And here I am again. 524 mails in the inbox later and still looking for this or that special Christmas gift for a loved one. The festive season is approaching, even if my head has only just arrived in autumn. Sure, I know, perfume is always an option. Socks have also become a really cool gift. If I were a little more patient and creative, I’d be creating magical little handmade gifts. I see them right in front of my inner eye. But well, you guessed it… So I have to rely on the skills and talents of others and share my ideas with you.
7 towers – 7 tips
Rotter crystal glass
Christmas for me is pure light. Preferably with glittering sun on white snow. And with a sea of candles. I can’t have enough of that. Like a magnificent church hall where the light from the street is refracted in the stained glass windows. Therefore, I give away shimmering light in the form of a Rotter glass and visit the gallery ARTEMANI in Fleischhauerstraße 34, where the timelessly elegant hand-signed unique pieces of the manufactory Carl Rotter are available. I like their very special feel and the sparkle with which they enchant my dining table. There can never be enough light in this life, so my dearest friend Uta is getting a Lago ball cup. My absolute favorite. Get inspired here or visit the manufactory on Instagram.
Lübeck on the finger
Sparkling gems are always a hit under the Christmas tree. Those who – like me – love discreet design, should drop by the goldsmith Das kleine KRA at Königstraße 67a, because owner Jürgen Ziegenbein and his team offer handcrafted jewellery with a focus on sustainability: Coloured gemstones are sourced exclusively from German gemstone cutters, and only 100% recycled gold is used in the master goldsmith’s workshop..
Two favourite designs relate to our wonderful Old Town and to one of the most beautiful places in Travemünde: the silver “Lübeck Ring” with prominent buildings of the city and the “Brodtener Steilufer Ring” – also made of silver, which is based on the coastal formation between Travemünde and Niendorf. By the way, a favourite place of the master goldsmith Ziegenbein. Both rings have already reached every continent. Jürgen Ziegenbein likes the idea that the motto “Concordia domi, foris pax” immortalized at the Holsten Gate, this message of peace and respectful coexistence, is carried into the world through his Lübeck rings. Lübeck guests buy them as souvenirs. However, they are equally popular as souvenir gifts for people moving from Lübeck to countries near and far. What a pleasure wearing one’s favourite place not only in one’s heart but also on one’s wrist.
Yes, it is true, it is now again not mega-creative to give a calendar. We did it when we were kids, because grandma and grandpa always had everything. At least, our calendars had self-designed motifs for each month. I love calendars and obviously a lot of people do, because the choice is almost inexhaustible. It is a difficult decision for me to make. My three favourites are these:
The Seven Towers Calendar with – not surprisingly – different views of Lübeck’s seven towers, shot by Lübeck photographer Reiner Jensen. The special thing about this voluntary project is that you can make a small but significant contribution to the preservation of our identity-forming church towers in Lübeck. After all 11€ per calendar! It took a good 100 years to create the magnificent city skyline and for the many years to come it is up to us and future generations to preserve it. The 2024 calendar is available in Lübeck’s Old Town churches and at various points of sale, which you can find here .
Ina Fenske lives and works as a painter in Lübeck. Her workshop with gallery is located in the heart of Lübeck’s Old Town. She was out and about in Lübeck with her sketchpad and created 12 true wonders. Her calendar for 2024, “Streifzug durch Lübeck“, shows cherished places and snapshots from a different – graphic – perspective. If you don’t want to buy a photo calendar: Ina’s calendar is a great alternative. Visit her in her gallery at Glockengießerstraße 36.
Almost unrealistically beautiful are the motifs in the Travemünde calendar of “Mikka Momentaufnahme”. The seaside resort in perfect light scenes from spring to winter, from sunrise to sunset. Mikka has taken a liking to Travemünde and through his photographs I always feel that the familiar is never boring when seen with a fresh eye. You can get an impression of Mikka’s work here. If you are interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Calendar 2024” in the subject line. The A3 costs €25 plus €5 shipping where required. However, Mikka’s calendars are in such high demand that you’ll have to hurry a little.
History in hidden picture books
The freelance author and illustrator. Heinz-Joachim Draeger shows Lübeck’s history and takes you on a journey through the past in his books “Lübeck anschaulich”, “Von Koggen und Kaufleuten: Eine Hansestadt im Mittelalter” and “Hanse anschaulich”. These humor-filled books, which have even been translated into Japanese, are great fun for people of all ages. Knowledge is imparted virtually along the way, and even with very young children, looking at and searching for lovingly designed details is a real joy. Pictures say more than words. You can of course buy the books in bookshops.
Marzilade – dream team of fruit and marzipan
If you are at the Tourist Information, you should heed my advice and buy a less sweet jam made from delicious fruits and the finest marzipan and, of course, give it as a gift: the marzilade. It comes in different flavours. “Plum Pomegranate Gingerbread” is my seasonal highlight! Walter Schmidt and Susanne Menhardt produce the delicious spread on their farm from natural vegan ingredients and fill by hand. At the Christmas market they have a stand in the lower part of Breite Straße. You can research more outlets nationwide and inspiring recipes here.
A stollen with all the trimmings
I’ve been told that some people think Christmas would be better without raisins, currants and suckers in everything. But I love stollen the way my mother used to make it. So I get it from Aurèle Uter. Handmade stollen, stollen confectionery and gift boxes he keeps ready in his Café “Uter” in Fleischhauerstraße 62. Very conveniently, you can also order the stollen online. Aurèle delivers its declaration of love for this typical Christmas treat throughout Germany. What is clear is that loooots of butter is needed. Aurèle is very clear about that. I visited him. If you like, you can get to know him better in my blog post “With love, air & warm butter”.
Not convinced yet? Look directly into the stollen bakery of the Uter …
Rotspon- Lübeck-made tradition in a glass
I like to give a noble drop as a gift, especially one with a centuries-old connection to Lübeck. Lübeck Rotspon is a red wine of French origin that has been pleasing palates since the 14th century. Allegedly, it even pleased Napoleon, whose troops occupied Lübeck in 1806. Its Low German name derives from the red of the wine and the word spon for the wooden chip of the barrels in which the wine was transported to Lübeck. I’m on my way to the von Melle wine shop at Beckergrube 86 and, after much deliberation, decide on a characterful St. Emilion “Reserve” Rotspon, as my gift is meant to please a real wine connoisseur. You can also buy the wine online.
Are the right Christmas gifts included in my list?
I keep my fingers crossed that you find exactly the things that make the hearts of your loved ones beat faster. And if not, it doesn’t matter: give them a big hug and all your time and attention.