First, Katrina got sick. Then, a few days later, Jon. A week passed, during which I felt a little ooky off and on. I thought I had dodged the worst of it. Nope. Tuesday night and Wednesday were, um, bad. Jon took off work on Wednesday to take care of Katrina (and did a great job). Thursday, Jon and Katrina drove to the airport to pick up his parents while I cleaned the house as best I could while moving at approximately half-speed. Yesterday we visited the Christmas market in Saarbruecken (relatively small, but nice). Today is last-minute errand day and wrapping presents day. Christmas Eve service tonight. I'm still feeling a bit more tired than usual, which fits right in with Jon and Char's jet lag.
Anyway, with all the sickness and the usual busyness, we did not get Christmas cards out. But, hey, I still have plenty of Christmas cheer to share...or at least random thoughts to amuse and delight you.
- The most popular Christmas house decoration: the hanging Santa. Yes, on at least one house per block, you can find a Santa clinging to a rope ladder that hangs from a window or balcony. The first one I saw adorned the side of a building that also houses a gravestone-carving business. It was rather...odd. Big granite gravestones in the front yard, and a stuffed Santa hanging out of an upstairs window. When I mentioned it to a friend who's been in Germany a while, she said, "Yep, the Germans love their hanging Santas. By Christmas, you'll see them on nearly every house." She was right.
- Katrina finds beauty in the simplest things. We made peanut-butter balls for her class snack. The first step is to mix peanut butter and honey together. As I'm stirring it, thinking how hard it is to stir, Katrina says in an awed tone, "It's soo bootiful." As I looked at the swirls of honey reflecting the light, I had to agree.
- A new version of "Santa, Baby" is in heavy rotation on German radio (in English). You know, "Santa, baby, hurry down the chimney tonight." When Katrina heard it, she said, "Papa, why are they throwing babies down the chimney?" Now she giggles and says "babies down the chimney!" because it makes us laugh.
'Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the room,
The radio was playing a favorite German tune.
Right after a Christmas carol, we heard it yet again.
Yes, at least once a day, "It's Raining Men!"