friends. In the evening we all gathered at Kathy's brother's house in West Point. Carolyn had laid the table so beautifully!
Again, not many pictures. But I had to take this one for Helen.
This is were the metal art hangs which Ben had made. Here is a link to his business! Helen had seen it only wrapped ready to be shipped. I really like the crab.
Kathy had taken this picture and mailed it to me. Thank you, Kathy!
Was it British night? Carolyn had laid the table with crackers. I think this was new to our hosts so James explained how he had done it all his life. We had a lot of fun.
Looking for the toys and jokes/trivia.

Some gift exchange next to the tree. Cooper was told that you have to have the crown on to open a gift.
 And, oh yes, dessert! Our hosts new house came with a pecan tree. That pie was made with their own pecans, gathered by Cooper, shelled by Jon and baked by Carolyn ... eaten by me, ha-ha. So good. But so were the other goodies.
Carolyn taking a picture of Kathy, Sarah, Wade and Mike.
 I have to take a picture of our hosts Jon and Carolyn and her parents Barbara and John. We had such a great time with them.
Boxing Day, in Germany "zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag" (second day of Christmas), was my father's birthday. 64 years ago he got me and a block of chocolate.  I had a wonderful birthday. Most calls from Germany come in the morning or early afternoon (time difference) and I got a lot of messages on Face Book and per e-mail and, I must admit, I was really touched. Thanks, all my dear friends!
We had a quiet evening because we had to call off a little celebration with Sarah and Wade. Suddenly I didn't feel so good in my stomach. Oh, well ...

Today I got the best birthday cake ever! Look at this art work of William. Obviously he likes to paint, even if he probably had a little help. May be we can watch him next time Helen does Facetime with us. Yes, love those gadgets!!!

1 comment:

  1. Christa! I love this post- the pictures are great and capture the fun we had perfectly. It was a wonderful Christmas, just as it should be- celebrating the birth of our Lord with family and friends.

    We learned so much about crackers AND British humor- SO HILARIOUS!!

    Love the picture of my parents and Jon and me- and so glad you thought to take one of the crab from Ben. Isn't it perfect out there?? :)