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So christmas begins

(24 Posts)
felice Sat 06-Dec-14 12:13:01

Off to the march of St Nicolaas with DD,SIL, DGS and friends who are members of various Medievalist societies here in Brussels. We will walk through the city, giving out sweets to watching children, to the Main square, Grand Place, where St Nicolaas will arrive. then Christmas starts, markets, shops now advertising stuff, and the Christmas lights all on.
There is a wonderful Portuguese Christmas Market this weekend in our local square which we will visit tomorrow,
So a nice afternoon, ending in some mulled wine, No Black friday here.Belgian children will recieve their presents this evening and Christmas itself is very much a family affair, a nice meal on Christmas Eve and a day relaxing and visiting Church and family on Christmas day itself.

ninathenana Sat 06-Dec-14 13:01:38

Sounds idyllic felice enjoy your day.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Dec-14 13:20:05

Sigh! I was at a Swiss Xmas market this time last week. Want to go to a Belgium one now!

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Dec-14 13:20:55

Will have to make do with the one in the local civic gardens.

grannyactivist Sat 06-Dec-14 13:24:12

Ooh, that sounds lovely jingl, where was it?

Pittcity Sat 06-Dec-14 16:29:02

So very festive felice. I do love a traditional Christmas tchsmile
Does the build upstart in September like it does here?

felice Sat 06-Dec-14 17:14:20

No, it really does start in December, in fact shops need special licences to advertise christmas before december.
It was lovely, a marching band, 'giants', all the dressed up societies, friends had arranged for St Nicolaas to come and see DGS before the parade and give him a present personally.
we started at 14.30 and just got home at 18.00.
Some very bemused tourists as there are black face societies here,,,,mmmmm,,,,, and a lot of children eating too many sweets.

It is all very friendly, just a couple of police as over 200 people walked the route around the city, then everyone gathered in the Grand Place and cheered the start of the festive season.
I just love it.Eveyone taking part gets a voucher to have a drink in a city centre bar, we were there today with one of the trappist beer societies, Lindemanns Faro and Kriek if anyone wants to google. My SIL is also involved with and Arbaletelier Society, (crossbows to you and me) over 800 years old and he is a champion.
As I have said before so many people just see Belguim and Brussels and poppy fields and the EU. It is a very interesting little country.

felice Sat 06-Dec-14 17:15:40

SIL not 800, years old, probably should have thawed the fingers out properly.............

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Dec-14 17:45:57

It was Basel *Granny-a. It was lovely! smile

granjura Sat 06-Dec-14 18:05:56

No pittycity- here too Christmas only starts with Advent, in early December- so much the better for it- I really have to say.

We used to go to the Christmas market in Lincoln- such a lovely sight- but sadly most of the stalls just sold the usual market stuff - rather than homemade Christmas artisan presents, food and decoration.

Glad you enjoy Basel Jingle.

NotTooOld Sat 06-Dec-14 18:16:13

I'm afraid I've become a bah-humbug. DH and visiting DD are already squabbling over whether we go out to lunch on Christmas Eve. (DH doesn't like the way GS and GD waste their food and I'm piggy in the middle.)

annsixty Sat 06-Dec-14 18:56:58

This afternoon (3-30/5-00) we have had our annual Carols in The Park.we are lucky to have a village Brass Band who play every year on the first Sat in December A committee organise and provide tea, coffee,mince pies and cakes, there is a raffle to raise funds to be spent on amenities for the park and we sing rousing carols. It was very well attended,the children loved it and we all had a good time. It is the start of Christmas for many.

Nonu Sat 06-Dec-14 19:24:19

Our Christmas started last Sunday, the first advent, when we decorated our home, and extremely good it looks too, twinkling and sparkling.

[tchsmiles] to each and every one

Agus Sat 06-Dec-14 19:29:26

I can just picture it felice. I know Grand Place well and love it any time of year but Christmas is a lovely time to be there.

rosequartz Sat 06-Dec-14 21:03:50

It sounds lovely felice. Nice to hear from you, and hope you are mended!

I suppose Christmas can be as traditional as you make it, but unfortunately children are bombarded with advertising and commercialism from an early age and it is difficult to shield them from it.

We will have Carols in the park, at the Abbey, and I hope to be able to see Father Christmas himself on Tuesday. Further afield there is a lovely Christmas market in Bath which I have visited in previous years. I will not be able to go to the DGC's Christingle service as I have something else booked, but look forward to their Christmas nativity plays and a service in the church with a real donkey!!

rosequartz Sat 06-Dec-14 21:04:50

Hope the donkey has done what he needs to before he goes into church grin

Deedaa Sat 06-Dec-14 21:41:52

When my children were small a garden shop in Truro used to have a live Nativity outside the shop, with a donkey and lambs. it was always part of Christmas to go and see it.

felice Sun 07-Dec-14 15:18:49

Just spent the afternoon at the market in Place Flagey Brussels, as well as the normal market with the Oysters and Champagne stalls, there was a lovlly(2 gluwien) small Christmas market and a large marquee with lovely Portuguese food and wine. Wee man and I had a great time, Igot my face painted,,,,,,,,, no way wee man, he just had a laugh.I wiped it off.
then on the way home went past a Japanese shop where they were having a Christmas party, regognised us asked us in a very nice saki later and wee man having a great time we eventually wandered home.
Lovely afternoon, sorry grammer etc just out the window xx

rosesarered Sun 07-Dec-14 17:46:43

Lovely stalls, Christmas markets and singing here too[England]. Just been in Leicestershire, and Derbyshire where the Christmas lights in all the towns look wonderful, and the small market towns have lots of activities on offer, Christmas tree festivals in Churches and all sorts of musical things, and town squares with reindeer and junior schools choirs dressed up and singing, also handbell ringers.Food markets selling all sorts of festive goods, it does you good just to see it all.

KatyK Sun 07-Dec-14 18:03:35

I must find a nice Christmas market to go to. The Christmas market here in Birmingham has got completely out of hand. When it first began a few years ago, it was lovely. The atmosphere was fantastic. It is far too big now and people are coming in from all over the UK to visit it. New Street station has had to bring in crowd control measures as so many people are coming into the city. Every day and night the place is heaving, you have no chance of getting anywhere near the stalls and the pavements are so crowded you can't even get to visit the shops near it. Great for the city I'm sure, but not a pleasant experience. Some of the lovely garden centres around here are much more pleasant to visit with their lovely Christmas displays. tchsmile

rubysong Sun 07-Dec-14 18:21:40

I think Christmas started on Friday with the WI county Carol service in Truro cathedral. Yesterday we had the village hall coffee morning, complete with Santa and hand bell ringers. Last evening we had our choir concert; three of us, dressed in onesies sang 'All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth'. I must say I am loving the onesie which is very soft and cosy (tiger stripes as per Tony the Frosties tiger. ). I think I will use it a lot this winter.

Anne58 Sun 07-Dec-14 18:40:48

Quite a few years ago, my then boss wanted to reward me for the way I had taken on and handled a difficult project. The company did time share and travel services, so she offered me a holiday plus flights (and £500 spending money, which was a last minute surprise!) to any of the company's locations that were not long haul.

I said that if it was post Christmas, some winter sun would be good (Canary Islands) but I would love to go away for Christmas somewhere snowy!

We ended up in Schliersee, a beautiful place about an hour by train from Munich. It was a magical place to spend Christmas, deep snow, blue skies and the most wonderful scenery. Christmas Eve is the "big day" rather than Christmas Day, and the atmosphere at the Christmas market in Munich the day before Christmas Eve was truly wonderful!

There was a group of very smartly dressed business men standing in front of a stall drinking their gluwein (sp?) (you get a mug from one stall, wander off and deposit your mug at a completely different stall) who burst into a rendition of Stille Nacht (sp again). The large department store on Marionplazt (?) was busy but not frantic, everyone seemed to be fairly relaxed and enjoying their shopping (not like Oxford Street, I imagine!)

As we were heading towards the underground station to get our train back to the village, some lads who had obviously been celebrating started a bit of a scuffle, a well dressed lady of around 80 ish raised the alarm (although by UK standards there was not too much going on) and within no time, police arrived to sort it out. It would seem that anti-social behaviour has zero tolerance. It did make me think that perhaps in Britain a person might be afraid to do that, for fear of what might happen to them!

Eloethan Sun 07-Dec-14 19:04:30

Sadly, the risk of something horrible happening if you intervene is present in every country.

You may have seen in the news just recently that a young woman in Germany was assaulted after standing up for two girls who were being harassed by a group of men. She was followed outside, punched in the head and later died in hospital. Poor girl - only 23 and training to be a teacher.

TwiceAsNice Sun 07-Dec-14 21:08:59

I am looking forward to going to a Christmas market in Bath on Tuesday with two close friends. We,ll go on the train and have a nice lunch and gossip as well as shopping. We nearly went to Birmingham and I'm glad we didn't now I hope to be able to get near enough to see all the stalls. My daughter is coming down to stay for a few days at the end of the week so will leave the tree until then so we can decorate it together but so far have a lovely new wreath on my front door. ( my spare room looks like Santas grotto)