Thursday, February 6, 2014

2013 Holiday Recap

Here's a quick recap of our December 2013.  Better late than never.

As per our annual tradition, we had family photos taken.  This year we had a little extra fun with it, including some "on location" shots around the city.
Grand Duke's Palace
like it says
down in the Grund behind Pete's office

town square
The Ts have two December birthdays, with Pete's birthday exactly one week after Daphne's.  I surprised him with a cake make by our Luxembourgish friend; his family owns and runs a bakery called "The Crazy Baker."
Most of their cakes are like this.  You'll just have to trust me on this one.  Luxembourg has its own brand of "whimsy."
On the eve of December 6th, the Klees'chen (St. Nicolas) visits Luxembourgish children and brings gifts, along with his trusty sidekick, Black Peter.  (You can read all about it in this post from last year).
Illustrated by Daphne.  Our kids got some chocolate and an orange in their shoes that they left on the windowsill.
about half of Daphne's class singing a song about the Kleeschen at their holiday party
This year we all tasted our first chestnuts roasted on an open fire.
all-school party in the courtyard
For the second year running, I carried our Christmas tree home on the bus.

getting to be an old pro at this
many of the Christmas trees in Luxembourg are a bit "squat" like this
In addition to St. Nicolas Day, many families here also celebrate Christmas and Santa Claus.  
Ever wondered how Santa gains entry to apartments?  These little guys are all over Luxembourg in December.
Last holiday season, we were just beginning to get involved in the music at our church.  This year, we ran the music for six services in December, including a Christmas Eve candlelit service of lessons and carols.
our little rented hall all decked out on Christmas Eve
kids doing an Advent song for one of our December services (screenshot from a Facebook video!)
And then, the weekend after Christmas, some special guests arrived!

We spent the following week celebrating Christmas #2 with Grammy and Grandpa.

and 3 out of 4 of us got piano lessons!  Pete gets some tips on his form.
Normally, the kids don't receive gifts from Pete and me for Christmas.  We fill their stockings with snacks, socks, and the like, and that's it.  This year, however, we decided to get them each a Kindle Paperwhite.  Books in English can be hard to come by here, and we thought this would be a great way to help them keep up their skills and interest in reading in English.  Grammy and Grandpa brought them along for us (cheaper to purchase from the US Amazon site).
so far so good
After church on the 29th, we all headed to Strasbourg, France on the train.
matching purple Kindles
Strasbourg hosts one of the most famous and largest Christmas markets in Europe, and it's one of the only markets that runs all the way until the end of December.  We stayed one night in a hotel and visited the market the following day.
lucked out on weather, eh?
vin chaud, the only wine I kind of like!

Christmas was much less lonely this year.

So that was our December!

You can read last year's post here.


Jasmine Brenneman said...

I love reading about your European Christmas. Beautiful family. I am inspired by your minimalist lifestyle. Last week I parted with three of my boxes from my garage filled with things from my life as a teacher including yearbooks from 9 years of teaching, picture books, and more. I feel very energized, motivated, and lighter. I really love this minimalist stuff. I am starting out on the journey, but have a long way to go. I love the Christmas present ideas for the kids too :)

Eric Bowman said...

Rosie -
Love all the photos and hearing about all of your new traditions. Your Christmas tree is sweet. We miss you all very much.
Debbie, Eric and Lily