Happy Happy 2018!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Just a quick post to wish you all a very happy new year! I hope 2018 is the best year yet for all of you!

One app I discovered back in 2015 is the Calm app for meditation (I really love this app). During their Daily Calm feature for December 31, they had this quote from Neil Gaiman (I believe two quotes turned into one) that I’d like to offer you:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

[…]

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

Happy New Year from Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Advertisements

Christmas in Fredericksburg on New Year’s Eve’s Eve

Tags

, , , , , , ,

So I didn’t get to finish my Advent calendar for this year either… although if I had followed a religious and not a commercial version of the calendar, I would have had a couple fewer days to post! Ah! But that’s okay!

I did have something that I was keeping for December 24 though that I will share today.

This year I went to Fredericksburg, TX to see the lighting of the Christmas tree and the Christmas pyramid. Some of you, like me, but probably not all of you, might wonder what a Christmas pyramid is.

Texas has a rich German heritage and Fredericksburg is one example:

Fredericksburg was founded on May 8, 1846 by German immigrants under the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. John O. Meusebach chose the location for the second of the Society’s colonies four miles north of the Pedernales River between two creeks. He named the settlement Friedrichsburg (later changed to Fredericksburg) to honor Prince Frederick of Prussia. Settlers received lots in town with an additional 10 acre lot outside of town. The colonists planted corn, built storehouses to protect their provisions and trade goods, and prepared for the arrival of more immigrants, who came throughout the summer. By 1850, census records stated that the town had 754 residents, and Gillespie County had 1,235 residents.

According to the 2010 Census, Fredericksburg had 10,530 inhabitants in 2010. The city is located about 78 miles west of Austin.

Christmas pyramids are a kind of German Christmas decorations:

that have their roots in the folklore and customs of the Ore Mountain region of Germany, but which have become popular internationally. They comprise a decorated pyramidal outer frame with candle holders and a central carousel with a rotor at the top which is driven by warm air from the lit candles. The carousel is decorated with nativity scenes and other Christmas figures such as angels and wise men, as well as worldly motifs such as mining folk and forest scenes.

And according to this website:

Christmas pyramids originated in the Erzgebirge more than 200 years ago as a symbol of light, reflecting the miners’ wish for a safe return home from the darkness and danger of the mines. As mining died off, some miners began woodcarving, originally a hobby after a hard day’s work in the mines, as a full-time occupation. These wonderful creations were a genuine folk tradition.

Christmas pyramids are the precursors of the modern Christmas tree. As the popularity of Christmas trees increased during the 19th century, craftsmen of the Erzgebirge created these man-made wooden trees in the shape of a pyramid.

And Fredericksburg has a giant Christmas Pyramid! See for yourself.

Christmas Pyramid - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Pyramid - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures and videos as you prepare for New Year’s Eve, even though they are a bit late! Of everything I have seen this holiday season, this was the most beautiful Christmas illumination and moment.

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Pyramid - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Pyramid - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree and Pyramid Lighting - Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Ugly Sweater Christmas – Advent Calendar, Dec. 18, 2017

Tags

, ,

A tradition has developed over the years in the United States to wear ugly sweat shirts for Christmas. The tackiest the better.

This is not exactly Austin linked, but here is what Trader Joe’s has come up with this year.

Ugly Christmas Tradition | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Also, some history here around the tradition. And an illustration (although it is possible only American readers can see this video).

Finally, here are some on display at Walmart.

Ugly Christmas Tradition | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Ugly Christmas Tradition | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

A Note About the Late Posts

Tags

Dear All,

My apologies for the late posts for this year’s Advent calendar. I had every intention to post once a day, but it turned out that I had to go through surgery last Thursday. I’m fine and healing right now, but my planning got kind of messed up (I didn’t have the time to schedule all 24 posts ahead).

Nonetheless, I still have pics from this year and last year that I’d like to share, so you’ll get several posts at once.

I hope you enjoyed these posts anyway! Merry Christmas Y’all!

Christmas at the Capitol: Music – Advent Calendar, Dec. 15, 2017

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

[My apologies for being late for two days. But sometimes it happens that, for some reason, you don’t open your little window of your advent calendar for a day or two, and then you have more than one to open in one day. And it’s kind of cool that day, isn’t it ;)]

Last but not least in our Christmas series on the Texas Capitol: music! Last year, I had the opportunity to see carolers around lunch time at the Capitol.

It turns out that during the month of December, every business day at noon, they have a choir and/or an orchestra singing and/or playing in the Capitol’s main rotunda. From one have been told, it varies everyday, sometimes it’s staffers, sometimes it’s children, sometimes adults.

When I went earlier this week, it started with an orchestra made up of young players.

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

They played for about 25 minutes, then made room for a choir!

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Music at the Texas Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Lovely lunch time to be spent with beautiful music in a beautiful building.

Christmas at the Capitol: Ornament – Advent Calendar, Dec. 14, 2017

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

For the past 20 years, a new Christmas Texas Capitol ornament has been created each year. Each ornament is supposed to reflect “an aspect of the Capitol’s building or history.”

This year, the ornament “celebrate[s] a century of holiday trees at the Texas Capitol, showcas[ing] the excitement surrounding the annual delivery and features a coachman, his white steed and carriage, ready to deliver a holiday tree for all to enjoy.”

2017 Texas Capitol Ornament - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas at the Capitol: Senate – Advent Calendar, Dec. 12, 2017

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The Texas Capitol hosts the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives, along with legislators’ offices, and some other offices.

The Senate and the House each have a Christmas tree. Today, we are going to the Senate.

Christmas Tree, Texas Senate - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree, Texas Senate - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree, Texas Senate - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree, Texas Senate - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Tree, Texas Senate - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks