Thank You Silvia, Kathryn and the Etsy Italia Team

Nativities and Sami

Is there anyone out there in blogland that still doesn't know that Christmas is my favorite time of year?? And every holiday season these past 5 years, I have been fortunate to have bloggers join me in December - or allow me to join them - to celebrate winter holiday traditions from around the world.

So today - I am sharing and appreciating fellow bloggers who helped me celebrate the winter holidays in 2012!

Silvia at Madame Renard: Kathryn at The Pickled Herring and some very special members of the EtsyItalia Team.

Presepe Hand made in Italy and shared by EtsyItalia Team

In many of the southern countries in Europe - including Italy - as well as many countries in the Americas, the most important part of the Christmas season is the nine days leading up to Christmas Day. Called Novena in Italy and Las Posadas in Mexico, the traditions of these nine days before Christmas are focused on the nativity and vary from country to country.

This past holiday season, 2012, Silvia prepared a guest post in which she shared eight short stories about the Italian nativity or Presepe. You might like to pop over and read Silvia's guest post if you missed it last December.

I am so grateful to Silvia for taking the time to prepare this post for me - especially at what for her, and all of us, is a very busy time of year.

Silvia blogs as Madame Renard (Renard is French for Fox) and you can find her blog here. In many ways Silvia is a dabbler and shares the many directions her talents and whims take her whether it is reconstructing a garment or making figurines from cornstarch clay or embroidering sweet little snowflakes!

Many of the items Silvia makes and shares can be found in her Etsy shop Madame Renard - beautiful bags made using recycled fabrics, unique hand fashioned jewelry, even bunnies and at the holidays beautiful ornaments! Check it out here!

Thank you Silvia!  I treasure our friendship and always look forward to learning more about Italian culture and traditions.  And a big thank you for being my "snowflake" muse!

Beautiful hand crafted Nativities

Silvia is a member of the Etsy Italia Team, and it is through Silvia that I have come to meet many lovely and talented Etsy Italia shop owners. Last summer an earthquake struck parts of northern Italy and the Etsy Italia team rallied to make items for the Etsy Italia Charity Shop as all proceeds were being sent to the people in the area whose lives had been completely upended by the quake. I shared a little about that here. And held a giveaway to support their cause as well.

This past Christmas season, I invited any members who would be interested to share pictures of their own personal nativities with my readers - this was my way of sharing their tradition of Precepe. You can link here to the post! If you missed it in December - be sure to visit. You will not want to miss seeing this beautiful collection of sweet, hand made nativities - some of which have been family treasures for many years.

Visit the Etsy Italia Team Shop here! And follow their blog here! It is written in Italian, but google provides instant translation if you like! You can read about the team members right here!

And keep an eye out in July because as part of my Christmas in July celebration, I am planning to take you on a shopping spree in Italy! Usually, the shopping venue would be the Charity Shop, but this time, the winner will get to make her selection from the shops of the lovely women who shared their nativities this last December.

Thank you Etsy Italia Team members for so willingly providing images of your beautiful Precepe for me to share with my readers.  I just wish I could see each and every one of them in person!

Sami Christmas Elf

Kathryn is the BEST!!! Every year she honors me by inviting me to be a part of her own winter holiday celebration on The Pickled Herring - "Scandinavian Christmas"! I absolutely love being a part of Kathryn's celebrations! Read about my little Sami Elf right here!

Kathryn celebrates her Swedish heritage on her blog The Pickled Herring and you never know what that might lead to! She has shared how to make Swedish coffee, shared how to make Dala horse stencils, and currently is sharing her "Friday Fika" and her adventures while participating as a vendor at several Scandinavian fairs this year (read about the Kingsberg Festival here and check out the adorable items she had for sale).

For those of you who live in the LA area, why not make it a point to celebrate Midsommer in Vasa Park on June 23;  and stop by Kathryn's booth and say hello! Wish I could.

And take a few minutes to look over all the entries in "Scandinavian Christmas" on her side bar. (Here is the link). You will no doubt be book marking several of the recipes and Scandinavian themed ways to celebrate. After three years, Kathryn's "Scandinavian Christmas" is a great resource for ideas to use in your own home during the Christmas holiday season!

Thank you Kathryn!  I absolutely love being asked to participate in your "Scandinavian Christmas" celebration.  I also am grateful to have this rich resource of ideas for celebrating the holidays in my own home.  This year for sure - Glogg and Swedish Cardamon Bread and of course - Rice Pudding a la Ryan!

Have loved catching up on

Have loved catching up on your thank you posts! Today was one of those blah days and all these lovely crafts have my mind spinning and my fingers itching to make again!! Thank YOU!

Elizabeth!  You made my

Elizabeth!  You made my day!!!  Any time my blog gets people's fingers itching to craft is a great day to me!!!

Oh Pam, you are too sweet for

Oh Pam, you are too sweet for words! I'm so honored that you participate in my Scandinavian Christmas series! And I'm also so thankful for YOU and all your hardwork you put into your blog. Thanks for lighting up the blogging world! :) xoxo

Oh my goodness Kathryn!

Oh my goodness Kathryn!  Thank YOU!

When i was preparing the post, I wandered back through the Christmas posts and was quite impressed at the collection of ideas and recipes and tutorials!  It really is becoming a great resource for ideas for celebrating Scandinavian Christmas!

And I LOVE being a part of it!


nice post!!!! lovely Precepe

nice post!!!!
lovely Precepe

Thank you Sandra.  The idea

Thank you Sandra.  The idea of this post had been in my mind for a few years and it made my heart happy to be able to share so many beautiful Precepe with the generous help of the "team".

Pam, thank you so much for

Pam, thank you so much for supporting Etsy Italia Team, expecially our little charity "events".
They are a drop in the ocean... but, you know, every single drop is important! :)
Sometimes we speak about you in our team forum and we always have sweet words for you!

I'm happy to be your snowflake muse... eh, eh, so funny! I smile everytime I think about these words!!! :D

It is always my pleasure to

It is always my pleasure to support the Etsy Italia Team!

And just for the record - I smile everytime I make a snowflake and think of you!