Monday, December 26, 2011

The 2nd Christmas Day

Today is the 2nd Christmas Day here in the Netherlands.
NOT the 2nd day of Christmas and NOT Boxing Day. Just the 2nd Christmas Day
...the 26th, following the 1st Christmas Day yesterday, the 25th.
It's an official holiday...more of which you can read about at my Vision & Verb today.

And because it's still Christmas here where we live, I need not apologize for showing the Düsseldorf Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) from when we visited a couple weeks ago.

Where to start!

Since we went to see the Christmas market, let's start there.
Make that markets, plural, since there were several near each other.

The huge Christmas tree from Lillehammer, Norway, stood on the main square
in the old town/Altstadt, near the historic town hall.

Just when I wondered if they'd have a huge pyramid
(similar to my days in Hannover)...there she stood.
I was not disappointed.

And yes, I got my chestnuts roasting on the open fire!

And since I'm on the subject...there was food everywhere.... well as the ubiquitous glühwein.
Every stand had its own mug you could buy with your drink
(which we did, of course).

Yes, Santa, too, was there.... new and old versions, with all his toys.
(click on any image/collage to enlarge)

This is the eye-candy of the Weihnachtsmarkt!
When Astrid saw my image of the wooden tops, she said "Ohhhhh!"
Had she seen them, she would have bought one...memories from her childhood.

At one point we walked away from the markets to the nearby Rhine River, on which Düsseldorf sits:

This is one of the most famous promenades of Germany.
If ever you've been on a European river cruise, maybe you've seen it!

We actually saw the promenade from the other side of the Rhine
when we crossed over the bridge.
The Rheinturm steeple is the telecommunications tower.
When you see the tower from a distance, you know you're almost there.

You know me and architecture!

And weathervanes, too.

About this time we were ready to eat!
We already had our latte macchiato and bread-with-chocolate earlier.
And we would have had bratwurst with sauerkraut at a stand...
except that we wanted to sit down somewhere inside.
So we ate wonderful Indonesian food while overlooking a German market!

Then we were off to see one of the things we had come to see for Astrid: the Königsallee shopping street with all its posh stores decorated to the nines this festive season.

Königsalle, on a picturesque canal, is known for its fashion showrooms and luxury retail stores.
Astrid had last seen the window dressings 30 years ago.

It tells you everything you need to know
when you see furs selling for €15.900 - 48.900 ($20,760 - 63,849).
Or even that FURS are being sold in the first place!

It was the menswear window displays Astrid most wanted to see.
(Remember, this is what she trained for all those years ago.)

But we sure enjoyed seeing everything else, too....

...some things more affordable than others,
even though we didn't buy a thing!

It was a day for the eyes...and being "short of them," as the Dutch say.
Christmas was everywhere, whether commercial or not.
We got what we wanted...and parked two blocks away from all the activity!
(Remember that clean-car sticker we got for this Clean City!)

You might recall we also got a surprise.... Remember the glassblower? Maybe I'll show you more about him next week. He totally made the day worthwhile and deserves his own post

Till then...what will YOU be doing this day after Christmas, the 2nd Christmas Day? Check out my Vision & Verb to see what we'll be doing....


  1. This brings back happy memories of a wonderful day. We had the perfect weather too AND not too many people. The moment I saw a lot of people, I just remembered why I did not go to these places anymore, too many people.
    The wooden toys, are my favourite, never get tired looking at them.
    A wonderful post with fabulous pictures showing what we all saw in one day. The roasted chestnuts were good and I am glad we found a stand that roasted them while we could see how they did it.
    Yes, we were short of eyes, but that is what Christmas markets are all about.....
    Next year we might go to Keulen, Cologne.

  2. Astrid: I will never forget these wonderful photo hunts we get to share together. They are the gifts we keep giving to each other all year 'round! Hartstikke bedankt.

  3. Yep, we too have 2nd xmas day - and enjoying it very much! Especially when seeing all those gorgeous and xmas spirited pics you show us! Looks like a real xmas thrill indeed.

    Happy holidays and an upcoming gorgeous, bubbly Happy New Year!

  4. LCT: Thank you. I understand that Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland, and the Netherlands are the countries that observe the 2nd Christmas Day. Lucky us! :) Astrid will be back at work tomorrow...poor thing!

  5. I just love all of the pics! The things that stand out that I miss so much are the gluewhine and the eating of coffee and bread.. Yummy!

    Although I just love how much there is to see..

    And I totally wish that we had a second Christmas so that everything was closed and people would not shop! It however was nice to have P at home this year! Today was a STat holiday because the 25th fell on the weekend..

  6. ET: I know you miss Europe, Jen. And yet, you're getting something different from America by now living in Canada. It's kinda in-between, if that makes sense? So glad P could be home with you. Good for the family!

  7. Those Christmas markets may get us over there at Christmas one year! I can almost smell the chestnuts . . .

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Love.

  8. Ruth: Now THAT would be a Christmas to remember, Sister...for both of us. :) I like that idea.

    We had a WONderful Christmas, both days. :) Thank you.

  9. It all looks too good to be true!
    I'm sure you had a wonderful Christmas (both of them) and I wish you and Astrid all the very best for 2012.
    Today I shall venture to the stores to see if I can find any Boxing Day bargains, but if the parking lots are too full I might just turn round and come home. We will be having our little family Christmas get-together on Wednesday.... that's tomorrow. Our "second Christmas" just like you!

  10. Sham: Thank you, Lady. I wonder if we'll meet you in 2012. Wouldn't that be something! Enjoy YOUR 2nd Christmas day with your family. That's nice!

  11. goodness so many things to photograph and to eat and drink too. gorgeous day it seemed like as well.

    what is up with all the bells in one of the photos? just curious.

    happy new year.

  12. PC: You would have had a heyday there, Maria...eating everything in sight. HA! I can see it now.

    We're not sure what all the bells were...a carillon of sorts but that's all we know. Most interesting, right?! Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Spencer right off saw the carousel and said "He could drive the car!" and he liked tbe spinning top toy and the colors of the Weihnachtsmarkt mesmerized him. His little fingers were very busy touching my computer screen... He laughed at the Nutcracker's teeth. ha ha

    And what did I do the day after Christmas? Sleep in an went to see my horses! :)

  14. Margaret: It thrills me to no end that your little Spencer sees and recognizes some of these images. You both just made my day!!! Thank you.

  15. Where to start... this post is such a feast for the eyes that I find myself "short of eyes" which, by the way, is a WONDERFUL expression! Since I'm in the air and have a sleeping seatmate (aisle seat, no disturbance), I have plenty of time to drool over the marvelous food photos (you eating a roasted chestnut and that marvelous HUGE collage underneath the 'chestnut' collage)! I'm just scrolling down the page with the images on the right and the comment window on the left!

    Just one visuyal treat after another... the Santa on the carousel with that adorable little child... the toys... the lovely architecture... the weathervanes... the shop windows... especially the Giorgio Armani/menswear and Swarovski window collages.. all make me think I might even enjoy shopping for a change!

    Happy New Year (again) and I'll see you online in 2012!

  16. Going to a Christmas market must have been so special! My cousin’s daughter lives near Strasbourg and she tells me that they always go to the Christmas market there and also drive to Germany to see some – they sounds so great – I’d love to go one year. Just looking at your pictures was a treat!

    Since I had been in bed for ten days, the day after Christmas I got up and did some shopping. Alas that was not a good idea because I got sick again and have been back in bed since. We may even have to stay here for New Year instead of going to Nashville – so I am enjoying watching your pictures of the season. Have a joyful New Year!

  17. Victoria: I'm still getting a kick that you've seen and read all of this at 30,000 ft. in the air! That's a first, I'm sure, for any of my readers. :) You've really made my day. Thank you.

    Vagabonde: I am SO SO SORRY that you have been sick and now with another relapse! What is your body trying to tell you? Please pamper yourself and here's to good health as 2012 comes to us all.

    In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to find me here!

  18. Ginnie! Such an amazing collection of Christmas! You truly captured the spirit.

  19. Mad: Thank you, Lady. You would have been in heaven there. :)

  20. Happy New Year to you and Astrid. May 2012 be full of happiness and good health, good food, good fun and lots more good pictures from your camera. Maybe I'll get there in 2012... would be fun, but I'm not promising anything!

  21. Sham: Thank you! As we all know by now, at our age, we just go with the flow. If you can come in 2012, you'll know where to find us! :)

  22. It's probably for the best that the Christmas market is not here in the Bay Area because I'm not sure I could control myself.

    I love that huge chestnut roasting pan! It reminds me of the yummy chestnuts sold on the streets in Manhattan. Yumm!

    I love peeking into the luxurious store windows. I remember all the elegantly-dressed people of Düsseldorf and feeling somewhat underdressed because we were in camping clothes :-/

    Great collages that exude the festive elegance of the city.

  23. DB: I know what you mean, Diana. It really surprises me that they haven't taken hold in Holland like in Germany, but probably good for your same reason. Maybe each year we can go to a different city in Germany. That would be fun, too. Thanks for your comment, as always.

    Ted: Thank you. We sure do have fun with our photo hunts.

  24. I love your Christmas pictures! So celebrative!

  25. Ginnie, you make my country look like a fairy tale! I realized that the last time I went to a German Weihnachtsmarkt is more than ten years ago. No wonder I'm getting teary eyes over your pictures - especially the food and the Gluehwein. And I think I also saw thosae roasted cinnamon almonds - when they're still warm they're the best!

  26. Carola: I used to live in your country two weeks out of every month for 2 years! So I do know a bit about the fairy tale! :) It was my second time to Düsseldorf, however, the first at Christmas time, so I was truly in heaven. I'm glad I could bring back for you some happy memories. And yes, those were hot-off-the-press roasted almonds. It didn't take long to eat them!