Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Before Christmas

Sydney eating more chocolate!
JP on his new pj's sent by Grandma
The Singing Christmas Tree in downtown Zurich (those are kids forming a tree and they sing)
The Marlitram... yes! Santa drives it, you can ride with him if you are 4 or older

The last two weeks we have been preparing for our Christmas trip to Paris to visit my cousin Ale and Vincent and a New Years Eve trip to north Germany. We also received some toys from Santa on the 6th (followed the Swiss tradition this year) and visited St. Gallen (located northeast of Zurich).
We have also received beautiful and encouraging Christmas cards from family and friends; we thank you so much for keeping us in your hearts and prayers regardless of the distance. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! And we will be in touch when we come back.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Getting ready for Christmas

This week we definitely got immersed in the Christmas spirit. Sandy did Christmas shopping that included Christmas tree, ornaments, and presents. It has been kind of hard not having a car but she managed OK dragging everything on the train which is located a block from the apartment. We also visited the Lindt chocolate factory where we got the traditional chocolate ornaments that you hang on the tree and eat after Christmas. Needless to say the kids outsmarted us and after hanging the first couple of chocolates, they realized you could actually eat them…. Let’s just say our tree looks pretty empty (See pictures).
We also attended our first office Christmas party, it was very nice to meet other people from work, and we saw Santa who handed out movie theater tickets.
This weekend we visited a small town called Zug (named derived from “Fischzug” meaning fish draught). We forgot the camera so you will not see any pictures from here.
For you who have asked us about Swiss traditions, here is a sample:
· There are three official languages: German, Italian, and French. However Swiss German (a dialect) is spoken in daily life in Zurich.
· Santa Claus comes on the 6th of December. He knocks on your door to deliver your presents, he does not come through the chimney (Important: naughty list applies here too)
· Christmas Eve is celebrated on the 24th and they celebrate Jesus’ birthday
· Bratwurst is the must usual street snack; you get it wrapped in a napkin and you also get a piece of bread on the side (you bite the bratwurst and then you bite the bread, not at the same time like you eat a hotdog)No Halloween nor Thanksgiving (our something similar) are celebrated here