Sunday, December 27, 2009
December 24: Christmas eve
December 24 (by all): We began the day with a "wunderbar" German breakfast of bread, cheese, meat, honey, jam. Karannina player her flute, while Alexander built paper planes and shot Playmobile canons. Mom and Dad went with Tante Karin to visit the grave site of Dad's omma, a very special woman whose incredible efforts save her family during WWII. We enjoyed an hour of piano playing at Alexander and Frau Jakshics home. They were kind enough to tune their piano and allow us to play. Onkel Klaus drove us to the church were we saw the names of four Jewish people who had once lived across from the church before the WWII and were taken to concentration camp and killed. During the Christmas eve church service, the minister spoke from the "swallow's nest" about Christmas stress, made a few jokes, and we sang many German Christmas songs. The church was packed with people, there was standing room only. As we left the church, the bells were clanging very loudly. We met Daisy (dad's cousin) and walked with her back to the our Aunt and Uncle's place. Here we met Daisy's three beautiful girls (Grace, Maureen, and Michelle) were we enjoyed a supper of sauerkraut and bacon, four kinds of sausages, mashed patotoes and melted butter sauce. Following supper, Onkel Klaus turned on some Christmas music and rang a little brass bell, inviting us to come down. With lit candles descending down the staircase, we entered the living room to exchange Christmas gifts. We were very surprised to get so many gifts. Karannina received a scarf and a fashionable sweater, Alexander got a soccer ball and an elk-sweatshirt; Sandra received a scarf and some jelled shower gel; Dieter received a pair of wonderful socks, dress shirt perfect for his presentations, and a tie. We also got a box of German chocolates. Onkel Klaus turned up the tunes and we listened to various new (the Christmas Calvary song) and old Christmas songs on his stereo. We all fell asleep after 2400.