As I write this on October 20th, all I can do is sit and shake my head. Halloween is still more than a week away and yet, there they are…Christmas decorations in at least two retail stores. Plus, the first Christmas displays were going up on October 7th. I may be a curmudgeon but it just doesn’t seem right for inflatable witches and Frankensteins to be present at The Nativity! Please don’t misunderstand…I love both holidays but I like my Halloween spirit to have its own space. Then, in the natural course of things, Thanksgiving sets the stage for an official kickoff of Christmas. Oh well…that’s just my 50 year-old mind trying to reconcile with the way life truly is…ever-changing. So, I step back, gain some perspective, and remind myself that the important thing is to truly appreciate each and every day that I’m given with my family and friends.
I have suggested this in my editorial for past holiday issues and it seems fitting to revisit it this year. If you are a parent or grandparent, capture your memories for your children, grandchildren, and those who will follow in your footsteps. Your heritage and life experiences are unique to you and have been a huge part of shaping the person you are today. Although they may not truly appreciate your effort now, your descendants will one day be grateful for the time you spent labeling those family photographs, recording your memories in your journal, or securing your life experiences (in your own words and voice) on video. My mind can conjure up images of my grandparents and vague recollections of their voices, their smiles, and their stories. It would do my heart good to break out a DVD and hear some select moments again…their voices reminding me of where I came from and who I am at my core. Do it for your family…it’s a gift that is truly from the heart.
Now to our Christmas edition of German Life! Take a deep breath…do you smell that? Cinnamon, nutmeg, roasting chestnuts…they are the tell-tale signs of the German tradition of Christkindlmarkt and we have three different perspectives on the glorious event in this issue. First, Don Heimburger takes to the water for a tour of Christkindlmärkte along the Danube (page 34). Jackie Guigui-Stolberg is up next with the unique island Christkindlmarkt of Fraueninsel (page 12). Finally we swing over to England where Barbara Radcliffe Rogers visits the Lincoln’s German Christkindlmarkt (page 26), a long-standing event that evolved from a sister city relationship. Other holiday items in this issue include Marilyn Heimburger’s look at the collectible side of Glühwein mugs (page 18) while Anna Cramer captures visions of Advent (page 22). All of that and more are just a turn of the page away!
From our family at German Life magazine to yours…we wish you and yours a safe, and joyous Christmas and a New Year filled with good health and prosperity!