Friday, December 26, 2008

DC Christmas

Hello, everyone, and Merry Christmas (belatedly, as we are writing this blog post on the 26th!). On Tuesday (12/23), we had another new experience when we went into DC to see some of the Christmas decorations. Even sights we have already seen looked new with the addition of Christmas decorations!
We started at the National Cathedral, where they had a display of creches from around the world. (It seems some people have not heard of the word "creche" before. It is French for crib - used as another name for manger. ( click here for a definition) ) This display was in the Bethlehem chapel of the cathedral and included about 40 handmade creches from 33 countries, and 12 others from 11 US states. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Top left: figures carved from the coal of South Dakota. Top right: figures cast from the ash of Mt. St. Helens, Washington. Bottom: Navity scene carved into the altar of the Bethlehem chapel in the cathedral.

Top left: Gourd nativity from Peru. Top right: Bronze, from Burkina-Faso. Bottom: Carved wood figures from Nigeria. Not shown, but one of our favorites, was a creche from Kenya made of mud and dung!

From there, we went to the US Botanical Gardens, where they adorned the vast array of flora with holiday decor. Below, find the capitol building and Washington Monument (made from organic materials such as sticks and seed pods), and a beautiful Christmas tree.

Right across the street from the Botanical Gardens is the real US Capitol, with a beautiful Christmas tree out front.

It was a beautiful sight, but I wish we could have gotten the colors of the lights to stand out more. If you look closely, you can see the podium and stands for the inauguration are under construction.
After that we went to the Ellipse to view the national Christmas tree. It is a beautiful sight on its own, and even more so with the White House in the background! We played with different camera exposures, and couldn't agree on which one we liked better for the blog .... so we are posting our top two:

The photo on the left shows the White House more vividly, but the photo on the right is closer to the real view of the tree. One of the biggest surprises of our day was to find another creche, or nativity scene, at the same site on the Ellipse as the Christmas tree!

Well, that's enough for this post. Hope you enjoyed the photos. I know it's not the same thing as seeing them in person, but we enjoyed sharing them with you. Here's hoping your Christmas was a wonderful time.
Blessings, Dan and Barb


Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that CHRISTmas isn't dead yet in DC.
On another note, will you be attending the inauguration?
Karen V

Erin and Brian said...

We couldn't pick which Christmas tree pic we liked better either - glad you posted both, as they were both awesome! Happy new year, Zs! We miss you!