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January 2011 - Nr. 1
Happy New Year from Echo Germanica
As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief


Dear Reader

While you are still ringing in the New Year we are sitting at our computers and are composing our New Year’s greetings for you. This is not meant to sound like a complaint, quite the contrary, I enjoy sitting here and reflecting on the past year, the past season. Especially Christmas and New Year celebrations have a special magic, I find. I always wish I could be in many different places at once, but that is unfortunately not possible.

Some of us could not make it at all to our community events. They ended up in bed with cold and flu symptoms. Our house too was invaded by these unwelcome guests, yet somehow we managed to overcome the challenge without too much trouble and enjoyed everything that I could create in the spirit of the season and whatever else came our way.

Christmas dinner was again a traditional goose, the way my grandma taught me, added with a few touches of my own. It was not easy finding a goose this year. In the past many different stores still had geese, this year I searched in many locations and came up empty. I always shop around for price comparison and it also interests me who has what to offer. The food channel and all the chefs really talked a lot about geese for Christmas and I thought for sure that I would find a good fat goose, so I can make goose lard, may be from Poland like we used to get, but even polish stores had no geese. Of course, Brandt Meats came to the rescue. I found a nice big one that tasted fabulous and even rendered some fat. I could feed 7 people and had leftovers for a great ragout later.

This year I had especially fun decorating the house. Beside traditional items such as a Christmas tree with lights, this time outside, a garland of evergreens on the mantle and suitable figurines and angels I always have to have lots of flowering pots on the windowsill and every other place where I can put something blooming. The windowsill was filled with Cyclamens and Poinsettias. On the mantle and in the hall I have beautiful orchids that will last me a few months.

Along the wall of the staircase I always put the Christmas cards. This year there were fewer than usual. Sadly this is a custom that is slowly going by the wayside. Instead the amounts of email messages are growing in leaps and bounds. And while I enjoy receiving those, I must say, a card gladdens me much more. I want to thank all those that did remember us one way or the other and especially those that put a little something extra in appreciation of our efforts in the envelope!

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers from Holger Raasch, Jackie and familyThere is one mail I especially appreciate. It came from Holger Raasch, our previous German Consul General in Toronto who now lives in Germany. He still expresses “Heimweh” for Canada, something we do understand well. He and his family wished us and the readers of Echo Germanica all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

I doubt that I will take down the decorations early. I never do. Firstly I think it looks lovely, secondly there are a few friends that want to come over a bit later in the month to celebrate because they were away over the holidays, and thirdly, it is too cold to remove everything outside anyway. I shall drag it out as long as possible. So if you are in the neighborhood come by. I still have lots and lots of Christmas goodies for a leisurely coffee hour.

For the New Year I can promise you a few new directions and stories that we hope you enjoy. And of course we wish all of us the fulfillment of our dreams and aspirations, may they be small or big. Good health is probably on the top of most of our lists. Happiness largely depends on healthiness.

May the world become a better place!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister





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