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Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 8 - Luxembourg

Chreschtmaart in Luxembourg City; photo courtesy of visitluxembourg.com



The Grand-Duche de Luxembourg is a very small independent country in Europe; it is just a little smaller than the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Germany is located to the east, France to the south, and Belgium to the west.  From the beginning of December, streets and store windows in all major cities are richly decorated and lighted.  Large Chrëschtbeemchen (Christmas trees) can be found most public squares.  Outdoor Chrëschtmaart (Christmas markets) can be found throughout the country.  From wooden huts that are set up in town squares, a wide variety of locally produced arts and crafts, such as candles, nutcrackers, Christmas tree decorations and manger scenes, are sold.  Glühwein, a popular spiced wine served hot in special mugs, is a regular part of the menu at Christmas markets all through Europe.  Foods to be purchased may include various soups (with or without Mettwurscht, a local sausage specialty), crepes, fresh bakery goods and Lëtzebuerger Grillwurscht, another type of sausage.  Concerts are given in bandstands and on special stages set up for the Christmas markets. Local bands, brass quartets, string trios, choirs, and soloists all contribute to the holiday atmosphere.  To get an idea of the beauty of the Christmas market in Luxembourg City, check out this short video: Luxembourg Christmas market . (My bags are packed!)





Christmas Peace Holiday Plaid Dog Bandana, Collar Slipcover or Scrunchie-style Handmade by Donna of SewAmazin



Most children in Luxembourg receive their gifts on St. Nicholas Day, December 6, from Kleeschen (another name for St. Nicholas).  Unlike Father Christmas, Kleeschen wears a red bishop's mitre on his head and carries a bishop's crozier. He is accompanied by the Houseker, a fear-inspiring dark companion, and a donkey to carry all the gifts. For a week before St. Nicholas Day, children put their shoes or slippers in front of their bedroom door or on the windowsill and leave a plate of sweets (and sometimes a glass of liquor if it’s a particularly cold night) on the kitchen or dining-room table.   Plates of hay and carrots are also often left for the donkey.  On the first nights, Kleeschen and his companion leave sweets and seasonal fruit, but on the night between December 5 and 6, toys and other gifts are left.  Kleeschen rewards children who have been good and Houseker gives eng Rutt (a rod or switches) to children who have misbehaved.



Sterling Silver Full Persian Chainmaille Bracelet Handmade by Cathy of CraftingMemories1



Since Luxembourg is primarily a Catholic country, most people celebrate Hellegerowend (Christmas Eve) with family and close friends.  Families often gather around the Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols.  Many attend Metten (Midnight Mass) on December 24 or Christmas mass on December 25.  A particularly beautiful midnight mass is celebrated every year at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City and is often televised all over Europe.  Many villages also stage Krëppespiller (nativity plays), performed by children.



Topsy Turvy Handcrafted Doll OOAK Happy Face Sad Face Handmade by Anne of ennadoolf



After Midnight Mass, many families gather for a Christmas meal - or it might be served later on Christmas day, depending on the customs of the family.  A traditional meal will have Träipen (black or blood pudding) served with mashed potatoes and applesauce.  Other foods might include civet de lièvre (jugged hare), venison, turkey, seafood, fondue and Gromperekichelcher (potato pancakes).  Dessert usually includes Stollen, a fruit loaf often laced with rum, and Bûche de Noël, an ice cream-cake confection covered with dark chocolate to resemble the appearance of a Yule log.



Lampwork Focal, Agate and Seed Bead Fashion Necklace Handmade by Julie and Blue of Blue Morning Expressions



After the meal, the family usually goes for a walk to visit with friends and relatives who are also strolling about and give the children a chance to play in the snow, if there is any.  In many cities, towns and villages, concerts are given on the afternoon of December 25.  The concerts are followed by a Christmas tree auction, the profits from which are given to charitable organizations.


Christmas greeting in Luxembourgish:  “‘Schéi Chrëschtdeeg an e gudde Rutsch an dat neit Joer.”  Literally translated it means, “Merry Christmas and a good slide into the New Year.”





Blue and Purple Fused Art Glass Plate with Iridescent Geometric Pattern, 7 Inch Square, Handmade by Kellie of ResetarGlassArt 



Now, onto the Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 8, filled with artisan handmade items (see above and below), perfect ideas for Christmas gift giving.


With the fast approaching gift giving season in mind, Julie and Blu of Blue Morning Expressions are hosting a twelve-week Countdown to Christmas 2016 on their The Blu Print blog. The twelve week time period was chosen to correspond with the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  This week, there were 60 shares by 20 artists showcasing a wide range of handmade gift ideas:  jewelry of all types, pet themed gifts, crocheted and sewn beauties, favor tags, wooden items, a vintage postcard, glass business card holders, lampwork beads and a whole host of other items.




Gold Pearl and Swarovski Crystal Earrings Handmade by Mary of PrettyGonzo



Shop owners on Indiemade, ArtFire, Zibbet, Etsy, SupaDupa, stand alone websites and the like are welcome to share up to three gift items on the Countdown between Friday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern time) and Sunday night at 11:59 p.m.  Then a new collection of gift items will begin again the next Friday.  This will continue until the second week in December.  The items shared need to be G-rated.



Green Irish Girl with Holly Leaves and Berries Framed with Mistletoe Vintage Christmas Postcard by Colleen of postcardsintheattic



If you share items on the Countdown to Christmas, you MUST promote the collection and EACH item on at least one social network site, preferably Pinterest where the items can be easily seen and then saved again.  It's only fair to promote each of the participants who have promoted you!



Green Chrysocolla and Red Coral Beaded Christmas Holiday Bracelet and Earring Set Handmade by Diane of DianesDangles



In addition to saving each item from the Countdown collection to my Pinterest board and Wanelo collection, I decided to share one item from each of the artists who participated. Here are the rest of the items I’m featuring this week, in an order that was arranged by assigning each item a number and then drawing numbers from my trusty “numbers” bowl. Enjoy!



Fall Maple and Oak Leaf Coasters in Filet Crochet, Set of 4, Handmade by Ruth of RSSDesignsInFiber




Leather Tassel and Wooden Necklace Handmade by Sharon of BlondePeachJewelry




Backwoods Camping Scene With Campfire Christmas Ornament From Birch Wood Handmade By KevsKrafts




Stained Glass Business Card Holder in Blue with Red and White Nugget Handmade by Jo of 2GlassThumbs




Brass and Bronze G Clef Music Note Hoop Lever Back Earrings Handmade by Connie of TheSingingBeader




Children Storybook Square Favor Tags - Set of 24 - Handmade by Nat of Adore By Nat




Christmas Multi Gemstone Double Wrap Tan Leather Bracelet Handmade by Kathy of KatsAllThat




Glossy Transparent Sage Green Lampwork Glass Beads Shiny Handmade by Charlotte of Covergirlbeads




Seven Chakra Window Decoration / Mediation Suncatcher  Handmade by Barbara of SolanaKaiDesigns




Turquoise Teardrop Victorian-style Bracelet Handmade by Linda of TreasuresOfJewels 




Felt Owl Christmas Ornament Handmade by Nancy of WyvernDesignsHome




Thai Sunburst Pendant and Aqua Recycled Glass Necklace, Swarovski Crystals Jewelry Handmade by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs




I hope you have enjoyed this sampling of some of the handmade gift items that can be found in the Countdown collection hosted by Julie and Blu of Blue Morning Expressions. To see all the items in the collection, please click here: Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 8.  I hope that at least one, maybe more, items piqued your interest and made its way to your shopping list.


What will week 9 bring?  MORE handmade and vintage beauties!  I, for one, am looking forward to it!


If you are so inclined, please make my day and leave a comment (:  Also any promotion will be greatly appreciated by everyone featured in this post.  Thank you!



In case you missed the posts from the past weeks, here are links to take you there:

Countdown to Christmas - Week 1 - Norway

Countdown to Christmas - Week 2 - Italy

Countdown to Christmas - Week 3 - Ukraine

Countdown to Christmas - Week 4 - Kenya

Countdown to Christmas - Week 5 - Portugal

Countdown to Christmas - Week 6 - Iceland

Countdown to Christmas - Week 7 - Peru




My contact information:


Indiemade shop:  ShadowDogDesigns

Indiemade blog:  ShadowDogDesigns' Blog

Artfire studio:  ShadowDogDesigns

ArtFire Blog:  ShadowDogDesigns' Blog

Google+:  Catherine W

Facebook:  ShadowDogDesigns - Jewelry

Twitter:  ShadowDogDesign

Pinterest:  Shadow Dog Designs

Wanelo:  ShadowDog

Amazine:  ShadowDogDesigns

Rebelmouse:  ShadowDogDesigns

Flickr:  Shadow Dog Designs' Photostream



Beautifully Unique Handmade Jewelry

for the Discerning Woman


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Makes me want to go to

Makes me want to go to Luxembourg for Christmas. Loved reading your blog. Thank you for including my Christmas jewelry set in your selection, will share.


Beautiful selections, Catherine. Thank you for including my bracelet.
If I traveled I would pack my bags, too. Beautiful place.


I found the video enchanting. The whole Christmas experience makes you long to be there strolling among the vendors and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate - I zeroed in on that right away! There is something quaint about towns and countries that do these things and make me want to visit them. Wonderful story. Thank you for adding my lampwork bead necklace to the group.
Special treats for your little elf!

Thank you!

Thank you, Catherine. Will share...

Virtual travel is actually wonderful

I love to travel on the internet! Your blog opens new vistas and experiences that I otherwise would not have had! Thanks for the free trip to Luxembourg! And what beautiful handmade treats to discover along the way. Those handmade items are worth a close look and maybe even a purchase! Thanks Catherine!

Let's Go!

Ah, this makes me miss traveling to Europe. They know how to do markets right and this one looks splendid! Thank you for sharing this blog, Catherine. It gave me a nice break from reality! Also thank you for sharing our work, my window crystal included. Much appreciated! Will share.

Now that's one place I would love to visit!

Christmas in Luxembourg just sounds like fun all the way around. The food also sounds so appetizing. Thank you Catherine for taking me to another wonderful holiday world. Also thank you for the promotional post and for including my Christmas wrap bracelet. Will be sharing on social sites.

Thank You!

Another fun and informative post about Christmas traditions. Thank you for including Keli and our new Christmas bandana. Will share :-)

How interesting!

I love reading your posts! Thank you for including my topsy turvy doll! I'm adding hair to a new doll now that will be in my shop tomorrow. :)


I'm right behind you Catherine...let's all just go. Lovely collection. Thank you for sharing. Thanks for including my bracelet. Now my turn to share....

Great post!

Very interesting post, Catherine - as usual! A Luxembourg holiday season sounds like a lot of fun - I'd love to try that spiced wine and enjoy those potato pancakes! Thanks for this wonderful promotion, and for including my gold pearl earrings. Will be sharing, of course. Hope you have a great slide into the holiday season! :)

Sounds like the Holidays in

Sounds like the Holidays in Luxembourg have a lot of Arts and Crafts and Music, which is always nice to me - a folk art scene looks like! Thanks for including my Filet Crochet Fall Leaf Coaster Set in this nice selection of Handmade.

Thank you

What a wonderful collection of Christmas treasures
Thanks for including my vintage postcard


Have a blessed day

On my Travel Wishlist

The Christmas Markets are definitely on my travel wish list someday! Thank you for another informative post and promoting our pieces! Have shared.

I'd love to visit the

I'd love to visit the markets, sounds so much fun. The food sounds delicious with the exception of the blood pudding. Thank you for including my children storybook tags. Off to share.

Countdown to Christmas

Will have to put this place on my bucket list! Thank you for sharing this interesting post with us and for helping to promote out items. Promoted.

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