Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 24: France

Bon soir! Today we visit the land of croissants, stinky cheese and berets, France. Better a stinky cheese than a stinky beret! I’ve picked France to be our country for Christmas Eve because of food. Christmas in France shares much in common with the other traditions that we have visited. They have their own Christmas […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 23: Germany 

If there is one country that is synonymous with Christmas, Germany seems like it. Many of our American Christmas traditions come from there, and they sure know how to celebrate. Christmas is celebrated for the season of Advent, usually beginning a week before the first Sunday of Advent, often in November. Advent calendars, the paper […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 20: Ireland

Our next country to visit is the one that I can call home- and I’m actually a citizen of- Ireland. My father was born in Northern Ireland, just outside of Belfast in a charming village called Comber. While Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are separate countries in reality, I always think of the […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 19: Norway

As we wind down to Christmas, I’m pulling in to the big countries and to the countries that are closer to me personally. Today we visit Norway. I’m not Norwegian, even if I’m regularly mistaken as a Scandinavian. I guess that’s what you get when you’re a 6’2″ blonde. I married into a partially Norwegian […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 17: Slovenia

Our Advent calendar takes us to one of my two ancestral homelands, Slovenia. My mother’s family comes from this small Eastern European country, so I have spent a bit of time experiencing the culture and traditions. I can tell you about my family traditions, but as it turns out, what I thought was Slovenian is […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 15: Great Britain

Today we journey to Merry Olde England to check out their celebrations. You probably feel like you have already spent a Christmas or two in England, seeing as how A Christmas Carol is on every TV these days. Roast beef, Christmas Crackers, caroling in Ye Olde London Town… some of it is true but some […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 13: Sweden

Today we will stay up north and explore the land of meatballs and IKEA- Sweden. Sweden is one of my favorite places in Europe. We go there today because December 13 is the saint day of Santa Lucia, a Christian martyr celebrated around the world, but most especially in Sweden. The Swedish festival of Santa […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 11: Switzerland

We venture today to the center of Europe, the heart of the Alps in Switzerland. Chocolate! Cuckoo clocks! Heidi! Yodeling! Swiss things have such a unique, cozy and sweet sense about them. However, Switzerland is more multicultural than you may expect, as it is the intersection of three very strong cultures- French, German and Italian. […]

Travel Dreams Advent Calendar, December 8: Portugal

Today we will make an Advent stop to the west, in Portugal. I’ve chosen Portugal today because they are celebrating one of the major Christmastime holidays there today. December 8 is a special holiday in Catholic countries, the celebration of the Immaculate Conception. While it’s easy to imagine that it is the celebration of the […]