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Showing posts from November, 2022

How to Create Your Own Christmas Calendar

Another year is over and Christmas is just around the corner. The streets and stores are filled with lights and glittering decorations. It's the time of the year you  drink hot wine with spices  and eat home made cookies.  In Switzerland another Christmas tradition  will be starting soon, the tradition of  Christmas calendars . Advent is the season of waiting and preparation  before the actual Christmas on December 25th. As in many parts of Europe, people in Switzerland enjoy the tradition of counting the days until Christmas eve. This is usually done with an Advent Calendar, also called a  Christmas Calendar,  which counts the 24 days from December 1st o 24th or an Advent Wreath  that counts the last four Sundays before Christmas.  What are Swiss Christmas Calendars?  In Switzerland, Christmas calendars are used during the Christmas season starting from December 1st until December 24th. It's the children who enjoy them most although some grown ups can be just as excited about

How to Create a Paper Christmas Calendar

"O du fröhliche, o du selige Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit!  Welt ging verloren  Christ ist geboren  Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!" As I'm listening to this famous German Christmas Carol  which talks of Christ's birth, I remember the Christmasses of my childhood. Beautifully decorated houses with advent wreaths and Christmas trees and the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven. If we were lucky - and many times we were! - it would snow on the days leading up to Christmas and we could build snowmen and use our sleds to slide down the local sledding hill.  Another thing that was a constant companion of those Christmas days were the different advent calendars that we had in our home. My mother hung up a beautiful nativity scene where the stars were put up one by one as the days went by. 23 stars and one special one in the form of a shooting star. We also had a classic calendar with 24 numbered small bags with treats inside. And, of course, we all had our o

How to Make Home Made Wrapping Paper

For most people the end of November marks the starting point of their Christmas shopping and December is when they finish buying their Christmas presents. These days gifts can be bought already wrapped or you can have them wrapped in the store for a little extra cash. If you're like me, you'll know that big part of the joy of giving comes with carefully wrapping the presents and writing just the right words in the little card attached to them.  Many stores here in Switzerland, too, have a gift wrapping service and while it may be very convenient to buy your gift ready and wrapped, so to speak, I think that is rather boring. I mean, if you found an amazing gift for your husband or best friend why would you want to waste it with average wrapping? Exactly! Especially, if your gift has vintage character or is home made I would advise you to give it the wrapping it deserves! However, it turns out I can't always find wrapping paper that is to my liking. I want to thank my f

How to Spot a Swiss Person

"You're not from here, right?!" These were the words the saleslady of a small clothes store on a busy Tel Aviv street directed at me a few years ago. I was surprised she had spotted my foreignness so easily. After having lived in Israel for a few years and mastered the local Hebrew, I thought I was able to blend in quite well by then. So, I asked her how she knew. She replied with a smile and said: "You nicely folded the clothes you tried on before bringing them back out!" Oh that! Something I assumed was 'normal' but, apparently, the locals didn't do that. My Swiss background gave me away.  A Stereotypical (Swiss) Person As an expat I can usually spot fellow expats right away even if at first they seem to fit right in. Be they Swiss people I encounter abroad or foreigners living in Switzerland. Mostly, I catch a word or a phrase in a foreign language or see clothes or other items that are clearly not local. Here in South America it's very easy t