Just one pic of today's ornament of choice. This is a metal lantern with plastic 'glass' panes. The red bow and holly is also made of flat tin.
It's particularly nice when you are looking through it and there is a light or two behind it; looks like the glow of those lights is coming right from this little lantern (of course it's tough to tell in this picture because the flash washed out the 'natural' effect).
This ornament was purchased while I was living in Belgium in the early 90's, although it wasn't purchased IN Belgium. Within a 1-hr drive from Liège was a little village just over the German border. It's the village of Monschau (Montjoie in French). As is common in many European cities / towns, the month of December brings
the arrival of the 'Christmas Market'. Consider it similar to the Craft Shows that we'd attend in a mall or at Saint John's Harbour Station... similar in that crafters, cottage industries, etc. bring their wares directly to the consumer. The difference is (and here is the charm of it) that these markets take place outdoors. Vendors have little pine huts from within which to sell their products. This is where I purchased my little lantern.
This is a photo of the Christmas market in Monschau. So why this ornament one of my favorites? It takes me back to Springtime hikes in those hills, with daffodils growing wild on the hillside, the Christmas Market on the town square - hands wrapped around a hot coa-coa and the best Tomattenkremezuppe you've ever tasted!
Want to get a glimpse of the Christmas Market... check out this webcam overlooking the market area. note though that the market itself is only open on weekends up to the 18th of December...