Christmas – Holyart.com Blog http://192.168.99.122/com Holyblog Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:56:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.14 http://192.168.99.122/com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/02/cropped-cropped-Holyart-Logo-32x32-32x32.png Christmas – Holyart.com Blog http://192.168.99.122/com 32 32 How to decorate the table at Christmas http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/decorate-table-christmas/ Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:35:26 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=486 Christmas is the holiday that more than any other influences every year all aspects of daily life. Even those who choose not to celebrate it cannot help but be fascinated, be wrapped and infected by the atmosphere that is created in the streets, in shops, […]

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Christmas is the holiday that more than any other influences every year all aspects of daily life. Even those who choose not to celebrate it cannot help but be fascinated, be wrapped and infected by the atmosphere that is created in the streets, in shops, in homes today.

It is a magic of colors, lights, perfumes, that sense of warmth and fellowship that warms hearts and makes us all feel closer somehow, better, more well-disposed towards our neighbour. The choice to decorate their home for Christmas, and especially that of beautifying your table of the Feast, it is therefore important.

It is a way to bring into the home and family a bit of that warmth, and at the same time decorate the environments in which you consume every day life and make them, for the celebration period, brighter, most elegant, and, in a word: special.

There are countless suggestions that may advise how to decorate the table at Christmas. Fashion magazines and shop windows are full of them. Solutions for everyone, for all budgets, some voted almost exclusively to a choice of refined elegance, luxury, design and glamour; others are more careful to maintain, despite the beauty and refinement of the details, the unique atmosphere that characterises Christmas.

There are Christmas candles arranged wisely to light and heat the table, angel shaped, perhaps, or  a golden pine cone, or simply beautiful candles, special, only for special occasions, enriched with around Christmas candles, decorated with berries, holly, red beads, or even arranged in refined holders in the shape of angel wings, for example. A great classic is wreaths and garlands, used as decorations for the house, for the door, but also as a centrepiece or candle holder. Still, smaller decorations can be used as place cards on the table of the feast, little trinkets are decorated, perhaps made with wood, to give the house more warmth and a sense of familiarity.

Alternative and compatible solutions are available to make the celebration table unique and memorable.

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Complete Nativity Sets for those who didn’t have time to make their own http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/complete-nativity-sets-didnt-time-make/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:07:43 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=480 It is always good idea to be able to build a homemade nativity scene, customising and enriching it with unique details, populating it with figures chosen on the basis of their own experience, childhood memories, or just for the sake of finding something familiar and […]

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It is always good idea to be able to build a homemade nativity scene, customising and enriching it with unique details, populating it with figures chosen on the basis of their own experience, childhood memories, or just for the sake of finding something familiar and intimate in a tradition so old and beautiful.

But unfortunately we are always in a hurry, and very often the Christmas holidays coincide with periods in which work becomes even more pressing, commitments thicken, and the time to devote to what we really like diminishes more and more. This does not mean having to give up the nativity, not at all. Fortunately there are beautiful nativities that are sold ready-made, with all the accessories and figurines.

These are beautifully-made nativity scenes with huts, villages and perfectly reconstructed environments. They can be small, medium and large, depending on your needs and available space, and can be made of different materials, from stone to wood maple or olive, to porcelain, resin, for all tastes and all budgets.

Even the styles vary greatly: there are complete nativity scenes that recall the great Italian nativity traditions, from Neapolitan scenes to those of Val Gardena.

Buying a complete crib is comfortable and ensures a safe outcome for each type of house and furniture. Moreover, in this kind of nativity, the figurines are already all perfectly coordinated with each other, in a harmony of shapes and form that add elegance and sobriety. An order that is often lacking in DIY nativities is where figures differ to each other in size and style, and looking at them together is not always pleasant. Some of these ready-made nativities, then, may turn out to be real furniture and design objects, that will give value to your home or the home of friends who choose to give them away.

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How to tell your child about the birth of Jesus http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/tell-child-birth-jesus/ Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:53:59 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=473 For today’s children, accustomed to a constant and often too hectic flow of information, it is not easy to understand the true spirit of Christmas. For many of them it is just an opportunity to receive gifts and special attention, but it would be really […]

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For today’s children, accustomed to a constant and often too hectic flow of information, it is not easy to understand the true spirit of Christmas. For many of them it is just an opportunity to receive gifts and special attention, but it would be really nice to be able to tell them about the miracle of the birth of Jesus in a simple and understandable way.

You could try to turn it into a fairy tale, because all children love fairy tales, even today.

Joseph and Mary

 

Once upon a time, there was a carpenter named Joseph, who had a young and beautiful wife named Mary. The King of their country ordered all families living in its territories to be counted and have their names written on large lists by its officials. This is why Joseph and Mary had to travel to the city of Bethlehem and took their journey, even though Maria expecting a child.

 

 

Birth of Jesus

 

 

When they arrived in Bethlehem, though, on a cold December night, no one gave them hospitality. Hotels and inns were full. So Joseph and Mary took refuge in a barn, where an old ox were sleeping. Here Mary gave birth to her baby, Jesus, and put him in the straw to keep him warm, where the ox and the ass of Joseph warmed him with their breath.

 

 

Angels

 

But they could not know that while they attended to the small boy, outside the barn was an angel of the Lord flying in the sky announcing to people that a very special child was born, the greatest of all kings. Many shepherds went to the barn with their flocks, to see this miraculous baby and worship him.

 

Three wise men

 

 

 

And not only that. The news of this birth spread throughout the realm. In the eastern sky a magical comet appeared, which also led three wise men to the place where baby Jesus was born. The wise men came a few days later with precious gifts of gold, perfumed incense and fragrant myrrh, gifts worthy of a great king, and everyone celebrated baby Jesus together, who came into this world to bring joy and salvation.

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10 characters that cannot be missing from your nativity http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/10-characters-cannot-missing-nativity/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:45:21 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=470 When St. Francis of Assisi had the idea of reproducing the birth of Jesus, his intention was to make an important and beautiful passage of the Gospels available to the poor and illiterate, unable to read for themselves the events which are so valuable for […]

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When St. Francis of Assisi had the idea of reproducing the birth of Jesus, his intention was to make an important and beautiful passage of the Gospels available to the poor and illiterate, unable to read for themselves the events which are so valuable for believers. Perhaps this stems from the popular tradition of the nativity, which has never been lost at all, even when noble families or rich abbeys were the only ones who could afford to commission one.

The nativity is a popular devotion event created by normal people for normal people, and over the centuries it has acquired an identity that, in its infinite regional variations of our country and the world in general, remains tied to a world that is more to do with the symbols than words.

Every character in the nativity is thus above all the incarnation of a symbol, which then, over time, has been associated with stories and legends that have given it a ‘real’ life, closer to popular sensibility. Here is a short list of 10 nativity figurines that can not miss in your nativity.

1 Giuseppe and Maria

Let’s start with Joseph and Mary, archetypes of the Father and of the Mother; the first of which is dressed in dark and humble colours to emphasise his devotion and submission to the divine will who is, at the same time, represented as a protective figure to Jesus and Mary. The latter, dressed in sky-blue, expresses an ethereal, delicate spirituality, an absolute maternal sweetness in her love for the fruit of her womb as a mother and at the same time as a faithful servant.

2 The ox and the donkey

The symbolic origin of the ox and the donkey is to be found in the Old Testament, or maybe even in pagan tradition. In the first case, it should draw from the words of Isaiah about the lighting of the Child virtues: the donkey represents the pagans, the ox the wise and the learned, both unable to embrace it because they are blinded by the lack or excess of knowledge.

3 Shepherds

They represent humanity welcoming the birth of Jesus, the poorest and most miserable humanity, as the poorest and mysteries among the nations were considered the shepherds. And they, Luke and Mark, were chosen by Jesus as the first spectators of his birth.

4 The fisherman

Perhaps linked to the figure of Peter, to his being a ‘fisher of souls‘, or in general to fish symbolism used by early Christians.

5 The washerwoman

Symbol of purity and purification, similar to the figure of the midwife in the Eastern tradition, and close to the symbolism of Mary, called to witness to and glorify her virginity.

6 The woman with the baby, or the gypsy with the baby

Legend has it that a young virgin wanted above all else to see the baby, but the angels didn’t let her because it was forbidden for virgin women to be present for childbirth. So the girl showed up at the cave, a large stone wrapped in a blanket like a baby holding her arms arms. In the presence of the Holy Family she moved the stone and it turned into a real boy.

7 The Inn.

The inn and its occupants represent a kind of hellish place where humanity expresses its weaknesses and vices, excesses and recklessness. The Oste, in the tradition, it is therefore a devil tempting fate that would distract the audience from the contemplation of the Cave.

8 The card players, or the two “cronies”

In Neapolitan tradition they were considered to be personification of Carnival and Death, playing with the fate of men with unpredictable and uncontrollable rules.

9 The Wise Men

Each of them has a different meaning: Balthazar, symbol of the night, with his the gift of incense represents the divinity of the Child; Caspar, symbol of the day, recognises the kingship with his gold; Melchior, symbol of the dawn, establishes the rule of the Child on time by myrrh giving him death.

10 Benin, the sleeping shepherd

Benin sleeps and does not realise what is happening, but at the same time, legend has it that he’s dreaming about the nativity to make it real. Figure full of powerful and ancient symbolic meanings embodies the Revelation given by the Faith.

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Sleeping Saint Joseph: Pope Francis’ patron saint http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/sleeping-saint-joseph-pope-francis-patron-saint/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:30:11 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=464 The human and religious history of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis, has been linked from the outset to a particular figure dear to Christians all around the world: that of St. Joseph. A thin connections, made of often fortuitous coincidences and a chain […]

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The human and religious history of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis, has been linked from the outset to a particular figure dear to Christians all around the world: that of St. Joseph. A thin connections, made of often fortuitous coincidences and a chain of small and large pieces that can, over time, create an extraordinarily vivid design with strong symbolism.

It is in the San Jose Buenos Aires church in 1953 that seventeen-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio discovers his vocation and decreed his desire to dedicate his life to God and mankind. So many years later, on the day of St. Joseph, March 19, 2013, that this boy became a man is devoted to the role of the Pontiff and Father of the Church.

Pope Francis had a long, arduous journey which he faced with courage, determination and optimism. It is journey that he has not undertaken alone. Pope Francis wanted St. Joseph with him, a good guide, a silent but attentive protector. Even today, in the private study of the Pope at Casa Santa Marta, there are two statues depicting the saint. One in particular is very dear to the Pope and has accompanied him since his life in the College Maximo San Miguel where he was rector. It is an unusual image for us, but very common among the Latin American faithful: a statue of St. Joseph sleeping.

Sleeping Saint Joseph
Sleeping Saint Joseph on Holyart.com

The Pope wanted it with him when he moved to Italy from Argentina. It is a wooden statue, simple in the same way as the man depicted was himself, wrapped in his humble and true red robes. Yet the symbolic value of this picture is great. When sleeping, Joseph receives the messages of God who warned him of the danger posed by King Herod, and advises him to love and protect Mary and the Child. It is in this dream that Joseph takes on his putative role of Father of Jesus and of all people, an archetypal figure, protector, defender, comforter. Joseph is the careful and tender guardian of the family, the man, who welcomes and guards the mysteries of God, as he has consciously chosen to accept and protect Maria, the woman that God willed to be the holy and immaculate mother of his only Son . Joseph is the archetype of the Christian bishop, father and protector of the Church and all men and women who make it up.

This is why the Pope has the habit of putting cars under the statue of the sleeping saint that contain problems, requests for grace, and prayers of the faithful. It’s like inviting Joseph to ‘sleep on it’, and perhaps put in a word to God to solve difficult situations and help the needy, thus renewing his role as the merciful and protective father to those he loves.

“I also want to tell you something very personal. I really like St. Joseph, because he is a strong and silent man. On my desk I have a picture of St. Joseph sleeping. And while he’s sleeping, he takes care of the Church! Yup! He can do it, we know that. And when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a piece of paper and put it under St. Joseph, because he dreams about it! This gesture means: pray for this problem! “

This is what Francesco said on the January 16, 2015 to the families gathered in the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. It was a very beautiful scene of simple and profound devotion which has prompted many faithful Italians to follow the example of the Pope and to put a statue of St. Joseph sleeping in their house. He is a really special saint that protects and even helps while he is sleeping!

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Minimalist nativity for a Modern and Chic Christmas http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/minimalist-nativity-modern-chic-christmas/ Wed, 01 Nov 2017 14:16:49 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=461 Everyone has their own nativity. Not everyone sticks to the traditional nativity scene, which, we understand, is derived from many regional traditions in our country, like the Neapolitan terracotta nativity, or the wooden one from Val Gardena, the Lecce papier-mâché nativity or the ones in […]

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Everyone has their own nativity. Not everyone sticks to the traditional nativity scene, which, we understand, is derived from many regional traditions in our country, like the Neapolitan terracotta nativity, or the wooden one from Val Gardena, the Lecce papier-mâché nativity or the ones in Sicily, full of colour and folkloristic wonder.

For those looking to their own house and their own modern and essential Christmas, but do not want to give up the nativity, there are many elegant and functional solutions. We are talking about stylised nativity scenes, made by modern and Avant-garde artists capable of expressing all the sacredness of the Nativity with a new, essential design language.

Stylised nativity scenes are made with various materials: porcelain, clay, metal, and wood. They are often left white to emphasise their simplicity even more, but they can also be hand-painted and decorated with precious elements, like gold drops, metallic inserts, etc.

Working with materials and refinishing, which happens completely by hand, lends itself to simple and expressive lines at the same time. The original hand-painted orthodox Russian artisan nativity scenes are particularly worth a mention.

Other than being objects of devotion and being a way of sanctifying the holiday, stylised nativity scenes can also be excellent gifts and high-design objects to decorate your house or to offer a precious and refined gift to particularly demanding friends. These are modern nativities, often painted with bright and high-quality colours. This union between ancient tradition and the modernity of lines and shapes guarantees an excellent result, full of style and made for the most chic houses, which marries itself with every type of furnishing, classic or modern, integrating itself into every situation and need.

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Miniature food for your nativity http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/miniature-food-nativity/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 13:06:22 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=458 It’s the small details that make everything special. This is true in every creative, artistic and even culinary sector. The art of the nativity, both with its centuries-old tradition from artisans and excellent masters and its yearly renovation in homes, is not an exception. For […]

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It’s the small details that make everything special. This is true in every creative, artistic and even culinary sector. The art of the nativity, both with its centuries-old tradition from artisans and excellent masters and its yearly renovation in homes, is not an exception.

For those who have decided to make their own DIY nativity and personalise and decorate it with particular accuracy, there is a really wide range of small and large accessories made for this purpose.

We are talking about miniature food, for example. In a setting like the nativity, which has always been a popular scene made by pastors, farmers, shop owners, and artisans, the presence of food is fundamental.

Christmas night becomes an occasion to reconstruct a realistic and impressive life-like scene, and suddenly all of the characters that move together in the hut of the Nativity take on a new dimension, a well-defined character. This is how bread makers offer their bread and focaccia in baskets or improvised shelves, butchers who invite you to buy cuts of meat posed on a table, fruit sellers that exhibit their red apples, strawberries, pears and oranges.

The realism and precision with which these real miniature jewels are made is surprising. Usually it’s possible to find them in non-toxic resin, painted with bright colours that make them really unique, but which find themselves in miniature terracotta painted by hand.

Even more, these are olive chests, onion and garlic hills, bunches of grapes, reproduced with such perfection that the results are impressive. Even fish has a fundamental role, like the unmissable fishmonger who throws his line in the stream made with a mirror and silver card. Even the miniature crustaceans and molluscs are wonderfully recreated!

Like a child’s toy, the nativity takes on, thanks to these surprised and enchanting details, a new and special life every Christmas.

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10 Fun Facts about Nativity http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/10-fun-facts-nativity/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:01:25 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=455 Christmas is getting nearer and children are buzzing, waiting to pull the first nativity statues out from the loft. Today we want to talk to you about the Nativity itself and 10 interesting things about of the most important Christmas symbols. Etymology of the word […]

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Christmas is getting nearer and children are buzzing, waiting to pull the first nativity statues out from the loft. Today we want to talk to you about the Nativity itself and 10 interesting things about of the most important Christmas symbols.

  1. Etymology of the word “Presepe” (Nativity)

We begin with the word “presepe” (nativity), an interesting word whose meaning is interesting to look into. Therefore, the word “presepe” comes from the Latin “praesepe”, which simply means “crib”. So baby Jesus’ improvised crib ended up being the name for the whole scene that reminds us of his miraculous birth every year!

Even words that define the nativity in other languages are derived from a Latin word meaning crib: “cripia”.

There is “creche”, “cribe”, “krippe”, “krubba” or even “presepe” in French, English, German and Swedish. The words “szopka” in Polish and “wertep” in Russian still mean crib and are used to define the nativity.

  1. The first Nativity in history

It was San Francesco d ’Assisi who wanted to represent the Birth of Jesus in a realistic way.

He particularly did it to benefit illiterate Christians who could not read the New Testament, particularly the sections about this extremely important event. This was December 1223.

  1. The world’s oldest nativity

The oldest nativity in the world is preserved in Bologna in the Basilica di San Stefano. It dates back to the 13th century. It is very big and the characters are real statues made by master sculptors and decorators.

  1. Lecce’s papier-mâché nativity

A Lecce nativity has always been known for being made out of papier-mâché. At the end of the 1800s, there were barbers who made papier-mâché and then made nativity statues and sold them at the Santa Lucia Fair to thicken up their miserable wages.

  1. Azteca: a Guinness nativity

In the Azteca stadium in Mexico City, there is a Guinness nativity scene made by primates, populated by more than 1500 statues, many of which are mechanised.

  1. Nativity statues of Via San Gregorio Armeno (Napoli)

In via San Gregorio Armeno, in Napoli, nativity artisans make statuettes every year made with traditional methods, but they use contemporary famous figures, like politicians, actors and people in show business. Matteo Salvini is one of the most popular figures.

  1. The Australian nativity

In Australia, the nativity is made on the beach, naturally using sand.

  1. Cesenatico’s floating nativity

Cesenatico’s famous floating nativity is made up of old boats in the canal harbour, which house the Sacred Family and all characters with greatness.

  1. Manarola: a sustainable nativity

In Manarola, in Liguria, ex-railway worker Mario Andreoli made one of the biggest nativity scene sin the world. It is situated on a hill that dominates Cinque Terre, and it is exclusively composed of figures made of scrap and recycled material. At dusk, a system of solar panels illuminates the whole side of the hill, creating a really impressive display.

  1. Forni: a nativity made of bread

In Forni, in Sardinia, the area’s bread makers make all the nativity characters with bread dough, then dress them in traditional Sardinian clothing.

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Build your own Nativity Scene http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/build-nativity-scene/ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:46:28 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=452 Our country has a very illustrious and ancient tradition when it comes to nativity scenes. Since the medieval period, there has been a tradition of recreating scenes inspired by the night that baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It is a custom that expresses deep […]

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Our country has a very illustrious and ancient tradition when it comes to nativity scenes. Since the medieval period, there has been a tradition of recreating scenes inspired by the night that baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It is a custom that expresses deep devotion but that has also in time become a form of art, which has reached, in some cases, an admirable level. Even today, artists and artisans take on creating nativity scenes that are true works of art, using techniques and secrets from masters passed down from previous centuries.

In common houses, the tradition takes on a less noble, simpler shape, with much resin, wood and ceramic nativity scenes readily available everywhere, but the nativity, by its own nature, is still design to be customisable, and to allow you a large or small contribution to creating the scene.

This is why the so-called DIY nativities’ are becoming more popular. The techniques are very diverse, as are the materials used. They are very often recycled materials that, thanks to the imagination and skill of nativity lovers, take on new and unexpected forms. Often at the base of the scene is paper and cardboard, with a few sheets or an empty box that can be positioned in various ways to create the prospective effect.

Paper is used for the background, even to create a beautiful starry sky, but there is cardboard shaped like mountains, moss and stone, which can create very realistic scenes when used carefully.

Moss is used to decorate the DIY nativity scene, even better if it is real, but you can also find synthetic, lichen and straw moss, often-even trees and palm trees created with natural materials: wood, moss and cork.

Countless small and large accessories allow you to personalise your own DIY nativity. With architectural elements that make the little house more realistic, like railings for the balcony, gates for the walls, resin and wooden doors, windows, cooking utensils, wicker baskets, ladles, brickwork, ovens, countertops, even miniature food. All in the name of realism and creativity, to make your own unique customised DIY nativity.

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Christmas magic in Dyker Heights, New York http://192.168.99.122/com/christmas/christmas-magic-dyker-heights-new-york/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:35:25 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=437 Maybe not everyone knows that Dyker Heights is a pretty residential neighbourhood in Brooklyn, which famous in the mid-80s for its very unique character. In fact, every year its residents begin a true decoration race in preparation for Christmas, rushing to be the first to […]

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Maybe not everyone knows that Dyker Heights is a pretty residential neighbourhood in Brooklyn, which famous in the mid-80s for its very unique character. In fact, every year its residents begin a true decoration race in preparation for Christmas, rushing to be the first to make their house the most ‘Christmassy’ and admirable.

It is a ruthless struggle: the residents of Dyker Heights spare no expense when it comes to Christmas. For them it is a very serious matter!

It is said that some of them pay thousands of dollars in monthly electric bills in December in order to make the front of their houses stand out with countless light effects.

However, the decorations certainly do not end with illuminations. The residents of Dyker Heights begin working hard straight after Thanksgiving, letting their fantasies and imaginations loose, and the results are really surprising. The area is considered the undeniable capital of Christmas lights and has become a true tourist attraction over the years.

Other than lights, you can admire all sorts of decorations, mechanical dolls whose arms and wings move, entire moving scenes, balloons, and coloured wooden sculptures. Dyker Heights is a magical place, halfway between a Father Christmas village and a Disney film. It is a true wonder for children, but it does not stop there. It is impossible to not be infected by its Christmas spirit when everything is so colourful and splendid! Your mouth will hang open. It’s a unique and marvellous atmosphere that you absolutely can’t miss if you find yourself in New York during Christmas. It is easy to get lost among the lights and colours of this wonderful fairy-tale, and to be infected by its irresistible atmosphere. We went there ourselves: here is a small picture book of our wonderful experience.

Dyker Heights 2 Dyker Heights 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dyker Heights
 

 

 

 

 

 

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