New Role for Former Chancellor Merkel

Our chancellor Merkel is starting a new life today!

Merkel as a ‘Smoking Figure’

And yes, as of today, she is no longer chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In my home, she now functions as a ‘Räuchermännchen’ (literal: smoking little guy). She arrived in the post this afternoon, so she was right on time for her new role.

It took me a while to figure out where the smoke might come from… the traditional ones have the smoke coming out from the mouth. In her case, it comes out near the bottom of her pants!

These traditional Christmas decorations and incense smokers are handmade in the Ore Mountains (German: Erzgebirge) in the eastern part of Germany.

In case you are interested, visit Seiffener Volkskunst.

Oberursel Christmas Market 2021 is cancelled

Due to the increasing number of new COVID infections, this year’s Christmas Market in Oberursel got cancelled. This was announced yesterday.

At least, I hope the weather forecast is right. We are supposed to get our first snow this Thursday (which would have been the first of the four days of the Christmas Market).

Our last Christmas Market was in 2019, and this where the photo dates from.

Comfort Food beats Consumer Frenzy

I had the unique opportunity to go shopping with my husband in Frankfurt today, but I declined. This is a rare occasion to have a free Saturday afternoon just for me, and I’d rather not spend it in overcrowded trains and stuffy department stores.

I opted to stay at home and make dessert instead. I actually could step back, admire these frosted berries, and smile to myself. That’s what I call being in the spirit of Christmas.

These berries I used for making an Advent Tiramisu. Here is the recipe: https://www.theomaway.com/desserts/advent-tiramisu-recipe-dessert/

Happy Holidays… and don’t forget to visit yourself.

Christmas Time Notes from Germany

Pension-Sprachschule would like to wish you a Merry Christmas from Hessen, the heart of Germany.

This year, it is a four-and-a-half-day holiday including the weekend and 25 +26 December. Monday, 24 December, our Christmas, is the one that is only half a day. Everything closes at 2pm that day (except gas stations, fast food restaurants, etc.)

F R O H E  W E I H N A C H T E N !

F R O H E  F E I E R T A G E !

Seen in Zeilitzheim in Lower Franconia

 

St. Barbara Twigs, a German Christmas Tradition

This year, I was able to get my Barbarazweige right on St. Barbara Day: 4 December.

Our neighbor always lets me cut off a few twigs of the same tree in his garden, and I’ve just learned  it’s actually a copper beech.

Unfortunately, he said the tree was starting to rot, and he had to trim it just before I came over. I like to recycle, so I picked my twigs right from his green waste bin.

The blossoms are doing really well, and they like the warm spot in the kitchen.

Lesson learned: In a warm kitchen, you can bring fallen twigs from almost any deciduous tree to a bloom.

You can learn more about the origin of this tradition on Gardena.

Edit: Some blossomed this very morning on 17 Dec 2018! They are supposed to come into bloom on Christmas.

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