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 December 2008 - Nr. 12

Merry Christmas and the best of Seasons from Echo Germanica

The edior: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Dear Reader

It has been a long 5 weeks since I have written to you and a lot has happened, much more than we could possibly fit into this issue. But I will find a way to at least put the most important events in our Christmas issue and the rest can go onto the internet, where you will always find many additional articles on the website you are on right now.

There is the story of the Gentleman from Moscow, who inquired about his father’s grave in Kitchener. I think you will be fascinated by the connection and at the same time understand why the work of the Remembrance Society is so important.

There were many concerts and many advent events and we went to most of them, never getting tired of the sound of music and the sounds and smells of Christmas. These are the activities that put me in the mood to decorate the house, shop for presents, even though I do this all year round, and wrap them up and hide them, like we used to do when I was little. The atmosphere of secrecy gave us special pleasure, and still does.

Receiving the first seasonal card in the mail is also very special and waiting for a packet from overseas is especially wonderful. Of course we do not open it until Christmas Eve, along with the other small surprises waiting for us under the tree. We are not big into giving expensive gifts. Christmas has never been very commercial in our house. We buy what we need when we need it, thus Christmas is about ingenuity and imagination, about appreciation and anticipation, about good food and drink with good friends. Unfortunately we have no family other than the one we chose to be close to.

This brings me to the planning of the Christmas dinner. Traditionally we have a goose in our house, but when I invite a half a dozen people to it then a goose just is not enough. The last one I had cost $65.00 and there certainly was not enough meat on it to satisfy us and there was no fat on it to make goose lard out of, which was an even bigger disappointment. I like nothing better than permeating the house with the smell of goose fat, onions, marjoram and apples, all cooked together until they make a homogenous spread that will enhance any dish in month to come, or can also be eaten as a spread on fresh bread. We decided to do what we did at Thanksgiving and opt for a turkey with all the trimmings. Besides, if I cook it like I cook my goose, rubbed with salt and pepper and marjoram, stuffed with apples, oranges, apricots and plums; it almost tastes similar, but has a lot more meat to make everyone happy.

I hope you will have an opportunity to be with friends and family and enjoy what the season has to offer. We at Echo Germanica wish all of our readers, clients and friends and correspondents, wherever they might be, a very merry Christmas. Our contributors like David McKague, Marianne Schmidt and Herwig Wandschneider, Paul Bernhard Berghorn, Lucille De Saint Andre, Eberhard Kurt Walter and Dick Altermann also wish to send you greetings for the season and we thank them for their contributions to our publication. The wishes also extend to getting a good start into the new year. We will have another issue a week into 2009 and pass on more good wishes for all of us then. We certainly can use a bit of good news and we will always try to bring you those.

Surely we still will see some of you at the Maennerchor Harfentoene concert or the Via Salzburg concert.

Merry Christmas!

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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