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. But I hate the holiday itself.
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 called St. Nikolaus. He came in the night from December 5 to 6. Yes, there were little gifts too. Read more about this tradition here.
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 of the gifts we would get were clothes. They were too small for her too. I could wear them, but most of 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, lace, embellishment and embroidery person. I never liked muted colors or pastels. I loved chains, pearls, tailored, sleek, (faux) fur and leather.
The threads made no sense at all. She couldn’t wear the clothing she had bought for us kids. If the “Christ Child”, i.e. my parents, wouldn’t give the clothes to my siblings and me for Christmas, the clothes would be too small later. Of course, my parents could give the clothing to my younger sister 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?
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 December 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.
My Dad couldn’t stand the second Christmas day
My Dad also didn’t like Christmas. He called it the holiday of the mutual oppression or the holiday of blackmailing. 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.
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 on the 23rd. 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 January 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.
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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