Odd Traditions

I don’t quite know why, and I’ve never bothered to research it, but the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the days that the local musicians go playing around the streets, marching from house to house, to collect money and (it is said) that at each house they stop at (or more so, the houses whose doors get opened), a round of schnaps is spent for the band.

In addition to the usual quiet, afternoons I’ve been hearing them go up an down the street. Sorry for the bad video quality, it was just before dusk.

As for here and now, the cloth napkins have been ironed and the table silver has been polished. It’s time to decorate and get everything ready for our traditional New Year’s Eve fondue.

Happy New Year, everyone (except DJT).

Oh, the lovely quiet

The Christmas holidays are longer in Germany than in the US. We have holidays on the afternoon of the 24th, and the 25th and 26th of December. A week later, on the second half of New Year’s eve everything is closed and people get ready for the New Year’s Celebrations which are traditionally celebrated with fireworks at midnight which most people set off in their yards.

I always feel sorry for the birds and other wildlife who are rudely awakened by the ruckus.

Bavarians have an additional holiday, Three King’s Day, which is observed on January 6. The time between the start of the holiday season and the end of it is referred to by Germans as “zwischen den Jahren” which translates to “between the years”. Many companies shut down in this time and those that don’t usually just have a skeleton crew on site.

So, it’s been quiet. No rush hour traffic in the morning to wake me, no trucks rumbling up and down the street making the house shake. Little mail, almost no telephones ringing.

Blissfully quiet. It’s what I love about these days between the years.

Merry Christmas

Update. Christmas Lunch (Duck, dumplings and red cabbage with a choice of french red or spanish rose wine).

It’s unseasonably warm here, thus no snow. I don’t miss it though.

I’m streaming the Swinging Christmas channel to the stereo, there is a duck roasting in the oven and am just going to enjoy a fine meal and a wonderful Christmas Eve (which is the big day this side of the pond).

A very Merry Christmas to all.

What I wish the most? Peace on earth and good will to men.

Christmas Critters
Santa’s sleigh, a present from Mom years ago.
My Christmas Plate (Bunter Teller) and some lovely Christmas cards.

Have a wonderful time everyone. And be kind to each other.

Just in Time

I finished the sweater yesterday, right down to the wire, with about 8 yards of yarn left over <eeeek> despite the fact that I always order one or two more skeins than indicated on the pattern.

Nevertheless, it’s finished and my father is delighted.

“Finnley” by Drops Design

The original pattern can be found here.

I’ve still got some yarn stashed for the third alpaca sweater, but I’m taking a holiday break from knitting. It’s time to get the house into shape for the holidays and then I’m going to do some serious gaming 🙂

But only after I’ve installed the new kitchen sink for which I got at a decent discount at a last-minute holiday deal.

Christmas Stuff

…has been keeping me busy. Finally, I’ve written a few cards, mailed a few packages and even baked a few cookies due to a special request.

Also keeping me busy is my current WIP which I desperately hope to finish before Christmas: (the body is finished, the sleeves are on the needles)


Happy Nikolaus

Today is St. Nikolaus Day and all german children will be placing their boots outside of their doors and waiting for Nikolaus to come just after nightfall and leave behind treats and candy in their boots. Though if the children have misbehaved, he will (at least in this part of the country) bring Krampus with him to punish them. Here is Wikipedia’s description of that wonderfully scary figure that I too feared as a child:

“In Austro-Bavarian Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Regions in Austria feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe.”

Not Getting Away With It

The lack of Christmas decorations that is. I announced my plans to the folks and my father said that he at least wanted me to get out the “Christmas critters”. (I’ll expound more on what those are in the course of the month).

Either way, if I’m going to get the critters out of the basement, I might as well haul up the rest.

But not before it’s officially December.