Christmas Town of Seiffen

Trip Start Aug 02, 2012
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Trip End Aug 02, 2013


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Flag of Germany  , Saxony,
Friday, November 9, 2012

We set off for the small town of Seiffen to explore the wooden Christmas decorations made in the town. Seiffen is known for their wooden decorations such as pyramids, figurines, nutcrackers, incense smokers and candle arches. Our family has a few decorations from Germany and we quickly recognized some of the main names which had produced them. Some of them are nearly identical to ones that were produced there 30 or so years ago which Mom had collected for her tree. I was extremely excited that the town was a short hop away from Prague and it quickly became a must-see on our list! I was practically jumping with excitement as we pulled in to town, parked in the lot and set off with the other tourists (all from Germany) to do some shopping. The town has two main roads forming a plus shape; I would say that there are at least 25 shops all selling wooden decorations. Some we came to realize held pieces unique to that shop while others carried some figurines that could be found in many shops.

We set off down the street with a plan to hit up all the stores on one side and then walk back up the other side. The first place we stopped off at had a workshop in the back and we could see them assembling the pyramids. We soon realized that we were going to need to take notes of our favourite things and their prices and then return later to eliminate things off the list. We had a few particular items that we were hunting for, a pyramid for ourselves and some decorations like the ones Mom has on her tree. The pyramid was the main item we were hunting for. The pyramids come in several different sizes with varying amounts of levels. You put candles in holders at the bottom and the heat and smoke from the candles make the pyramid rotate. They are just beautiful and we had lots of fun checking out all the various designs. We had decided to get one with a non-religious theme which actually helped eliminate quite a few as they usually feature a nativity scene. We saw traditional and modern pyramids, all of which were beautifully made.

We soon realized that one day was not going to be enough and decided to return the following day to continue our browsing and shopping. This meant that we could stroll leisurely through the shops, make our lists and then actually purchase items the next day. We continued walking through the town and admired all the decorations. There were lots of decorations outside of shops as well and we saw a huge pyramid, enormous nutcracker and many others along the way. At many of the shops we saw the shopkeepers making various decorations. We saw them making wooden Christmas trees using a chisel and painting figurines. We stopped off at a bakery for a loaf of bread and a treat, and later, a cappuccino to keep us going for a while longer. We ended the day at the Ulbricht showroom a bit further outside of town which had great displays of amazing nutcrackers, incense smokers and decorations for the tree. We found a few nutcrackers that we really liked and decided to ponder our choice until the next day.

The next day we continued exploring the shops that we hadn't made it to the day before. We also tried to find out some information on customs, tax-free shopping and shipping packages home. However, we soon discovered that no-one in town spoke English (hardly even at the TI) and the library was closed so we couldn’t use the internet. The lady at the TI suggested we go to the post office so we headed up the hill. Unfortunately, the internet there was "kaput" as the lady put it. However, the visit to the post office wasn’t completely a bust as I did find some great stamps to add to my collection. We decided not to worry about it for the time being and hoped that once we actually started buying things we might come across someone in one of the shops who spoke some English.

We had finally narrowed down our list and proceeded to fill our bags with items on our list. We had seen a pyramid that we really liked in one shop and were torn between that one and another. After one final look (back to back so that we could immediately compare), we decided to get our pyramid from the Müller shop.  The shop owner is the 4th generation in his family to run the business and their products were just beautiful. We asked the lady at the desk if she spoke any English to ask about shipping, etc. She didn’t (other than hello, goodbye and thank you which is pretty much the limit of our German…), but called up her boss to answer Anoop’s questions. It turns out that we were talking to the owner of the company, Ringo Müller, and he was extremely helpful in answering all the questions we had. He even said that if we brought back our other purchases, even if they weren’t from his store, that they would ship them home in one box for us. This set our minds at ease as it was the first person who knew the answers we had been looking for and seemed to have shipped overseas many a time. The lady at the shop was so excited for us that on our way out (with a promise to return at the end of the day) she gave us big hugs and was just beaming. We continued our shopping and picked up a beautiful nutcracker as well. We then returned to the shop with our purchases and bought our pyramid. We were so excited and the shop lady was as well. She kept telling us all sorts of stories in German which we really didn’t understand, but we kept on smiling.  Later on, her daughter, who also works in the shop but was on holiday, arrived and translated for us. It was such an exciting end to a wonderful two days. I really didn’t stop smiling the whole time we were there. The shop shipped our items home for us and when Dad picked it up at the Roberts Creek post office, he said that the box was the size of a bar fridge! Luckily it seems that everything made it home in one piece and we can’t wait to open it up next Christmas!!!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Mom on

Wouldn't they make wonderful Christmas favours? I love the rabbits and the bears.

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