Sheep Shearing Time in Schliersee

We arrived bright and early on the mountain. Its surface, still dotted about with the last of Winter’s heavy snow with golden spring blossoms carpeting all the sunny patches. The air was fragrant with alpine herbs carried about on the breeze. The only sounds that greeted us was a lone Cuckoo bird calling out the hour.

It is still early in the season for the cows to make their long climb up and no animals except a few high climbing mountain goats were visible with the naked eye. We stood intently scanning the mountain and trees, looking for the guests of honor for our visit today. We had made the trip up to Firstalm on Spitzingsee with our local farmer, Hartl Markhauser of Anderl bauerhof. We were invited to watch an itinerant sheep shearer work his magic on Hartl’s small herd.

Armed with nothing other than a pail of molasses scented sweet mash and his particular cattle call, he brought out from the shady tree cover up near the craggy peaks, his herd of 20 sheep. What a sight for sore eyes they were, prancing about both young and old. A brilliant flash of white, (and a particularly special speckled brown and white called “Spot” of course), on the pale green and yellow flower dotted meadow. The Bavarian White Mountain Sheep or Bayerische Weißes Bergschaf are a local breed. The rams weigh about 80 to 100 kg and the ewes weigh 65 to 75 kg. The breed was developed by breeding local sheep with Bergamasca and Tyrol Mountain breeds. They are a dual-purpose sheep meaning they can be bred for both their wool as well as for eating.

In what seemed like a timeless manner, one by one the sheep bounded happily behind Hartl, right down the mountain and directly into his beautiful newly constructed Alm. On this day, Hartl had hired a young professional sheep shearer to give his herd a spa day, or at least that was my own personal interpretation of events.

The Sheep Shearer, or Schafschärer in German, trained in New Zealand, exuded confidence. He deftly began setting up his shearing station outside of Hartl’s barn. The nervously excited sheep could be heard “discussing” what was possibly going on outside. The Shearer’s equipment had a purpose for everything, from his clipper blades which he described as “Bone Sharp” to the lanolin impregnated leather moccasins he wore on his feet. Being just one of only twenty Sheep Shearers in Bavaria he has gained a lot of experience in the past 6 years he has been doing this as a part time job. Even though Hartl knew his flock was in great hands he kept a watchful eye on each and every sheep, whispering soothing words, like a proud papa.

Inside the cozy stall, the little herd huddled together completely aware as animals always are that something big was about to happen. Animals, just like people, generally don’t enjoy being interfered. Just like with children though, there are times when you must step in and do what is best for their heath and general wellbeing. It is during these grooming sessions that old, worn, or lost bells are replaced, ear tags checked and hooves trimmed. All is accomplished quickly with great efficiency.

A professional sheep shearer, who has honed his skills and has a silent confidence, can make all the difference. The sheep could just relax and submit to the process. I am not saying every animal was happy about the experience but again this is where having a professional comes in handy.  Each sheep was quickly relieved of their wooly coat and tucked safely back into the herd inside the barn. It seemed like each sheep took only minutes and then suddenly Hartl, bucket of food in hand once more was leading them back up to the peace of the blooming alpine meadow.

As a footnote, I would like to say a warm thank you to my friend and colleague Ulrike McCarthy for extending and invitation to me to join her and Hartl on this amazing experience.

 

 

To visit Anderl Bauerhof for yourself:
http://anderlbauer.schliersee.de

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Schliersee’s Wood Whisperer

“Turn left at the old dead tree” this was a small descriptive part of the directions for our meeting that I received from local chainsaw artist Peter Ertl. We planned to meet on a spectacular spring day on a farm, which is allowing him some external workspace. In a cloud of saw dust, under the clear blue sky, I found him. Surrounded by nature and working to the roaring song of his mechanized tools.

Peter is a free spirit who obviously cherishes his ability to work freely amongst the spectacular landscapes which surround our beautiful village of Schliersee. He is a warm and open personality who shared his creative process with me. You can see and feel his passion for art in every precise cut.

 

Surrounded by piles of preciously acquired historic timbers and 100 year old tree stumps to Peter, each scrap of wood is a possible work of art. He sees in each line of grain or chip a part of its life story. What seems like a worn, scarred, off cut, could be transformed with his skill and imagination into bookends. It is really quite amazing what this “wood whisperer” can coax out of a block of ancient wood. It is not only hard work and talent which guides Peter but also a great knowledge of wood and its individual properties. For the past 4 years he has worked tirelessly to hone his craft. Each species of tree will react differently under the teeth of his powerful saws. Controlling the power blades of a chainsaw to manage these intricate cuts is very difficult and in a second, a piece of art can become firewood. The whole process takes great strength and patience.

 

With this patience, Peter finds inspiration in an ancient Chinese philosophy. Wǔ Xíng, also known as the Five Elements. Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ). These symbols or design elements occur often in Peter’s carvings. It is this oneness with Nature that guides and inspires him. To him, when the piece of art seems to carve itself from the wood with almost no effort on his part, in a kind of  Zen state, then he feels it is a success.

 

 

If you have been to Spitzingsee you may already be familiar with some of his work. He is the artist who carved the wooden sledder installation at the entrance from the saddle up to Obere Firstalm. I really hope we will be seeing more of his unique sculptures in Schliersee soon.

To learn more about Peter Ertl of Brain Ticket Products, please click on his links below.

 

https://www.facebook.com/brainticket.products/

http://www.kettngsaagt.de

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Springs Return in Schliersee means its Ski and Snowboard Service Time

As the winter ski season comes to a close and the valley floor is dotted with early spring blossoms, it is time to start thinking of properly packing away your skis for next season.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of our local ski service experts, Anderl Thurner. I think Anderl might possibly have the best office in Schliersee directly on the slopes at Untere Firstalm on Spitzingsee. He definitely has the best view from his work bench. His bright blue eyes and warm Bavarian personality is very welcoming. He is very passionate about skis and skiing and happily answers all your many questions.

On any weekend in ski season, you can hike up to Untere Firstalm carrying your skis from the Kurvenlift parking lot or while skiing in from Kurvenlift or Stümpfling ski lifts. It is always a great idea to dry off your skis after each use and use a little wax on your edges to avoid rust, but before and after your long Spitzingsee ski season it is best to call in the professionals.

A great idea so you don’t miss a minute of the snow fun, is to plan a break at Untere Firstalm.  Drop off your skis with Anderl and while he works his magic, order yourself a delicious pan of fresh made Kaiserschmarrn and a warm drink. It is efficiency at its best!

Anderl not only works on skis but also snowboards. He is also a great contact if you are looking for gently used ski gear. His prices as well as his skills are amazing. You can have a full service while you wait at the meager price of 12€ for skis and 15€ for snowboards. Ski maintenance isn’t only for skis that you are using but also it is important to have your brand new skis serviced before using.

Proper maintenance of your ski equipment is key to the longevity of your skis. Well cared for skis will not only last longer but will enhance your enjoyment on the slopes. So always remember to remove your skis from any storage bag you use after use, dry them down and give them a lick of wax to protect those edges and then give Anderl a call.

 

 

To contact Anderl Thurner directly

 

Ski & Snowboard Service
Skiservice Untere Firstalm am Spitzingsee
0170/3455703
turner.andreas@web.de

 

His shop service area is located at Untere Firstalm
08026/7676
info@firstalm.de
http://www.unterefirstalm.de

 

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Alpen Plus Season Ski Pass and So Much More

Last year, after about 25 years off skis, I met one of our local inspiring octogenarians who were celebrating her 80th birthday and the fact that she now skis for free in Schliersee. Meeting this energetic soul motivated me to once again get back on skis.

This year I decided to commit even more to skiing and purchased the Alpine Plus Season Ski Pass and I thought I would share some of the many things I have learned about having this pass.

Firstly, starting early in your seasonal ski plans will save you 50€. The Alpen Plus Season pass goes on sale 1 October for the discounted price of 350€. When possible, purchase your pass between 1 October and 15 November in order to take advantage of this savings. If you forget to purchase your pass early, have no fear you can still purchase your pass but it will cost you 50€ more. You have to think a day pass for an adult is 35€ so if you ski 10 times in one season your pass has paid for itself. Though with the Alpen Pass you also get loads of other discounts making your purchase so much more valuable than the 350€ price tag.

If you are a sledding enthusiast and not a skier, the incredible 6.5 kilometer sled run on Wallberg is also included in the Alpen Pass. No one ever does just one run on Wallberg and a 10 run card will cost you 92€ alone. For our family this is a great motivator for buying the pass.

http://www.wallbergbahn.de

Our beautiful spa and recreation center of Monte Mare also gives a 20% discount to all holders of the Alpen Pass Season or the Alpen Glacier card. I will post a link at the bottom for you to see which pass is best for you. This is good for the four hour passes as well as the day passes for sauna facilities and vitality spa.

http://www.monte-mare.de/de/schliersee.html

Alpen Pass holders receive a 20% discount on two way lift tickets at Spitzingsee, Sudelfeld, Wallberg and Brauneck-Wegscheid, throughout the winter season as well. They also get 50% off ski passes at Kössen (Tyrol), Wendelstein, Kampenwand (Ashau), Hochfellen (Bergen) Hocheck (Oberaudorf) when you show your pass.

Another great benefit is a 15% discount on purchases both in store and online at one of our local amazing outdoor stores, Smartino. Their beautiful new location is right next to the Neuhaus train station for serious convenience.

www.funktionelles.de

Not only is the pass good for our local slopes on Spitzingsee but also several other ski resorts of Sudelfeld and Brauneck-Wegscheid.

 

For me, having the pass has really motivated me to get out on the slopes more often. I am no longer discouraged by the 35€ day pass price and I can just come up to the slopes for an hour or so whenever I wish and without pressure.

 

 

Other great offers, if you don’t want to commit to a season pass on offer, are the Family day pass, which is available every day of the season. It costs 85€ and is valid for both parents and all their own children up to age 15. Also starting 10 January is the Ladies Day Pass offered every Wednesday during the season but Ash Wednesday, for only 17€.

 

 

For more info:
www.alpenplus.com/alpen-plus/alpen-plus-skipasspreise-uebersicht/saisonskipaesse/

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Stress Free Ski Day in Spitzingsee

The early bird gets the worm and on Spitzingsee that works for weekend parking spots. On any given Saturday it can seems like the entire world wants to enjoy the pristine beauty of Spitzingsee. In the winter season, the limited parking can change a fun day skiing into a real struggle. Week day skiing tends to be much less busy but not everyone is able to take time off work to ski during the non peak times.  So let me share with you a great tip for stress free skiing in Schliersee.

Why not arrive relaxed while also reducing your carbon foot print. The German train system has prepared this perfectly easy plan for you to enjoy a day in the mountains. Wether it be skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or just a beautiful wander in the snow covered hills. Arrive in style and try for yourself this alternative transportation.

The ticket you are looking for on the Bayerische Oberlandbahn also known as BOB is called the KombiTicket Ski. It is quite a deal which includes both your ski pass and the train ride. If you gas and time, it is good value.

The prices are as follows:
Adults (from 19 years): € 49.50
Teenagers (16 – 18 years): 47,00 €
Children (up to 15 years): 27,00 €

A bus will take you to Spitzingsee right from the train station in Fischhausen-Neuhaus. There could not be an easier, more user friendly way to avoid the weekend traffic and just soak in the pure ski enjoyment.

This plan also works even better if you are already in Schliersee staying at one of our many romantic alpine hotels or guest accommodations. One real benefit to staying directly in Schliersee is our Schliersee Guest Card, which you receive at your hotel and gives you free access to the bus and so much more. It is a real bonus to a vacation here in Schliersree.

 

 

For more information on the Guest Card:
http://www.schliersee.de/fileadmin/dwnld/Leistungen_Kurkarte_August_2017ENGLISCH.pdf

 

It is important to check weather using our local webcams to check conditions at Spitzingsee and also familiarize yourself with the times the slopes and coordinate them with your travel.

 

Train arrangements:
https://www.meridian-bob-brb.de/de/bayerische-oberlandbahn/tickets-bob/kombitickets

 

Local Webcams:
http://www.alpenbahnen-spitzingsee.de/en/webcams/

 

RVO Bus Timetable:
http://www.alpenbahnen-spitzingsee.de/fileadmin/user_upload/alpenbahnen-spitzingsee/2015-2016_Nachtskibus.pdf

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Wintery Fasching Fun at Untere Firstalm

Each year, since 1930, Untere Firstalm has hosted their historic and hysterical Faschings gaudi. If you aren’t aware of what Fasching is all about a great comparison is to Carnival or what we call Mardi Gras in the United States. It is just one big silly costume bash. Germany really lets its hair down at this time of year.

The origins of Fasching comes from various beliefs and traditions. In pre-Christian times, these Carnival celebrations symbolized the driving out of winter and all of its dark evil spirits. That is why people wear masks and costumes.

The atmosphere at Untere Firstalm for Fasching is anything but scary. It is pure hilarity and happiness. The rivalry begins at 10 am and you can come in costume or not, all are welcome to join the fun. To get to Untere Firstalm you have to plan on approximately an hour walk up a gentle climb. You can park at Kurvenlift and follow the signs up to Untere Firstalm. For a bit longer and steeper walk, you can pay 4 euros and park at Spitzingsee saddle and follow the road to Obere Firstalm. From there you can easily walk down hill to Untere Firstalm. If you are a skier you can also arrive on skis from either the Kurvenlift or from Stümpfling-Sesselbahn.

The proprietors of Untere Firstalm go all out to create a wonderfully festive atmosphere. Last year they created an amazing bar made from snow where endless drinks were skillfully poured by human sized fuzzy animal creatures.

Feel free to grab a spot at the many long picnic benches and watch or join in on the fun and dancing. Silly costumed sled races and incredibly fearless ski jumping at the Snowpark Spitzingsee, located alongside Untere Firstalm, are all part and parcel of the days entertainment.

This year’s event will be held on February 11 at Untere Firstalm starting at 10 am. There will be live music provided by the party band Grenz Gänger. These guys have played big venues like the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart and the Augustinerkeller, Hofbräu in Munich.  Should be a fantastic snowy dance experience.

 

The Faschings fun or as they say here in Bavaria, Faschings gaudi, will go till dark so depending on your stamina and the weather you might want to pack a headlamp to guide your way home.

 

 

Grenz Gänger:
http://www.grenzgaenger-showband.de/termine.php

 

Untere Firstalm:
https://www.facebook.com/events/574141782926993/

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Hunting Warm Holiday Cheer

Some people spend their lives tracking the Yeti, but I am on the trail of the most delicious and creative Glühwein stands Schliersee has to offer. This year I am excited to announce some new wonderful places to warm your hands and ignite your Christmas spirit.

On first Advent, I made our plans to visit Schliersee’s Seeweihnacht market at Sunset. We hoped to capture all that Christmas magic gathered before the majestic backdrop of alpine glow on the Brecherspitz. Once the chill hit our bones we decided a wander up to the Ratskeller for a delicious meal. First Advent is all about light and the Ratskeller did not disappoint. Matthias Gercken has pulled out all the stops with his incredible holiday decorating. The Ratskeller Glühwein stand which is nestled along side the Rathaus in Schliersee, was handmade in Austria and so, has encapsulated Tyrollean charm. While we ate,   we were serenaded by a local traditional Bavarian band creating a romantic atmosphere. Such a wonderfully typical German start to Christmas. Let’s not forget the delicious fireside mug of spiced fragrant Glühwein. It is holiday perfection inside and out.

Another warming thirsty stop is Lehmanns Neuhauser Stuben. It is located right in the middle of Neuhaus on the bend. Beneath a giant illuminated Christmas tree is their magical little Glühwein hut. All decked out in twinkle lights, with jazzy Christmas tunes playing it is the perfect spot to break your wander and warm up from nose to toes. Either heading up the slopes or while returning home, a stop at Lehmanns is a must do. Chris Lehmann has really gone all out to make his special corner of Neuhaus festive.

 

And lastly but definitely not least is the remarkable Glühwein stand on Obere Firstalm. While doing some moonlit sledding last full moon a friend and I discovered this wonderful gingerbread stand straight out of a Grimm fairytale. I had to find out the secret of when this Christmas mirage appears as I had never before seen it. Marcus Votteler of Obere Firstalm explained to me just how you can make this magic a part of your Christmas cheer. You can reserved this picturesque Glühwein stand for birthdays or office Christmas parties. Just contact them directly for more information. I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine a more perfect way to enjoy a December birthday than to be together with great friends under the stars, as all snuggle close around an open fire.

Now go forth and gather your friends and lets kick off this holiday season in the Bavarian way, fireside, Glühwein in hand.

For more information on how you can visit these huts for yourself.

Ratskeller Schliersee:
https://www.facebook.com/ratskeller.schliersee/?ref=br_rs

Lehmanns Neuhauser Stuben:
http://neuhauser-stuben.de

Obere Firstalm:
http://www.firstalm.de

 

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Christmas Market in the Woods

As the winter sun sets on a bitter December weekend, we began the walk back deep into the woods through the dusty blue hour to the remote location of Hennererhof. Each year they host a traditional rural Bavarian Christmas market in the woods.

Little rustic wooden huts showcase the many local handcrafted items for sale dot around the property of the Bavarian farm house. The warm fire light and Christmas smells fill the senses. Icy snow dusted every surface and frosty breath billow from every visitors gathered in cozy groups while sipping warm drinks.

Inside the historic wooden farm house filled with traditional acoustic alpine music chilly families gather in the snug rooms. You can purchase many local gourmet items in their hofladen or farm shop. From aromatherapy to eggs, there isn’t anything you can’t find to sooth your soul. This shop is worth a visit anytime throughout the year.

Twinkling lights sparkle in children excited eyes at the anticipation of a possible Nicolaus sighting, the atmosphere of a Christmas market deep in the forest is something quite special. The air fragrant with the earthy woodland scents blend with the delicious scent of melting cheese from the huge pans of fresh made Kase Spatezel a locally made macaroni and cheese.

Chain saw wood artists, natural bees wax candle makers, hand loomed carpets and fabrics, everything you can imagine all hand crafted from this region. If you haven’t found that perfect gift for those you love for Christmas this year, then chances are you will find that something special at the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer.

This year on 9-10 December at 14:00 till 21:00 is the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer in Schliersee. This is an event not to be missed. Parking near Hennererhof is very limited so prepare yourself for a long cold walk or grab a ride on one of the horse drawn carriages they have providing transportation. At 5 pm is the expected time for Nicolaus to arrive by horse drawn carriage. Dress warmly from head to toe and bring your hunger.

 

 

For more information about the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer:
https://www.hennerer.com/aktuelles/

 

Familie Prem
Hennererstr. 36
83727 Schliersee/Westenhofen
Tel. + Fax: 08026 / 922 99 64

Email: info@hennerer.com

www.hennerer.com 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

A Christmas Market … Lakeside (Seeweihnacht)

Festive twinkle light adorned market booths sit along side of the picturesque alpine lake, Schliersee. Its dramatic backdrop of snow capped mountains. This is Mother Natures holiday decorating at its best. The air, fragrant with all the magical scents of a traditional German Christmas market. From mulled warm wines, to the cinnamon spiced candied nuts. All these sights and sounds help create the magical atmosphere of this lovely little market.

Seeweihnacht in Schliersee is the first Christmas market to start off the 4 Advent weekends of fabulous holiday festivities. Held on the 2 and 3 December in the Kurpark am See located near Vitalwelt. You can come by car or by train as the market is a short walk from the train station. It is a great alternative to sitting in holiday traffic.

What is wonderful about these small town local Bavarian Christmas markets is they are so intimate. Each both contains gifts that are created by loving passionate hands. You won’t find plastic or mass produced items from lands far away at this market. These are handmade gifts destined to become heirlooms. From the foods to the Christmas ornaments, each item is uniquely special.

Each year the ladies of the Frauenbund from the Catholic church in Schliersee work tirelessly preparing the most fantastic array of German Christmas cookies called “Plätzchen”. You have to arrive early to make sure you get a box as they go quickly. Definitely worth making a trip to savor a few of their delights.

Families have gather around in the firelight listening to Christmas carols while wagging dogs snuggle with warmly bundled children since the first days of this market. Eyes bright with age old Christmas cheer. This is a timeless image of small Bavarian village tradition. Visiting these local markets is where you truly can experience an old time German Christmas market feeling.

Some of the great highlights for the whole family are the horse and carriage rides which are held on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm till 5pm.  Alpine brass Christmas music fills the air every day of the market starting at 8 pm and a very special visitor greets the merry makers at 5pm when Nikolaus arrives in all his Christmas glory.

 

 

This is a market that can’t be missed. It’s a great finish to a long day on the slopes.

 

Opening times:

Saturday 2 December from 2pm till 8pm

Sunday 3 December from 12 till 8pm

 

Address:

Kurpark Schliersee

Perfallstr. 4

83727 Schliersee

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Adventskranz…Creating German Christmas Light

With the first Advent just around the corner, I thought it might be nice to talk about a German Christmas tradition that anyone can make to bring some European Christmas cheer to their holiday homes. The Advent wreath or as it is called in German, Adventskranz, is a wreath or tray holding four candles, one for each week of Advent. On the Sunday of each Advent another candle is lit right up to Christmas Day.

The Adventskranz is first lit on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Each year the actual date changes to the Liturgical year or church year. The Adventskranz in earlier times was lit while family and friends would gather around it to sing Christmas carols. It held great significance in a time when Christmas trees were only put up and decorated the night before Christmas because in those time real candles were used on live trees.

First Advent also signifies the start of the Christmas Markets or Christkindlmarkt. These warm and wonderful markets are the true highlight of the holiday season so for many in Europe First Advent is a magical date when friends gather in the glow of candle light and share in laughter, song and warm drinks.

Traditionally the Adventskranz was made using a ring shaped wreath form. These forms are  available up at your local craft store. In these more modern times, people are thinking outside the box or should I say outside the ring and are using many different shapes and styles to create their wreaths.

For the more traditional wreath, you will need a straw or foam base, four candles and various decorative items to give it your own particular flare. I will try to show you two distinctly different styles of creating your Adventskranz, one traditional and the other a bit more modern which I use in my own house.

Living in Schliersee, I am blessed with an alpine location surrounded by pine trees, but many of you living in either city or country locations can also gather some natural branches for decorating from your local florist or craft center. The bringing in of live Evergreen has been done since ancient times so you will be keeping a great tradition alive.  Plus the fresh pine smell fills your home and nothing smells more like Christmas.

Once you have your materials, gather the greens using the florist wire into small bunches like bouquets. Once you have 10 or 15 bunches lay them on the wreath to see if you have enough to cover the entire ring. If you find your bunches are not covering the form completely you can cover the form with wide ribbon. Wrapping it around the form until the entire surface is covered or you can even cover the form with extra flat greenery pieces. Just try to cover the surface evenly. Once you have achieved the covering you want, attach each bouquet to your wreath form using the wire. Over lap each bunch to create a so you can’t see where each begins and ends. This is repeated this until the entire form is covered. Many people like to add dried fruits, nuts or even Christmas ornaments using a glue gun. Add items to your own particular taste or just leave it natural. There are no hard and fast rules. At this point in the project you need to find a way to add your four Advent candles to your wreath. One easy fast way is to lay your wreath on a large plate or platter and in the center hole you stand your candles.  Or if you can find candle spikes then use those.

 

 

If you think you lack the talent or time to put together an Adventskranz for yourself, my time saving idea might be perfect for you. Find a beautiful dish or tray that is big enough to hold your four candles and arrange your decorative items creatively. It is that simple. For my table I found a wrought iron tray that had four candle holders built right in making the job very easy. These type of decorative candle holders are widely available. While searching online for sources I also found pre-made forms using florist foam or oasis and they even included the candle holders all under $10. There really is no excuse for not bringing some German holiday cheer to your home this year.

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).