Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Signs of the Season

Today Sabine asked me why we say "season's greetings." You must understand that here they only have Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. What is it that we have at home? Football season, Baseball season, Basketball season, and the off-season? And then there's the holiday season. Starting sometime around Halloween and lasting until the advertisements for credit card holiday debt reduction ads finally go off the air around February. So in our twelve month year we have five seasons, four of which last three months with the fifth lasting almost five months.
This weekend marks the beginning of the Weihnachten Markt (Christmas market) here in Oldenburg. Apparently it's not just a weekend thing: the booths stay up and open throughout the week. The seasonal delectables are also appearing in full force. There are roasted almonds, hot spiced wine, gingerbread by the loaf, cookies, and of course the mandatory chocolate Santas. Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are, if possible, even more present in my daily routine. Oh, and the biggest thing is that yesterday it snowed here. That's right: snowed. Granted, it didn't stick because the thermometer was barely tickling the zero mark, but I witnessed with my own eyes flakes coming down from the sky. It has been a very long time since I have seen snow in November, and I only hope this means that there will be a fair amount of snow, because the stuff just delights me. As long as I am not attempting to drive over it on my way through a mountain pass, or spend the night on the street, snow is a-okay with me. So here comes Christmas whether I am prepared or not (so far, I am not even remotely), and with it all the joys and headaches of the peak of the fifth season.


Teal said...

yay snow!

I was going to ask if it had started yet, and you wonderfully answered my question before I could.


twig said...

Oh my gosh. That is so cool!

Happy Season!

Yoshi said...

I miss snow, oh, and you too

Mm said...

Christmas...and childhood memories. We are in Philadelphia on business right now but came a day early and met up with the Culvers... a fun, fun day. After a beautiful tour of the city we dipped into Macy's. This is the Macy's of my Christmas Childhood when my grandma would take me to San Fransisco for the holiday decorations and charm. You must set aside the Macy'ses that you have known... not the shopping mall Macy's, the REAL Macy's... the type which inspired Miracle on 34th Street. The Macy's with the third floor devoted to a walk through village depicting scenes from A Christmas Carol and summaries of the potent points made about values, and priorities, and the fragility of life. It was quite touching. This is the type of Macy's in which you walk to the center of the store and look up and up and up past balconies from the next 5 floors which open into that huge vestibule, and one wall, three sotries high, panelled with the pipes of a beautiful organ (Concert at noon.) The elegance of the building is remarkable... and old... and like my cherished memories of dressing in my best wool coat and perhaps white gloves and holding Grandma's hand as we wandered while I wondered. Have a slow cup of hot chocolate and drink in the season. Love Mm

Valerie said...

Teal, Twig and Yoshi- yeah, snow's cool, but I haven't seen it again this week. There's still time, I suppose. It's only Thursday.
Mm- I didn't know you did that for the holidays with great grandma. That's really sweet.