Twinkle lights make the season romantic
When I was a child, teenager and later as a twenty something I never liked Christmas time. To be precise, as a child I loved when we drove to Essen or another city of the Rhein-Ruhr area to walk thru the street malls with their wonderful festive light decoration. I love twinkle lights.
Who buys that story after age of 5?
What I didn’t like was that starting in early November we kids were told that if we wouldn’t “behave” or “help” with this and that we wouldn’t get anything from the Christ Child. In Germany, there wasn’t a Santa Claus yet in the late 60s and 70s. Santa Claus was December 6. Yes, there were little gifts too.
Who could use non-gifted gifts?
As a kid I found that this oppression obnoxious. I had seen the mailman bring the packages; I had secretly observed my mom when she unpacked it and seen where she had stored the items. Yes, I even looked at them when she wasn’t around. Why the threads? For just a toy? She couldn’t use it! The rest were clothes. I could use them, but most the time, I wasn’t keen of them. My mom bought what she liked, which was absolutely not my style. Principle? Just to be opposed? No. I never was a ruffle and embroidery person. I loved chains, pearls, tailored, sleek.
I hated the Grinch-like threads
The threads made no sense at all. She couldn’t wear the clothing and when the “Christ Child”, i.e. my parents wouldn’t give them to me for Christmas, they would be too small later. Of course, they could give them to my younger is two months later for her birthday. But since the clothes were the same just in a different color doing so made not much sense. Thus, where was the point.
Oppressed so hard he couldn’t stand the second Christmas day
My Dad also didn’t like Christmas. He called it the holiday of the mutual oppression. For him it wasn’t the Christmas time, but the second Christmas day (in Germany they celebrate two days the 25th and 26th). The latter was the day when we either visited or were visited by our grandparents. Somehow the day always ended in a verbal fight of my grandpa and Dad about who knows what. I have no idea what the fights were about.
Escape in getting sick?
As a teenager I got sick every year on the 23rd of December. This day was the birthday of my late Mom. She typically had her best female friends and their husbands over for coffee (this means eating cake around 4pm) and dinner. As kids my sis and I had to sit there with them at the table, but not participate in the conservation unless someone started to talk to us. Of course, the same was expected from us as teenagers. So boring.
Midlife sounded terrible
I hated listening to their chitchat. It sounded to me like they were all trying to overbid each other in what they still have to do on Christmas Eve, how terrible the food was last year at their XYZ’s (add sister-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister, brother, parents, etc.) Christmas family reunion, how great their son’s girlfriend is or – even better – how he so would deserve a better girl, and on and on and on. Their lifes seemed to be just problems or about others. Where did they live?
The men would talk soccer (my favorite), their work, women, what project they are working on in the house/yard or politics, got into an argument because of different opinions, have a beer and have fun.
The worst of all: The Silesia potato salad for dinner.
As a teenager, every year on the 23rd of Deecember after lunch, I wasn’t feeling well. My stomach always got upset and wanted to get rid of the food in the wrong direction. Thus, I had a great excuse not to stay in the living room.
What the Grinch hated the most
My absolute nightmare was when the 4th of Advent was on the 22nd. It meant stew on Saturday because it was Saturday And, yes that was my Dad’s favorite food except meat. Pot roast with potatoes, Brussels sprouts on Sunday, cake in the afternoon. Hey, it was Sunday! Then the birthday food. Turkey and cookies on Christmas Eve. Beef broath soup, sour roast, potatoes, beans, ice cream for lunch, cake and cookies in the later afternoon on the 25th. Another variation of beef broath, geese with potatoes, red cabbage and semolina pudding with raspberry sirup for lunch and cookies and cake in the late afternoon on the 26th at my grandparents or my parents house. The leftovers from all these feasts on the 27th of course with potatoes. Saturday stew, Sunday pot roast as above. Monday leftovers. New Year’s Eve finger food, cookies, cake, and meat balls with rasins and mushrooms in them. New Year’s grilled meat, potatoes and veggies, cake and cookies. On the 2nd and 3rd leftovers from the two days before. Stew, pot roast. On Monday, leftovers. Yuck. Where were the green leaves?
My stomach didn’t get better before the onset of school. The perspective of food without sugar, meat, potatoes and lots of greasy sauce helped.
Am I a Grinch just because I hated the heavy German holiday food?
Today I wore my new snake print skirt. Animal prints are perenial classics, thus worth an investment. Moreover they work like a neutral and go with a lot of things. Since it finally feels a lot more like winter, I styled the skirt with a cardigan worn as top and a longer one. The combination was inspired by the colors of the snake print. The skirt would also look great with gray, winter white beside brown or burgundy.
P.S. Like this outfit? Then pin it to your own Pinterest board so your friends and family can see it too.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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