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December 2013 - Nr. 12
Merry Christmas and the best of Seasons from Echo Germanica
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

While I did not feel very much like Christmas early in the season because knowing that we will be spending the holidays alone, I soon had a change of heart. Not only could I remind myself of the reason for the season, as I even named one of my poems, but we attended already many seasonal festivities that warmed my heart and made me glad. Furthermore I heard a quote that reinforced my believe that academic education - while important, is worth little if there is not also an education of the heart. Mother Theresa is to have said that no act of kindness is too small. My sentiments exactly. Without compassion for ones fellow man and creatures we are not really equipped to experience life to its fullest.

Spreading the Christmas spirit at Christkindl Market KitchenerChristmas is one of those occasions when showing compassion is part of our traditions. Charity is at a high point and friendships and family play a big part in our lives.

It truly is not about the gifts. That might be important to children, especially nowadays; but caring and showing appreciation and gratitude is very important.

There are many ways to do wonderful things for others. Instead of having a big Christmas dinner in my house, we will be alone, but still caring for those that cannot come to us. I will be giving away some of the surplus in my house, that I am always surprised to see accumulated over the years. I’ll be cooking dinner for a very ill friend and her husband. And I will be happy to reflect quietly in my festively decorated living room, with my husband and our four cats inside and the varied menagerie outside.

There is much to reflect on this year. The world changed again and not really for the better. It has not become a safer place except for the havens we created for ourselves with family, friends and in the community. We cannot look to our politicians for satisfying acts or explanations. As many of them do not longer set a good example or make good decisions in our names. Or was it never different? Did we simply not notice as much before; or have we become more cynical?

Family togethernessIt is good that we can escape into our traditions and look to them for stability. The practice of our culture, the familiarity with customs and the actions accompanying them is of great value and comfort at any time, but especially at this time of year.

I wish all of us a wonderful Christmas filled with joy.

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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