Saturday, 11 December 2010

11: Baby, where Christmas comes from

Day 11 in Advent photos, and continuing on that most sentimental of road trips to the magical German town where Christmas comes from.
First Santa I see tonight.  
Seiffen is a little town in the Ore Mountains of Saxony near the Czech border. The residents of Seiffen produce the most incredible wooden Christmas ornaments imaginable. I don't know what kind of juicy blackmail dirt Santa Claus has on these guys, but my research indicates that his toy sweatshop isn't in the North Pole as previously claimed, but actually here in Seiffen.

A star is made. 
Little wooden wonders from Seiffen and the surrounding region are exported worldwide. In fact, one of my favourite childhood Christmas ornaments was from here: a beautiful wooden angel, who perched joyfully atop the tree every year, blowing a trumpet towards the sky. Of course it's only with hindsight that I recognise the distinctive style. Back in my youthful Decembers, I'd never been to Germany or heard of Seiffen. I didn't know that my little wooden angel was actually born in the epicentre of Christmas.

I wish I might have the toys I wish for tonight. 
Light in darkest December has curative powers, thus the seasonal emphasis on candles, stars, fairy lights, luminarias (more to follow shortly) and suchlike. Sieffen at night (above) is an abundance of lightmuch like a lit Christmas tree in pure dark, and almost as beautiful as the Milky Way.


  1. I'm gaining more pride for my German heritage every day! Say what you want about Germans, they are industrious.

  2. True--the hardest working guys in toy business.