Thursday, December 07, 2006

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas is still roughly three weeks away but the festivities have already begun. In the town centre an open air market has been set up where you can buy all kinds of goodies, chocolates, spiced wines, toys for children and so on. And typical Christmas candies are consumed here by the ton.

In most English speaking countries as far as I know, Santa Claus appears on Christmas Eve whereas in Germany, Santa (known as Nikolaus) comes ho-ho-ing on December 5th or 6th. Yesterday we had planned to have him visit Felix but the individuals who usually play Nikolaus, that is either Thomas or Ariela's mother, couldn't make it. Thomas is still working in his studio in Munich and A's mother lives too far to come at short notice. So A thought she would ask her friend Martin if he would play Nikolaus but Martin was busy reading "Dostoievsky" and said he couldn't.

Finally we decided Lulu should be "it." At first she was reluctant, thinking that Felix would probably recognise her straight away but A and I persuaded her to do it. After an early dinner last night she informed us, including Feli, that she was "going to visit her friend Hannah." A. went up too, to help her get into her costume and I was left downstairs to entertain Felix.
In about half an hour A came down again and said Nikolaus was in the vicinity and would soon be with us. She switched off all the lights and lit many candles to welcome him.

Lulu made a great Santa. She had the usual red robes, a wig of white hair, flowing white beard and was well padded with cushions all over. She looked like a big ball and I really had a hard time controlling my laughter.
We sang "Jingle Bells" for Santa after which he dug into his huge sack and gave Felix two presents and a scarlet stocking with some chocolates in it. Feli was most concerned about the fact that Santa had not brought any gifts for me but A said that it was okay, he could bless us instead, which he did, laying his hand on our heads like the pope. When Lulu "returned from Hannah's" about twenty minutes later Felix excitedly related all that had happened after which the kids were packed off to bed and A and I sat up chatting till midnight.

No comments: