Sleigh Bells Ring . . . Are You Still Listening?


I’m having trouble giving up Christmas.  I am a bit tired of the chocolate and the mulled wine, true enough.  Some decorations have been put away–a scattered few that were beginning to irritate me.  But the tree is still up, as is the advent wreath on our table, despite its dessicated state (it will soon go up in flames as I light the candles, or possibly dissapear in a poof of dust at the slightest touch).  It’s time to put these things away . . . in a few more days.

There is a reason for this lingering, beyond the turtle’s pace at which I do any housekeeping chores.  You see, Christmas here was a relatively balmy affair.  We had prayed fervently for snow, offered the Supreme Being our very best behavior in trade for some glorious downy flakes.  But it was an offer He knew we couldn’t make good on to any high standard, and the snow never came.  Nor the cold.

So I held out for snow before I was willing to give up the season.

This is probably my final Christmas in Germany, so I have no qualms bending the calendar to suit my needs.  I need a picturesque German Christmas.

This weekend, it’s here.  Not in copious billows or drifting banks, but we do have swirls of flakes and dusted lawns.  And Christmas tree lights to read by.  It is enough.

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A dusting of snow out the window.

Or almost enough.

If you hear a low rumbling, a curmudgeonly grumbling, tonight–a barely perceptible shaking of the ground underfoot– I suspect it’s my family, annoyed with me as I present a steaming hot Guiness Gingerbread* and pop in a dvd of “Elf.”  By tomorrow, they will all be willing participants in a big Christmas clean up.


*Guiness Gingerbread, aka fantastic stuff:  recipe from Nigella Lawson at


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