Happy New Year From Bavaria
Happy New Year to all my friends and family. I sincerely hope that your holiday’s were filled with lots of joy. I was so blessed to be able to spend some time with my Father and Mother at their home in Florida and was joined by my daughter for several days, as it had been nearly a year since I saw her last.
For the first time in all my years of being in Germany, I spent Christmas here. I must say that the holiday season in Germany is quite a contrast to that of America. Of course, much is the same in spending time with family and friends, gathering for a nice meal and the giving of gifts. However, my genuine impression is that the season is more focused on the genuine expression of well wishes to others during the holidays, the keeping of traditions and less focus on the commercial side of the things.
Stores are not open til midnight or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most German’s would be shocked at the amount of money that is spent on gifts in the USA by a lot families. The decoration of one’s home is not reflective of the Griswald Christmas movie or a neighborhood competition. I felt a real reverence for the holiday’s and a real effort to hold to their strong observance of their religious values and traditions. Yes the city offices has a manger scene directly in front of the entrance.
I am not saying one place is better than the other, as we are all subject to the environment in which we live. It is just my view and comparison of what I have experienced in living in two very different lands.
New Year’s for me was spent at a gathering of friends and enjoying a feast. Then we walked to the town to watch an amazing laser light show to bring in 2019. The city streets were packed and the laser show spectacular, as they projected a clock counting down til midnight on the tower of St. Martins Church. This Brick landmark is the tallest church in Bavaria, and the tallest brick building or church in the world. Commissioned in 1389 and completed in 1500, it was beautiful watch the lasers shining on the backdrop of this structure that is over 600 years old.
A lot of people in German and Europe will not return to work until January 7th, keeping in mind they get 6 weeks of vacation, so it is easy to take some extra days around the holidays. I will return to work today to prepare for the new year.
I hope you too had a great holiday and wish that this time next year, you can look back on a great year. All the best to you.