Waking up on Christmas morning to the surprise of a Christmas tree surrounded with presents is the sitting room, socks hung on the mantle piece that were empty the night before now bulging with fruit, nuts and chocolate coins, Santa had been!
It was many years before I realised exactly how much hard work, time and of course expense my parents had put into arranging everything.
After the opening of the presents, the excitement turned to the other wonderful things that had arrived. The Nutcracker, The Christmas Pyramid on the centre of the dining table and also an individual candle holder by each place setting.
My Grandmother made the cake mixture and then had it baked in the local bakers as her oven was to small for the size of the cake and the quantities, we normally received two or three Stollen every Christmas about 18 inches long by about 8 inches wide and a few inches deep.
The Stollen arriving in time for Christmas from my Grandparents in Dresden my Mothers birth place and hence the connection with Germany.
The Christmas Pyramid
The Smoky Man puffing out incense, the aroma mixing with the scent of the Christmas tree and filling the room. Decorations around the room and on the tree making transforming the room.
The lighting of the Christmas Pyramid was always eagerly awaited, The glow of the candles as the Pyramid started to turn with the warm air rising bringing the motionless figures to life. As the flame on the candles began to grow my eyes turning to the celing to watch the magnificent play of shadows spinning above.
The Present Day
Visiting mainly, East Germany and our relatives in Dresden and Halle my fondness for the Smoky Men grew and I was always on the lookout for a new one to bring home, something which I still do today. Many years on and married to Kathy, who now, also has a fondness for the crafts of the Erzgebirge our collection keeps on growing.
Starting Wonder In Wood in 1998 seemed to be the logical thing for us to do. When my Mother died, we did not want to lose contact with our German side as so often friends and even relatives can do. Also as shop in England we used to visit had closed down, and thirdly we liked collecting them, could we make some money selling them, time would tell.
Today, we still have contact with our friends and relatives in Germany plus we have made some more. Our collection is still growing, although at a slower rate. As for the shop and selling, we have moved to a slightly larger shop and are still trying to make some money, it can be touch and go at times, Christmas all year round? but we are still enjoying it.