SunBird American German Club news for December

Trish Deflieze

The holiday season is here and all of us are busy with preparations to celebrate and/or travel.

At our November meeting we watched a video on the building and destruction of the Berlin Wall. No matter how many times we see this video we all learn something new. It gives everyone something to think about and to be thankful for.

It has been decided and agreed upon by Julie, the new Horizon Room manager, that all future club meetings will be held in the Horizon Room. There will be an open bar and appetizers may be ordered. It goes without saying that we will be very tidy and clean up after our meetings. We think holding the meetings in the Horizon Room will provide a friendlier atmosphere for everyone.

Our club will celebrate the season with a Christmas dinner to be held in the Horizon Room. The date is December 8 at 5:30 p.m. The menu will be either a veal cutlet with warm German potato salad and sauerkraut at a cost of $18 per person or a chicken cutlet with the same side dishes for $16. The price includes dessert provided by the club, tax and tip. Please prepay for your choice of entree at our next meeting. The club will accept checks made out to Sunbird American German Club or cash. Guests are also welcome.

Due to falling revenue and increased costs (where have you heard this before) the club voted to raise annual dues from $5 per person to $10 per person starting with the 2015 fall season.

Bob Donaldson, a long time member of our club, reported sadly that his wife, Bettie L. Donaldson, passed away on October 10, 2014. Bob wishes to thank all of you for the cards and kind messages of sympathy he received.

As it is the Christmas season I decided to write a little about the custom of holding Christkindlmarkt in Germany. These fares were started long ago in the 14th century; towns large and small had a Christkindlmarkt; Nuremberg, Dresden, Munchen, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, to name a few, are world famous. Most fares open with Advent and last until Christmas Eve. They are open during the day and into the early evening. They are festive with many stalls selling all kinds of crafts and holiday foods. Hand carved wooden ornaments or nativity sets are popular. There are Nutcrackers or Nussknackers, Zwetschgenmannle (figures made of dried plums) Christmas tree decorations, to name a few. The food includes Lebkuchen, a honey ginger cookie, candied almonds, Bratwurst, Gluhwein (hot mulled wine) Christstollen (a candied fruit bread) and on and on. The highlight of the fare is the arrival of the Christkind. Originally this was a boy who depicted Jesus, but now has become a pretty girl with long blond hair dressed as an angel in a shining gold gown. Brass bands, singing and parades are also on hand to welcome the Christkind.

This very lovely tradition is spreading all over Europe. We even have them here in the United States. Chicago has a Christkindlmarkt, as do Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Oconomowoc in Wisconsin has one, too. Anyone who has the opportunity to visit a Christkindlmarkt is very fortunate. Maybe we can all put it on our Bucket List.

Our next meeting will be January 27 in the Horizon Room.

Anyone who lives in Sunbird and has an interest in German history or culture is welcome to join our club. Come and visit us; we like new members.

I will end with wishing everyone Frohe Weihnachten und Ein Gesundes Neue Jahr.

Auf Wiedersehen