Shalom and Merry Meet everybody,
Back home in Austria – which at the moment is covered in snow just like you’d find it on postcards – for the holidays I’ve had little time for my blog, however found a beautiful poem at A Few Stitches Short which I’d like to post for you:
At Christmas time I believe the things that children do.
I believe with English children that holly placed in windows will protect our homes from evil.
I believe with Swiss children that the touch of edelweiss will charm a person with love.I believe with Italian children that La Befana is not an ugly doll but a good fairy who will gladden the heart of all.
I believe with Greek children that coins concealed in freshly baked loaves of bread will bring good luck to anyone who finds them.
I believe with German children that the sight of a Christmas tree will lessen hostility among adults.
I believe with French children that lentils soaked and planted in a bowl will rekindle life in people who have lost hope.
I believe with Dutch children that the horse Sleipner will fly through the sky and fill the earth with joy.
I believe with Swedish children that Jultomte will come and deliver gifts to the poor as well as to the rich.
I believe with Finnish children that parties held on St.Stephen’s Day will erase sorrow.
I believe with Danish children that the music of a band playing from a church tower will strengthen humankind.
I believe with Bulgarian children that sparks from a Christmas log will create warmth in human souls.
I believe with American children that the sending of Christmas cards will build friendships.I believe with all children that there will be peace on earth.
– Daniel Roselle
Here in Austria, by the by, children believe in the Christkind, the “Christ Child”, basically a special child angel of Christmas who rides a sleigh laden with gifts all the way to people’s homes. Before Christmas children would write lists of wishes to the Christkind. In Upper Austria there even is a place called Christkindl where children can send those lists of wishes to. Also people would send their holiday wishes there so they got a post stamp saying “Christkindl” before being relayed to their recipient by the post office. I remember my family used to have small wooden dolls featuring the Christkind as christmas tree adornments, which would feature it on its sleigh as well as on skies and always wearing those cute red-white woolen hats.
Media and advertisement companies have been trying to replace the local custom of the Christkind with the globalized Coca-Cola version of Santa Clause for some years now, but it seems to me that the harder they try to get rid of the Christkind the more stubborn the people of Austria grow holding on to it. There are groups on Facebook, there are stickers … there’s just all you’d need for a decent rally. It’s an important part of our identity and childhood memories, after all. No matter where life or religious perspectives led us – as far as I am concerned.