Hi folks! 😀
I hope everybody is well and not too stressed out? This is the first time since the last three years(!) that I am not ready to completely lose my head about my to-do list and »OMG what shall I get him/her as a PRESENT?!?« In fact, I started getting everything together at the end of October (!) and am now officially done with my Christmas shopping. WOO-HOO!
A couple of days ago, I cleaned, scrubbed, vacuumed … my flat for about two hours. Two hours! But although I am not such a big fan of cleaning and housework (I keep everything clean. It’s just that you will not find me jumping around singing: »YES, time to scrub the oven!!« 😉 ), I had a lot of fun with it.
The week before, we had snow, real snow, quite early in the year. It is a good German custom to not only shovel it away, but also fight it to death (I’d written »stone«, but the stuff is way too small for that) with sand, granulate and salt. Officially, it’s forbidden to use salt, as it gets to the groundwater and hurts the trees immensely – but if it comes to snow, the Germans don’t bother about that. I mean, I don’t want to complain about the granulate, it’s actually very nice being able to get somewhere without being in danger of breaking one of your limps – but the downside of the granulate/sand/salt thing is that whatever you do, you will have everything under the soles of your shoes and bring it into your house. Especially the granulate. It will be found in the whole house/flat, and the snow still sticking to it will melt immediately and leave wet, dirty puddles. Bah! (This is a German custom, btw, and one that indeed matches the stereotype: We love to complain. Seriously. If the Germans cannot complain, they are not happy (and thus, have something to complain about! Yay! 😀 ).
I had that stuff in my flat for two or three days already – and so I set to work on Monday, tidying every room, dusting, vacuuming, mopping the floor …. It was really, really satisfying, to be honest, and I still feel the benefit of it. I have bought some soft soap to mop the floor with, and the smell is amazing. Much better (and gentler) than all that chemical stuff you get for a lot mor money!
One of my New Year’s resolutions (I accidentally typed »revolutions« :mrgreen:) is to get rid of the things that I don’t need anymore and I already started this a couple of months ago. Books, clothes, other things … They will either go off to charity or be thrown away.
While we’re at German winter and Christmas (again … Sorry, that was a bit rough) , I want to show you my Advent wreath! 😀
This is the first one I bought for my own flat, and I truly love it. I don’t know if you know about the Advent wreath, because as far as I know, this is a German custom (again. Very folklore-like posting today). The wreath is bought at the beginning of December (usually, slightly before that) and on every Sunday in Advent, one candle is lit: One on the first Sunday, two on the second, and so on, until Christmas. It is a reminder of how many more weeks to Christmas, but also (and foremost) symbolises Jesus’ words: »I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. « (John 8,12).
The custom of the Advent wreath is not so old as one might think: It was invented in Hamburg in the 19th Century by the German pastor Johann Wichern. You can read about the story here, if you’re interested – it really is worth reading! 😀
It is very calming to have the candles on in the morning, while it is still dark outside, drink tea and either enjoy the silence or listening to some quiet music …
I have also started to wrap some of the presents for Christmas, so I won’t have to do everything last-minute:
I also bought printed wrapping paper, but like this one a lot, to be honest, because it is so simple. The little gift cards were given to me a couple of years ago by my gran, and I finally decided to use them this year. 😀 The embroidery on the red tablecloth, btw, is handmade – but I am not quite sure whether I got this one from my gran or if my father made it and gifted it to me. I think it’s the one from my gran …
I have finished one of my mum’s socks and have already started the second one (but I will really hurry up with this one!). My SIL won’t be getting any socks, I simply didn’t have time – but I’ll do a quick browsing on ravelry with her instead and let her pick a pattern herself.
I have started the body of Kramme Ugler the day before yesterday …
And I am half done by now. You crochet everything upside down, so imagine that ugler is making a head stand. 😉 Now I have to start on the body … roughly 40 more rows to go! Wish me luck … I want to finish it as soon as possible, so my father has time to sew everything on … And I still have to work the feet! AAAAARGH!
Have a lovely day! 😀