© Joy Prescott | Dreamstime.comI went shopping the other day. It wasn’t for Christmas presents, but for groceries. But the grocery stores can be fun too; with the christmas decorations, shelves displaying gift baskets, poinsettias, cool gadgets and toys for kids. I like going anywhere during the Christmas season. However, this year the experience is different in Brussels. I went to the grocery store to find the Christmas section set up with tree ornaments, other house decorations and the fake trees. I was stunned to see the different in the shape and style of decorating the trees here compared to Canada.

First of all, the trees are about 1/3 to 1/4 the size in height, which is a little weird because generally the apartments have very high ceilings. I would describe the trees to look a little “Charlie Brown”-like. They are not as bushy and they branches are concentrated in the middle making the tree look shorter and fat.

© Agno_agnus | Dreamstime.com

Secondly, I saw a fake tree that was completely white. I’m not talking a green tree with white frost, I mean the branches where completely white, like an albino tree. I can’t remember the colors of the decorations on this monstrosity as my attention was immediately grabbed by the “promiscuous” tree to its right. This tree was green, but it was decorated with magenta colored feathered boas and magenta face masks one wears to a masquerade party. I gasped and then had to look away. My Christmas joy was being overthrow which shock and mild disgust. Does any actually dress their tree in these “outfits”? I sure hope not.

My parents informed me that this year they bought new decorations for the Christmas tree. I love the traditional red and green with gold ornaments we’ve had since I can remember. After seeing the “modern” tree decorations at the store in Brussels, I can only hope that the decorations in Canada haven’t changed drastically.

One thing Brussels has on my home town is: Christmas Markets. Yes, tents full of handmade Christmas decorations, stockings, homemade honey, jam and other goodies. They have taste testers available of everything too. I tried some lavender honey and some raspberry jam. They were both the right amount of sweet. I wanted to buy a patio table for the backyard that I don’t have at my apartment and some stocking to hang on the chimney I don’t have. There were so many things like special smelly soaps and intricate figurines. I will definitely be visiting as many Christmas Markets I can. Luckily, the two I’ve been to so far had normal looking decorations on the Christmas trees.

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