(and I was good kid!)
Tue 3 Dec 13 - Fri 13 Dec 13 30 °F
Christmas is a decidedly low-key affair here. Sure, the one big main street, Bahnhoffstrasse, has pretty lights, though nothing in excess like the bright blue Christmas lights in Singapore. There are pretty trees here and there, but nothing like the gigantic Rockefeller Center one. People have a lit-up star and a simple string of lights - none of the Keeping up With the Joneses style lighting. My theory as to why it’s all low-key is that Santa ain’t such a big deal here!
Santa’s called Sami Klaus. Similar big jolly fellow in red. But the part that’s different is that (a) he has a dark-faced friend who tags along with him, and (b) Dec 6th is his chosen day. He’s got nothing to do with Christmas the way I know Christmas, and has nothing to do with baby Jesus either apparently. He’s this jolly fellow who is jolly with the kids if they’ve been any good during the year, and if they haven’t been up to any good, then his dark-faced friend, Schmutzli, (meaning dirty) whisks the kid away in a sack…forever. Pretty serious.
And instead of a gingerbread man, they have grittibaenz. He’s made from a sweetish dough and has a stick of chocolate sticking out of him. The chocolate stick is a representation of a staff that a catholic bishop might carry. Oh, which reminds me, Sami Klaus also has a staff and he wears a pointy bishop/pope-style hat.
The office Christmas party was last Friday - no, I did not go. But I was wondering on Friday why there were people in the office dressed “odd”. None of the stuffy banker suits, but leather pants and women in dresses that showed quite a bit of bosom. All very surprising. Well, the Christmas party had an Oktoberfest theme. No one rents these, everyone owns their own lederhosen and dirndl. Next year, I’m going to get me one of those dresses!