Yesterday (Friday) afternoon after school the kids and I drove to Basel, met up with Zeus after work and went to the Basel Christmas market.
It was very cold but very festive.The Germans and Swiss Germans are the masters of creating charming ambiance with little glowing lights. The market is like its own little mini-city, where for the month of December stands are set up selling all kinds of beautiful arts and crafts and housewares and decorations and clothing and beautifulness.
Somehow cobblestones trap the cold and send it right up into your feet -- the same way it did in St. Ursanne. I wanted to stick my toes into my cup of Gluhwein but instead I drank it and gave Artemis little sips (!) and ate snausages and drank hot chocolate.The drinks came in pretty mugs with drawings of the Christmas market that you could return to any other food stand and get a deposit back, or not: and then you could keep your cup as a souvenir. We kept ours!
This stand sold all kinds of beautiful carved wood ornaments and nativity sets.
This one sold all things made of beeswax. (Note to Katarina: the girls really like the hat you left here. I don't know that you'll be getting it back any time soon. Artemis is wearing right now, as I type.)
It's funny how some things are so different from Christmas shopping at an American mall -- outside in the fresh air, shopping while drinking Gluhwein, trolleys and trams going by dinging their bells; and some things just stay the same: the menfolk of the family were finished loooong before the ladies and Artemis worried that the photos of her in her warm puffy jacket might make her look fat.
At the entrance to the market there was a festive display from the Doll Museum of little forest critters making their Christmas preparations. I captured a little video.
A statement from Zeus: He regrets making monkey noises which are now recorded and saved for posterity. But he made up for it with his cute waving, don't you think? His idea about adding music is a good one, but beyond my video making skills for the time being. The pictures is still a little jerky -- sorry -- I am learning. Most of this post was actually written on Stormie -- so I am learning about mobile blogging, too -- Ah, the wonders of technology!The experience was very joyful, except for the moment when we (the girls) realized that there were only 15 minutes left until the market closed (yikes!!). On the way home in the car I kept thinking, "Thank you, Jesus, for sharing your Birthday and your presents with us! What a great party you have every year!"
In a shop window there was an enormous gingerbread house! Wow! It inspired us to come right home and work on a smaller version. Since it's started snowing again this morning, adding to the 3.5 inches we got yesterday, and we are feeling cozy and holed-up, it may just be a perfect project for today.