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 December 2009 - Nr. 12

Merry Christmas and the best of Seasons from Echo Germanica

The edior: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Dear reader

I waited as long as possible to write this editorial to you, because I wanted to report some snow. Unfortunately this has not happened yet and I had to find other ways, just like you, to get into a Christmas mood. Snow always helps, as Consul General Mrs. Sparwasser pointed out at the opening of the Christkindl Market in Kitchener, in fact, snow is essential to make the experience perfect. Every retailer knows from experience that the seasonal business is better when snow is on the ground. It is difficult to think of Christmas when the geraniums in the containers are still in full bloom and competing with pansies.

On the one hand it gives me great pleasure to wrest a bit of summer from the colder season, which is too long by far. But cheating winter into believing that it cannot come is denying nature its true purpose.

So how can we get into the mood?

For some people it is the time they spend shopping in the festively decorated malls that does the trick, something I do not do, shopping for Christmas gifts that is. I do that throughout the year whenever I see something nice and suitable for one of my friends. I hardly ever go just Christmas shopping other than for food. And this year I lost my entire gift shopping budget in one fell swoop out of my wallet, while picking up some roasted chicken. Now I really was required to look at what I have in stock, because I belong to those old fashioned people that do not go over budget to please other people. Well, it turns out that I was a good shopper overall this last year and have nice surprises for all my family, friends and acquaintances.

I really got into the mood when I visited the Christmas markets, and yes, I did pick up a few extras, can you blame me? The best part was receiving some home baked cookies from Katie Schwemlein. Gosh, those Danube Swabian women can bake! Some of that was to be had at the "Kaffee Stube" at the club during the Christmas Market. The sights and sounds and smells of such a market simply supply the sensory perceptions with so much pleasure, I cannot help but get into the mood.

Of course, a bit of Christmas music does not hurt. In the car we are playing some very old Christmas tapes that my father left me 26 years ago. At home my favorite classical channel plays seasonal sounds that I enjoy tremendously. Then there are a few CDs I favor and the list goes on with concerts to be visited, like Via Salzburg’s seasonal offering on the 17th and 18th of December in the Glenn Gould Studio. I can hardly wait to go and see what surprise is in store for us. Check out the website for more info: Mayumi Seiler and her merry band of guests and players will astound us once again.

My house is decorated with all sorts of trinkets and lights, and I add every week some more, until most of my supplies are used and the house looks like a Christmas store. Thus the mood heightens with each day and I am looking forward to cooking my Christmas goose, welcome friends to my house and share what is best of the season with them.

I hope you have a very wonderful Christmas! And by the way, I have noticed that it is very fashionable to say that this year! Political correctness took a vacation this year!

All the best to you and yours!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

P.S.: Don’t forget the "Salute to Vienna" at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, January 1st, 2010.
Check out for other locations.

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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