Author Topic: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......riding this jingle horse into 2020!!!!!!  (Read 1302 times)  

Offline Atunah

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This time of year.  ;D

So I haven't had a christmas tree in my home since about 1991. Long story. I grew up with christmas trees of course back in Bavaria Germany. Tradition was that my dad would take an axe, walk across the snow filled fields and hack one off. It was like living in a snowglobe back then. We put the tree up on the 24th of December. It was one of the few things my dad and I did together. Man of few words he was. He would get the tree, put it up and put up the lights. Then we would put up the ornaments together. Then in the evening, we did the presents stuff. Eat oranges and nuts. Which we didn't do any other time of the year. Back then that is. So tree and presents happened on the 24th of December.

I bought my first house last November, but we didn't move in until the 17th of December so there wasn't a lot of time. This year I wanted a tree darn it. So I bought a skinny one on Ikea as I don't have a lot of space in my cozy little house. But I didn't really think it through. I had never put the lights on. That was my dads job. So it was a disaster. I mean 4 hours in of cursing in german and ranting I ran out of lights. So I had to go back to the store and it was a madhouse. Finally got it done in 6 hours. 6 HOURS  :o :o :o. Just the darn lights. To find out I was doing it all wrong. All I see are wires. My tree doesn't have enough branches to hide that. So anywho. I had 2 Margaritas since its like 82 degrees today and everything is fine now.  ;D. Its very bottom heavy in lights, but I just don't care.  :P. I am not doing that again.

Now i know why folks by a prelit tree.  :-\ I just started to put on some ornaments and it is getting better. Oh and when I plugged the whole mess in the top part of the tree didn't light up. I used 6 or 7 100 mini tree thingies you stick together. I just took another swig of Margarita and wiggled it.

I couldn't find a tree topper though. So I have an owl for now.

Anywho, I finally have a tree and I'll finish the hanging tomorrow. And I have a bunch of solar lights for my cypress and thulia trees outside. I am going to post my Gluehwein recipes in this thread too. From the thanksgivingt hread:

Quote
Here is one I made from scratch before:
1 bottle of red wine
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
2 cardamon pods
Slices of orange or lemon
Sugar to taste. Start with 2 ts and work you way up. Some like it really sweet, others not. You can always add more. I use swerve now a non sugar sweetener. this one is really close to what I remember from the N�rnberger Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany)

I let those simmer for at least 20 minutes. Sauce pan or an older style crock pot. The newer ones get too hot. I have an old 2.5 quart I use and it gets to about 155-160.

Another one I haven't tried yet is
1/2 medium orange
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup turbinado or granulated sugar
20 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine

Although it seems way too many cloves I think. I would half the cloves to see first. I have also bought 2 teabag style spice mixes from german companies on amazon. Messmer is one and Teekanne is the other. They are also quite good, but they are teabags so more dusty. But those can be made per cup as needed. They are a wee bit expensive of course as they are imported.

So please share your getting ready for xmas disaster stories, recipes, or Martha Steward skills. Anything you got.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 01:55:13 pm by Atunah »

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    Offline crebel

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 03:21:17 pm »
    I love your tree lights story and completely sympathize.  Once you get the lights on to your satisfaction, the rest of the decorating is a breeze and I am picky, picky, PICKY about the tree lights.

    I like white lights, I like so many of them the tree becomes an alternate heat source.They must go all the way inside to the trunk of the tree and wind around every branch to the outside.  Then you hang shiny balls on the inside of the branches so they pick up all the lights and make the tree sparkle.  THEN you can start hanging ornaments on the ends of the branches.  I complain and moan every single year and spend hours getting the lights on the tree.  A few years ago I started all new lights each year at the after-Christmas sales to reduce the complaining, highly irritating time of trying to find the single bulb or fuse to replace strands that were only half-lit.  ;D

    We finally broke down and bought an artificial pre-lit tree this year that I deemed had a sufficient amount of lights (1050 bulbs on a 7-ft, medium-full tree.  DH had it put together in about 5 minutes, seriously - why have I refused this option for so many years??  Instead of taking all day to finish the tree, it was done in just a couple of hours.  8)

    We have lots of Christmas decoration traditions and I love hearing what others do.  And people absolutely need to post holiday recipes in this thread!

    Offline Ann in Arlington

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 03:37:30 pm »
    My husband HATES doing any sort of decorating. I don't mind, but the taking down is a bummer. :( We have had artificial pre-lit trees for years. Got a new one a couple of years ago because the all the lights weren't lighting on the previous one. So we put one string of lights as an add on and went from there. The next year two sections didn't light so we said "enough!" and donated it to somewhere that they didn't mind putting strings of lights on the thing and got a new one. Checking all the bulbs to figure out which one might be the problem when it was probably a broken wire somewhere was not happening. :o

    I'm also very minimalist with other decorations. I have a wreath I put on the door. A small ceramic tree I put in the front window, and only a couple dozen ornaments -- though we have hundreds. I don't like a tree that's jam packed with stuff. O'course I also have a bunch of Nativity sets from various countries around the world. I put different ones out each year and some stay out year round.

    I'll have to think on recipes ... I have some mulled wine/spiced cider packets I got in England that are good. Problem is I'm the only one who wants to drink either one so it's almost not worth making. I think we might have the family here this year, though, so perhaps I will. And my cookie recipes are not too unusual, I think.

    fun fact: the state song of Maryland (where I grew up) is the same tune as O Tannebaum. :D And also the college song of the University where my dad and two brothers went.
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    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 04:32:43 pm »
    Crebel you would probably get really itchy with my tree right now. It is the opposite of evenly lit. It is a disaster pretty much and most of the lights are on the bottom half.  ;D I am just not going to to it again. What a pain in the you know what. I could not even find a topper so I have an owl on there right now. I have a couple of prelit garlands I strung on stuff, some table light up things and a nice swedish santa from Ikea.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 05:21:59 pm »
    Nope.  I only get cranky about my own tree, whatever happens with someone else is tolerated by me. 

    When my two sisters and I were growing up, we had some sort of homemade ornaments to make each year.  Mom and Dad would not put up the tree until we finished whatever kit or plan there was for that year.  I remember making decoupage ornaments one year.  We didn't work on them until the last minute and the folks wouldn't put up the tree.  We set up an assembly line, didn't really wait for the sealer to dry properly between coats, and got them done.  Years afterwards, when we would get that set of ornaments out, they were still sticking together.   :D

    When each of us left home, we got to take one ornament from each set to start our own trees.  I continue that tradition now with my grandkids and this year we made color with marker on kind of velvet ornaments during the summer (from a kit).  We make enough of whatever kind that they both get to take one home to Mommy, they can each have one for whenever they have their own trees, and Gma still has some to put on her tree.

    The other tradition I started with grandson's first Xmas was to cut strips from each kind of wrapping as we open presents and turn them into a paper chain garland for my tree.  I write the year inside the first and last circles each year.  Since he will be 10 this coming January, the chain is now wrapping around the tree pretty well and it has it's own storage box to keep it from getting crushed.

    My decorating would never be called minimalist.  Every single room is decorated and I collect both nativities and Santas.  Probably 10-15 large tubs, each marked to it's spot - Living Room Mantle, Library Shelves, Master Bedroom, Master Bath, Kitchen, etc., even the man cave (that's where all the sport related decorations go).  DH is responsible for the outside decorating, I do the inside after he sets up the tree.  He's great for fetch and carry, though!

    Offline loonlover

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 05:45:58 pm »
    The first thing I will put out are the china Santas around the world that my mother painted for me. There are 9 of them that go in the curio cabinet and usually stay there until February or so. There would have been more, but her source for the figurines went out of business. We each have our own tree with a lot of Hallmark ornaments for each of us. II puts all his cars, trucks, and a few fishing themed ones on his tree. I have cat themed and Santa themed that go on mine as well as other assorted ones both from Hallmark and other places. Some of the Hallmark series don't really do well on a tree so a lot of them go on other shelves in the living room. We let the boys each take their ornaments they had collected from early childhood when they moved out, so we sort of started over on our own collection at that time. I have other assorted items that get set out on other solid surfaces throughout the house. I keep saying we need to cut back, but it hasn't happened yet.

    But the Santa Clauses will be put out while II is at work tomorrow. Then hopefully Monday we'll get the trees set up (he doesn't know this is in the plans yet) and go from there.

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 09:43:31 pm »
    LOVE ... LOVE ... LOVE ... this thread. It's 1040pm for me, so I will contribute what will hopefully be enjoyed memories tomorrow ... my DH & his father are/were glass blowers, and now two of my three children are also amateur glass blowers, so you can imagine the ornament collection we might have ...
    Carol in 'burque

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    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 04:19:04 pm »
    I love reading everyone's stories and memories. Looking forward to yours CegAbq.

    I finished the tree today. I had to, I kept putting stuff on it. I bought it, I wanna put it on.  ;D
    It was still daytime when i took the pic. I figured at night it would be all blurry from the lights. There are 700 lights on that puny tree.  :o. I didn't  mean to, but I kept wrapping around and its hard not to use that many when the distance between the bulbs is small. These are mini LED lights.
    And yes, those are owls and birds on the tree.  :P


    Offline crebel

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 04:46:44 pm »
    It looks great, Atunah, and I love the owl tree-topper!  Are you using a throw/shawl/blanket as your tree skirt?  The plaid is another great holiday look.

    I saw in the tea thread that you started a tea advent calendar.  Does anyone else have an advent calendar they use every year?  I have a Santa's workshop house that plays different carols when you open the numbered door and has 2 rooms that light up with a Santa writing at a desk and elves hammering in a workshop making toys while the door is open and the carol plays. 

    You can put whatever you want inside the numbered doors from year-to-year, but when I got it, I chose a package of miniature glass ornaments that fit inside each door.  I also got a 12-14" artificial tree.  I decorate the tree with a tiny gold ball garland, a miniature tree skirt, and a star at the top. Then each night we add an ornament.  When the 25th arrives, the tree is fully decorated and a little nativity ornament is always the final ornament near the top. It is one of my favorite decorations.

    CegAbq, I dearly love blown glass.  I hope you are able to show us some pictures of such a special collection.  I'm sure even the most amateur attempts are beautiful.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #9 on: December 01, 2019, 06:00:30 pm »
    Crebel, I got a glass finial coming to replace the owl. I didn't like the gaudy toppers they had at the store. I was gonna get a skirt, but for some reason they are over the top cheesy and expensive. So I saw this table cloth for like $5 and its plaid. And I just wrapped it around.  ;D

    That Advent calendar sounds really neat. To put in what you want. That is just so thoughtful.

    Offline loonlover

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #10 on: December 01, 2019, 08:58:26 pm »
    The Santa Claus collection my mother painted are on display now. I also put out 2 reindeer and a Santa's Sleigh she painted as those items are stored in the house and were easy to get down. The reindeer and sleigh are white with gold accents, using paint with gold in it. There is still room on the shelf they're on, but I haven't decided what else will go there.

    My advent calendar is a magnetized cookie sheet that is placed on the refrigerator each year. A magnetized ornament is then placed on the appropriate number each day. The ornaments are mittens, wreaths, trees, etc. with Santa Claus being added on the 25th. I don't know how many years ago I bought the set, but I've always had fun with it and it helps decorate the fridge. 

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #11 on: December 01, 2019, 09:23:43 pm »
    OK - part II ... glassblower edition:
    My F-I-L (Larry) was adopted at 9 months old when it was still shameful for children to have been born out-of-wedlock. I don't think his adoptive family was very kind to him & he ran away from home at age 13 to join the Carnival. A wonderful Pueblo Indian (Felix) traveling with this carnival took my F-I-L under his wing & the two stayed in touch until Felix died. My husband also met Felix along the way. It was during his carny days that Larry picked up lampwork glassblowing (not the big pieces created in kilns).

    Of course, lampwork small items definitely lend themselves to Christmas ornaments! I was 21 when I met my husband in 1975 (still together 44+ years later!!!) & our Christmas trees since then have always been about 3/4 glass ornaments. Most are ones that either Larry or my husband have made (my husband earned money for college working summers in small TX towns as a touristy glassblower).

    In 1986, my husband & I took a trip to Europe with my in-laws. The focus of that trip was visiting glassblowers with whom Larry had business relationships. Wonderful & very "homy" introduction (I highly recommend traveling with an off-beat focus to the trip) to traveling around Europe. In one place (Venice I think), we saw such beautiful ornaments that we ordered some to be sent home. There were about 5 styles with 9 varied ornaments to each style that we liked & ordered. ... Imagine our surprise when they arrived and we discovered that the order was for ONE DOZEN BOXES OF EACH STYLE!!! Each of our 3 children-to-be had an elegant instant Christmas ornament collection!

    Each year since their births (1987, 1988, 1988 ... yes twins), my husband has created a unique, Christmas-theme design for an ornament for each of them. So that too added to their collection. By the time they were ready to move out, they had enough to decorate whatever size tree they wanted.

    We live in New Mexico, and Pinon Pines and Blue Spruce are the BEST type of Christmas tree for us because they are very open/airy & provide plenty of space for us to hang our multitudinous collection. We would go to the national forests on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving & chop down a tree & haul it back to our home. I did not matter one whit if the tree was irregularly shaped because by the time we put the lights on & hung hundreds of ornaments, it has always looked splendid!
    One Christmas Tree hunting adventure PS ... dogs always go along on these trips.

    And good grief, I cannot find any of our pics of past Christmas Trees all decorated up. Will have to update. This year we have engaged in down-sizing because #1 Thanksgiving is so late & we will be in Rochester NY the whole week of Christmas with one of our daughters and her family. So we put up less than 1/3 of what we usually do for tree decoration.

    PS: Some of Larry's creations through the years ... that carousel is 3 feet in diameter!!! The "heart" was our wedding cake "topper" (sat beside the cake, it's about 11.5 inches high & was too heavy to sit on the cake) ... The solitary ship is about 2.5 feet high ... Santa's sleigh & reindeer are about 2.5 feet long ... He retired in 2006, after 50 years as the La Villita Glassblower in San Antonio, TX, and died in 2016 at the age of 97!
    « Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 09:32:56 pm by CegAbq »
    Carol in 'burque

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    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #12 on: December 01, 2019, 09:24:55 pm »
    Crebel, I got a glass finial coming to replace the owl.  ...

    Awww .. I really like that Owl!!!
    Carol in 'burque

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to Skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Damn-What a ride!

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #13 on: December 01, 2019, 09:34:22 pm »
    The Santa Claus collection my mother painted are on display now. I also put out 2 reindeer and a Santa's Sleigh she painted as those items are stored in the house and were easy to get down. The reindeer and sleigh are white with gold accents, using paint with gold in it. There is still room on the shelf they're on, but I haven't decided what else will go there.

    My advent calendar is a magnetized cookie sheet that is placed on the refrigerator each year. A magnetized ornament is then placed on the appropriate number each day. The ornaments are mittens, wreaths, trees, etc. with Santa Claus being added on the 25th. I don't know how many years ago I bought the set, but I've always had fun with it and it helps decorate the fridge.

    I would love to see your Santa Claus collection from your mother!!!
    Carol in 'burque

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to Skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Damn-What a ride!

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #14 on: December 01, 2019, 09:36:49 pm »
    Love hearing about everyone's Advent calendars.
    Having 3 children woe were very competitive ... I created small Christmas Trees with dates on 8x11.5 sheets of paper, which I laminated.
    Then I created 3 sets of 25 re-usable stickers that each could put up each day.
    In those days we were very anti-sugar, so did not go in for candy-based calendars.  :(
    These days, we are grandparents totally into spoiling & ruining our grandchild  :P
    Carol in 'burque

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to Skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Damn-What a ride!

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #15 on: December 02, 2019, 08:52:47 am »
    CegAbq, wow. Those are some treasures. Oh the ship, I love ships. Goodness, how long did something like that take. I seen glassblowing up close since there is a factory in my german home town, but I think they only make bowls and things like that. At least when we had our school tour there its what they showed us.

    But those in your pictures, wowzer. How in the world does one get those thin strings with glass. Mind blown.

    And a San Antonio connection too. I am ashamed to say that I have never been to La Villita and I been here going on 20 years now. Hangs head in shame. Are the pieces he made there on display?

    I hope you can find a pic of your tree somewhere. Like to see what it looks like with all those glass ornaments on it.

    Maybe down the road I get some more special ones. Or maybe my mother can find some older ones. For now, I just picked up what looked good from the Big Lots store.  ;D. But I do remember the ones we had growing up. They were glass, but not hand blown, just that they used to be made of glass. Its all that shatterproof plastic now. Which in my case was a good thing as I kept dropping them trying to get the wire hanger on the tree.  :-\

    We used to make ornaments as kids and they were often made of straw. Straw stars, straw houses. Some we glued pine cones on it and ribbons. And I remember we had those things I can't think of the english name for. They were very thin metal ribbons. Like you hang them on. They hang down from the branches. Like a foot or two long?  My grandmother always used those. Then each year when it was taken down we kids had to "iron" those strips back to flat and put them back in the package. My grandmother did not waste anything. She rebrewed coffee for crying out loud. But she did after all have to deal with the aftermath of WWII in Germany and lack of everything.

    It took us hours to get those things flat and shiny again. And all that work for a fairly short time. From the 24th of December to when the 3 wise men come knocking on the door. Which I think is the 6th. So next day it comes down. From what I remember. Funny some of the things one remembers. One for me was that the only time of year I got to see an Orange and nuts was when St. Nicklaus comes with his helper Knecht Ruprecht  December 6. You either got your behind whopped, or you were ok. I'll take the 5th on which side I fell on most years.  :-X
    So my memories have a lot of food in it during christmas time. Oranges, fancy nuts. My grandmother always put out the smoked salmon and Kaviar. On the 2nd christmas day we all went there. In Germany there are 2 days being off.


    Loonlover I too would love to see the Santa collection.

    Today I'll put my solar stuff out front. Its sunny today so should be nice.


    eta: Put up 4 lights on trees. Need a break now. Those needles hurt. Ouch. Finish tomorrow. And I tried to put the finial topper on the tree. Its really pretty, but very delicate thin glass and for the life of me I can not fit it over the stiff needles they put on that top piece of the tree. Its like a wire brush. Just not happening. Only way to do it is to cut all those bristles off and I can't do that anymore now since the tree is not very stable and can't get close enough with the stool. So the owl stays. Hubby wanted to muscle in and climb up, but I know he wouldn't be careful enough as its really wobbly and I could just see the tree falling over. I'll use it next year and cut those bristles off before I put the pieces of the tree back together. I put the lights on per section so I can take it apart easy. I read that somewhere. 3 sections.

    I'll have to check the lights tonight and adjust as needed. 80 feet of string really doesn't go far with those trees.

    eta 2.0 I remembered what we called those strips hanging of the tree. Lametta. German tinsel. I have never seen this in stores in the US though.
    « Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 06:33:29 pm by Atunah »

    Offline loonlover

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #16 on: December 03, 2019, 05:03:49 am »
    I'll try to post some pictures of the Santas  at some point, but can't say when it will happen. I am illiterate when it comes to posting pictures so will have to wait until II can help me. Our schedules won't allow it to happen for a few days.

    And love the pictures of all the glass items.

    We didn't get to the trees yesterday with everything else that came up so the plans are to get them into the house today, then the ornaments will get added a few at a time. Work schedule will get in the way, I'm afraid.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #17 on: December 03, 2019, 06:24:28 am »
    Thank you so much for sharing the glass pictures, CegAbq!  I think the sleigh is my favorite, the reindeer are so graceful.

    My decorating mojo is wearing thin already this year.  I have maybe half my decorations out, up, and in place in the living room, dining room, and man cave.  I may be done.  The family favorites are in place, but it feels much less "cluttered" at this point.  It's kind of in keeping with our pared down Thanksgiving this year and that was a wonderful day, so I'm good!

    The next project is wrapping.  My huge dining room table is laden with unopened Amazon boxes and bags from various stores.  My gift shopping is about 90% done after being out and about 4-5 hours yesterday.  One more day of shopping at some point should finish that up.  For today, I am communing with my spirit animal, the sloth ...

    I would post pictures too, LL, but I no longer have a photo sharing account anywhere so that's not going to happen from me.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #18 on: December 03, 2019, 12:00:24 pm »
    Loonlover, I'd be happy to host any pics on my imgur.com account. That is what i use to post them here. You'd just have to email them to me.

    Crebel, I am pretty much done too. It gets tiring fast.  ;D. I keep thinking, what I put up, I'll have to take down again.  :-X. Inside I just have the tree, couple of garlands, a mini tree and a few timer operated mini trees on the table. They are clear plastic and faceted cut from Ikea. And my swedish santa sitting on the counter. All in living/dining area. Mini tree is on the landing. I am not putting anything up in the bedrooms.

    Outside I'll have to stop. I have  2 more strings to put out and one more coming by mail. That will make it 7 total. 6 front and only one in the back. I don't think they'll be to hard to put back up. I am just kind of draping them on the trees, not working them in so they don't get too tangled in the branches.
    I have no intention of decorating for any other holiday so its a once a year thing.

    Oh, and crebel if you want pictures posted, I can do it. If you want. Imgur works pretty well. But its ok if not.  8)

    Offline Andra

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 06:49:00 am »
    CegAbq, love the glass.  That is so amazing.  I started taking my niece to San Antonio at Christmas for TSO in 2016.  It's turned into a family thing.  We usually stay a few nights and spend at least half a day at La Villata since it's walking distance from the hotels.  But I don't remember a glassblower.  I'll have to pay closer attention this year.

    I don't decorate much for the holidays any more.  I have a few special centerpieces that come out, but I haven't done a tree or outside decorations in years.  But I do listen to Christmas music all month (well truly - whenever I feel like it).  I have fond memories of pulling out the Christmas albums when we were little and I have copies of most of them.  My favorite is still on vinyl and I got a small turn table so I could listen to it last year.  That was awesome.

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 07:01:17 am »
    CegAbq, love the glass.  That is so amazing.  I started taking my niece to San Antonio at Christmas for TSO in 2016.  It's turned into a family thing.  We usually stay a few nights and spend at least half a day at La Villata since it's walking distance from the hotels.  But I don't remember a glassblower.  I'll have to pay closer attention this year.
    ....

    Andra - he retired in 2006 & closed up his shop there. Last time I was in S.A. it was occupied by a jeweler I think. He was there from 1947 until 2006.
    Carol in 'burque

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    Offline Andra

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #21 on: December 04, 2019, 01:41:23 pm »
    Andra - he retired in 2006 & closed up his shop there. Last time I was in S.A. it was occupied by a jeweler I think. He was there from 1947 until 2006.

    Rats - I was hoping there was a different glassblower - but then again, I can't imagine that I would have missed that.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #22 on: December 07, 2019, 04:56:12 pm »
    These are the lovely santa figurines I am posting for loonlover
    Sorry, I got sidetracked today by the lovely weather and sat outside all day reading.  ;D








    Offline loonlover

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #23 on: December 07, 2019, 05:41:50 pm »
    Atunah, thanks so much for posting the above.

    Black Peter actually belongs to II. When looking through the catalog and picking the ones I wanted, he requested that one. Mom said it was more challenging to paint than she had expected.

    Offline CegAbq

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    Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
    « Reply #24 on: December 07, 2019, 06:41:15 pm »
    The figurines are LOVELY!!!
    Carol in 'burque

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to Skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Damn-What a ride!

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      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #25 on: December 08, 2019, 06:41:16 am »
      They really are so pretty to look at and I am thinking how long it would take to paint that. I love the reindeer and look at all the hair painted on it. The colors are just so striking. I like the one in the last with the cross shoulder bag. Practical santa  ;D
      Its like the more I look at it, the more details I see.

      Offline loonlover

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #26 on: December 08, 2019, 07:04:52 am »
      I don't know how long they took to paint. I think she may have given them to me in 3 different years.

      I'm making progress in getting more things put out. One tree is up and most of the ornaments we brought in last week are either set out or hanging on the tree. Hopefully we'll bring in more tubs of ornaments this afternoon and II will get his tree set up. The work schedule this coming week is erratic as call times and event times are a weird mix so it is just a matter of working on hanging ornaments as we can.

      Offline crebel

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #27 on: December 08, 2019, 07:45:48 am »
      All the Santas are wonderful, LL!  I only have one ceramic Santa, made for me years and years ago by a friend who is no longer with us.  It is the exact Santa on the left of your second shelf in the pictures (the blue one with the rope/bells belt), except mine is in shades of burgundy and gold.  I had no idea there were so many other beautiful choices.

      Offline loonlover

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #28 on: December 10, 2019, 07:06:46 am »
      Progress made as the trees are up. Now hanging ornaments will be the priority after the next two days of working. Maybe by the time II gets home from work on Friday, the trees will be done and shadow box mirror will have been decorated. I plan on saying we've done enough for this year once the above has been done. And then I'll try not to think about the un-decorating part for a while. 

      Offline crebel

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #29 on: December 10, 2019, 11:03:00 am »
      My first holiday event is this evening where we will have an cookie/candy/treat exchange for refreshments following a meeting.  I spent a couple of hours this morning making both a sweet (caramelized) and a savory "Chex" mix.  I always add to the traditional ingredients and they never turn out the same way twice. :)

      This time the sweet batch has, in addition to two types of the cereal:  puffed corn, sesame sticks, dried fruits (bananas, blueberries, raisins, and pineapple), pretzel nuggets, animal crackers and deluxe mixed nuts.

      The savory in addition to the cereals: sesame sticks, pretzel nuggets, garlic bagel chips, assorted cheese goldfish crackers, and deluxe mixed nuts.  I also added some anchovy paste to the melted butter/spice mixture you pour over and mix in.  I like this addition (of course some is already in Worcestershire sauce that's in there too) and DH has already requested that I keep whatever change I made this year, so that's a plus!

      There were really cute holiday decorated cellophane bags at the dollar store which I have to fill as soon as the mixes are cooled off and I will be ready to go!

      Offline NanD

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #30 on: December 11, 2019, 03:23:56 pm »
      Loonlover, I love your Santas!

      Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk


      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #31 on: December 11, 2019, 04:25:36 pm »
      Man, crebel has the best food. I hope your first event was a success. You make my mouth water with the description of that chex mix. Thankfully those are virtual carbs  :P How do you serve that at events? sticky fingers?  ;D. I assume folks just shovel that in by the cup full. It just sounds delicious. So you bake those ingredients on to the mix and put it in bags. OMG I should have eaten before reading that.  :-X. My stomach just growled. 

      I am still waffling on what to make for christmas. I make ham every year. Its a spiral cut cooked ham they sell at the store. Its good and we have lots of leftovers during the year. But, I want something else.  I am eyeballing some turducken they sell at the HEB a bit further away. They make them in Houston I think and freeze them. I never had turducken and those are stuffed with jalapena and such things. On the 24th, I always make what I grew up with. Bratwurst, potatoes and sauerkraut. There is a severe lack of german bratwurst, so I have to buy the one from Trader Joe's, which is actually a german bratwurst. Made there and bavarian style, which is white. So as close as I can get it. I usually buy 5 or 6 packs of those every time I get to TJ.

      I just went outside again to look at my lights and the neighbors. Mine aren't as bright as they are solar of course, but I like to enjoy them while I can. It was cold this morning like 34 or so. All day its been nippy. So nice tea sipping day and turning on my lights inside earlier.  ;D
      « Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 04:32:55 pm by Atunah »

      Offline crebel

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #32 on: December 12, 2019, 05:19:53 am »
      Let me know when the bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes are ready and I'll be right over!  Are they separate dishes or do you fry them all together in one pan?   :-* 8)

      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #33 on: December 12, 2019, 07:39:49 am »
      I make the german fried potatoes in one pan and just fry the bratwurst in another. Due to the laws in the US, the bratwurst is already cooked. So I just brown it up a bit. The potatoes I slice with my saladshooter and add in a large cast iron pan with lots of melted butter or ghee. Salt and pepper and put a lid on and let sit at medium heat so they fry on that side. 10-20 minutes, depending. Then I flip them with a spatula and do the other side a bit. Top with parsley.
      Can fry onion in it too if want.

      Sauerkraut can be eaten cold or hot. I usually keep it cold as I like to buy the natural fermented if I can find it. Others I heat up. Just how I feel like it. If I heat it its just in a saucepan.

      Normally you'd serve some german rolls with it.

      Offline Betty Blast

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #34 on: December 12, 2019, 08:57:41 am »
      Thanks for sharing your pictures. CegAbq, I love the glass carousel and the ship! Everything feels rushed this year, probably because of Thanksgiving being so late. I'm running behind on decorations and baking.

      Offline loonlover

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #35 on: December 14, 2019, 06:21:14 am »
      II said he tied about 100 hangers last night at work so I guess we will hang ornaments today. The trees do look good with the different length hangers. We don't have evergreen trees; last year we bought gold metal trees that are about 7 ft tall so all we see are the ornaments (of which we have way too many). He figured out a snag puller works really well for pulling the thread through the ornament hook. And, we should be able to put the ornaments away with the hanger attached. Less work for next year. Anyway, I think we are about through with the decorating and will be able to just enjoy the looks now.

      Offline anguabell

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #36 on: December 14, 2019, 02:39:49 pm »
      I love this topic  :) CegAbq, those glass creations are absolutely lovely, and what a fascinating story!

      On the 24th, we go out and have a dinner in a restaurant. For years since my early childhood, I saw my mother, grandmothers and every female friend and relative slaving in the kitchen in preparation of the Christmas Eve dinner, as the European traditions require. So, at some point, we decided to eat out as a bit of a personal protest against the somewhat unfair division of holiday duties  :D Also, we are usually quite busy in December with work, so it's a good excuse.

      Of course, we still do the Christmas Day food in a big way. I am thinking about a roasted duck, with roasted veggies. But that bratwurst with all those delicious potatoes - that sounds good, too. And since Atunah mentioned German food, I am also contemplating some sort of meat rolls stuffed with prosciutto, hard-boiled egg and other good things. Hmmm...so many options, so little time!

      Offline crebel

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #37 on: December 14, 2019, 04:51:21 pm »
      Yum, roasted duck!  I watched a show on the Food Network today where the chef roasted root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabega, and something else - parsnips, maybe) in duck fat.  My first thought was, "I would eat that right now if it were set in front of me!"  :D

      Offline etexlady

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #38 on: December 17, 2019, 10:54:16 am »
      What an great topic.  Everyones stories and traditions are so interesting. After not putting up a tree for years, I decided I wanted to this year.  Not the old tree that required one to stick the limbs in to holes on the tree trunk (took forever), but a little 4 ft. prelit tree.  I didnt bother with dragging down ornaments, etc. from the attic.  I just put the tree on its stand and plugged it in. Easiest tree I ever put up.  I was finishing my shopping at a little gift shop last week and the owner offered me my choice of an ornament.  I selected a star so that is the only ornament on my little tree.  That and the lights are enough.  I have a few other items on the mantle and an entry way table plus a lighted wreath on the front door.  I usually dont bother with decorating for Christmas since Im not home and there is no one here to enjoy my efforts other than myself and the dogs. 

      Offline etexlady

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #39 on: December 17, 2019, 02:20:07 pm »
      What an great topic.  Everyones stories and traditions are so interesting. After not putting up a tree for years, I decided I wanted to this year.  Not the old tree that required one to stick the limbs in to holes on the tree trunk (took forever), but a little 4 ft. prelit tree.  I didn't bother with dragging down ornaments, etc. from the attic.  I just put the tree on its stand and plugged it in. Easiest tree I ever put up.  I was finishing my shopping at a little gift shop last week and the owner offered me my choice of an ornament.  I selected a star so that is the only ornament on my little tree.  That and the lights are enough.  I have a few other items on the mantle and an entry way table plus a lighted wreath on the front door.  I usually don't bother with decorating for Christmas since I'm not home and there is no one here to notice my efforts other than myself and the dogs but I am enjoying the little I have done this year.

      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #40 on: December 17, 2019, 03:32:52 pm »
      When I put my tree together, its in 4 sections, I put the lights on first. I made the mistake in not buying a prelit. Once that was done I plugged it in to make sure it worked and It actually looked nice just like that. Probably because I put on a lot of lights. But since I am inept at light hanging, all the wires were visible so even just for that I needed ornaments. And of course I already went to town at the big lots discount store.  ;D

      One thing I find funny in our community and others. When I drive down during the day it looks like a christmas santa massacre as all the inflatables are laying down flat murdered. They only turn them on in the evening. Its just so bizarre looking. 

      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #41 on: December 25, 2019, 08:38:06 am »
      Everyone, have a wonderful christmas day and happy holidays.  :-*

      Santa brought me some puzzles  ;D. I called my mom just now in Germany and she reminded me of the movie i watched each year since I was a wee babe. She says they play it like 17 times in Germany. Its an 1973 movie made in the czech republic and its a tradition to watch it each year. So I went to the magical place called youtube and found a version they restored in 2015 and it has english subtitles. Guess what I am about to watch with my steaming cup of snowman tea.  ;D

      I know there are a gazillion "cinderella" movies out there, but if you have a chance, I'd suggest to watch this one. To me it is the best of course. The score and the scenery is out of this world.

      Translated the title would be something like Three hazelnuts for Cinderella (Aschenputtel).
      I am so happy I found it. You'll have to turn on captions to get the subtitles.

      <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIFCIArJrCc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIFCIArJrCc</a>
      « Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 08:41:50 am by Atunah »

      Offline anguabell

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #42 on: December 26, 2019, 12:28:43 pm »
       ;D ;D I am from "there" (Czech Republic) and I am just amazed people all over Europe keep watching it year after year  :)

      In our household, we watch Pirates of the Caribbean.

      Our car broke down just before Christmas, so instead of going to a restaurant I roasted the duck on Christmas Eve with experimental sweet potato gnocchi. I was quite pleased with the results. But I still feel like a giant boa constrictor that just swallowed a donkey  :)

      Now I need to figure out what to eat on New Year's Eve and New Years Day.

      Offline Atunah

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      Re: Oh Tannenbaum......Oh Tannenbaum......
      « Reply #43 on: December 26, 2019, 01:54:03 pm »
      Yeah, I am still full too and still have new years. I obviously flung myself off the low carb wagon a wee bit. But I'll rein it in starting in the new year.

      Oh no, car breaking down just before christmas? Is that #5 on the list of Murphy's law? Sorry about that.

      Love that you are from "there"  ;D. I grew up literally on the border to czech. We used to jump over the posts iin the ground and tease the soldiers back in the day. You know, before it was all open. It was a short walk to get there for us. And later a short drive to the border.
      This movie I grew up with. I remember there was a lot of czech productions on TV. Lots of great childrens programs too.

      I like that this cinderella kicks the princes butt in archery. And pretty much makes him beg. Although I should have probably warned the others that there are animal deaths in it during a hunt.

      They did a great job too with the restoration. I remember watching a version a few years ago on youtube that was so blurry I couldn't really make anything out. And there were no subtitles and I don't speak czech.  :P. Of course I grew up watching it dubbed into german.

      Man I ate way too much last evening. I made some porchetta roast I got from trader joe's and it was so good. Bacon wrapped pork, how could it not be good.  ;D. I already sliced it all up and froze the rest for work lunches.

      New years I might just stick with cold trays. So we can nibble. Not sure yet. Growing up we always had fondue on new years eve. Every single year and it took a few hours to do. Then one of the man folk tried to blow off their hand or head with fireworks.
      Now here thankfully its not allowed in city limits. I can still watch the ones in the distance. Since I have 2 open sides from my yard I have a pretty good view actually.

      Offline anguabell

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      I made some porchetta roast I got from trader joe's and it was so good. Bacon wrapped pork, how could it not be good.  ;D. I already sliced it all up and froze the rest for work lunches.


      Ohhhh that sounds delicious!!!!!! I lived in Bavaria for a few months (exactly during the time when the Berlin wall went down) and I gained about 15 pounds during that time. Dangerous people, Bavarians  :D But I still remember the fairy-tale Christmas visit to beautiful Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Living in Germany has had a great disadvantage of missing it, for a little bit at least, for the rest of my life  :)

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