Yesterday were the first advent. In Germany everybody has then a wreath on the table with four candles and the first candle is lit. The three other candles are lit each on the other following sundays before Christmas.
When I were a child I knew when all candles are burning then Christmas would be very close.
Of course I took this nice use over to Belgium and every sunday afternoon we lit a candle and played Christmas songs while drinking coffee and eating Christmas cookies. This created a special "before" Christmas athmosphere. This little decoration we lit yesterday. (above)
Now we don't have a wreath anymore but I always make up something to replace it like this here for example. It is from last year, because we don't celebrate Christmas at home this year, we are going on holidays for 2 weeks.
The nicest thing is that people who came visiting us liked it so much that they did it too. In Belgium and other European countries, as far as I know it didn't exist. Of course now you find these wreaths with four candles in shops as a decoration, but they are only considered as something nice to put on a table.
When I celebrated my first Christmas in Brussels in 1959, it was very hard for my father to find a Christmas tree. There were only very few and it was not something what everybody did.
People here celebrated mostly the 6th December, Santa Claus. He brought the gifts to the children. Christmas was a family get together with a nice meal. Today of course this has changed at least in the french part of Belgium. Now everybody has his christmas tree, but a lot of people still celebrate Santa Claus as the feast for children, where they get the most important gifts.
Yesterday I participated to Photo Hunter group. The word was "light". So I started my walk through Blogville and after three blogs and three Christmas trees I thought this will be boring to look at I don't know how many Christmas trees.
I saw myself already like Donald Duck's uncle (I forgot his name) who instead of his eyes had $ signs in and I would have Christmas trees instead. But then suddenly I found it very interesting. Going from Blog to Blog from continent to continent, from states to states, countries to countries and cities to cities suddenly I realized that all these trees looked the same. Of course each had another decoration, but your neighbour too has another one than you.
And then I was happy. I thought at least one thing we all have in commun, whatever continent or country, whatever skin color or religion, we all have the same love for decorating a Christmas tree !