Monday, December 12, 2011

Bringing Christmas to the Living Room

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When we were in Leavenworth, Washington in late summer I went to the remarkable Kris Kringl shop.  I was looking for an advent calendar.  As a child, a friend of my parents had sent us one from Germany, a traditional street scene in a Bavarian village with all the stores bedecked with boughs of greenery and people carrying packages and Christmas trees across the town square.  It had a sprinkling of white glitter on it, like fairy snow.  We had loved it for years, competing to be the one to open the window for that day, searching through all the ornamentation to find the right numbered door. 

Now I was in a Bavarian town that looked like an advent calendar itself, minus the sprinkle of glitter.  It reminded me of my wish to find a real, authentic German calendar.  I wanted to buy one for my friend who now has grandchildren coming to her house –it could be both a souvenir of our trip and a teaching tool for the grandkids.    Leavenworth seemed like the place to have them, being German and all.  And they had a store dedicated to Christmas goods!  Perfect.

So I went to the Christmas store, Kris Kringl.  There I found every conceivable collectible: fairies and sugar plums, gingerbread houses, elves, Snow Babies and Santa Clauses.  There were hand blown glass ornaments and carved wooden ones, fabric elves and crystal icicles.  There was vintage Christmas with Lucia brides and 1950’s diner scenes.11-08-10-12-41-52H

I wandered around between the Jack Frosts and the crystal snowflakes looking for an advent calendar.  Finally I asked a sales clerk.  “Oh, is that religious?  That’s upstairs, at the back.”  I couldn’t find the stairs and she said “The stairs are over in that corner behind the door”.

So upstairs at the back behind the door I went.  No advent calendars here.  Some Fontanini nativity pieces, relegated to the back of the inn store.  In a store about Christmas there was very little of Christ’s birth.  I felt the chill of  “No room at the inn.”

I like elves and sugar plum fairies and snowmen and snow globes, don’t misunderstand me.  I just want it to be remembered that the reason for Christmas is that Christ came to earth. The angels filled the sky to announce it to the shepherds and a star led the learned men from different countries to welcome the new king.  All of history pivots on this event, and it needs to be more than “Upstairs, at the back.”


ellen b. said...

Amen, amen. I'm with you! It is the most amazing thing that ever happened.

Anneliese said...

At first I was wondering where you were going with this post and then I saw...history repeated. We do it over and over. It's so easy to look at the man made tinsel... the stuff that does not last. Only Jesus gives lasting joy. Thank you for the reminder to make room.

bj said...

I agree, 100 percent.

I loved looking at all the Mark Roberts fairies. I have only two of them and hope to get more.
xo bj

French said...

Totally agree; wish people would not lose sight of the reason for the Season~ wonderful post, Holly!

debianne said...

I have an extra Advent calendar...let me send it to you! Thank you for always pointing us to what really matters!

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh what a post! So glad to hear you are of the stable few variety! :)

Kathleen said...

I so agree! The reason for the season, front and center, please!
I know exactly what Advent Calendar you mean! Hard to find. I had to buy the secular kind to give the gkids.

About the ornament name holders. They came that way. Flat on the bottom, and a little holder on the top for the name card! I forget where I got them!

That shop looks amazing. I think they could find room on the first floor for Nativities, etc. Work on that! :)

Gilly said...

Amen to all that Holly! I'm sick of seeing glitter and tinsel and inducements to sheer greed all over the place.

I have a sweet little nativity scene I put up every year, on a highish shelf so that Mt. G is not offended! It came from Peru, and there are two Peruvians, the baby Jesus, a sheep (of lamb size) and a very surprised looking Llama!

I love it!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Thanks for the reminder of the reason for the season! Merry Christmas!...hugs...Debbie

kae pea said...

Hol, maybe their word for the year should be , "remember"!
I really love what you said in your coment on my blog. I, too, could usethe word(s) 'sweeten up' ...for it sounds like we have a bit in common. But i already changed my word once, so i will have to 'flourish' this year and get 'sweeter' next ;)
Happy New Year! xokp

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A year round Christmas shop...that has all but forgotten 'the Reason for the season'. We were in Leavenworth this summer as the end of June. I never even ventured into the Christmas shoppe.

Blessings to you and yours in 2012. And thanks for all your visits to 'My Front Porch'! Judy