Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas City of lights and paper

This past week has been spent in Christmas preparation mode in the EuroAmerican household. In all honesty, we started getting ready about a month ago. By that I mean that we brought down the boxes of ornaments and moved them from the top floor to the middle floor(*). A few weeks later, we set up our tree, which remained undecorated for 7 days. The tree was brand new and we just wanted to check its height and if all the lights worked. Then we brought down all the boxes to the bottom floor and this past Sunday we finally decorated out first Christmas tree as a married couple. Yes, we took our sweet time and vowed not to put it up before Thanksgiving, and then things got pretty hectic.

I delighted in taking inventory of the Christmas ornaments that Trevor grew up with, but I was so homesick when I unpacked the few ornaments that I dared to take on a transatlantic flight.

It was last year that we decided that we'll keep Christmas simple and practice mindfulness. Neither of us is a fan of excess or shopping and we certainly like being stress-free. Also, we are both born in January and birthdays don't just celebrate themselves. So we chose to forgo the shopping frenzy and indulge in Mickey and Trevor quality time. We baked, listened to holiday music, decorated the tree, assembled the gingerbread house, made some icing ornaments and watched Into the Woods

We also made this winter paper city, which we stuck on our front window. It started out as a paper village, but Trevor got enthusiastic about making a skyscraper, and he is apparently into cubic architecture. So goodbye Pieter Bruegel-esque picturesque, hello Winter WonderWhat?

Christimas paper city of lights: EuroAmericanHome

This is what it looks like from the inside. The pictures that we took from the outside are all blurry because, let's face it, pictures taken in -5C are bound to be shakey. 

We worked on it for about two hours, with Trevor meticulously doing the cutting and me frantically sketching houses. We reused sheet music from an old textbook, so it looks very musical on the inside. We're thinking that next year we'll just redesign the whole city and put it up for download as a pdf.

Come back soon, we have other things to show you.

* Top floor is the attic; middle floor is what Europeans call first floor but Americans call second floor; bottom floor is what Europeans call ground floor but Americans call first floor. It's all very confusing, really. Which is why, for a while after I arrived, Trevor and I would have conversations like this:

Trevor: Have you seen the car keys?

Mickey: On the table, on the first floor.

Trevor: They're not there. I looked.

Mickey: What are you talking about? You didn't even go upstairs.

Trevor: You said the first floor!

Mickey: That is the first floor!!

Trevor: That is the second floor!!!

Mickey: It's the first floor that goes on top of the ground floor!!!!

Trevor: The first floor is the floor that goes on top of the ground!!!!!

Mickey: Find your own damn keys!!!!!!

We have since resorted to naming our rooms, in the manner of old French mansions, so now the instructions for locating something are a little bit clearer.

More winter-themed posts:

How to enjoy Christmas without stepping foot into a mall - in which I do the handwriting and Trevor illustrates the list by hand.

How to make Christmas cookies - in which I illustrate how to stuff your face while boyfriend is not watching.

How to spot the pickle - in which I explain the tradition of hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree.

How to make paper Christmas trees - in which I don't really explain how, just show a picture.

Felt snow house ornament - no tell, just show. 

Remembering Christmases past - in which I do just that + a bonus picture of young Mickey with a dubious Santa.

How to make peanut butter blossoms - in which we're confused by metric conversions.

How to make sugar cookies - in which we figure out metric and imperial conversions.

Christmas card for tea lovers - proudly made by Trevor.

A list of fun things to do for the winter holidays - looking back is always sweet.

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