Today my good friend Eleanor Mayrhofer of e.m.papers is joining us for our celebratory Artist Advent Calendar. Eleanor is a graphic designer with her own card and printables design label and shop, and she's originally from California and now based in Munich. Eleanor will tell us about a few of her favorite things during the holiday season.
The first thing I think about as December approaches is paper; decorations and cards. Partly because I have been getting these things ready in my business, and also because I love decorating our apartment for the holidays. The main item is a washi tape advents calendar that I made with wash tape that I brought back from Tokyo on our honeymoon.
I also really try to send out cards each year. I love getting Christmas and holiday cards, and hanging them up, and it also helps me feel connected to friends and family, especially since I live outside of my home country
Living in Munich, I've really come to love Bavaria and the Christmas markets. Man, they really know how to do Christmas down here. Even the modest hardened cynic can't help but feel the Christmas spirit and give in to the gemutlichkeit! My big dream is that one day my entire family will come over and celebrate Christmas here one snowy year. They'd love it, especially my aunts.
December also kicks of the mountain season. I've grown to love the alps in both winter and summer. There is nothing that can beat the winter blues like being out in the majesty of the snowy Alpine mountains.
Speaking of my aunts, this picture is of my and my aunts hands in the middle of a holiday ritual. Playing scrabble and going through all the family photos my grandfather (a professional photographer) took of all of us over the years. I find it to be one of the most comforting, meaningful ways to spend time with my family.
I have so many contradictory, but happy memories of December. Mostly because the vast difference between the places we spend it. We alternate spending Christmas between Germany and California. In Germany we're usually at my husband's family in the Pfalz. His parents live right up against the Pfalzer Wald and we love taking long walks and looking at the rock out croppings, which are especially beautiful in the snow.
Contrast that against sunny Christmas mornings in Los Angeles, like the one in this picture, where we went up to the Griffith Park observatory and I pointed out to my husband where I lived, went to high school, etc. all under a sunny, warm and cloudless sky!