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Artist Advent Calendar : Judit Wild from Budapest, Hungary

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Judit Wild, or Vadjutka, is a talented jewelry maker and a special friend from Budapest who I first met at the Hello Etsy conference in Berlin in 2011, then again in 2012 in Budapest as I visited for my 12 Countries in 12 Months project. Judit was so kind to show me around Budapest and introduce me to her many friends, and I will never forget her kind hospitality! I'm hoping she'll come visit me in Berlin in 2014 too :)

December is always special for me for a lot of reasons. Since my high school years we celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas which is always on different days, but usually in December. This decision originated from me: before high school we had huge Xmas trees with lots of (fragile) ornaments and gifts. (I managed to pull down the tree two times! ) I attended a Jewish high school, and though I am not religious I felt like I would be happier to have Hanukkah at home. My parents said OK, so since then we light Hanukkah candles, give the gifts to each other and we also eat a lot! Of course we don't want to skip Christmas, so we have a nice family dinner on 24th December as well (this is the main Christmas evening in Hungary). 

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I like big family events with lots of people sittimg around the table, but our family is small, and we don't have our own family with my sister yet. So I created this pinboard called ’My Future Hanukkah’ to show you what I wish for us for the future.

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If I have time I make some ornaments either for my flat or for my shop. Last year we made a peanut garland with my friends, this year I think we will make natural cosmetics. Here are some photos of the peanut garland making night from last year.

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December means a lot of work for me as well. Since I make jewelry, and I sell it partly on design fairs, I participate in design fairs in every December. Though it is a hard work, I like it: I like to see the happiness on people’s face after finding a suitable gift for someone among my jewelry. 

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This year I designed something special for the fairs: my own Xmas ornaments. There are traditional forms among the ornaments, as well as special forms like a Hanukkah Menorah or a Dreidel. 

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At last, but of course not at least, I have 3 favourite things in December. I really like to have a bath in one of Budapest’s biggest and most beautiful thermal bath, called Szechenyi Bath. It is so relaxing to sit in the hot thermal water under the night sky after a busy Christmas fair!

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My favourite drink during the winter is mulled wine: it is warm, sweet and soft, and makes you funny! 

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photo credit Bertalan Soos

What I like the most is: Budapest under snow! On the first days of each snowfall Budapest turns into a quiet, peaceful and soft city. Everything is slowing down, and we can enjoy this peace for a few hours. 

Thank you Judit for sharing many beautiful photos of your holiday and winter traditions in Budapest! I also love the thermal baths at night under a starry sky in Budapest and mulled wine is extremely popular in Germany at this time of year too :) Happy holidays! xoxo

Find Judit's unique and lovely jewelry in her Vadjutka shop and connect with Judit on her website, facebook, twitter, and pinterest.