It has been a long 5 weeks since I have written to you and a lot
has happened, much more than we could possibly fit into this
issue. But I will find a way to at least put the most important
events in our Christmas issue and the rest can go onto the
internet, where you will always find many additional articles on
the website you are on right now.
There is the story of the Gentleman from Moscow, who inquired
about his father’s grave in Kitchener. I think you will be
fascinated by the connection and at the same time understand why
the work of the Remembrance Society is so important.
There were many concerts and many advent events and we went to
most of them, never getting tired of the sound of music and the
sounds and smells of Christmas. These are the activities that
put me in the mood to decorate the house, shop for presents,
even though I do this all year round, and wrap them up and hide
them, like we used to do when I was little. The atmosphere of
secrecy gave us special pleasure, and still does.
Receiving the first seasonal card in the mail is also very
special and waiting for a packet from overseas is especially
wonderful. Of course we do not open it until Christmas Eve,
along with the other small surprises waiting for us under the
tree. We are not big into giving expensive gifts. Christmas has
never been very commercial in our house. We buy what we need
when we need it, thus Christmas is about ingenuity and
imagination, about appreciation and anticipation, about good
food and drink with good friends. Unfortunately we have no
family other than the one we chose to be close to.
This brings me to the planning of the Christmas dinner.
Traditionally we have a goose in our house, but when I invite a
half a dozen people to it then a goose just is not enough. The
last one I had cost $65.00 and there certainly was not enough
meat on it to satisfy us and there was no fat on it to make
goose lard out of, which was an even bigger disappointment. I
like nothing better than permeating the house with the smell of
goose fat, onions, marjoram and apples, all cooked together
until they make a homogenous spread that will enhance any dish
in month to come, or can also be eaten as a spread on fresh
bread. We decided to do what we did at Thanksgiving and opt for
a turkey with all the trimmings. Besides, if I cook it like I
cook my goose, rubbed with salt and pepper and marjoram, stuffed
with apples, oranges, apricots and plums; it almost tastes
similar, but has a lot more meat to make everyone happy.
I hope you will have an opportunity to be with friends and
family and enjoy what the season has to offer. We at Echo
Germanica wish all of our readers, clients and friends and
correspondents, wherever they might be, a very merry Christmas.
Our contributors like David McKague, Marianne Schmidt and Herwig
Wandschneider, Paul Bernhard Berghorn, Lucille De Saint Andre,
Eberhard Kurt Walter and Dick Altermann also wish to send you
greetings for the season and we thank them for their
contributions to our publication. The wishes also extend to
getting a good start into the new year. We will have another
issue a week into 2009 and pass on more good wishes for all of
us then. We certainly can use a bit of good news and we will
always try to bring you those.
Surely we still will see some of you at the Maennerchor
Harfentoene concert or the Via Salzburg concert.