Merry Christmas Magic all around us!


Snow globe "Santa at Work"

Today I am going to take you on a little Christmas journey to learn more about Christmas traditions in countries that have had the greatest influence on my own celebrations and traditions.

We will begin with the holiday itself - its origins and its traditions. These three links offer a wealth of information about the holiday.

Truly magical isn't it!! Beautiful illustration.

Christmas in Scandinavia.... find customs, nisses, recipes, folk art. Learn how to say "Merry Christmas" in all five Scandinavian languages here (And also find a glogg recipe and tips for working with marzipan). Learn a little more about Christmas in Norway, too.

The Dala Horse - beautiful isn't it! Check out for beautiful Scandinavian arts, crafts, and Christmas ornaments. A great place to find a special Scandinavian treasure for your ornament collection.

Christmas in Germany, Austria and Switzerland! And learn more about German traditions here.

And be sure to visit the Christmas Haus to look for a perfect German nutcracker, smoker, wooden tree, pyramid or ornament to add to your Christmas Collection. I bet you are going to be like me and find many that you just can't live without! I have never seen the figurines in the picture - they are actually paper mache candy dishes! But I do have a carved wooden ornament on my tree that looks exactly like the santa in the middle. He is to this day my very, very, very favorite ornament.

Before you return home, be sure to stop in Italy, Mexico and Slovakia.

And "home" - Santa Fe, of course! That is where I spent my childhood Christmases.

Lamy Chapel by fabulous Santa Fe artist Helenn Rumpel. Take a few minutes to check out beautiful images of her work in oil, watercolor and stitchery. Everything Helenn paints or embroiders reminds me of the special kind of Christmas magic found only in Santa Fe. So, since it is Christmas, I am sharing her with you!

I totally love this watercolor of Tasco, Mexico.

Helenn is my Christmas soul-mate! Several years ago, I visited her home in Santa Fe with my Grandmother. It was the middle of March. There in the center of the living room stood the MOST beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen, completely decorated with her needlework ornaments. In the middle of March! She hates taking down a tree and parting with the memories as much as I do. And can you believe it, I do not have a single picture of that Christmas tree.

Check out her fine art stitchery, for which she is very famous and for which she has received many, many awards. This one, "Celestial", was influenced by trips to her beloved Russia.

"The Light" - another of my favorite pieces of her incredible stitchery. I just can't imagine how long it must take her to complete these pieces.

And now, back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

We are going to most certainly have a white Christmas. So white, in fact, that Diane and I may be spending Christmas together on New Years!!!

Plenty of time to explore these gorgeous pictures of Christmas!

I need more pockets on my Advent Calendar!

Happy Holidays to all!

I am reading a lot of these

I am reading a lot of these links and I'm loving them. I think it's fascinating how Scandinavia celebrates. especially, I love it that there should be 7 kinds of cookies!!

I took a day off from my

I took a day off from my blogs, and look at all this information!! I love all these links!
I am printing them all (to recycle) and reading them while I'm supposed to be working. yay!
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Did you find more pockets?

I've enjoyed listening to you

I've enjoyed listening to you on CraftyPod. You have a beautiful blog. Thanks for the inspiration.
Nancy Jacobs, Rio Rancho, NM

While we wait for the grands

While we wait for the grands to go to sleep (it may be a long wait) I am saying Merry Christmas to my friends.

What a wonderful informative post. They are so historical and so personal. Thank you.

Christmas blessing to you and your family.

So fun to see the Christmas

So fun to see the Christmas traditions around the world!

We too are missing getting together with family. Good thing it is starting to warm up and we can do it on New Year's Day.

Merry Christmas to you!