Sometimes it’s true: prejudices do exist, to be confirmed!
But it’s also true that in quite a lot of cases, the pre-judged do everything to ensure that prejudices become true for the prejudicing ones, particularly, when they are profitable for the pre-judged!
One of those very precious and extremely profitable prejudices is the “German Christmas”!
Not only half of the world’s population seems to be absolutely convinced, the whole of Germany would mutate into a single giant Christmas market between October and March, no! – for some unexplainable reason my American, Chinese and Russian friends also are absolutely sure of the fact, that all Germans had nothing better to do, than drinking German mulled wine, eating German Lebkuchen – of coruse from the most German city Nuremberg – while carving incessantly Oberammergau crib figures wearing god-old German leather pants during this “holy time” of the year…
Well…I’ve tried to explain things are a bit more „complicated!… I’ve tried it…really!
To my big misfortune, we were visiting the beautiful German city of Bamberg…which unfortunately looks exactly like Disney would create a Christmas town…even in the middle of August. Things were as they had to come… my beloved multicultural Chrismas-seekers discovered the full-year Christmas paradise – a really awful shop, freshly imported from Rothenburg ob der Tauber! Did I mention that it was the middle of August!
To make things short and worser: Any further attempt to explain that Christmas was not a quintessentially German invention with quintessentially German customs and quintesentially German “Gemütlichkeit“ was henceforth completely useless …
Instead, I grabbed my advent calendar from Aldi, took some gingerbread (foolishly, we visited Nuremberg too, there you can get gingerbread all arround the year, consequently I’ve must been wrong: Without any doubt, Germany is the land of eternal Christmas markets! damn!).
And then it happened … some idiot of touristshop-owner offered the ultimate beer mug: with a portrait of the Kaiser, an imperial eagle, good old Germany inscription (I’ver wondered why in Gods name there was no ; Für Gott, Kaiser, Reich und Vaterland-inscription!) , Santa Claus, some reindeers, Christmas market stalls, the “Chriskind-Rauschegoldengel” and of course the synonym of “real” German Christmas customs: a Christmas pickle! (I declared to “my” Americans for the 10,000st time that there is no such custom in Germany … they do not believe me! Of course not, if there’s a whole bunch of christmas pickles in the showcase!)
After this, I haven’t even tried to explain to my beloved Americans why Santa Claus isn’t the half-brother of the Christkind, or that reindeers belong to Norway and are a typical element of American folclore… I let them buy their goddamned pitcher “made in China”, and even drunk some “real” Franconian smoked beer from it (I’m drinking it exclusively when I’m forced to do so by friends on transit!).
At the end, I’ve managed to get some unripe oranges to show them how to make a genuine German Orange with cloves (those strange things, you already had to tinker in Kindergarten. Of course without a kindergarten aunt explaining that much less burning essential oils would get into your eyes, when you drill some holes into the orange with a with a small nail first and then put the cloves in … may I’ve forgot to tell, that Oranges and cloves do not grew in germany and came to our country from Venice in the 15th or 16th century and therefore called „Duftpomaden“ or „Duftpommeranzen“ (scented oranges)…but my guests were Americans! I’m glad when they don’t mix Austria with Australia and – honestly said – for them everything that smells like German Chrismas must be genuinly German…It’s the same thing with socker, cars and beer…).
In short: I’ve done everything not to be the evil, deadly serious and oversophisticated German again… and I managed it! I’ve celebrated a perfect German Christmas, with Christmas baubles, a Christmas pickle, an Advent-Calendar and a genuinely German Orange with cloves in it! And I did all this in the middle of August, just to prove: Germany is Christmas genuine homeland!
Happy New Year!