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Another year gone by and what a year it was. But this is not my time to review yet.

This is the time of year when I love running through my neighborhood and take in the smell, sounds and lights of Christmas. My neighborhood is pretty awesome when it come to showing off their magical lights.

There also is Santa on a motorbike – very smart considering how many homes Santa needs to stop at, drop off gifts, eat a cookie and drink milk…


I also love the trains that are lit up with Christmas lights and bring color and smiles to the street.


And the gingerbread house that looks all inviting.


And of course my running buddies.


Merry Christmas!



New Christmas Traditions – Mulled Beer

Luckily the world didn’t end yesterday!

And also luckily we were done with our Christmas shopping. Time for a well-deserved rest and yet another trip to a Christmas market. Glasses and mugs were clinking all around, people were chatting and we had a decision to make: mulled wine or mulled beer?

Of course I like adventures. Off I went and volunteered as a taster for the mulled beer. It was delicious. That is if you like hot  sweet Belgium cherry beer – and I do. Hence a new tradition was started: Out with the mulled wine and in with the mulled beer!

Cheers to that! 🙂

mulled beer

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Observations during Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping can be a pain – so I hear. I never seem to have this problem. I love Christmas shopping. Mostly maybe because I start early and don’t wait for the last week… And then during the last week, I just go and observe (and drink mulled wine). 🙂

I didn’t have my camera ready (or better I am not sure if this would be appropriate to take photos) for the following 2 observations.

Outside the Hollister underwear store (yup – apparently they have just an underwear store…) was a male model dressed in swimming trunks (at least that’s what I hope they were) only.

In the windows of a female underwear store was a female model wearing underwear only.

Sometimes, I miss living in Germany where people don’t tip-toe too much around what is PC or not. None of the models were inappropriate, there was nothing unseemly about all this. Just a different way of advertising.

The more family friendly observations were 2 (not one, but two) Santa Claus built out of Lego or Duplo (which is just a bigger version of Lego for smaller kids or clumsy adults). Here is one of them.

santa claus

Fully dressed! 🙂

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Listening to Christmas

At a recent Christmas Carols by Candlelight event, a poem was read that I just fell in love with. It’s called Listening to Christmas by Alan Harris.

Here are a few lines, but do follow the link to read the full poem. It is beautiful.

Have you ever heard snow?
Not the howling wind of a blizzard,
not the crackling of snow underfoot,
but the actual falling of snow?
Have you ever heard Christmas?
Not the traffic noises in the city,
not the bells and hymns and carols,
beautiful as they are,
not even the laughter of your children
as they open their presents–
but Christmas itself?
Have you been by yourself
and just sat and listened to the silence within,
patiently, without letting the mind
race to the next Christmas chore?

Listening to Christmas by Alan Harris



A visit to Winter Wonderland

That sounds just a little more promising than it really is. LOL.

Every year, London hosts a huge German-style Christmas Market in Hyde Park, called Winter Wonderland. It is a great place to visit if you want to experience an authentic German Christmas Market (that is not in Germany) including the full experience of  getting run over by thousands of people and spilling your mulled wine on them (or have it spilled on you…). Despite the market being so busy I venture out every year more than once to catch up with friends, to get some mulled wine and some “proper” Bratwurst.

You could be fooled into thinking you are indeed in Germany… Though I have never seen such a colorful Alpen-Hotel, but the Currywurst and Bratwurst are being delivered from Germany (so I have been told…).

Only one thing makes me wonder… Polar bears??

But make up your own mind.

Of course I’ll be back out there again this weekend for more mulled wine and maybe some pretzels. 🙂

Happy Holidays!