December 2011 Blog Archive


Sat

24

Dec

2011

December 24--Win a Trip to Hamburg!


Merry Christmas from the Jimdo Team!
Merry Christmas from the Jimdo Team!

 

It's Christmas Eve, and either you're getting ready to unpack your presents (in much of Europe and parts of the Midwest) or you're still wrapping them for tomorrow (in other parts of North America). The big question on everyone's mind is: what's behind door #24?

 

The answer: the Alster Lake, lots of rain and the Reeperbahn -- and all of us! That's right, today's winner will be treated to a three-night stay in Hamburg at the Hotel Lindner, worth over $600. But that's not all:

  • Invitation to meet the Jimdo team at Jimdo Headquarters, and a gourmet lunch with our new chef, Sam!
  • Surprise swag bag to take home


Please keep in mind that you'll be responsible with getting here -- but you've always wanted to visit Europe anyway, right?

 

 

One last time -- Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

 

See you in 2012!

 

10 Comments

Fri

23

Dec

2011

December 23 -- Gift Bags from Germany!

 

One thing we have to say about you users out there -- you let us know what you really think. When you like something, you tell us so...and when you're upset, we hear about that, too.

 

This kind of feedback is really phenomenal, and helps us get better all the time. So in the spirit of saying thanks for well, spirited feedback - we're giving away the presents today. Two Jimdo surprise packages for the best comments out there! The pictures below show some of the goodies in the packages, but not all of them.

 

 

 

So make us laugh, make us cry, write a poem or tell a story -- this one is entirely subjective, so give it your best shot! 

 

If you don't happen to win one of the two prizes, we're even giving away another prize to everyone: a new layout, F4179! It's already active on your site - just log in and click on "Layout". Here's what it looks like in action:

 

 

 

Good luck -- and see you tomorrow for the grand finale!

 

15 Comments

Thu

22

Dec

2011

December 22 -- Environmentally Friendly Purses for Conscious Consumers

 

Update: The lovely Furla handbag was won by comment #30 in the Russian blog! Congratulations!

 

With the biggest holiday and shopping season in full swing, it sometimes makes sense to think about the larger picture: does everyone on our list really need so many presents? Or put differently: does every present have to be new? Whether you call it regifting, Dirty Santa or just plain recyling, sometimes a slightly used present is even better than a new one!

 

Roman and Nicole, the two Swiss entrepreneurs behind Secondhandbags, know this better than most people. Their Jimdo store sells handbags and accessories with a history: every item they sell is in "like new" condition. Considering they specialize in high-end fashion handbags that would normally sport a hefty price tag, buying from secondhandbag.com can also save you a bit of cash!

 

After all, there's only thing better than a new Louis Vuitton handbag -- and that's an "almost new" Louis Vuitton handbag!

Roman and Nicole are sponsoring the genuine Furla bag pictured below for today's giveaway, so be sure to comment on this blog post or retweet our tweet of the day to win!

 

Make sure to check back in tomorrow and Saturday -- only two more days left, and the gifts keep on coming.

 

Good luck to everyone!

 


16 Comments

Wed

21

Dec

2011

Merry Christmas from the Jimdo Team!

 

Even though Christmas is still a few days away, we wanted to send out a heartfelt "Season's Greetings" to all of you out there. It's been a good year for Jimdo: lots of new faces, lots of new features, and even a new office. We would also like to introduce a new feature on the Jimdo blog, JimdoTV, where roving Jimdo team members Svenja and Ria interview Jimdo users and spread good cheer all around.

 

Today we have an extra special JimdoTV episode for you, featuring Matthias and Fridtjof, two of the three Jimdo founders.

 

The video below is in German with English subtitles - you might have to click on "cc" to turn them on. Enjoy!

 

20 Comments

Wed

21

Dec

2011

Remember to Download Your Old Site Statistics!

Download your old statistics and activate the new statistics!

Here's an announcement for JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users

 

When we announced our new Statistics module way back in August, we also said it would be a good idea to download your old site statistics as an .xls file by the end of 2011. Now the year is almost over, and we wanted to give you another gentle reminder.

 

In just a few days (December 31), the old statistics will be deactivated completely and removed from your JimdoPage. So don't forget to grab them by year's end!

If you want to have access to your old site statistics after they are deactivated, remember to download them very soon. Here's what to do:

 

1. Log into your JimdoPage and click on the "Statistics" button on the right.

 

2. Click on "Old Statistics", and then on "Download complete statistics". That's it!

 

3. If you haven't activated your new statistics yet, you can skip the first part of Step 2.

If you don't care about saving your old statistics, you don't need to download them, of course. But do remember to activate the new statistics before the end of the year so they are up to date the next time you want data on visitors to your site.

 

Just click on the "Go to your new statistics interface" link shown on the left.

2 Comments

Wed

21

Dec

2011

December 21 -- Protect Your Paperback with Lisichka Leather Covers

 

 

 

Just a stone's throw away from the famous English Gardens in Munich is Tatiana Schneidt Le Gallo's studio. Although the designer originally hails from Russia, Tatiana is quite at home in the Bavarian capital - she studied fashion design at the renowned AMD.

 

After working for the Escada label, Tatiana started Lisichka, with a focus on stylish, playful accessories made of quality materials.

For today's giveaway, Tatiana is sponsoring a leather book cover to protect your favorite novel from the rain and daily wear and tear. If you are the contemplative kind, you can even slip it over a blank book and create a journal or use it to protect your planner.

 

If you would like to win today, just comment on this post or retweet our daily tweet.

 

 


11 Comments

Tue

20

Dec

2011

December 20 -- Art from Italy

 

Update: the winner of the prints from Gianguido Oggeri Breda is John, comment #2!

 

(Since 72 was won by commenter #48 from Russia!)

 

 

The generosity of the Jimdo community is astounding this year - from clothing to travel, artwork to a bass guitar, Jimdo stores around the world have been very giving to all our readers. In terms of the international connection, Italian stores have donated prizes on December 2,  December 5 and December 10

Once again today, it is the generous Italians who are donating the giveaway prizes: artists Enrico Bonetto and Gianguido Oggeri Breda.

 

Enrico Bonetto makes art at his studio in the Venetian countryside, in a minimalistically decorated old farmhouse that he inherited from his grandparents. He calls the studio (and his art) "Since 72": playfully, with an ironic poke at American culture. According to Enrico, "Art needs to start learning from music, be low-budget, reproducible, and affordable for everyone instead of elitist". His website contains interviews, a biography, and tucked away in the subnavigation, even the art itself.


The creative use of materials is in Enrico's DNA, so to speak: his father was a furniture restaurateur and his mother a seamstress. He studied art and design at university, and has been making art since 1999.

 

Enrico is raffling off his painting Since 72 (on the right) for today's Holiday Bash.

 

The second prize for today is a photo from Gianguido Oggeri Breda, who has created works of in painting, photography, design, and other interdisciplinary forms. His website shows the sheer range of his creativity, with comics, web design, and architectural sketches and more. Guianguido graduated from the Art Institute in Turin and has been exhibiting his art since 2008.

 

He is also a Jimdo partner - so feel free to contact him if you are looking for someone to help you on your own site (not part of the giveaway!).

 

Today he is raffling off the five prints on the left.


 

If you would like one of these works of art, just comment on this post or retweet our daily tweet!

 

 

8 Comments

Mon

19

Dec

2011

December 19 -- Hanukkah Traditions and a Handmade Mezuzah

 

Update: This time, the winner came from Russia: comment #51 in the Russian blog!

 


This year, December 20 marks the beginning of another major holiday tradition: Hanukkah starts at sunset tomorrow. Even though Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday, in Christian societies it is often celebrated in a way to rival Christmas. Gifts are given each day for the entire eight days, and candles are lit on the hanukkiyah, or Hanukkah menorah.

 

To celebrate the Hanukkah season, today we are raffling off a beautiful work of Jewish art, hand-crafted by Atlanta-based artist Megan Trace Tenenbaum.

 

Mezuzah is the Hebrew word for 'doorpost'. In Jewish tradition, a mezuzah is a decorative case to hold a printed version of the central prayer of Shema Yisrael, which is then attached to the doorframe or entrance to a room or house.

 

Megan Trace Tenenbaum creates gorgeous mezuzahs that blend religious tradition with artistic craftsmanship, new with old. She even created a special page on her website just for the Jimdo Holiday Bash!

 

 

 

As always, comment below or retweet for a chance to win!

 

 

14 Comments

Sun

18

Dec

2011

December 18 -- Custom Jewelry from the Cape Verde Islands

 

Update: Today's winner is Larry Beaks!


Sandrine makes necklaces and armbands, colliers and earrings out of beads. But not just out of beads: if you look carefully at the colorful and lively jewelry she makes, you'll find shells and stones, here and there bits of crystal and even an old watch face! She sells her handmade pieces on her website, mephistosa.com.

 

"Unique people need unique pieces of jewelry," says Sandrine, and looking at the lovely images below it's hard to disagree with her. Today she is offering a custom-made piece of jewelry to one lucky reader. If you win today, you can ask Sandrine to design a necklace especially for you! The pictures below are just examples of how your new favorite accessory could look.

 


 

Sandrine lives and works on Cape Verde, and as she says, there is a little bit of the island in everything she makes. If you want to have Sandrine create a piece of custom jewelry for you, just leave a comment below or retweet our tweet of the day.

 


11 Comments

Sat

17

Dec

2011

December 17 -- Bags, Bags, Bags for You!

 

Update: Juan won the bag from kar-bag! Congratulations!

 

The Khaffee bag was won by Osaka from Japan!

 

 

It's not double vision that you see - today we are giving away two different bags from two different, wonderful Jimdo stores. To two of you lucky readers out there!

 

One bag from Khaffee...

...and one from kar-bag!


 

Is there a better gift for Christmas than bags? Practical, chic, and with an ever-so-slight hint that the lucky winner should remember to go shopping for You Know Who. First up is the DDT 'going into town bag' from Khaffee.

 

Linen and woven felt protect all the precious contents from your next evening adventure, this handbag is small enough to take anywhere, but roomy enough to fit everything you (or your special someone) needs: keys, cash, and a cell phone. And it's made to move on the dance floor.

 

Every product that Karolina sells in her online store is made by hand out of natural materials, with a limited run of no more than fifty pieces.

 

 

After your night on the town, how about a little exercise to get you feeling great again? kar-bag makes one-of-a-kind bags out of the same material used for airbags, with 'roll-up' styling inspired by bike courier bags. Guaranteed lightweight, extremely sturdy and sure to get noticed. kar-bag offers an entire line of bags, from over-the-shoulder purses to handbags, all with an automotive theme.

 

Today kar-bag is giving away the 'Antler' roll-up bag. Available in white or red with a printed reindeer decoration, this bag is perfect for the holiday seaon. Whether you use it to carry Christmas ornaments, makeup, swimming accessories, or something else altogether, it will definitely attract attention.

 

If you want to win one of these bags, just comment on this post or retweet to win

 


 

Good luck to all, and to all a good night!

 

14 Comments

Fri

16

Dec

2011

December 16 -- Handmade Accessories from Carolina Parisina


 

Update: Alex is the winner of the handbag!

 

Dillon, Colorado, a little town off of Highway 70 west of Denver, does not seem a likely spot for an international design boutique. Yet Dillon with its 800-odd inhabitants is home to Carolina Parisina, a designer label specializing in handmade accessories that used to be based in Madrid.

 

Over 5,000 miles separate Madrid from Dillon, but that did not stop Carolina and Mariano from making the great westward move in 2005. "We love creating all sorts of purses and accessories for casual people," says Carolina López de Blas. "Our goal is to create limited editions and unique items, made one by one with love and care."

 

 

Carolina and Mariano have put the same loving care into designing their website as they put into their accessories. Two neat features they offer are a museum of sold-out products (you have the option of asking them to replicate one) and a gallery of photos from around the world sent in by happy "Parisina" owners.

 

Carolina Parisina is giving away a handmade checkbook today - the winner may choose from the four below.

 

 

For a chance to win, just leave a comment here or retweet our daily tweet. This prize is available to visitors based in the US.

 

 

9 Comments

Thu

15

Dec

2011

December 15 -- Relax in the Sun with a Three-Night Stay in Tunisia!

 

Update: The winner of the three-night trip to Tunisia was from Russia: Французский узелок


Have you ever been to Africa? If you ever dream of the Sahara or the southern Mediterranean, if souks make your soul soar - then have we got a prize for you today! Sandy beaches, sun and crystal clear water await today's winner, on the beach of Hergla, Tunisia.

 

We are raffling off a three-night stay for four people in a luxury apartment in Hergla, a tiny fishing village in northeastern Tunisia with a lovely sandy beach and harbor, only nine miles from the tourist center Port El Kantaoui. The apartment is equipped with a kitchen and a balcony with a stunning view of the Mediterranean, less than a quarter mile away.

 

The sponsor of today's giveaway is Desert Rose Service, a travel agency with a tri-lingual JimdoPage! If you are the lucky winner today, you can choose when you would like to travel. Desert Rose will help you organize flights, if you like, and answer any other questions you may have. 

If three nights are not enough, you can choose to extend your stay (at the standard rates). The flight is not included.

For a chance to win today, just comment on this blog post below or retweet our tweet of the day!

 

Good luck, and see you tomorrow!

21 Comments

Wed

14

Dec

2011

December 14 -- A Social Media Makeover a la Savoir Faire

 

Update: The winner of the social media package is Sandrine Thinnes!

 

 

A comment on the main page of our Holiday Bash says it all: "#SupportSmallBusinesses because it is BIG business." We could not have said it better ourselves. At the core of the "Jimdo experience" is a firm belief in empowering small business owners and other individuals to make great websites for themselves - by themselves

 

It is not easy running a small business: DIY often seems to mean Doing Everything Yourself, and sometimes there are just too few hours in the day. But for some brave souls, running their own small business is the only way to go because it means freedom to do things your way.

 

Today's giveaway is for small business owners from a small business owner: Natalie from Savoir Faire Media (don't they have a great website?) wants to take some of the burden off your hands, and is giving away a social media package customized for your business. What does that mean, exactly? Here's how Natalie described it:

 

"An awesome, butt-kicking Jimdo website is only a small piece of the branding and online presence puzzle.  How would you like a fully functional website within your Facebook fan page? Sound too good to be true?  Well it's not! You can have a splash page and profile pic that looks like your current website, just smaller.

 

But wait...there's more! Send your best 140 characters into cyberspace in style with a matching Twitter page design. Styled for the new updated dimensions, your tweets will be sweet! Got YouTube? Uploading your videos is great, but having an expert help you add SEO tips and tricks to each posting, and tailoring your channel to your match your website colors and design is what you need to gain additional subscribers and up your street cred."

 

Here are a few examples of Savoir Faire's work for clients:

 

If you have been reading our other posts, you already know how to get a chance to win. If not, here's how:

 

  • Comment on this blog post (please log in if you have a JimdoPage or check back in a few days to find out if you won!)

or

 

14 Comments

Tue

13

Dec

2011

December 13 -- Dress for the Holiday Bash with natashab1980 and bluetezeit!

 

Update: the bluetezeit sweater dress went to a Spanish user, novecento

 

Andreea Miinescu won the necklace from natashab1980!

 

Copyright Nationaal Archief
Copyright Nationaal Archief

It is hard to deny that the winter holidays have gotten a lot more enjoyable for (most) women in the last generation or so. Picture a traditional holiday feast thirty or forty years ago: lots of work to do for the hostess, while the man on her side is most likely sitting in the back room with a glass of scotch in his hand

 

So in the interest of emancipation and equality and just general fairness, we hereby proclaim today 'Woman's Day' of our Holiday Bash! Male participants will be tolerated, of course, but only if they pass their winnings on to a loved one or mother. ;-)

 

 

 

Natashab1980 is a Virginia-based online accessory store run by Brandy Bacote, who prides herself on offering quality jewelry and accessories at an affordable price. As any fashion-conscious woman can tell you, the right accessory can make or break an outfit. The motto of natashab1980.com is "We Bring Clothes to Life" - stressing the importance of adding just the right touch to whatever you are wearing.

 

Today Natashab1980 is giving away their Blair necklace set to one lucky lady.

 

 

Our second gift today is from the current collection of the Berlin boutique bluetezeit. The young label pairs urban design with playful, feminine lines. Berlin has advanced to one of the European capitals of fashion in recent years, and with designers like bluetezeit, it is no wonder.

 

Bluetezeit is giving away a sweater dress for today's contest.

 

Ladies, here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post (please log in if you have a JimdoPage or check back in a few days to find out if you won!)

or

 

17 Comments

Mon

12

Dec

2011

December 12 -- Give Your Website a Facelift with a New Logo

 

Update: The three logos were won by:

Tanja Isabel Späth from the German blog

36langues from the French blog, and

Diego Montiel Romero from the Spanish blog

 

Hola Jimdonians, as we near the halfway point of our holiday adventure, it is the perfect time to start thinking about the new year and a fresh start. For small business owners out there, nothing helps you jump start your new year's marketing efforts like a facelift for your brand. We're talking about an eye-popping, professionally designed custom logo! 

 

Dropping a new logo on your JimdoPage not only lets you activate existing customers, it also helps your site become memorable and trustworthy to new visitors. In one broad stroke you can make your site stand apart from the rest!

 

Sponsoring today's giveaway is designonclick.com, an international design website that allows small business owners to connect with designers. You can decide what you want to have done, set a price limit, and then start a design contest. Designers upload their drafts, and you can comment and ask for changes before you pick a winner.

 

Today, designonclick.com is giving away three professionally designed logos valued at $150 each from their logo shop. If you are one of the lucky winners today, you can pick out a logo of your choice from designonclick.com!

 

 

Here's how to win today:

 

  • Comment on this blog post (please enter your name and website if you have one, or check back in a few days to find out if you won!)

or

 

Good luck, and see you tomorrow!

 

16 Comments

Sun

11

Dec

2011

December 11 -- 'Tis the Season for Helping Others

 

Update: Sandra Henry from esjaydesigns.com won the set of postcards! Congratulations!


 

In a far-away country, somewhere in Russia, there lived a stepmother who had a stepdaughter and also a daughter of her own."

 

So begins the Russian fairy tale of Father Frost -- and it is only fair to say that the story ends badly for one of the two girls mentioned (read the rest here). As you have found out in the last week, winter celebrations are very different from country to country, and in the case of Russia and some parts of the former Soviet Union, Christmas is not even a big part of the holidays - New Year's is more important.

 

Our gifts for today come from Russia (with love, of course), and are a reminder that a very important part of the holiday season is helping those in need. We are raffling off a handmade set of postcards from Elena and her daughter Sonja, who suffers from leukemia. Elena and Sonja use their Jimdo website to communicate with friends and other people who volunteer to help with the high hospital costs.

 

Maybe as we hustle from store to store this week with bags under our arms, we can take a moment and think of how we could help out others, too. Sometimes it is as simple as smiling at someone on the street, or seeing who needs a hand carrying grocery bags.

 

 

If you want to win a chance to win these postcards,

 

  • Comment on this blog post (please enter your name and website if you have one, or check back in a few days to find out if you won!)

or

 

 

4 Comments

Fri

09

Dec

2011

Jimdo Website Basics Workshop: Dec 12, 2011

Ready for the next Jimdo webinar? If you couldn't make it the previous Jimdo webinars, now's your chance to join one during the day in Europe!

 

Need a little help getting started on your website? Not quite sure how everything on your website works? Tune into this Jimdo webinar as we go over the basics of building a website!

 

 

Jimdo Website Basics Workshop

Monday, December 12th, 2011

13:00-14:00 GMT / 8-9am EST (see this in your timezone)

Online Seminar

Register to participate: http://jim.do/webinarDec12b

 

In just 30 minutes, we'll build a complete website using Jimdo!

We'll cover

  • creating pages
  • choosing a layout
  • adding text, links, and photos
  • embedding YouTube videos
  • setting up a contact form
  • ... and how to find more help if you need it!

 

Bring all your website-related questions for the Q&A session at the end! To attend, register here.

0 Comments

Fri

09

Dec

2011

December 10 -- Christmas Gifts from Italy and Invoicing Software for Small Business

 

Update: Damien won a handmade gift from Italy!

 

We are all about DIY - after all, that's what Jimdo does best: provide you with the tools to create your own website. And when it comes to the holidays, there's nothing we love more than to give handmade gifts. Some of us at Jimdo create our own, while the rest of us have to shop for them.

 

But you, dear readers, have a chance to win three "handmade" presents from Italy today:

One for your ears and soul,

One for your inner child (or your own child!), and

One to hang on your Christmas tree.

 

Barbara from Hobby & Creazioni loves making things with her hands, and some of the things she loves to make are Christmas ornaments. For today's contest, Barbara is sponsoring a Christmas ornament, handmade in Italy.

 

After 15 years of soaking up the Apulian sun, Orazio and Danila packed up and moved to Ticino (the southernmost canton in Switzerland). Pugliaswiss is something of a musical record of their journey, and a reflection of their continued love for their home town, Salento. Orazio and Danila are sponsoring a copy of their CD, Pizzica, to add a bit of Italy to your holiday celebration.

 

Peter Panno (think of Neverland in Italian) is the brainchild of Benedetta. The website tells the story of her passion for sewing, starting in 2005 when she got a sewing machine as a gift. She also sells handmade dolls, currently only 'offline' in four stores in Italy, but perhaps - especially if a lot of you let her know - soon in her Jimdo store, too. For today's contest, Benedetta is donating a 'Christmas surprise' doll to one lucky winner.

 

 

That's not all, though:

  • If you would rather work than go Christmas shopping,
  • if you find yourself working into the wee hours of the morning on December 24,
  • in other words: if you are a small business owner,

 

We also have a gift for you today! Fastbill is raffling off three one-year pro subscriptions. Fastbill is a tool that makes it easy for freelancers and small business owners to track clients and expenses, generate and monitor invoices, and handle all accounting online and paper-free.

 

 

If anyone out there is using a Jimdo store as a small business owner and wants an even easier and more powerful way to track orders and handle invoices, we recommend using Fastbill. They are one of our business partners, and they have made it very easy to plug your Jimdo store into their invoice management system.

 

 

 

  • Comment on this blog post (please enter your name and website if you have one, or check back in a few days to find out if you won!)

or

 

12 Comments

Thu

08

Dec

2011

December 8 -- Treat Yourself to a Staycation with a SPA Home Set

 

Update: From over 800 people commenting around the world, the winner of the SPA home set is...

 

Tatiana Savchenko, comment #19 on the Russian blog! 


 

"Two souls, alas! are dwelling in my chest!" wrote the venerable Goethe -- and at Jimdo, we can understand what he meant. As a small company with big aspirations, we are often torn between two poles. Sometimes, in the eleven-language and 15+ culture medley that is Jimdo, we are even torn between linguistic realities.

 

Take "wellness", for example. Ask any German speaker what wellness is, and he or she will tell you to go to the sauna, or pamper yourself with a massage. In the Anglo-American world, wellness has some rather different connotations.

 

Today's giveaway from the SPA store is in line with the German definition of wellness -- meaning to take care of yourself. SPA Manufactur makes products that are good for your mind, body and soul, out of 100% organic ingredients and no artificial anything.

 

The company aims to create products that are contemporary, luxurious and all natural. Today's winner will be treated to a home 'wellness' set including a Milkbath & Coco Butter and a Massage & Bath Oil bath set from the NARANJA MALLORQUIN series.

 

Have a look below:

 

For everyone who is new to this concept of wellness, be relieved. It might just give you that extra boost to get over a cold and 'recharge your batteries' for the next round of holiday shopping ;-).

 

Here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - don't forget to include your real name so we can find you!

or

 

Here's wishing everyone a great end of the week - and thanks to Iris from SPA for the bath set!

 

 

 

13 Comments

Wed

07

Dec

2011

December 7 -- Kwanzaa and the African Tradition & T-Shirts From EsJay

Update: And the winners are...

 

Alexander from Russia!

Stephen from Germany!

Amy -- Comment #11!

 

Thanks to EsJay for the shirts - and don't forget to read the next blog post

 

 

Today we are giving away three custom t-shirts from EsJay Designs' Classic Kingdom collection. Joe is the visual artist behind the designing duo, who started out as high school sweethearts and now run the company together. The Kingdom line of t-shirts was inspired by -- you guessed it -- the animal kingdom. If you look closely at the shirts pictured below, you'll see a moody king of the jungle and a hungry shark, not to mention a pouty 'king of beasts' without his crown.

 

The other half of EsJay Designs is Sandra, who handles everything that is not drawing. If you take a look at their website, I'm sure you'll agree that Sandra has considerable artistic talent of her own. The site looks great! Sandra and Joe operate out of Harlem, so if you ever do that New York trip you have been planning, you might look them up and ask them to show you the new collection. For now, though, all the animals live in virtual cages - check out their site to see the whole Kingdom line and lots of other hoodies, tees and more.

 

Although it is a bit early in the month, today's post is about another December tradition, Kwanzaa. Not a Christmas tradition by any means, Kwanzaa actually begins on December 26 and lasts until the start of the new year in January. Each of the seven days is dedicated to one of the Nguzo Saba, or seven principles.


Kwanzaa is an African-American tradition, meaning it started as a movement by Blacks in the United States. It strives to be international and pan-African in focus, however. At the root of Kwanzaa (and Pan-Africanism for that matter) is the belief in Africa as a united continent and an alternative source of traditions from the prevalent (white European) holiday tradition.

 

There is a lot more to write about Kwanzaa, especially since this is a relatively new holiday tradition that many people may not know much about. For now, though, we'll start with a video from The Black Candle, a film about Kwanzaa -- and are looking forward to all your comments!

 

 

Remember: here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - don't forget to include your real name so we can find you!

or

 

Thanks to Sandra and Joe from EsJay Designs for sponsoring today's contest, and good luck to everyone!

 

12 Comments

Tue

06

Dec

2011

December 6 -- On the Trail of St. Nicholas

 

Update: The t-shirt winner from the US is Tom Allen! Congralations and thanks again to gossengold!

 

The other winners:

Franzi from Germany

abc35.jimdo.com from France

c-e-s-i-teacher.jimdo.com from Japan

ecuarioja from Spain

d_serg from Russia

 

The three "Jimdo care packages" are going out to Stephen Roche, Alex Moises and linko sling!

 

Today is St. Nicholas Day - meaning excited children's faces all over central Europe. Last night before going to bed, children in Germany, Czech and Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and the Netherlands put their shoes outside or in front of the chimney, hoping for sweets when they awake the next day.

 

The serious-looking guy with black crosses on his scarf is St. Nick
The serious-looking guy with black crosses on his scarf is St. Nick


In America we talk about St. Nick, but oftentimes we just mean Santa Claus. But in many parts of Europe, St. Nicholas is an important holiday figure, in some cases (the Netherlands come to mind here) even more important than the jolly old guy that comes at the end of the month.

 

But who was St. Nicholas, anyway? To start with, he was a bishop and lived in the 4th century in what is now Turkey. Modern science puts him at 5'6" tall or shorter, with a heavy jaw and a broken nose. To this day, he is considered the patron saint of children, thieves, and mariners (what a combination!). Most of all, Nicholas is known as a gift-giver and general kind spirit. In the picture on the right by Ilya Repin, he is saving three innocent prisoners from the sword.

 

 

 

 

Since today is Nikolaus (as it is called in Germany), we are raffling off two sets of gifts:

 

  • 6 T-shirts from gossengold, a young T-shirt label from Munich, Germany

and

  • 3 'St. Nikolaus boots' hand-filled by the Jimdo team

 

 

 

Roughly translated, gossengold means 'gutter gold', and reflects both the quality of the products and the urban, 'anti-fashion' style of the label. The motto of the store is 'one life to live' -- and boy, the t-shirts sure reflect that! Check out the pictures of the shirts below so you know what you can win here.

 

 

Since some of you may not have had the pleasure of putting your shoes out yesterday evening for St. Nicholas to fill (North America and Australia, I'm looking hard in your direction), we wanted to give you the chance to win one. Three lucky commenters or retweeters will win a hand-picked Nicholas boot!

 

Here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - make sure to log into your Jimdo site or check back tomorrow so we can find you if you win!

 

17 Comments

Mon

05

Dec

2011

December 5 -- Rock Christmas with Jimdo

Update:

Drumroll, please: The winner of the bass guitar is Rosaria Didio from Italy!

 

 

How big is your Christmas tree? If you are the lucky winner today, you'll need a LOT of room underneath. Thanks to La Boutique della Musica, a well stocked and affordable music store located in Southern Italy (but taking orders from anywhere you are), we're giving away the gift of music today.

 

According to owner Nicola, La Boutique della Musica was founded in 2010 with the goal of "infecting the world with our passion for guitars".

 

La Boutique's secret to success is to sell great instruments at a great price - and to help people find just the right instrument for their needs.

 

When asked about the future of La Boutique, Nicola likes to wax philosophic:

 

"Our boat has set off upon the seas of the Internet, keeping watch for the most virtuous castaways on the waves of music. Come aboard, our journey is a long one -- and a loud one!"

 

 

An electric bass under the tree

 

Today La Boutique della Musica is giving away one of two instruments to get your bottom grooving: a Fender Squier or SX bass!

 

So if you're ready to rock, start commenting and tweeting away - we'll keep the beat for you.

 


Here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - don't forget to include your real name so we can find you!

or

 

 See you tomorrow!

 

30 Comments

Sun

04

Dec

2011

December 4 -- The Spirit of Louis Armstrong

 

Update: And the winners are...

 

Contentment - Me'sha Bryan from the UK!

Armstrong -  Roberto Tani from Italy!

Classic MJ - Gerda from Ukraine!

 

Congratulations to our winners, and thanks again to Walter Land!

 

Walter Land works at a cozy studio across the street from Fair Park, a sprawling, 277-acre fairground that houses Music Hall and the African American Museum of Dallas (along with 13 other top-notch venues and museums). This is where he makes his art -- entirely out of cut paper. 

 

“I use paper the way a painter uses pigment,” Land says. “It’s like painting with paper.” 

 

Papercutting dates back 6th-century China, and Walter's work builds upon this tradition while interpreting it in a fresh, new way. Perhaps the ghost of Louis Armstrong is still lingering around Music Hall, breathing life into Walter's art. He sells his cut art in a Jimdo online store at landcut.info, which is as good-looking and well designed as you would expect from an artist.

 

Wonder if Walter knows that papercutting even has a long Christmas tradition - in the Philippines, for example, where elaborate cut paper is used to decorate parols, star-shaped Christmas lanterns which have graced Philippine homes since 1928.

 

For the Jimdo Holiday Bash, Walter is giving away full-color prints of three of his works of art: Contentment, Armstrong, and Classic MJ.

 

 

If you want to win one of these three prints, here's what you have to do:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - make sure to log into your Jimdo site or check back tomorrow so we can find you if you win!

Here's hoping all our readers have a wonderful Sunday!

 

 

13 Comments

Sat

03

Dec

2011

December 3 -- Organic T-shirts Made in Germany

 

Update: Congratulations to the five winners below, each of whom won a gift certificate from wakabunt:

 

  • From Germany: Puppenspielers
  • From France: courcelles
  • From Italy: noiedipuppets
  • From Spain: www.giroska.com
  • From Japan: Katsumaru-fish


The weekend is here, and to make sure you are dressed for the occasion (whatever it may be), we're giving away five 20 euro vouchers from the hip T-shirt studio wakabunt, located in Cologne, Germany.

 

wakabunt's motto is 'organic, fair & sexy' -- three good reasons to be a part of today's giveaway. Every T-shirt is constructed of fair trade and organically grown cotton, and each design is hand printed onto the shirts. They also offer bags and other accessories - and they ship internationally.

 

 

If you want to take part in the contest, here's what to do:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - make sure to log into your Jimdo site so we know how to find you!

 

Good luck to everyone - and see you tomorrow!

 

 

7 Comments

Fri

02

Dec

2011

December 2 -- From Italy to Singapore and Back

 

Update: Congratulations to Tiffany Chaplin from Tiffany's Housecleaning Shop - the lucky winner of the A2F designer faucet!

 

Congratulations also go out to Vena Jensen Blitsch, who won a handmade panettone from Jupiter 57!

 

How Lucas Cranach saw Adam and Eve

 

For Day 2 of our winter special, we are heading southward to (ever so slightly) warmer climes and the (supposed) birthplace of Christmas. If you're scratching your head in wonder, just think about the colors of Christmas - red and green, and streets lined with white -- Italy, of course.


Legend has it that la festa has its roots in traditions beginning long before Christ's birth, as a one-day celebration to boost Roman morale after losing face on the battlefield. What started as a single day soon expanded into Saturnalia, a veritable orgia stretching from December 17 until the 30th. Slaves were released from punishment, people ate and drank too much, and a good time was had by all. The Romans enjoyed Saturnalia so much that even attempts to shorten it (including one by Caligula) were unsuccessful.


While many things have changed since then, Christmas in Italy is still all about eating, drinking, giving presents, and merrymaking. Some families go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and presents are exchanged either after mass or on the morning of December 25.

 

 

 

 

Christmas meals in Italy are as diverse as the country's cuisine. Lentils are common, as is fish. According to both Monica and Daniel from our Italian team, there is no such thing as a single 'typical' Italian Christmas dinner. Daniel says more fish, Monica says more meat, both say that lots of families have fish and then meat and then move on to the sweets (some things never change!). What both agree on is that would not be in proper Italian style to eat turkey or goose. And no one eats pizza on Christmas (except perhaps the Neapolitans!). Another food to avoid on this holiest of holidays: apples (they are a reminder of Adam and Eve and the fall from paradise)!

 

Everyone agrees that at the center of the Italian culinary Christmas is panettone, Italian Christmas bread. It is tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, and has just the faintest resemblance to a fruitcake (except it's much tastier!).

Italian braised eel with raisins

   

2 lb. cleaned eel with skin

2 tablespoons of raisins

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

Cinnamon

1/2 glass of white wine

5 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves

Tomato paste

Paprika

Salt

 

Cut the eel into 4-inch pieces and soak the raisins for 10 minutes in warm water. Sauté the garlic cloves whole in hot olive oil, then add the eel and bay leaves. Brush the eel with tomato paste and season it with salt, cinnamon and pepper or paprika.

Add white wine and raisins and cover the pot with a lid.

Simmer for 30 minutes; add water if necessary.

 

Serve with polenta.


Thanks to www.jupiter-57.com, we are pleased to give away a traditional Italian panettone to one lucky reader today. What is especially interesting about Jupiter 57 is that they are located in Singapore - run by an exceptional member of the Italian ex-pat community there, Giuseppina Pravato. Thanks to Guiseppina and Jahan at Jupiter 57, the culinary adventurous in Singapore have fallen in love with Italian food - panettone in particular.

 

The panettone we are giving away is a genuine, handmade Borsari panettone, which is made by 25 specially trained confectioners in Verona.


Now that we have gone from Italy to Singapore, it's time we headed back again for our next gift: a stainless steel designer kitchen faucet from A2F. If one winner is lucky enough, he or she could enjoy a panettone to top off Christmas dinner and then do the holiday dishes using this new kitchen faucet.

 

 

 

For the Jimdo Holiday Bash, Jimdo is raffling off an A2F Rampina. Rising in a graceful arch above the sink below, the Rampina was inspired by the victory of Genoese ships against the Pisan flotilla in 1284.

 

All A2F faucets are designed and produced in the picturesque region of Italy between the Orta and Maggiore Lakes, where steel craftsmanship and faucet manufacturing has a long tradition. High-quality design, attention to detail and and excellent price/quality ratio are the hallmarks of A2F.

 

Here's how to win:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - make sure to log into your Jimdo site so we know how to find you!

 

 

Good luck to all our readers -- and a domani (see you tomorrow)!

 

7 Comments

Thu

01

Dec

2011

December 1 -- Warm Wool to Ward Off the Cold

 

Update: Congratulations to John Lowry-King from 2 Talents Video, who won the mitten and bootie set from bfbs.jimdo.com.

 

And congratulations to Angela Buckley from Dublin, OH, who won the 'warm-me-up' set from Anne Uden!

 

 

Welcome to December - and to the 2011 Jimdo Holiday Bash! Hope you have got your sweaters and snow boots ready - at least some of you. It's snowing in the Rocky Mountains and parts of the Midwest - but in San Diego, the sun is shining.

 

In our corner of Northern Europe, the sun is shining and it's cold but there's no snow to be seen - perfect weather for the start of our adventscalender. All over Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, children young and old are waking up with excitement to the start of the Christmas season.

 

An advent calendar is a way of counting off the days until Christmas - and every day, eager fingers open a new picture to reveal a small present.

 

This Holiday Bash is our advent calendar to you. Every day in December, we will raffle off an interesting new prize (or prizes) for all blog readers who leave a comment here or tweet about this page.

 

 

Today we are giving away two sets of presents to help you and your loved ones beat the cold wherever you are. Here's how to win one of these two prizes:

 

  • Comment on this blog post below - make sure to log into your Jimdo site so we know how to find you!

 

 

 

 

First up we have a lovely 'warm-me up' boiled wool set from the Northern German store Anne Uden. Anne is giving away three sets of wool slippers and a hot water bottle cover - bound to keep you toasty warm on those cold winter nights.

 

The 'warm-me up' sets are available in a choice of three colors, and are hand crafted in Europe from all-natural materials.

 

 

 

 

Our next present is perfect for keeping the little ones warm: a set of handmade mittens and baby booties, from Theresa Wilson's store bfbs.jimdo.com. All products in Theresa's online store are custom-made for you when you order. She ships in the United States and internationally.

 

 

 

Thank you to Theresa Wilson and Anne Uden -- and good luck to all our readers!

 

10 Comments

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