Our fireplace mantel with 19th-century French Madonna crowns, a framed 18th-century page from the Koran (yes, religions can peacefully co-exist) from Sevilla, Spain; 18th-century French books topped with Delft porcelain miniature shoes and a vintage Santa ornament; a hand-carved wooden lamplighter from the Netherlands; an 18th-century wooden angel from an Italian church (wearing a rush crown woven with irridiscent beads from London); Christmas parcels from my daughter in the US and a glass cylinder containing an arrangement of amaryllis, berries, a silvery fern and "snow," a gift from a Dutch friend, who is a talented florist and interior designer. The mercury glass and gilt mirror is French, circa 1830. Click photos to view detail.
Antique porcelain figures at an exhibition of Christmas decorations currently underway inside the city's 15th-century gate tower.
The Virgin Mary.
Baby Jesus in a straw-filled manger. "For unto us, a child is born..."
Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus (and a wood-framed leaded window at the top of the historic town gate).
A handmade nativity scene. This picture is slightly out of focus (taking pictures was frowned upon at the exhibition), but you can see the amazing detail of each cloth figure and the surrounding scene, including a hand-woven tent.
Vintage ornaments on a wire tree.
Gingerbread in a shop window.
Outside our window, bells are ringing, while carpenters build a manger in the 15th-century church courtyard. And a house-drawn carriage is ferrying last-minute shoppers through the cobblestone streets.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, filled with tidings of comfort and joy!