Loppelilla Blog

December 7, 2011

I’m forever dreaming of traveling a bit north this time of the year to take in the icy crisp fresh air, mountains, forests and snow. Most people want to escape to tropical climates, I crave a cozy farmhouse with a fireplace or a ski chalet with an outdoor hot tub overlooking a snowy mountain. When I lived in the Boston area, my annual winter escapes included ski resorts and cozy houses in northern Vermont, Maine and northern New Hampshire where I’d go to fully experience the beauty of winter and meet up with dear friends. We also had an annual ritual of driving up to Montreal to stay in an ultra cozy brownstone belonging to our dear friend and hibernate with him for days and days, doing nothing more than hosting house parties, watching films and making big breakfasts together. Now that I’m in northern Germany for two years, I’ve realized only this morning that I have not established a single wintertime ritual yet. I need to change this! What are your rituals? Do you have any to share?

Loppelilla Blog

Last year, I went to London in January, but for work-related things. Of course, the big Christmas markets that kick off in November and last until Christmas are fun but I need to establish some wintertime traditions that make January and February easier to bare or else I just may become homesick and I don’t want that to happen. I have considered driving up to Denmark or renting a country home in France or even Germany, Scotland or Norway… just to have something to look forward to in the “dead” season immediately following New Year’s Eve. My family (on my side at least) are all in the states but I’m lucky to have friends living in all parts of this world, with special thanks to the networks I had in place pre-blogging and of course, those I have now thanks to blogging… so I know that no matter where I go I could easily look up some blogger friends and have a really nice time. The beauty of online communication – the internet is a special meeting place. So now I wonder where to go and how to kick start some meaningful winter traditions.

Loppelilla Blog

Loppelilla Blog

Looking through a favorite blog of mine, Loppelilla in Norway, makes me feel strongly about the importance of creating new adventures for myself and new traditions, especially since I’m still very much a foreigner living here and so much of my previous life doesn’t fit in my current world – my language, my memories, the things I grew up watching this time of the year on television that gave me a sense of connection and comfort, even the foods I ate – here the tradition is to eat goose, not turkey and that’s not the same bird, ya know? It’s different and from childhood on we connect through our senses and what we are exposed to the most becomes our comfort, our safety point…  It’s such an interesting time of the year for me as I rarely think about these deep things during other seasons, they don’t really occur to me because I’m too busy to think about what I miss or need – I already feel quite full in many ways and feel as though I have no right to ever experience one ounce of melancholy but the truth is, this year I am feeling it a wee bit of it and my current cold doesn’t help — and now I’m trying to consider exactly how to change the course for winters to come. I’m a happy person and I want winter to be comforting, healing, cozy and full of hope and promise for the months ahead. I don’t want to miss anything, I want to create new memories.

Loppelilla Blog

Loppelilla Blog

Loppelilla Blog

Loppelilla Blog

Loppelilla Blog

I decided to make Loppelilla’s blog the decor8 blog of the week because it brought me so much peace and comfort today – her blog is like a warm hug from a parent, so please visit it as often as you can now and in the future as this lady is so talented in decorating her home and living life so richly yet so simplistically… It’s inspiring to see and it’s what I aspire to this winter as I’m decorating my own home – to edit more, buy less and be more imaginative in how I use things.

As soon as I shake this cold, I’m going into the forest behind my house to collect more branches only this time those with the white plump berries — and pine cones. They are free, a gift from nature, and would in fact be a nice and simple tradition that I could start immediately on my own – to collect things in the forest to decorate at home with for December, January and February. I already brought in branches last week for my entryway that I’ve placed upright in a huge green vintage glass vase… And I always could bake cookies and make some yummy comfort foods that I cannot buy in stores here. And find a little cozy cottage to rent for a few weeks in the middle of nowhere. Yes. That sounds good.

I feel better already.

(images: loppelilla)


  • Reply Nadi'Art{design} December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I just love it ?

  • Reply ruzu December 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I ate goose when I was at Germany, so good, but here in my country El Salvador :D we ate turckey, different meat, but the experience it´s everything, good luck with that ;)
    Lovely pictures,

  • Reply Heather December 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I’m from Vermont and I live in Maine now so I understand the appeal of being here in the winter. I love the feeling in the air, before the snow starts, especially at night, it feels like the world is wrapped in a blanket of quiet. On snow days, I wrap myself in a throw, get a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and sit by a window and watch it fall.

    When I lived in Vermont, the day after a storm, everyone would get bundled up and walk downtown. Sometimes they’d cross-country ski or snowshoe if the roads hadn’t been plowed. My daughter loves the snow, the entire world turns into her playground so it’s fun to go make snow sculptures and forts with her. Living in snow-country, you have to find the season magical to face the long, dark, cold winters.

    May you create some wonderful new traditions in your new home. I love your idea of a tradition of collecting free gifts from nature. It’s so simple and it helps remind you of the beauty all around you. I think that the simple traditions are often the best.

  • Reply Three Sixty Thinking December 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, serene blog – pure bliss x

  • Reply Dovecote Decor December 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    My latest post is right up your alley. It is my friend, Mrs. R.’s farm holiday celebrations. She is brilliant!

  • Reply Anna G. December 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing Loppelilla’s lovely pictures!
    Being Swedish and living in France, I can easily relate to a lot of things you wrote here. I appreciate living in a milder climate than up in the north of Europe, but each winter I also need my dose of snow and icy crisp air! I love going for the holidays, nothing compares to spending Christmas in Sweden :)
    And about using things from the forest… I think it’s a great way of decorating, especially for Christmas. I made this simple DIY project last week with some branches and pine cones from the forest:

  • Reply Juliette December 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    We usually do a Christmas Markt weekend w/friends and then a longer something over the holidays. This year we won’t have time for a Markt getaway, but we’re contemplating a snowy retreat over the holidays, hopefully in the Alps if the snow would show up already… It’s really fun to go to a therme for an afternoon/evening and swim outside when you’re surrounded by snowy mountains, so I’d recommend that (and a massage!).

    Another idea we’ve been tossing around is a foodie-type trip to a big city with a fancy meal or two and a fancy hotel. But we’ve had such a full year, I think we’ll end up on a rural retreat of sorts. Unplugged, with books, hot chocolate and down comforters!

  • Reply Toni December 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    My winter time cosy tip (hygge in Danis) is always to have candles around me. Not only at meal time but whenever possible as it makes me centered and peaceful!

  • Reply Toni December 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    My winter time cosy tip (hygge in Danish) is always to have candles around me. Not only at meal time but whenever possible as it makes me centered and peaceful!

  • Reply Jennifer December 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I grew up in Vermont and whenever I go home for the holidays my favorite thing to do is go for a walk/snowshoe on the back-roads after a snow storm. It is absolutely gorgeous. The snow-covered trees create a soft canopy over the road and the silence is so refreshing. Not to mention the smell of snow itself. I love that crisp feeling. I currently live in Minneapolis, and still enjoy walks through my neighborhood with my fiance and puppy where we admire the small nuances of a winter wonderland. Plus our neighbors go all out when it comes to Christmas lights!

  • Reply lebenslustiger December 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Have you tried the sauna ??? This is a real favorite in all the northern countries here in Europe – especially during those long winter months. Also great to ward off future colds…I had a small infrared sauna in California – loved it – unfortunately it doesn’t work here because of the different power…
    I always try to go to Austria right after Christmas – so beautiful and the food is divine! Hope you feel better soon with your cold…

  • Reply Ann December 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I am very fortunately surrounded by friends, family and tradition. There’s the Christmas Eve candlelight service in the church I got married in 20 years ago, there’s the dressing with the turkey made from the recipe of my children’s great grandmother, there are champagne cocktails on New Year’s Eve and cabbage with black-eyed peas New Years Day and Superbowl parties in January! But I really like thinking about starting new traditions that keep that bleak and rainy winter a time to look forward to and seen as an opportunity for adventure. Thanks, Holly! This is a time of year when our family and work commitments seem to slow down, and this really would be a great time to create new memories.

  • Reply Noelle Williams December 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Oh my, I just adore these images. So bright and airy and fresh! I want this.

  • Reply Stephie December 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Sounds good Holly and what a beautiful blog you have shared with us this week. My favourite tradition is to finish wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve and then sit back with a glass of bubbles and watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”. How I love that movie! I love that it reminds us to be grateful for the blessings we have and that there are riches other than those that are material.

    Happy tradition making, Stephie x

  • Reply Greta December 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Beautiful photographs, Holly. I can see why you were inspired!! l

  • Reply Greta December 7, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Dang! Don’t know how I got “disconnected”! LOL Love your name, too. That’s my 39 year old daughter’s name.

    Glad that you’re thinking positive thoughts and intent on making your memories. Love your blog – read it every single time.

  • Reply Katia December 8, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I just loved every image. So distant from my Christmas time (in Italy) but so close to the style I love to give to it and so much rich of details and objects I have or had in my home in winter time. Thanks for your sharing!! <3

  • Reply Madalyn December 8, 2011 at 1:56 am

    her website is SO delightful. the images are wonderful with the whites and rich woods.

    ahhhh its a little winter escape for the senses.

  • Reply annkent December 8, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Love her pictures. Wondering what lens she uses … ?

  • Reply Jillian Kofoed Buechi December 8, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Yes Holly, jump on a train and head to Copenhagen for a little change of scenery in the New Year. The Danes are a pretty cheerful bunch and the city is always a pleasure to enjoy, even in the middle of winter! Just do it :)

    • Reply decor8 December 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

      @Jillian – I may go to Denmark in January — I fly up there direct from Hannover and it takes only 45 minutes but the train may be nice too. :) Maybe cheaper?

  • Reply Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! December 8, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I totally get needing to establish some traditions to make Jan/ Feb that much easier! I am hoping to start going away each year, even just to a new city for one night to have something to look forward to!

    Love the images, so inspiring.

  • Reply sue December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    What a pretty post!
    Christmas can be a funny time emotionally can’t it, I don’t really get festive till after my Dads birthday on the 15th, then its all systems go!
    We have a cake decorating tradition where everyone makes a little decoration from sugarpaste for the top of the cake. It’s hilarious I go for tasteful and pretty and the rest of the gang go mad!

  • Reply Louise December 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    These images are fantastic, So inspiring! I’m yet to experience a white christmas living in Queensland Aus it doesn’t ever get cold enough to snow! So our christmas holiday traditions all revolve around the beach, the BBQ and the sun! :) I’ll keep dreaming of a white christmas though! :)

  • Reply Anja December 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I’m also getting the winter blues. Or should I call it Hannover blues?
    This part of Germany is a bit stiff. But you can get some real german christmas feeling at Hamburg. There are lovely christmas markets and the city is always worth a visit. For snow go to Austria or Bavaria, Allgäu.
    For the american christmas feeling: You can still get your turkey from Bauer Stolze, just 15 min from H. ( and watch Buddy the Christmas Elf. I like my christmas a bit british: watch Cranford and Downton Abbey, drinking hot claret, reading Christmas Carol and there’s always Elvis singing The First Noel from my speakers.

    • Reply decor8 December 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

      @Anja – It’s definitely not the Hannover blues for me, I love it here and have many friends and my husband’s whole family is here so for me, it’s a very warm and cozy place to live. I don’t find Hamburg to be more German, in fact Hamburg reminds me so much of Boston that when I go there I do get homesick LOL! It’s funny how we each find our own spot – what works for me doesn’t work for someone else and vice versa. Anyway, it’s not the Hannover blues, in fact it’s not even the blues because I’m far from depressed – and I’m not homesick – I’m just thinking that I need some new rituals so that my life becomes more solid here and less, “living on the surface”.

  • Reply STYLIZIMO December 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Haha, you´re cute, Holly! I´m sure you will create some great new traditions in Hannover. Renting a cosy cottage sounds like a good plan…. It´s actually something I would love to do myself this Christmas.

    Thank you for sharing the photos from Loppelilla´blog! I´m from Norway as well, so I´m happy to have found a new and delightful blog from my own country…


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