Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago does an amazing Christmas tree display every year, featuring trees decorated in styles unique to many different countries around the world, from every continent save Antarctica. It’s been maybe…20 years?…since I last saw it, so I was really excited to see how it had changed. Now, my memories are pretty fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure the exhibit is much larger than it used to be, and it was a lot of fun to go through it, and see how different cultures celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays!

This doesn’t cover every tree in the display (I think maybe I have photos of about half of them), and also doesn’t cover the displays featuring holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, because they were in glass cases that were very hard to photograph with all of the lights reflecting off of them. I did also include examples of some of the displays that were included beneath the trees, which was a very nice touch, as well as the signs that accompany them. With one exception, I included only one photo from each tree. It was impossible to keep track of which tree went with which country, so you can try to figure that out on your own!

The grand tree in the center of the exhibit was an unbelievable sight!

And a bonus picture of the Pioneer Zephyr, all decked out for the holidays!

I’m so happy I got a chance to see this display again, and even happier that I got to share it with the Fab Five…we all learned so many things about how Christmas is celebrated around the world!

Garden Landmarks at Gardenland Express

We always look forward to visiting the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and I think this year’s show was my favorite yet! I especially liked it because it contains so many garden landmarks:

The rest of the display is quite lovely, too…I really enjoyed the flocked trees!

I’m always amazed by how much attention to detail goes into this show…I can’t wait to see what they have planned for next year!

Christmas Traditions 2018

Today we made our annual trek west to St. Charles, MO, for the Christmas Traditions festival. (This is not to be confused with the trek north we made a few weeks ago to St. Charles, IL, also for Christmas-related reasons!)

The day was as beautiful as the picture looks, although it was a bit warm for our tastes. But the spring-like temperatures brought our larger crowds than we’ve ever encountered before…it was a good thing they finally decided to close Main Street to vehicular traffic, because I don’t know how all of the pedestrians would have fit on the sidewalks!

St. Charles is never more charming than it is at Christmastime:

One of the best parts of going to Christmas Traditions is seeing all of our favorite characters. We’ll call this year’s attempt a “successful failure.” We saw the number one character we wanted to see (Jack Frost), and a really cool new character (Ded Moroz), but there was no Frontier Santa this year, and we didn’t see the Master of Revels, and a number of the other characters we enjoy seeing every year. In the end, we collected 31 out of 41 numbered character cards, plus one of the bonus cards, which is really not bad!

Bunny had an especially good visit with Jack Frost, the “Bob Ross of Frost” this year. He even embellished his character card with a bit of his artwork for her!

This was a challenging visit to St. Charles for me, since I’m still wearing the CAM boot. The uneven brick streets made walking more difficult than I would care to admit, and our parking space, which was practically on the other side of the Missouri River, made our walk extra long. But I was determined to have fun today, and do the things we usually do, because I hate to miss out on anything. So, even though climbing the brick steps up to the gazebo wasn’t the easiest thing ever, I even got my annual picture of the Fab Five, and I think it might be the best one yet!

And just like that, another year’s visit to Christmas Traditions is over. Even though things were a bit different this year (we were too late to see the parade, and we missed the gingerbread houses), we had a great time! I’m already looking forward to seeing what changes they might make next year…but not as much as I’m looking forward to not having to navigate the event with a broken ankle!

Symphony Saturday

In September, Bunny and I got to go to Powell Hall to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while the St. Louis Symphony played the score. Moose received a similar awesome birthday gift, and today he and I got to go see Home Alone on the big screen while the Symphony played.

We were really excited to see Powell Hall dressed up for Christmas:

We had plenty of time before the movie to takes pictures and have a holiday-themed drink at the Met Bar…Moose had an eggnog, and I had the special…poinsettia punch:

Our seats were great…I think we had the best spot for hearing the music!

At the beginning of the year, I had never set foot inside Powell Hall, and now I’ve been there three times…once for a tour, and twice for “Live at Powell Hall” events. This is definitely one of my new favorite places in St. Louis!

Sartorial Saturday–Christmas Wrapping

I have really been wanting to pair my ornament print Bella skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing with a bright pink top. Unfortunately, the only top I have that fits the bill is a sleeveless wrap top, also from PUG. But fortunately for me, the weather in St. Louis can been unpredictable in December, and wearing a sleeveless top is not always out of the question. I really love the way the pink looks against the green!

The accessories I chose to go with it really pop, too:

I still hope that eventually, I will find a long sleeve top in a similar color (my dream is a PUG Sabrina top, which is my current favorite for cool weather!). For now, though, I’m glad I have at least one bright pink option to go with this skirt!

2018-19 School Year–Weeks Sixteen and Seventeen

What a crazy two weeks!

Turkey and Bunny have been doing all of the things in math and science. They learned how to use the quadratic formula and find discriminants in algebra. They learned about moles in chemistry. Plus they finished Romeo and Juliet, continued to write poetry (this time using metaphors), and learned about Mohammed in history. We also started our yearly study of A Christmas Carol.

Ladybug has also been busy. In math, she reviewed base 2 and divided using decimals. Her science lessons focused on horse grooming and diets. In history, she learned about the Jewish Diaspora. She is also almost done with Justin Morgan had a Horse…she’s pretty worried about how it’s going to end!

Chickadee is learning about fractions in math! She is also learning hundreds numbers. She finished another series of stories in her I Can Read It book. Now that we finished Treasures from Grandma, we’re taking a break from the Grandma’s Attic series, so she’s really been enjoying listening to me read some of our favorite Christmas storybooks!

We’re going to have school next week, but probably not a full week…and then it’s time for Christmas vacation!

A Markel Family Santa Lucia Day

Santa Lucia Day is one of my favorite holidays! I love planning and preparing, especially when it comes to making the Lussekattes and setting up the night before:

The girls all still love dressing up, and while it may not be traditional, they all dress as Santa Lucia. This was the fifth year using the crowns I made for them!

We even had a Swedish dinner! I’m so glad St. Louis has an IKEA now, because it made planning our meal so much easier. We had Swedish meatballs with gravy, egg noodles, lingonberry juice, and for dessert, Swedish sandwich cookies, plus Dala Horse and Sour Viking candies:

We also read our favorite Santa Lucia stories today. It’s such a lovely holiday in the lead-up to Christmas, and one I look forward to all year long!