A Visit From The Christkind

It’s about 7 o’clock on the evening of the 26th. Flori, Bob and the kids spent the day skiing and Lisa and I went for a marathon walk through town. We all arrived home at the same time and just had a wonderful dinner of pasta with leftover mushroom sauce from last night.

I had done additional editing on yesterday’s message and realize now that it was lost in the blogger-burp. What a drag.

Back to the Christmas celebration. On the 24th Flori and Bob took the kids sledding to get them out of the house. The Christkind (Christ Child) comes and decorates the tree and leaves the gifts for the kids. It makes the story about the fat guy in the red suit sliding down chimneys sound logical, eh? As soon as everyone was gone, Lisa and I hurried to decorate the tree and put out all the gifts and then got ready for church.

We crammed into the beautiful small community church for the children’s mass at 3:00pm. For the play, the shepards were dressed as Triolers which Bob and I found hilarious. The play was in German but the gist of it was something about no room at the Inn.

After church we headed across the street to a nice local drinking establishment where Flori and Hans and several of the kids were waiting. We sat at the Stammtisch after we were assured that no one would expect to sit there until later. Stammtisch is a German tradition – it’s a table that’s always reserved for locals to hang out and drink. About three minutes later a group of 4 men came in wearing traditional outfits: green felt hats with braiding and ornaments on the left side, green blazers with buttons that look like log slices and sometimes green leaves embroidered on the lapel and then a sort of embroidered looking bib over a white shirt and black ties with silver pins in them. I will point out that they wear this with zero irony or self-consciousness whatsoever. They’d just come from a funeral (and apparently some other bars in between) and they said it was fine for us to sit there. The oldest guy spoke a dialect that I could understand nothing of but it was fun to sit there with them in their traditional clothes and drink after church on Christmas Eve. Two of the guys ordered beers but they said they were cold and it was bad for their stomachs to drink cold beer so the waiter brought them little copper buckets with hot water to warm their beers.

Next we went to the cemetery where a ceremony takes place to honor the dead family members. We put a candle on the family plot and tried to stay warm as by now it was dark and quite chilly. Ugg boots and wool socks are the best – no more cold feet. In the cemetery a brass band plays melancholz xmas songs and people have candles or sometimes even small xmas trees on the graves of their loved ones.

Next we went to Flori’s folks where the kids were climbing the walls in anticipation of the Christkind. We had a fantastic supper of assorted salads and Spanish wine and Parma ham and various other goodies. Then we sat in the family room and read the storz of Christmas and the kids sang songs for us until FINALLY we heard the bell ring annoucing the Christkind had come and left the gifts. You have never seen children move so quickly. The xmas tree was lovelz with real candles and the kids went nuts over their gifts.

And that was Xmas in Bavaria.

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