This post “Christmas Wishlist” contains affiliate links.
It’s been a minute since I last wrote down a list of things I’d like to receive for Christmas. I usually can’t really name anything. But this year around I kept a file and wrote down a few things I would love to unwrap. Not that the gift thing is the main event on Christmas in my book but it sure is nice to be pampered. And I do love sitting fully stuffed with Christmas dinner and take turns unwrapping. It is always such a nice atmosphere. The candles burning a hot drink at hand. You get the picture. So here are my humble wishes:
➢ KKEP ON READING
Welcome to my annual wreath celebration. I just checked and it is my elevens wreath idea I share on this blog. So I have done a lot of new interpretations within the last years. After last years recycling idea I felt more natural this time around. That is why a modern natural wreath with acorn hats was created in some hours of labor.
When I was walking in the park in fall I kept coming across the acorns. You all probably know that the hats keep on falling off even when you manage to find an intact one. As kid it always bothered me. Of course you can glue them back on but it is not the same somehow. Anyhow I had a closer look at the hats and found they are a beauty in themselves. So I collected a few and carried them in my pocket. Through the next days I kept touching them and sometime I came up with the idea that they should be the star in this years natural wreath.
➢ KEEP ON READING
We are close to starting advent season and somehow this year I am craving cheesy Christmas movies 6 weeks prior to the Holidays. I blame it on Corona and my need to escape to a happy snowy world of peace and good endings. So I made a list of Christmas Movies I am going to watch and re-watch.
➢ KEEP ON ReadING
Are you in the Holiday Spirit yet? While I was all hyped end of September when I started this article I have a hard time getting into the right mood now. So music is playing, candles are burning and I finally finish up this post. By the end I hope I will be ready.
I came across this little game last year on Emily’s blog (or was it somewhere else?) and already knew I had to go ahead and share some version of it with you.
Real or Fake Tree? Always and forever a real Christmas tree. I take it even further and say only real candles too. Who is with me?
Favorite Christmas cookie? Oh this one is a tough one. But I believe the one recipe I have been doing the last years is the one I posted here: Spicy Chai Cookies . Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to making some this year. Maybe I find time to do so today.
Home or Travel for Christmas? Home-Travel. I have only spend 2 Christmas away from family: 1999 when I was in the USA and 2006 when I spend Christmas Eve with my new Boyfriend (now husband). After that we always spend it with my parents t my grandpas estate. So it’s kinda travel home.
But I feel like we should start our own little thing.
White or Multi-color lights?
Never ever coloured. But electrical lights are rare in this household. As I said I am a real candle kinda girl.
Yes. I always take time to make and write cards. Usually about 20-30 cards depending a bit. I love sitting down and doing this. It gives me time to reflect but I also see it as a tiny Christmas gift to people I otherwise wouldn’t stay in touch with.
Favorite gift received and/or given? Oh man, this is hard. I really don’t know. I guess all photo-related stuff is good. For over 10 yers I am making a calendar to give to my parents. And one of my favorite presents was a lens i got by Mr. 🖤.
Stockings or No stockings? No stockings. However we do have some stocking decorations we sometimes put up.
Christmas pajamas? Is that a thing? Thinking about it I now want one.
Favorite Christmas song? “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angel Sing” This will be on repeat throughout the season and I might sing a long very loudly when no one is a round. One song I can not stand is “Silent Night” – no matter if German or English.
Favorite holiday tradition? Check out last years post where I wrote all about it. On top of that I also like the entire Christmas Eve tradition at my parents house.
Early shopper or last minute? No shopper – if I have a say in it. To be honest Mr. ♥ is the better shopper so I hope he does it. And he does it online and slightly in advance. I pick stuff up in between if I am totally certain someone love this. But usually I am not certain. I don’t like giving gifts.
Favorite Christmas movie? Oh this is tough. Mhm probably “Love Actually” but I am always on the look out for new ones so please spill.
Favorite holiday beverage? Hot Elderberry Juice.
Now join the fun and let me know your answers.
Happy holidays, Tobia
Last night I was a Christmas Elf. Remember my post about “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton“? Today was the day when Operation Christmas Child happened and I handed in my package. Also my sister and I volunteered to help get the packages ready for shipping. Let me give you an inside story of what I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes.
Already in October I set out to fill my shoebox and get little gifts. It was actually a lot of fun shopping for a kid as I never really do and there are some cute things to get. This was in my shoebox:
As I said volunteered by helping in the “Christmas Workshop”. In Germany there are two locations (Berlin & Birkenfeld/Pforzheim) where all packages will be checked, sealed and distributed to the countries. We had a 15 min training session with a video and then we were sent to our packing stations. All packing stations had team leader who we could ask all our questions. At the table there were 4 positions.
- checking box for label boy/girl, envelopes with money, writing was appropriate
- checking items if they comply with guide lines and custom requirements.
- sealing the package
- putting shoeboxes into transport packages, labelling, sealing and dropping off at warehouse
We quickly combined 1 & 2 as the workflow was better that way and the shoeboxes didn’t get too messed up.
My job was to check items in the boxes. I made a list of things I learnt and what is helpful for people checking the boxes:
- Most people pack for the middle age group 5-9 years. Then 2-4 and the teenagers 10-14 had the least packages.
- Make sure shelf-life is end of March following year. We had to remove all candy that didn’t apply. Sometimes leaving a package having no candy at all. We were able to fill that up with donated items. This is due to custom relations.
- If you pack candy, always insert full packages. Single candy bars, small gummy bear packages, bonbon, etc. we had to check every single item. Sometimes that was 30 little pieces which takes forever. All items without minimal shelf-life needed to be removed.
- It’s helpful if the letters are on the top not the bottom so the box doesn’t need to be unpacked entirely.
- Don’t wrap the present. We had to unwrap them if we couldn’t guess what was in there.
- No soap bubbles as it’s too dangerous – kids might drink it.
- Wrap shower gel/shamppo in a bag. We had to do that to a loooot of items. Also some already came in damaged.
Most of the boxes had really nice ideas and items in them. Every once in a while there was a box that was just so sad – only half filled, old/used/damaged stuff. There were boxes I dumped completely in the garbage. I wonder what people think. But most of them were really fun and gave me ideas for the next year:
- snow boots and slippers
- musical instruments (xylophone, harmonica, claves)
We were there for 4 hours and we were around 50 people working. At the end of the shift we managed to sent over 3,000 shoeboxes on its way. The goal this year is 100.000 boxes. If you live in Berlin (or Pforzheim) and feel like helping there are lots of open spots to sign up.
If you are not close enough to volunteer you could still pack a shoebox online. Or just donate a bit to run the operation.
Maybe I find time to help again this year. Otherwise I will pack another box next year. Have you every participated? Or do you support another organisation? Would love to hear about it.
Disclaimer: This post contains links to the Operation Christmas Child. Due to current (German) law this needs to be labelled advertising. However I was not paid to talk about it, I just think it’s a nice little project to do. Furthermore I have linked a few of my older articles because I believe you might enjoy them. Some of the photos were taken by berlinmittekind.