Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Do the Others Celebrate?

Not 24 hours before I am writing this letter, Bobby and I returned home from a trip to Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Bavarian Germany. To see how the populations of those areas celebrate winter and the Christmas season as compared to what we do here is a study in contrasts. First, winter is just winter. It is darker earlier and longer. It is cold. It is one of the seasons that they live through. There are down-filled coats and buntings for the babies; there are hats of all descriptions especially with ear covers; there are gloves and mittens; and there are boots to keep out the cold snow and water. Then you just operate as usual. The strollers for the babies are equipped with sleeping-bag-like covers for the babies who are suited up mittens and all so that only the eyes and nose are visible under layers of blankets. The entire family is out-sometimes all six or seven members-in the dark at the Christmas Market shopping, eating and being neighborly with friends. Food is in abundance---cooked in full view on grills and wood-fired stoves and in woks too big to get onto one of our stoves. There are sausages of all varieties and BIG; sauerkraut; potatoes; and breads and pretzels you wouldn't believe! Hot mulled wine seems to be the drink of choice after beer in the markets. And to my surprise, the cups are ceramic, not Styrofoam. There are those whose job it is to collect and clean the cups and wheel them back to the stalls to be used again. How's that for being "green"? Family, from the youngest to the oldest, seems to be a theme in these cold countries.

Christmas is a religious holiday and the churches are central in this celebration. Then the theme of the nativity is carried out into the community. In Passau, Germany, there are 29 crèches or nativity scenes on public display in the city with a map of where you can find them. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated separately from the Christian celebration of the nativity in many places. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who delivered treats to the children; so, that is not totally an a-religious event. It was an impression that the religious event is far more emphatic than we hear in this country. I suppose that can be a personal choice for us who have the freedom to choose our traditional celebrations as we wish. This is not to say that persons in those countries can't choose how they celebrate. It is, to this tourist, a more general public dedication to the religion than I observe in the USA. Do you suppose that those who at some point in their history almost lost their religious freedom are more likely to punctuate it? I am grateful for where I am!

H&C Feature of the Week: 25% off One Item of your Choice
At Heirlooms & Comforts this week we will feature a 25% discount on one item that you choose that is not already reduced in price, nor a machine or cabinet, nor an embroidery software suite. Now is the time to send your Santa in to purchase that larger ticket item that you have wished for. Let him know that machines and software are often priced specially and carry special financing through GEMoney and Home Design Card of 36 to 48 months not interest. Special terms of purchase apply to these financing options and we can explain those when you are in the shop - worth listening to! Special financing ends Dec. 31, 2010.

  • Visit the Heritage Museum House in Central on Church St. where the Second Graders decorated two trees.
  • Visit the shop on Madden Bridge Rd to see how festive we can be!
  • Look for the new Winter Class Schedule coming soon on
  • Look for special deals coming with Winter Class sign-ups.

No comments:

Post a Comment