All over the world, children meet Santa Claus – with awe or with great joy – confiding their wishes to him. I suppose that was the case with you when you were little if you celebrated Christmas.
We are still in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas, which ends on January 6th with the visit of the Magi. My family is Lutheran and I really only knew the 12 days of the Christmas from the English song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". I'm sure you know it... on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree; on the second day two turtle doves; on the third day three French hens and so on until the whole hall is filled with gifts (and lots of birds). Well, anyone who knows me and my ornithophobie (fear of birds) can certainly imagine that a gift of fluttering birds would really not be quite right for me. (Even if I had to overcome my fear of birds for 'Heidelberg wimmelt')
All over the world, children meet Santa Claus – with awe or with great joy – confiding their wishes to him.
We often want something for Christmas, especially as children, which we saw in an ad or is currently trendy (Remember Cabbage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies?) Of course I was really happy about the hairdressing doll I got when I was six. I remember wanting a wooden railroad and a set of Lincoln Logs as a kid. We have these now (ostensibly bought for our own kids when they were small), but at that time these wishes remained unfulfilled. What did you want for Christmas as a child? What was something that was really popular? Do you still have the gift today?
I still have one – it's an SLR camera that my parents gave me for my 17th Christmas. Even though I hardly use it anymore, it stands for the long journey and adventures of my (then) upcoming year as an exchange student in Germany. It was, or is, bulky and made loud noises when forwarding the 35mm film, and made a loud klicking sound when opening and closing the shutter. Besides, I always had to put the camera in a dark sack so that I didn't accidentally let light fall on the undeveloped film when I wanted to rewind it and take it out of the camera for development. It has travelled with me everywhere I have been – to Bielefeld, to Bonn, to Cologne, to Amsterdam and Belgium, to Vienna and to Innsbruck, to DDR-Berlin, to Heidelberg, to Paris, to San Antonio, to New York...
However, the most important gift that has remained with me is the time with my family. With Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, uncles, aunts, cousins and my four siblings. I hope that you also have beautiful memories and will follow with many more.
On Sunday a week ago I posted a gift for my blog readers: A freebie kit for making glowing little angels More than 144 combinations are possible. Those who don't like angels can simply omit the wings. If you need more, you can use different 'dresses' or use my stencil to make your own figures with colored paper. The kit is only available for download up to December 31st, 2017, is quick and easy to put together for example for the table or window sill. For educators and primary school teachers it is a beautiful project for the dark part of the year.
Christmas is over again, we long for the New Year and wait for the daylight to become longer. To occupy yourself during this dark time of the year, go on a voyage of discovery through my search and find book, 'Heidelberg wimmelt', which you can get from your favorite bookshop, directly from the Silberburg-Verlag publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice. Give yourself some 'I spy' sleuthing quizzes: Who can find Santa Claus's house the fastest?
At the end of the year we always make resolutions. I've resolved to freshen up my website. I replaced my old portfolio of children's book illustrations with my new one yesterday. I also cleaned up my W.I.P. page – so that I can display current, but not yet finished projects. (Still working on that, but that is a work in progress, itself) Subscribe to my blog and/or newsletter (I promise not to spam you) and stay up to date — the blog subscription form can be found at the end of this post.
And what are your resolutions? Write in the comments what your changes and goals are for 2018. I wish you a Happy New Year!