hi friends! happy it’s december? you know i am. i’m trying to get a head-start on christmas stuff this year (well, aren’t we all trying to do this every year?) and i decked our halls two days earlier than my usual first of december decoration day. i’m trying out the “after thanksgiving” method, but now that it’s fully december i can play all i want for christmas is you with impunity.

oh, don’t try to act like you don’t like that song.

christmas trees aren’t available for sale in the czech republic until around halfway through the month, but i’ve been keeping an eye on all the usual places in hopes that they come early this year. czechs don’t usually even put the tree up until actual christmas (december 24th in central europe) but that just ain’t gonna fly with me. i need that baby up nice and early because we’re once again planning a good-sized holiday getaway (to berlin) this year. it’ll be a bit of a departure from the magical snowy alps like last year, but i could use a bit of city. i’ve only spent christmas in the city once (that time living in prague) so i think it could be different and fun. it will really be a deutsch-filled holiday season as we’re heading to bavaria for some christmas markets and glühwein in a few days! double-down.


my mother recently remarked to me that she can’t believe what a travel-filled year i’ve had. 2015 certainly has been one for the books, but honestly, nothing feels more right than that. i’ve been feeling extra thankful lately for this whole expat life in europe thing. even though it’s not perfect, it’s about as close to it as i can get, and i know it’s right for me. i like the feeling of every day being a challenge. of feeling really stoked when i understand a question from the supermarket cashier or when i understand one more czech word than i used to in a practical daily life situation.  

another thing is that i’ve started to feel pretty settled here. how do you know you’re settled?

a) when you need face paint for halloween and realize you have some in the back of your cabinet from two years ago.
b) you have a christmas decorations box

it is so thrilling! (is that lame? i am on the verge of thirty, remember) i used to be so resistant to buying anything more than i absolutely needed, but now i realize how those little touches do so much to help create a really homey feeling. bottom line: it is so worth it! pillows, a big nice new mattress, measuring cups and spoons, more glasses… all little purchases in the past few months that have helped. my favorite annual purchase this time of year is definitely the advent candle. it really creates the hygge environment i’ve been more and more into cultivating during these dark winter times.


another wonderful thing: the christmas market here in české budějovice is amazing. every single night they have live music on a stage, or some other performance or diversion. i’ve grown to love it so much!

so, happy december! what are your favorite traditions? 

ps, last year’s december post and this sweet guest post i did about christmas in the czech republic this time last year.

linking with emma & the festive travel link-up