Monday, December 16, 2013

christmastime in excideuil

surprise! a quick little christmas post, just in time for the holidays. :) the festive spirit has really kicked in here in excideuil. there are lights everywhere – on lamp posts, strung across the streets, draped in trees, adorning the church. the village even set up three huge pines, strategically placed throughout the town, and adorned several of the drainpipes on my street with pine branches. my favourite decoration, though, are the cheerful paintings that many of the local business owners commissioned to brighten up their windows. my upstairs neighbor, christelle, is a wonderfully gifted artist, and she created personalized designs for each business – the shoe repair shop has a boot, the printer has a book, the appliance shop has santa delivering an electric heater… it’s adorable. i also was lucky enough to be included in the decorating committee for the cafĂ© downstairs. we spent all afternoon a few weekends ago setting up the tree, draping lights and streamers around the room, and just generally adding christmas cheer to the already bright and lively coffee shop. it made me feel so much more at home to get to do something so traditionally comforting. check out my cute christmas village here!

now that i’ve gotten to enjoy the christmas-y atmosphere of the village for a few weeks, it’s high time for another break, if i do say so myself. amazingly, this semester is drawing to a close already.. and poor me, i’ve only had like 3 weeks of vacation so far! happily, i leave tomorrow for my christmas break. i won’t spoil the surprise, since i will surely blog about my experiences once i’m back.. but i’ll be in cambridge, england for the first week and hopping around ireland for the second week! as ever, getting there is half the fun – the rest of this week will be filled with reunions, as i stop off in a new place each day to catch up with old friends, before finally arriving in england on friday! at first, it seemed silly to take 4 days to get somewhere when i could go much more directly and be there in about 4 hours.. but i’m excited to be seeing everyone along the way!

as much as i enjoy my little idyllic countryside home, i can’t wait to spend time in places that have traffic lights and shops open past 5 pm!! …sarcasm aside, i am so looking forward to seeing some dear friends and celebrating the holiday season together. it’ll be my first one away from home, and i am so blessed to have such a great group to share it with. hopefully i’ll get to post from the road – if not, i’d like to wish everyone a merry christmas and a very prosperous and adventure-filled 2014!

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