The first Advent Sunday is already over. I have spent it at O.K.'s, and although the first snow was forecast for Sunday, it never appeared. Instead, after a rainy morning, the sun came out early afternoon, just in time for us to go for a walk before sitting down with O.K.'s family for coffee, cake and Christmas cookies.
Three years ago, O.K. gave me the biggest Advent calendar I have ever had - an entire village! It first appeared on my blog here, and ever since, we have been exchanging it between the two of us from one year to the next. This year, it is O.K.'s turn, and he has set it up on the stairs in his cottage. I think it looks really pretty there, and hope he will like the sweets and small presents I have filled the little houses with.
The weekend before last, my parents, my sister and I went to a garden center where an Advent exhibition was held. Of course, it was not just an exhibition - everything was for sale, and our intention was to buy our Advent wreaths from there. The family who run the center also had set up tables and benches, there was hot food and drinks, coffee and cake, and a brass band were playing Christmas songs. It was all very festive and nice, and I came home with this small wreath - a bit different from what I usually have, but I really like it on my coffee table.
Yesterday, Monday, I had to be in Stuttgart early for my regular eye checkup. A big scan of the retina and the optical nerve was also scheduled, which means I get drops in my eyes that affect my sight for several hours. As the train was nearing Stuttgart, it was announced that it would end one stop before the one I actually needed to get off, and as I did not want to lose time trying to find another train, I simply walked all the way. It took me about 25 minutes, and as it was still early, the Christmas market was not yet open and I was able to get through the pedestrian area quickly. Just as I was walking by the bandstand (already or still lit up?), a flock of pigeons rose.
Examinations and waiting in between meant I was at the surgery for about 1 1/2 hours, and by the time I was home, my sight was still not fully back to allow for work, so I did a few household tasks and then went to meet my family at our Christmas market mid-afternoon.
It was not as crowded at this time of day as it is when I usually get to the market after work, and there was still daylight. In the pictures above you can see the two churches facing each other across Ludwigsburg's market square. The one with the two spires is the Protestant, the other one the Catholic church.
Last year, we went to the Christmas market shortly after my Dad had come home from hospital. It had been our first outing as a family since then, and was very special. This year, we were glad to be able to stroll across the marekt together again; we had food and mulled wine and bought a few items.
I hope you are enjoying the weeks leading up to Christmas, without getting into too much of a rush.