Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2005

Köln


I passed my Level One German test. It’s not a huge accomplishment in the scheme of things but I am relieved and feel a smidgen of pride that I actually got through it and did pretty well – aging fart that I am. All of my colleagues were under 21 … I have shoes that old … well nearly! I still have (and wear) an old cashmere sweater I bought in 1981.
First Christmas in the Old World. We will be spending it with family out in the country an hour from Köln. It doesn’t feel terribly like Christmas. I should qualify that - I don’t feel much like Christmas this year. I have a great deal to be thankful for … first and foremost the health and well being of His Holiness, who is still sleeping just down the hall. He has no idea yet what Christmas is all about, even though he’s been to the Weihnachtsmarkt every day to ride the carousel and has seen tha lights and the nativity scene. He will certainly enjoy the gifts he’ll receive from relatives tomorrow … but Papa has not engaged the Christmas spirit this year … I can’t explain why but I just don’t feel it. I hope and expect that next year, when he is 3 and a lot more plugged in to the world, we will celebrate the season more exuberantly. Maybe I have the holiday blues, could be, but maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s something I shouldn’t be writing about … or even admitting to myself.

3 Comments:

Blogger christina said...

Congratulations on passing the test, Richard! We knew you could do it. It gets easier with time, and before you know it, you'll be speaking like a real Kölner. :-)

You've had so much preparation, stress and excitement leading up to Christmas this year that I can understand you not really being in the spirit. That will come with time.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas anyway! :-)

12:34 PM  
Blogger piu piu said...

christmas in a country that isnt your own....just isnt christmas. think about it. christmas for everyone is experiencing the little individual things that are personal to us and our surroundings. after 20, 30, 40 odd yrs in one country, christmas elsewhere is going to be lacking those nostalgic moments that make it special.

but u know, after one german christmas i find myself getting nostalgic for what i havent experienced since...

have a good one! next year will be more fun

ps. i'm off to berlin in february for the film festival. i got an INVITE! hooray! free flight and accomodation!

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Ivan said...

Piu Piu is right...
Christmas is best lived at home... the place where you grew up, the friends and family that shared those moments.
This year, for the first time in 35 years I did not go HOME for Christmas. Zermatt was nice but spending the evening of the 24th in a Swiss hotel room is an experience I dont wish to go repeat.

5:25 PM  

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