Our German and American Christmas Decorations

by Dagmar Bleasdale on December 11, 2011

Our Christmas decorations are finally all up.

I got a late start this year because there’s just too much going on: Don is working two full-time jobs, I’m working full-time from home, Don’s truck was in the garage, and Landon seems to have half days in kindergarten at least once a week.

Here is our Christmas tree: I threw every German and American ornament on there we own, some fake berries, and even a ribbon.

I decided to use the fake tree again this year so I don’t have to clean up the needles every few days — but I do miss the smell.

Landon helped me for a little while and also decorated a tabletop tree with little ornaments and a paper garland he had made in kindergarten.

I love this ornament because it looks like L when he was a baby — he just didn’t have that much hair.

These are probably my favorite to unwrap every year: little handcrafted and handpainted German angles with music instruments. My mom buys us a new one every year.

After writing a post about 11 easy DIY advent calendars, I really wanted to make one for Landon.

I liked the idea of the book advent calendar because we have countless kids books. And I love to wrap gifts and am a tad addicted to buying wrapping paper, so one night I sat down to make this creation:

I used books we have, new books, a couple new puzzles, and hid little treasures in the bigger boxes to get the tree effect.

And then L and I sat down for a craft project to make handmade numbers.

He didn’t know what they were for, but he had fun writing the numbers for me, and then we decorated them with little holiday stamps and pictures from those free address stickers we get bombarded with. I cut those off for craft projects.

I was already December 8 when we made the numbers, so that’s where our advent calendar started. L has another one filled with chocolate from Trader Joe’s, and my mom send him this one with Hachez chocolate made in my hometown.

I bought that cute card holder at the dollar store, and that’s the kitschy cuckoo clock I found in a thrift store for $40.

I’d never hang one in my house in Germany, in fact my mom and aunt couldn’t stop laughing when they heard I have a cuckoo clock.

But here in the U.S. it makes me think of my roots — although there are really no cuckoo clocks where I grew up in North Germany. They belong more in the south of Germany and Bavaria.

This original Loetscher cuckoo clock was made by one of the last cuckoo clock manufacturers in Switzerland, but the clockwork that makes the bird and the little man come out is made in Germany.

It also plays a sweet melody every 30 minutes.

It takes craftsmen weeks to make one of these out of wood, and they can fetch over $1,000, so I’m pretty happy with this thrifty purchase :)

How did you decorate for the holidays?

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