"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


First Christmas

It was the little one's first Christmas.
Time to find out if she was naughty or nice...

We were delighted to find out that we wouldn't be spending Christmas alone in Germany this year. My parents and brother and his wife were able to join us for the holiday, followed by my sister and her husband for New Year's. We rented a large apartment right in the heart of the Heidelberg and did our best to outfit it for Christmas.

The biggest challenge was finding a Christmas tree. A week before Christmas we stumbled upon an old man selling trees on the corner. Most of them resembled Charlie Brown's tree, but we eventually decided on a modest sized one and bargained with the man until we settled on a price. Then we loaded it on top of the stroller and walked across town to our own apartment. Here is where it stayed until the 24th when we moved into the downtown apartment.

After another trip across town on the bus, the tree finally arrived in our rental apartment; and with some help from the Euro store (European version of the 'Dollar Store'), here is the finished product:

Grandma brought some stockings to hang. As there was no chimney, she decided the 17th century wooden beams would do.

Then it was time for some family photos (the Santa hat was Grandma's idea).

Grandma and Grandpa's turn.

And don't forget Uncle T and Aunt A.

Bring on the presents!!!

The wrapping was a big hit.

Penelope got lots of exciting gifts: books, toys, clothes, her first ornament...

And her very own milk and cookies plate for Santa.

As is typical with first Christmases, Penelope was more fascinated with the crinkly paper and the tree decorations than with the gifts themselves.


  1. What beautiful pics and a beautiful family. I love your blog- so enchanting to read. I am happy you sent your link out on holiday cards, it will be nice to peak in on you all. Penelope is lovely!

  2. What a sweet, sweet Christmas! Penelope is getting so cute. Yall won't be there for too much longer.