Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Safe! Or: How to Feel Calm in a Chaotic World. (If you believe in Father Christmas)

 


Since two weeks they are here. Hundred silly smiles and two hundred eyes follow you through the supermarket, and no escape: they are everywhere, in Bavaria, in Berlin - all over Germany.  Even earlier than last year. 

What is new: they point with a wagging finger. 

Maybe they will  give us a benign warning: although lots are here there might come the day when a gap in the supply chain of chocolate Father Christmas starts. Stockpile! Hoard! Squirrel away! 

Who knows what might happen? Better safe than sorry

PS: I feel more and more like Moses Herzog in Saul Bellow's wonderful novel "Herzog", written in 1964. I want to start writing letters to everyone - the first will go to the manufacturers of these untimely Father Christmasses -  telling them that I will feel much better if they also put chocolate Easter bunnies there, just in case that the world sinks into even more chaos, or a Rip van Winkle-lockdown



23 comments:

  1. He's making a list, he's checking it twice,
    He's going to find out who's naughty and nice...

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    Replies
    1. Dear Tasker, as a literary theorist I notice that Dear Santa above is making a list with an "and", not an "or" between naughty and nice. So I agree with Meat Loaf's song: "Good Girls Go To heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere" - (and kindly they tell the same to the Boys. :-)

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    2. I've had to look this up now. Haven Gillespie's original lyrics seem to be "and" not "or". However, in some versions such as Michael Bublé's it appears to have been changed to "or". Whoever would have thought of Michael Bublé as a literary theorist?

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    3. That comes as a surprise indeed, dear Tasker! Then I will prefer Haven Gillespie as the one to give the note - and "naughty and nice" sounds a very pretty mixture.

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  2. I have seen people stockpiling toilet paper for current or future lockdowns, but not chocolates. Coming into summer in this hemisphere, I think I would be putting fruits, chips, salmon and cheeses in my freezer.

    Enough chaos already... let us all enjoy good health!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Helen,
      oh, that toilet paper! I saw people carrying huge packages home (in a video one could see two women fight about it!).

      Your list for the freezer sounds delicious for EVERY season - and I dream of your beginning summer. Here autumn dresses in glorious coloured robes.

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  3. I feel like Herzog all the time! What a marvellous novel by the way... But I try to fight it, for it is exhausting and mentally and draining.

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    Replies
    1. It is a marvellous novel, I agree - and yes, one can get exhausted by too many contacts with The World: two days ago I wrote a Whatsapp to the customer service of KLM - with a very simple question.
      "The answer might take some time" popped up. I am still waiting - but refrain from writing another mail...

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  4. It is exactly the same here too Britta, Christmas is busily waving its hand at you around each and every corner - but what they are really saying is "hand over your money". Fortunately I can manage Christmas without resorting to a single chocolate Father Christmas or for that matter any of the usual Christmas treats - just to be with the family will suit me fine.

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    1. Dear Rosemary, I am with you: the Christmas industry is getting bigger and bigger (and I do not think that they imported "Halloween" and "Valentine's Day" just for fun :-)
      I learned something by the pandemic: it is so wonderful to have family and/or friends, people around you or in your heart - that is much more important than all the Christmas hype (though I love Christmas rituals, and candles, and the smell of fir ).

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  5. The Christmas merchandise is everywhere here as well. It is much to early for Christmas. I'm doing my best to ignore it.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Susan, first I thought it was a joke when I saw Lebkuchen and Spekulatius... Almost impossible to ignore it - but I will not enter into the competition over the longest to-do-list.
      (But to be honest: I will have to, when I come to Berlin, book restaurant places for my birthday, and choose where we will go to on New Year's Eve - in that City all wonderful places are easily booked out, and these days, when they have only half of the tables, even more so. )

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  6. I confess that I have begun Christmas shopping. I live so far away that I will have to mail the gifts in late November. That gives the little ones some to wonder what is in the packages. However I do almost all my shopping online because I live in the middle of nowhere.

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    1. Dear Emma, I sit in a train, thus the spelling might be difficult. I can feel with you, living now part-time in that tiny Bavarian town where there is not a single shop - and I have to drive to the next city or order online.
      So one needs foresight, and I think it is nice for the little ones.

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  7. Retailers have had a hard time for many years. Covid has made it worse. I feel that it is only to be expected. Christmas in the shops starts in full earnest at half term every year, late October in England. This year the retailers have started a little earlier.

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    1. Dear Rachel, I think with the growing online business there will even come more trouble for the retailers. Whith the dad tesult that a city street in Barcelona looks almost the same as in Milaan or London. xxx

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  8. I do much shopping online because I cannot bear to go into stores and see what you are describing.

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    1. I am with you, Joanne - it is no visual inspiration.

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  9. I'm putting my hand up, dear Britta, for being guilty of going Early Tree last year! We started talking about putting the Xmas Tree up in early November just so we could have something frivolous to plan for. It may yet happen again!

    Chocolate Santas (are they admonishing us or winking a "shush" at us? Either is a baffling pose) I've yet to see but the supermarchés have mince pies and packets of imported Pfeffernüsse already! How the Broken Supply Chain managed that is a mystery.

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  10. Dear Pipistrello, still sitting in a train - the word "Peffernüsse" might be too difficult to write for me now - ah, an unvoluntary break, haha, nothing new under the sun for a worldwise traveler - and yes: I was thinking about putting up a tree earlier, but then, with heated rooms, it might not be the brightest idea. I could put it on the balcony - but no, Berlin's sparrows and that squirrel and my beautiful Bohemian tree glittering things might not work togerher well...
    The Broken Supply Chain might be a trick from the retailers - hard to believe, but I wonder if there are not much more important things to deliver than Santas in October?

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  11. Hahahaha Britta ..... you are not alone ..... it happens here every Christmas and it gets earlier and earlier ! I have to say that, the older I get, the earlier I start my Christmas preparations ..... I like to get all of the presents sorted so that I can enjoy Christmas without the stress !!!! XXXX

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  12. Dear Jackie, I answer from the Netherlands. Here I didn't see so many Father Christmas - but special Christmas cookies well.
    Preparation by present-buying is a good idea - where I must have more discipline is buying nice Cjristmas cards (for a while I meant to paint them myself - but then it didn't happen :-)
    Maybe I start crafting them with the triplets? In potatoe-print? XXXX

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