Lantern Procession

Tuesday, 29 November 2011
There are so many events in town in the weeks leading up to Christmas. To be honest with you, it made me feel like a kid again. Everywhere I turn, there's the beautiful Christmas lights all over the town centre, Christmas carols on the street and now the Christmas market with an ice skating rink attached. There's a palpable sense of excitement here which makes Christmas feel so magical.

lanterns1
Every year the lantern procession leads the way for the opening of the Christmas market.



lanterns-xmas tree





lanterns hello kitty




lanterns light canopy


lanterns cathedral



lanterns candy floss




lanterns fireworks

Rather than surrender to the commercialism of Christmas which is not what this day is all about, I thought I'll concentrate more about the Christmas spirit this year. Our kids do not need dozens of presents that can barely fit on their full-to-bursting shelves. Perhaps a small handful in total should suffice.  Instead, it'll be great to give to those in need and show a bit of kindness. Buy a bag of much needed  grocery for a family or offering a cup of hot coffee and a blanket to a homeless person. I'd love to hear your suggestions. What do you think? What will you do differently this year?


18 comments:

  1. This makes me want to cry and sing and bust out with merriment! Is this where you live? If so, it's amazing and magical! A procession to start the Christmas market? How fabulous is that?

    Ever since I left home, I've not been one for Christmas presents, instead loving the lights and music and food. But when I was a child, Christmas was the main time we received anything--my parents didn't buy things for us the way that's so common now. It really was just birthdays and Christmas, with Christmas holding a special gift my mom would have saved for--a typewriter, a collection of Shakespeare, a fur cape, etc. In cases like that, I'm all for spoiling children at Christmas! But if children receive lots of things throughout the year, then spreading the giving through the community is a beautiful option.

    I love seeing all these photos! More, more! :)

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  2. You've put something on my mind Marlene. I think we all need to re-evaluate the meaning of the holiday as it relates to what we do and incorporate more of what it should be. I give, but feel the need to do more. The pictures you posted are truly amazing. I love the blanket of lights. They are gorgeous. Thanks for bringing this topic up and continue to remind us. ((HUG))
    http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

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  3. I always go overboard for the holidays and if I had kids I'd probably spoil them rotten....yup I said it.

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  4. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of the real meaning of Christmas. My cousin makes her son choose some of his many presents to give to a charity - Toys for Tots. I thought that was really thoughtful, and also teaches him the importance of giving.

    (These are gorgeous pictures by the way. It makes me miss Germany!)

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  5. Aahh...I remember those lights with fondness...

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  6. Oh this is beautiful, I've been stuck at home for the last week, I need to get outside to see what's happening on my doorstep.

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  7. Hey, can we spend xmas at your place this year? We'll all fit on your couch, i swear :) seriously, what gorgeous pictures and i've said it a billion times on your blog that you live in the cutest towns.

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  8. can wait for christmas!!! my baby would love it!!!

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  9. Such beauty! I want to bundle up and walk those streets! We no longer exchange gifts with my in-laws and use the money we would've spent to support an organization.

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  10. these photos are so pretty and so cool!

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  11. Last year instead of gifts for each other my family made a donation to OxFam. Everyone seemed to like it, so I think we'll do it again this year!

    It's hard not to spoil your kids, though, isn't it? Maybe you could take Little L to a toy store and get her to pick out gifts to donate to a charity (I don't know what you call it there, but here we have Toys for Tots, Operation Santa, Christmas Angles, and loads of other charities that organize X-Mas gifts for underprivileged children). I have a relative who does that with her children and she says they really enjoy imagining what other kids might like to play with. It would be a nice way for her to learn about helping the less fortunate, but still do something relatively "fun."

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  12. I don't celebrate Christmas but I love the atmosphere especially when it's cold and wintery. Christmas here in Perth can be really hot. I really mean HOT. It's usually one of the hottest day in summer, more than 40 deg C. I think last year or 3 years ago Chrissie, it was 43 deg. C. Give me cold winter day anytime....

    mrallan, perth

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  13. wow so much beautiful christmas decor!!! i agree with you. ppl often forget what xmas is really about. there is this elderly homeless man that always hangs out by this bakery i frequent so the other day i bought a bag of things for him to eat. did not cost too much but he was so grateful. reminds me that these little good deeds should be done all year round, not jsut during the holidays!

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  14. That's a nice tradition of opening up the Christmas market with a lantern procession.

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  15. Lovely post Marlene. It's always refreshing to hear how people are thinking of others that are less fortunate. I think donating presents to a charity for children who won't have anything this Christmas, helping out at a soup kitchen to feed the homeless (do you have those over here)? And just taking the time to have a conversation with someone who needs a chat. I've seen a handful of homeless people sitting out in the cold here that have been so lovely and appreciative when you give them some spare change and their faces light up when someone just takes the time to speak with them. Sometimes the simple everyday things are the sweetest and make a significant difference.

    www.findmeamuse.com

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  16. Charities (MIl and I are active with the food bank this time of year) and gifts for others are my way to go during the holidays. I rarely shop for myself as I'm such a cheap gal, I wait for the sales after the holidays. However I indulge in gourmet thingies & dinner parties. My Ossetra rich Christmas day brunches are notorious among friend and family!

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  17. Thank you all for the many wonderful suggestions. I'm humbled by the your comments to know the amazing contributions you've made. It's so easy to go overboard with presents which are often discarded after a few months. Thank you!

    Yes, Sharon, feel free to crash on my sofabed!

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