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Christmas in Germany

The following is part of a Christmas letter.  So many people have made such positive comments that I thought, why not submit the less personal parts to your contest.

During the past seven years in Germany, we managed to maintain our traditional Christmas dinners complete with Ping Pong and a 3,000 piece puzzle.

Last year's dinner was almost a disaster though.

As usual, we ordered a fresh turkey from our local butcher.

Unfortunately, we said we would pick it up during the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Remember the horrific tainted beef scandal?

There was a European ban on many meat products that winter and nobody was eating anything other than turkey.

In true German-style customer service (none in actual fact), the butcher sold our turkey. He was unsuccessful in trying to sell us Bratwurst, so we were left with nothing.

It was after 2 p.m. and all the German stores were closed, so we headed to the Natex (Canex in Canada, or Commissary for our American friends) to see what we could find.

Of course, there were no fresh birds but there was a freezer full of frozen turkeys.

Thankfully, they were not the kind injected with chemicals. However, when I started looking at them, I started to cry.

How could it be, I wondered, that they were all exactly the same weight?

The reason was simple, in my emotional state of mind, they had to be cloned.

The store was packed full of people and my husband did everything in his power to diffuse the situation. He bought a cloned turkey and we headed home.

I guess I must have provided amusement for the shoppers and staff in the store because as soon as we arrived home, a friend called and asked what was wrong. He dug through his freezer and brought us over a beautiful ham.

On Christmas Eve, I had a bathtub full of frozen turkey and ham, praying that they would be thawed in time.

The dinner was wonderful and none of our guests seemed to have any residual side-effects from eating cloned turkey and after dinner, one of our guests from Japan spent a couple of hours teaching us how to make origami turkeys.

Our time in Germany is finally drawing to a close now.

It has been a real adventure living in this part of the world and in many ways we are reluctant to leave.

We are both very anxious about experiencing a real, old fashioned, Canadian winter again. There is no snow where we live.

After living in a five bedroom dust magnet for seven years we are really looking forward to our dream home -- a two bedroom bungalow. We know it is time to settle down as we have no more children to leave behind.

We left two in Winnipeg, one in Greenwood and the last one will be staying in Germany.

There must have been an easier way to dispose of our children but we just kept on moving. The children have developed into outstanding adults -- in spite of us. Our wish for all of them is that they maintain their sense of humour and enjoy the ups and downs of their futures.

I am looking forward to never having to cruise on German highways at 180km an hour, with a one eyed driver who is sometimes cranky with no depth perception. Believe me, it can be a borderline religious experience.

My husband does not see dust bunnies until they are so large that he trips over them. We have even named some of them.

Dust elephants invade the palace we call home. I really hope the spiders are smaller in our retirement home. Since we do not use most of this house (my husband has a spider phobia) there are many rooms that he will not enter. There is probably a little old Chinese lady somewhere wishing she could have all the webs for weaving. I must have a fortune in webs for anyone on E-Bay who is interested.

We will be looking for another Mickey (dog in case you were wondering who or what a Mickey is). In this case a clone would be ideal.

After allowing us to share his sixteen years, Mickey's heart shut down and left ours broken. We are waiting until we get home to find a replacement.

A couple of weeks after the sadness abated, my husband came home from work one day and announced in his best pilot voice that I was to start wagging my tail and sniffing his leg every time he enters the front door.

He also requested that I attack the mail as it comes through the slot and go with him on Saturday mornings to the local bakery to share a ham and cheese croissant.

I thought the croissant would be fun but we never did return to the bakery. It was a weekly ritual for my husband and Mickey that lasted for over six years. As for the rest, I leave it to your imagination.


Sharon Anscomb

Submitted as part of the Christmas Travel Writing Contest

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