Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Once upon a time in a village far away, there was a poor shoemaker and his wife.   
The shoemaker worked very hard but there was never enough money. At last, one night, they had no food for their supper.  
"All I have is enough leather to make one pair of shoes," he told his wife.  
He cut out the leather and placed it on the table.  
"I will make them in the morning," he said.  And they went to bed hungry.

In the morning, to his surprise, the leather had been made into a beautiful pair of shoes.
Jus then a customer came in.  
"I have never seen such beautiful shoes!" she said.   
She gave the shoemaker three gold coins for them. With the money, the shoemaker's wife bought food and made a delicious dinner. The shoemaker bought more leather. That night, he cut the leather for two pairs of shoes. 

In the morning, the same thing happened, there were two pairs of shoes on the table!  Soon two customers came in and bought the shoes.  They each paid him well. So, the shoemaker bought leather enough for three pairs more.
He cut out the work again that night and found it finished in the morning. 
And so it went on for some time. Whatever he got ready at night, was always done by morning and the good man was soon rich. One evening, at Christmas-time, he said to his his wife, 
"Tonight let's sit up and watch, to see who it is that comes and does my work for me."
So they hid themselves behind a curtain to see what would happen.

As soon as the clock struck midnight, in came two little elves.
They sat on the shoemaker's bench and went to work. They stitched and rapped and hammered and tapped at such a rate that the shoemaker was amazed, and could not take his eyes off them for a moment.
On they went until the job was done, and the shoes stood ready on the table. Then they ran away as quick as lightning.

The next day the shoemaker said, "The elves have helped us. How can we help them?"
"I have an idea," said his wife.  

"It is so cold outside, and they have no coats to wear.  I will make each of them a coat and a hat.  And you can make each of them a little pair of shoes."

And so they did. That night they put two little hats and two little coats and two little pairs of shoes on the table. Then they went and hid behind the curtain to watch what the elves would do.

As the clock struck midnight, the elves came in and were going to sit down at their work as usual. 
But when they saw the clothes lying there for them, they began to laugh and shout with joy! They dressed themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and danced, and skipped and sprang about as merry as could be.

At last they danced out the door. The shoemaker and his wife never saw the elves again, but they had made so much money from selling the elves' shoes, that the shoemaker was able to buy enough fine leather to keep the shop going. The shoemaker and his wife were never poor again. They had a wonderful Christmas season and were able to share their Christmas joy with the rest of the town. 

~The classic fairy-tale by the Brothers Grimm~

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Santa Claus is coming to town

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

Friday, September 28, 2012

Christmas Market Strasbourg

Two years ago I visited Strasbourg just before Christmas and I was nicely suprised, how magical it looked.
You really have to see this place to understand the atmosphere. 
Strasbourg Christmas market at Strasbourg's Cathedral square is one of the worlds most magical Christmas markets. 

This is a fantastic place to visit. The main Christmas market is really good and the streets are beautifully decorated. They line the streets with lights overhead and the whole thing is a little beyond describing with words. Fairy-tale buildings with Christmas shops, gingerbread bakery, pastries, warming food on offer includes sausages and choucroute (pickled cabbages) and the famous Baeckeoffe (meat and potatoes casserole). Wash everything down with excellent mulled wine and beer.

There are also numerous Christmas markets within walking distance from each other. Just make sure you have your best walking boots and warm socks.
I would strongly suggest u also visit la petite France. 

A map with a schedule of events is available at the tourist information office at the train station or at some areas around the city.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Champs-Elysées Christmas Market Paris

I love Christmas markets, Christmas Markets are set up throughout different cities, each packed with stands of gourmet food, mulled wine and handmade presents.

Today I decided to tell you a little bit about Christmas Markets in Paris.
The light-draped Champs-Elysées will lead you to exactly where you want to be. Here you'll find the largest Christmas market in Paris that runs from the Champs-Elysées roundabout (Metro Franklin D. Roosevelt), all the way to the Place de la Concorde (Metro Concorde).

It offers a large variety of Christmas arts and crafts products, so it's an ideal place to stop to do some shopping.
The aroma of hot spiced wine while shopping, cheeses, Nutella crepes, giant-sized ginger bread cookies, sausages, wines and other winter season specialties.
I am a sweets lover and one of my favorites are churros - sweet, crispy, fried dough. Yummy!

Churros - Yummy!


 Champs-Elysées Christmas Market


Christmas Market La Defense

The Glittering Eiffel Tower


And why not have a ride on the big wheel to get a breathtaking view of the Champs-Elysées and the Christmas illuminations?

Other Parisian Christmas markets can be found:
1.) At the Montparnasse Tower - this market specializes in regional French delicacies.
2.) At La Defense
3.) Trocadero
4.) Place des Abbesses and many many others.  

Visit one of Paris's many Christmas markets for a scenic winter stroll or stock up on traditional foodstuffs and other items for gifts. Dive into the heart of the magical Christmas season with the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysees.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The little Christmas Tree

This is the story of a little tree who dreamt of growing up, so that he could go and be a Christmas Tree amongst the humans.

The other, older trees, knew more about life, and they told him that being a tree with the humans wasn’t as good as all that. But the little tree didn’t want to believe.

He was so pleased when one day children came with their parents to choose a tree to decorate their living room. The children adored him at first sight.
So he was dug up, then brought into the living room, where he was hung with decorations.
After they had finished decorating, the little tree shine with a thousand lights.

Christmas was getting closer and everyone admired the little Christmas Tree.

The young tree thought: ''All the bigger trees were wrong'' and he lifted his branches even higher so people could admire him better.

Up till January, he was the prince of the living room, but then he started to lose his needles.
Now nobody looked at him, touched him or even bothered to gather up the tiny needles that fell. Later, the whole family decided to put him down into the cellar. The tree started to feel very sad.

After several days, the little tree was replanted. He was so happy to be back in this good old earth that he’d missed so much.
Suddenly he understood that the family had left him in the cold of the cellar to keep him healthy.
Each year, the family dug him up again to put him back into the living room. He was very happy with his new family and learned something ... In the end the bigger trees were wrong - some humans are good after all...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Warm Welcome

I love the beginning of the Christmas period with freshly lit street decorations and that feeling of expectation of nice and magical things to come.

With Christmas approaching, a lot of you are wondering what to do. 

So… that’s why this year, I’ve decided to create the blog all about Christmas to give you some inspirations.

How to decorate the house?
How to dress the Christmas tree?
What to bake, cook?
What presents to give?
What Christmas movie to watch?

The answer for all these questions and more you gonna find in here. 

''Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.'' 
~Norman Vincent Peale~