March 2024
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Sunday in Germany

by Ken Yeager (ACS)

Sorry that I haven’t been too active on this site lately, but I notice I am not the only one.  More comments that contributions.  No one has anything to say ???

As for me, I still getting over the lazy holidays.  It was pretty quiet here in north Germany, at least where I live.  Since I am married to a former German and pretty much immersed in the local way of doing things, Thanksgiving would have passed by except for a box of StoveTop Stuffing (only one left).  Then it was on to Christmas.  Now let me amend that a bit….the Germans do have a period where roast goose is very popular and I’ve come to really enjoy that.  Since we are only two in our household, we go out for our share of the goose.  The “season” for goose lasts about three weeks and after that, one can only find frozen goose in a supermarket.

Christmas shopping was done early and as is probably normal for most folks our age, clothing was the main thing…new coats for the wife and I being the main gifts although I did get a nice new surprise electric razor.  But I digress.  December arrived and it turned cold and in the middle of the month, Mother Nature dumped about 7 or 8 cm of snow on us.  Enough to break out the snow blower or sweeper.  My neighbor across the street and I share it….I store it in his garage and he uses it to clean off his walkways (which here in Germany, the occupant is responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of one’s house).  I, of course, use it as well if he hasn’t done my driveway before I roll out of bed.  Seems to be a good deal to me.  Then the weather warmed up and we are now experiencing temps in the 40’sF which is far too warm and is confusing the plants and birds.

Christmas tree was bought about 10 days before Christmas.  Mounted it in the stand and brought it inside for Gisela and I to decorate.  Actually, I just help with the lights and she does the rest….that way I keep out of trouble.  Nice tree….one of the soft needle type trees…I prefer that.

Then the arrival of the big day (24th).  German Christmas begins in Christmas Eve (holy night), the lighting of the candles on the tree (yes, real candles) and gifts are opened after dark, which is about 4:30 or 5:00 pm.  Afterwards comes dinner which for us was langoustine with butter or cocktail sauce, baked potatoes and garlic bread with some wonderful Champagne.  Then just relaxing around the house.  Christmas day was a nice quite day with a great lunch of potatoes au gratin, duck breast, apple sauce (homemade of course), gravy and wine.  And more lazing around getting fat.  Day after Christmas is also a holiday in Germany and we went out to a local restaurant for lunch.  And Wednesday, it was all over for another year.  Weather hasn’t improved much, still warm and wet with heavily overcast skies.

One of the great things for those of us who live outside of the US is getting to see and hear things via the internet.  Streaming Radio is wonderful and I have a wireless radio in the kitchen so I listen to NRP every morning for the news.  Just found a site with streaming TV stations around the world so I will be adding that to my viewing pleasure.  Local stations abound on the computer and they are great for checking weather and traffic reports during the summer when planning some road trips on the motorcycle.  And, of course, now with Ebooks, keeping up with newspapers and magazines as well as some good mysteries is so easy and in many cases less expensive than the paper copies.  I bought my Ebook a year ago and love it….and, of course, one can read ebooks and stuff on the computer as well if you have the right “app.”  Ahhh, the modern world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mes Dames and Messieurs, Meine Damen und Herren,  I bid you all a lovely Sunday and a great coming week.

3 comments to Sunday in Germany

  • Suellen Campbell

    I always love reading Ken’s commentary from Germany. He is like a RickcSteves for the Saigon Kids. Thanks, Ken for taking the time to give us an insight into your Christmas in Germany. Homemade applesauce sounds great!
    Here in Houston it was rainy and cool, very uncharacteristic Christmas weather. Usually it is warm and all the “kiddos” both young and old, head outdoors for a game of football, and the younger ones ride new bikes, scooters etc.
    This year everyone (all 22 of us) were indoors and it is a blessing that all the little ones really like each other and played well, and took naps at the appropriate times.
    Santa brought all the correct sizes and items on the lists, even the boots that were a last minute concern. My daughter did not know that her 6 yr. old had asked Santa for boots and even tried to refute that Campbell had asked Santa for them. (She had been with her daughter when they had visited Santa at the mall and eavesdropped on the conversation.) Then it was revealed that Campbell had written a letter to Santa at school and “Mrs. Moses had mailed it Santa.” Yikes…mad dash on Christmas Eve for boots that would fit a 6 yr.old and be under the tree the following morning.
    I am sure all of our parents have stores from by-gone days that are similar to this one.
    Anyhoo, Christmas was a roaring success this year with lots of food, family and laughter. Our daughter and her crew flew in from Boston ,missing the blizzards both ways. My husband had cousins from S.C. in attendance and there were safe travels from Florida, too.
    From pork tamales, usually on Christmas Eve (Texas tradition) to the ham and prime rib for Christmas dinner, all was right with the world this year. We are blessed.
    Now, if we can find time to take down the 9 foot tree with a gazillion ornaments on it sometime before Valentine’s Day..or rather, how about Easter? we will be doing great! Don’t want to put too much pressure on myself!
    Have a great week, all. Thanks for the Saigon Kids, Bob. It is still my favorite!

  • Frank

    Christmas in Germany is so wonderful! My kids (and grand-kids) want our family to go there in about three years. We will first go to Nuremberg to the Christkindlesmarkt and then stay in Garmisch/Partenkirchen. I hope we can make it happen.
    My children are way into the thirties, but if my wife and I did not get them an advent calender, they would be very disappointed. I, personally think, that Germany is the best kept secret of Europe….well, O.K., I really like France also. Ken, Thanks for your updates.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    @ Frank,
    Yes, Christmas in Germany is special, that I have to admit. Strolling thru the markets is a treat, except for the crowds but at least everyone is good natured or well lubricated.

    I too like France and would love to tour on my motorcycle but I guess I am getting too old for that sort of thing. Long trips can be so tiring. Don’t know if you are into mysteries, but I’ve been introduced to a writer named Martin Walker, who does books about a small village near Bordeau and its citizens. He is also a serious writer as well, but the mysteries are very good in my small opinion. Since you like France and its good offerings, you might enjoy these books.
    Regards – Ken

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