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January 2013 - Nr. 1
Happy New Year from Echo Germanica
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

Sadly for me the holidays are over. I know a lot of people that hate this season for its commercialism, but I always say that it is what we ourselves make it. I have also been asked why I enjoy the Christmas season, and the answer is simple: I start early. In late November I start getting into my Christmas boxes and pick out the first decorations. I start with some more candles, add on an angel or two, then I get out some Father Christmases or Santa Clauses, seasonal teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Each weekend I add on. Eventually the garlands come out, one for the mantel and one for the railing leading upstairs. They too experience a gradual increase in decorations until I am satisfied that they cannot look any more festive.

Decorations around the fireplaceOf course there is a wreath on the door and one on the table, or something similar. Table cloth and runners are also seasonal and there will always be Christmas specials in the sweet department. Who can imagine Advent without Stollen or Lebkuchen?

The Christmas tree is the last thing that goes up and these days it is no longer a fresh one, but a beautifully decorated smaller one that I place strategically, so it can been seen from the living room, outside and the hall. Fresh bows I put everywhere outside in the window boxes and planters together with some “fake” Christmas stars. This year they protected some of my purple mums. Would you believe some are still blooming now in January?

The early start also applies to accumulating presents for those I want to surprise. That goes on all year and I store them in a secret closet.

When you put away the last Christmas decorations for next year think of what you want to put out first and keep it handy. Maybe mark the box, so you know what is in them. Mine are numbered and I know what I get first to start the process about one week before the 1st Advent Sunday.

If you take your time well in advance the whole experience can be quite pleasurable. I do not feel rushed and it is easier on the budget too!

What I want to do now is thank all our friends, supporters, clients and readers. This last year brought a few unexpected changes for us since we lost our friend and partner Dr. Richard Altermann. It has been almost a year to the day I write this and he is still very much on our minds.

The community lost quite a few wonderful members last year, and likely we will lose more this year. But it is like Richard said: “I have done a lot of things in my life and most of them I did right. The rest God will forgive me for!” As long as we can say that we will be all right.

I wish every one of you the very best of health and may good will surround you in this New Year.

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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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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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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