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Christmas Holiday Shopping Guide, Red and Green - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

How many are with me in thinking that Christmas gets earlier each and every year?  It has a tendency to sneak up on a person until, like today, it suddenly starts hollering at you:  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!  Yikes!!!  So I decided it was time to start sharing handmade items from artist friends that will make perfect Christmas gifts. And to make it even better, many of these beauties can be worn way past the holiday season, many even all year long.  

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!)

New, One of a Kind Handmade Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

 

It has been almost a month since I shared handmade jewelry from my Indiemade shop.  Arts festivals, company and a bit of traveling has kept me very busy.  But I have a short break now between shows, so decided to feature the new, one of a kind necklaces and earrings which can be found in my shop.  A few have already sold, but I wanted to share them, just the same.  I hope you enjoy these twelve unique beauties:

Yellers, Browns and Goldens - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

The other day, as I was pondering the theme of this week’s “Wonderful Handmade Wednesday" blog post, I ran across a very colorful quote from Roy Bean talking about autumn in the desert:  “And Fall, with her yeller harvest moon and the hills growin' brown and golden under a sinkin' sun.”  Aha, I thought!  The handmade theme of earthy yellers, browns and goldens was then set in my mind.

Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 7 - Peru

Traditional Peruvian Nativity; photo courtesy of Serrv - Creating Connections

 

 

 

Christmas traditions in Peru date back to 1535 to when the country was pillaged by the Spaniards (although the native Quechuans in the Andes have always maintained a strong cultural identity). Due to the huge Spanish influence, the majority of the population practices Catholicism to this day.  Peru is south of the equator so December is actually the first month of summer.  Since the first day of summer comes just shortly before Christmas, on December 21, Christmas decorations with a snow motif is somewhat peculiar to most people (unless you live in the highlands of the Andes, of course).  This is why the traditional Santa Claus, dressed in heavy red coat, pants, hat and boots  and hat, is not much of a tradition in Peru.  Additionally, the Peruvian government banned Santa Claus in 1972 because they believed that he was a depiction of western capitalism, greed and an anti-Christian myth.

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