Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our Emerging St. Nicolas Day Traditions

As this is our third holiday season in Luxembourg, we're finally beginning to get the hang of St. Nicolas Day, the 6th of December.  Primary school children have the day off school, following a couple weeks of songs, crafts and talk of "Kleeschen," so it will still be a special day for our kids for a few more years.

(I'll link back to our first St. Nicolas Day here.)

this year, the kids made their own goody-receptacles in art class, in lieu of actual shoes or slippers 

this year the 6th fell on a Saturday, which was handy for getting our tree together at the local park

Pete carried it home from the park.  And thus broke my tradition of bringing it home on the bus!
and the tree was trimmed
So that's about it for our St. Nick Day traditions, I think: 1) get chocolate, 2) get tree, 3) decorate tree.   Easy enough.

Now for a couple of bonus items:

1) James singing a song he learned at school.  

Rough translation according to the kids:

The Kleeschen brings us apples, nuts and pears because we like them all so much
The Housécker (Black Peter) brings us sticks and roots (although we learned later that it's basically sticks, sticks, and more sticks!), for a long time he's brought nothing good!
(That verse repeats)
The Black One never gets us because we are as behaved as the angels.  He can keep his sticks!

2) A photo from last year in James' class, when St. Nick and Black Peter visited.  Apparently some kids got sticks in front everyone for damaging school property.  So, yes, it's serious business.

By the way, I didn't take this photo; it was given to all the parents on a CD of pictures from the year. 
I'm guessing this wouldn't fly in an American school.  Lawsuit, anyone?!?

Well, we take your Elf on the Shelf and raise you The Black One!

Ah, cultural differences are the spice of life. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Luxembourg Christmas Market 2014

from the ferris wheel
I'll probably jinx myself by saying it, but I intend to catch up on a few December posts over the next few days.  

The Luxembourg Christmas Market wound down a couple of days ago, after running every day since November 22nd.  We were able show our visitors from the US around back in November.  

There are two main areas of the Lux market, with a few other small sections scattered around town.  We spent most of our time this year at one of the main markets on Place de la Constitution, next to the Golden Lady monument, which commemorates Luxembourgers who perished in the First World War.  Most of the photos below are from that area.

My mom

What sunshine!
Uncle Jon
riding the ferris wheel
first time trying the trampolines
Golden Lady
trying some flips
a Christmas brass band
a non-scheduled act
hot wine and hot chocolate, with a side of Spätzle
Juice this time.  Christmas markets are all about eating and drinking.
hey, it's the whole family
For our introduction to the Christmas Market phenomenon, see here.