Ho, ho, ho, I love Christmas spirit and I am not going to hide it. I don´t encourage over-shopping and going crazy just because December is close, but I do love a good Christmas decoration.
I love how Christmas spirit is alive and kicking all year round in special shops around Germany and Switzerland (speaking from what I saw, I am sure that this happens in other places also) and beautiful decorations are carefully crafted and displayed. Yes, I know that this is not very friendly with the environment, but I am not claiming I am perfect and I am hoping that at least the “traditional” ones are a better option, because I gave up plastic straws but I am not giving up on Christmas just yet. And now, this all-year-round Christmas magic arrived in Barcelona. Yuhuu!
Back to the point, my To do List for December in Barcelona got a major upgrade when this door to paradise opened 2 weeks ago:
My pictures are not great, but I just had to take some. This is the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop in Barcelona, located on a street (Carrer dels Banys Nous, 15) where there still are some traditional shops, so it fits quite well. The building itself belonged to a very well-known “cesteria” (basketry, if that is a real world).
This is, apparently, the biggest Christmas-themed shop in Spain. The history of the brand is interesting. The shop runs in the family for 2 generations already and it all began with a Christmas box: founding couple Käthe and Wilhelm wanted to buy a gift for some American friends based in Stuttgart and they needed a Christmas music box, but this was outside Christmas time so they were able to find Christmas music boxes only from a wholesaler, so they bought 10 of them.
They gave one to their friends (see how friendship leads to great ideas 🙂 ) and Wilhelm then went home to home to sell the other 9. This type of selling was not allowed, so he was taken into custody by a military policeman, who failed in bringing justice to the world because he also loved the music box and then it all rolled out from there: the wives of the military policemen started small “bazaars”, then Christmas cottages appeared, they moved to the fairytale Rothenburg ob der Tauber, they developed more and more, opened a Christmas village and so on.
The main idea was always that they wanted to offer Christmas joy even outside Christmas time. You can find more details about the history of the brand here. I like it because it shows that there is no such thing as dreaming too big! 🙂
This Christmas Express quickly became a symbol of the company:
I am very curious to see how the shop will develop here, because Christmas tradition is a bit different and peculiar. We´ll just have to wait and see, but I have the feeling that people will opt more to visit the shop like a museum, not to actually buy stuff (locals I mean).
What can I say about this lovely place? It is beautifully overwhelming. You can find anything, from classical decorations to music boxes to animal-shaped pieces of art, to small treasures, to bigger treasures, clocks, all sorts of colors, shapes, fabrics. It is truly a celebration for the Christmas souls out there. The decoration is flawless, there is music, the staff is dressed for the occasion, it is really really really nice.
Prices are moderately-high, high and very high, but generally it is affordable (if you buy little and smart – I had to buy a little cute silver owl, 9.95 eur and a chubby funny snowman, 8.95 eur). I have to say that contrary to the general company culture of staff being very nice with the customers, I was very disappointed by the lack of smiles among them; they seemed forced to work there and not in a very cheerful spirit. Maybe it is just the beginning weighing on them, but I do hope that in the future they´ll try to help a little bit more. Must be hard for them to work in such a festive place, truth be told. And it was very crowded, but being nice is not so difficult.
Now, get ready for some photo spam. I am not a photographer and it was crowded, just imagine that the place is 1000 times better than it looks and add some Christmas music:
They also have an online shop and they deliver around the world, but I think the real experience is entering the Magical Universe of a real shop. If there isn´t any close to your home, check this beauty, read it cuddled on the sofa listening to carols and drinking some hot chocolate, it will be as good as it gets.
Sorry if you think it is too early for this type of content, but I was in deep need of some special vibes and a bit of magic, so I am hopeful it will work for you too. I´ve written this now although I am tired as some main Christmas elf on the 24th of December, but I thought it would help me. And it did (Will check for typos tomorrow, though! 🙂 ).
Be good and Ho, ho, ho! 🙂