Christmas stories to think about
Although we live in the 21st century, Christmas is present and omnipresent in the so-called West every year. This is certainly due to the warm Christian character of the festival itself. But it is precisely the love of one’s neighbor, which emerges more clearly in the Christmas season for many people, makes one think.
Why don’t you show love and respect for your family, friends and everyone else all year round? Especially at Christmas, many adults only start to think of those who are not as good as you are. Yes, in this contemplative time you are just closer to each other than usual. The hectic pace of everyday life and the demands of life move for a moment a little bit to the rear.
There is peace and space to reflect on the important things in life. That is what makes this festivity so enjoyable.
If you take the Christian faith seriously, you will enjoy the birth of Christ and the fact that the "savior" was born into the world. God became small and fragile, like a baby, to be with his people.
Stories can give people so many impulses and make them think. The works on this page also try that. Whether they will reach you is in the stars. But the very fact that you are reading this text is worthy of all honor.
Depth and reflection are essential aspects of the stories that follow. Let them work on you. Loud and silent questions may arise when reading. And that’s a good thing – because it’s wanted!
Christmas stories to think about
Now there was no longer a colorful flower anywhere, the beds in the garden were covered with fir branches, the rose bushes had got a warm straw hood over their heads, and the flower sticks in front of the window had also withered and had been taken away.
"A pity", said the sofa, which was quite comfortable behind the large dining table in the living room and could look straight at the window. "It was so pretty when the flowers nodded to us and told us what was going on outside on the street." The other furniture found that too. The table said that one shouldn’t complain, because now the cozy time for the room is just beginning! In summer people all ran away -… read more Now there was no longer a colorful flower anywhere, the beds in the garden were covered with fir branches, the rose bushes had a warm straw hood over their heads, and the flower sticks in front of the window were also withered , and they had been taken away.
"A pity", said the sofa, which was quite comfortable behind the large dining table in the living room and could look straight at the window. "It was so pretty when the flowers nodded to us and told us what was going on outside on the street." The other furniture found that too. The table said that one shouldn’t complain, because now the cozy time for the room is just beginning! In summer people all ran away – out into the garden, forest and field. In winter, however, they stayed together in the parlor, telling each other something or reading something, and so they actually heard – the furniture – more than the flowers.
That was true. But – the room had looked nicer with the flowers, that was for sure. –
Now hear what a great surprise the furniture blossomed one morning a few weeks later.
It was bitterly cold outside, and it had gotten so cold in the room at night that the furniture envied the beds in the bedroom, which were so nicely covered with warm feather pillows. Since – when the closet just woke up from sleep, he made a loud crack with surprise.
The other furniture all woke up and what did they see? The whole window was covered from top to bottom with a snow-white, glistening ice crust. It was no ordinary, smooth ice. Quite strange structures could be seen on it – like flowers, leaves, stems, but all in a mess – sometimes difficult to see.
"What is that??" asked the sofa very quietly. It was stunned by the white glitter. "Maybe the glazier was there tonight and secretly used other panes?"
"Perhaps it is something like here in the little house of the Hansel and Gretel witch", said the mirror cabinet. "The witch in me will have turned the slices into sugar."
By the word "sugar" the little black fly, which also lived in the room, hurriedly set off. But she was flown back very disappointed. "No – it is not sugar", she said. "It doesn’t taste a little bit sweet either! But it’s as rough as sugar, that’s true."
"I think it’s flowers", said the watering can. The stovepipe, which was always a little way up, said: "Oh – don’t talk a tin!" But everyone else in the room agreed with the little watering can.
Yes – but who had conjured up these strange snow-white flowers at the window early in the morning? The furniture would have loved to know! But the window – the only thing that could have given information about it – was very rigid and silent, you didn’t know, was it out of sheer delight or had someone enchanted with the white flowers?.
Listen – suddenly a song sounded from the street:
"Winter has overnight tonight
Bring lots of flowers.
Ice flowers are, ice flowers are –
Didn’t you think so??
A whole load came this morning
Right from the North Pole,
Freshly picked, freshly picked,
As you can see right away.
Winter scatters in the sunshine
In front of every window.
Dooh – people wonder there
And be amazed! Hui hihi – – – – – "
"That was the north wind" – said the stove. "I know him by voice." The furniture in the room was all silent. Ice flowers – so were ice flowers? And winter had brought them with her? Of course – winter could only give white flowers, white as snow. How wonderful – no, how wonderful it was! Ice flowers – whether they grew on icebergs or ice fields? Or whether winter had a large garden with such flowers?
It was nice of him that he had strewed the flowers so secretly on the window. Yes – he wanted to show that he also had beautiful flowers, not just summer! And now the window was no longer so bare, there were flowers again and decorated the room.
"They don’t nod at us like summer flowers", meant the sofa.
"And they don’t wave the leaf arms either. And they don’t smell – and they don’t tell anything", said the chairs.
Now a ray of sun came to the window. And now the silver suddenly turned into gold – the blinking and glittering, sparkling and glowing – no, it is impossible to describe how beautiful it was, it was like a fairy tale, a winter fairy tale, it was so strange – yes , it was just a greeting from a strange world – from the ice world! –
"Tik – tak, tik – tak, tik – tak", makes the big clock on the wall. The silence in the room was a little uncomfortable for her, it was more and more for life and movement. The cupboard also did another little crack: "If only we could do something to make these white flowers move."
"I want to water them a little", said the watering can. "That will probably be of no use", said the oven. "But if we lit a little fire – such a crackling, warm fire – ha! You should see how the white leaves and flowers would thaw and start to move. They’re just so stiff frozen from the cold." Just as if the stove had called her, the girl Lina came into the room at that moment. She had paper and wood in her hand, which, as he wished, started a fire.
Now the furniture regained how much they had frozen in the night. Due to the surprise with the white winter flowers, they had truly forgotten it.
It soon got warmer and warmer in the room. Everyone looked at the window with curiosity. But – dear heaven – what was that? The uppermost ice flowers had suddenly disappeared! Away – away – completely away!
Where had they gone??
The furniture looked startled.
And there – no, but no – what was that all about? Yes, more and more of the wonderful white flowers disappeared! More and more – the old, transparent glass panes peeked out again.
It was like magic: Slowly – you didn’t know how, you didn’t know where – they melted, melted – disappeared. Nothing was left of them but a few clear water droplets, and they were really moving! They flowed slowly down the windowpanes like tears!
"The window is crying", said the soft-hearted sofa.
But there was a familiar voice out there on the street. The north wind came in through the stovepipe. Huuu – how whistle, and hihihi – how he laughed!
"No – how can – how can you be so stupid!" he said to the stove. "Winter gives you its most beautiful flowers! And what are you doing Start the fire to fry the flowers. Hihihi – ice flowers! Flowers that grew in the bitter winter cold! As if the heat could stand it!
No – it’s laughable. But of course: what do such couch potatoes like the sofa, table and stove know about the winter outside??"
Then the furniture in the room all became sad; sad and angry. "The oven – the oven is to blame!" they cried. "I know it", said the north wind. "He meant it well. But everyone can not tolerate something like that."
The poor stove stood sad in its corner, it had already turned red with shame. Now he had destroyed the beautiful white flowers – the window decorations that the whole room had been so happy about. How sorry he was!
"Can’t you maybe ask winter to send us new ice flowers again??" he asked the north wind.
"I want to ask him", said the north wind. "But whether he does – the old man? Must be in a particularly good mood again – hihi! Well – let’s hope so."
"Yes – and with the hope, tik – tak, we want to be satisfied, tik – tak", said the wall clock.
The gardener and the rule
An old castle with thick walls, towers and jagged gables stood a mile from the capital.
A rich, noble rule lived here, but only in summer. The castle was the best and most beautiful thing they had. It stood there like a new cast from the outside, and there was coziness and comfort inside. The family coat of arms was carved in stone above the gate and beautiful roses were wrapped around it. A whole carpet of grass spread out in front of the castle, and there were hawthorn and hawthorn, rare flowers, even outside the greenhouse.
The government also had a skilled gardener. So it was great pleasure to look at the flower garden and the orchard and kitchen garden. An… read more An old castle with thick walls, towers and jagged gables stood a mile from the capital.
A rich, noble rule lived here, but only in summer. The castle was the best and most beautiful thing they had. It stood there like a new cast from the outside, and there was coziness and comfort inside. The family coat of arms was carved in stone above the gate and beautiful roses were wrapped around it. A whole carpet of grass spread out in front of the castle, and there were hawthorn and hawthorn, rare flowers, even outside the greenhouse.
The government also had a skilled gardener. So it was great pleasure to look at the flower garden and the orchard and kitchen garden. A remnant of the original garden of the castle also bordered on this. It was covered with box hedges that were cut to form crowns and pyramids. Behind them stood two mighty old trees, but they were almost always without leaves. It would have been easy to believe that a storm wind or wind pants would have sprinkled them with large lumps of fertilizer, but each lump was a bird’s nest.
A band of screaming jackdaws and crows have been building their nests here since time immemorial. It was an entire bird city, and the birds were the proud owners, the real masters of the castle. None of the people down there cared for them, so they tolerated these lowly creatures. They did, although people sometimes pounded the shotgun, causing the birds on their backbones to tingle, and every bird to blow and scream: "Rack! rack!"
The gardener often spoke to his rulers about cutting down the old trees. They don’t look good, and if they get away, you will probably be freed from the screaming birds. But the government did not want to give up the trees or the flocks of birds. It was something the castle couldn’t lose, because it was from the old days, and you didn’t want to completely erase it.
"These trees are now the genetic makeup of the birds", said the government. "May you keep it, my good Larsen! – Isn’t your sphere of influence large enough, dear Larsen? You are the gardener and yet have the whole flower garden, the greenhouses, the orchard and kitchen garden?"
He had it all, and he looked after it with enthusiasm and efficiency. The government recognized this, but they also told him that strangers often saw fruits and flowers that were larger and more beautiful than their own. This saddened the gardener, because he wanted the best and made an honest effort.
One day the rulers called the gardener and told him with mildness that the previous day, apples and pears were served with noble friends that were so juicy and tasty that they and all the guests had expressed their admiration. The fruits were certainly not here from their own country, but they should be imported and made at home here if the climate allowed it. It was known that they were bought in the city from the first fruit dealer. The gardener was supposed to ride into town and inquire about where these apples and pears had come from, and then request branches of graft.
The gardener knew the fruit dealer very well, because it was precisely to him that he sold the abundance of fruit that grew in the castle garden for his reign. And so the gardener rode into town and asked the fruit dealer where he got these highly praised apples and pears from. "They are from your own garden!", said the fruit dealer, showing him both apples and pears, which he then recognized.
How happy the gardener was. He hurried to his reign and said that both the apples and the pears were from his own garden. The government didn’t want to believe that. "It’s not possible, Larsen! Can you get a written certificate from the fruit dealer?" The gardener could. "But that’s strange!", said the government.
Every day, large bowls with the splendid apples and pears came on the stately table, all from their own garden. Bushels and tons of these fruits and graft branches were sent to friends: in the city, in the country, yes, even abroad. It was a real pleasure! But they had to add that there had been two exceptionally good summers for tree fruit. The fruit had gone well all over the country.
A time passed, and the government ate at noon at court. The next day the gardener was called to his reign. They had been given melons at court, extremely juicy and tasty, because they were from the Majesty’s greenhouse.
"Dear Larsen", said the government, "You have to go to the gardener and get us some of the seeds of these delicious melons!" "But the court gardener got the seeds from us!", the gardener replied cheerfully. "Then the man understood how to bring the fruits to a higher development", answered the rule. "Every melon was excellent." "Yes, then I can be proud", said the gardener. "I just want to say to the gracious government that the court gardener had no luck with his melons this year. But when he saw how splendid ours were, he ordered three of them for the courtyard!" "Larsen, don’t imagine that these melons were from our garden!" "I believe it!" cried the gardener, went to the court gardener and received from him a written proof that the melons on the royal table had come from the garden of the government.
It was really a surprise to the government, and they didn’t hide the story. It showed the writing all over the place, and melon kernels were dispatched far and wide, like the graft branches of apples and pears used to be. They received news that they had struck and started to produce fruit. These were very excellent, and they had been named after the castle of the government, so that the name could now be read in English, French and German. You would never have dreamed of that.
"If only the gardener doesn’t get too big ideas from himself!", said the government. The gardener took it very differently. He now wanted to make a name for himself as the best gardener in the country. Every year he wanted to try to bring something excellent from all types of garden, and he did. But he often had to hear that the very first fruits, namely apples and pears, were actually the best. The melons had been very good, of course, but that was also a completely different kind. One could call the strawberries excellent, but not better than those who had other rulers. And when the radishes did not come in a year, one only spoke of the failed radishes and not of the good things that the year had brought. And there was a kind of relief every time the government could say: "You did not succeed this year, dear Larsen!"
The gardener brought fresh flowers into the room a few times a week, always in the most tasteful order. By putting them together, he put the colors in a stronger light. "You have taste, Larsen", said the government. "It is a gift that God gave you. You don’t have it yourself."
One day the gardener came with a large crystal bowl with a water rose leaf in it. There was a bright blue flower on it, the size of a sunflower. "Hindustan’s lotus", said the government.
They had never seen such a blossom before, and it was placed in the sun during the day and in the glowing candlelight in the evening. Everyone who saw her found her wonderfully beautiful and rare. Yes, even the most distinguished of the country’s young women said that, and that was a princess herself.
The government did everything to give her such a blossom, and the princess really came to the castle. The government went down to the garden to pick one of the precious blue flowers, but it was not to be found. The gardener had to come immediately.
"Where do you have the lotus??", asked the government. "We searched in vain in the greenhouses and in the whole flower garden!" "No", answered the gardener, "it is not to be found there." "It’s just a little flower from the kitchen garden! It is the flower of an artichoke!" "You should have told us that straight away", the government replied. "We had to believe that it was a strange rare flower. You embarrassed us in front of the young princess! How could it come to you, dear Larsen, to put such a flower in your room. You make us look ridiculous!"
And the beautiful blue splendor that had been brought out of the kitchen garden was removed from the stately room where it did not belong. Yes, the government made an apology to the princess and said that the flower was just a kitchen plant that the gardener had dared to put up. But he also received serious criticism for this.
"But that’s really wrong", said the princess. "He has opened our eyes to a splendid bloom that we have not yet considered. He showed us beauty where we couldn’t think of looking for it! The castle gardener should bring a flower to my room every day while the artichokes are in bloom!" And so it happened.
The government let the gardener say that he could now bring a fresh artichoke blossom again. "It is actually very beautiful", they said and praised the gardener. "That goes down well for good Larsen", the government whispered secretly. "He is like a pampered child."
A terrible storm was coming in autumn. At night it blew so violently that many large trees on the edge of the forest were pulled up with their roots. And to the great sorrow for the rulers, but to the joy of the gardener, the two large leafless trees blew with all the bird nests. The shouting of jackdaws and crows was heard in the storm. They flapped their wings against the window panes, the people in the castle said.
"Now you’re happy, Larsen", said the government. "The storm fell the trees and the birds flew to the forest. Now you can see nothing of the old days, every trace, every hint has disappeared! That is sad!"
The gardener said nothing, but he thought of what he had thought for a long time. He wanted to use the magnificent, sunny space that he had never been able to use. It should become an ornament of the garden and a joy for the rule.
The large, overturned trees had crushed and shattered the ancient box hedges with all their cutting skills. Here the gardener planted a thicket of native plants that could be found in the field and in the forest. What no other gardener dared to plant in such a rich abundance in a stately garden, he put here in the ground. Each individual plant was given a place in sunshine or shade, just as it was good for the species. The gardener took care of her with love, and it grew in glory.
The juniper bush from the Jutland heath emblazoned here in shape and color like the cypress in Italy. The bare, spiky Christ’s thorn, evergreen in the winter cold and summer sun, stood there beautiful to look at. In the foreground fern plants grew in many different ways. Some looked as if they were children of the palm tree, and others as if they were the parents of the fine, beautiful plants that we call Venus hair. Not far from there stood the despised burdock, which is so beautiful in its freshness that it could decorate a bouquet. The burdock stood on dry ground, but lower. The dock grew on the more humid ground, also a despised plant, which, because of its size and its mighty leaves, appears so picturesque. The mullein, which had been transplanted from the field into the garden, towered to the ceiling, with countless flowers, like a powerful, multi-armed candlestick. Here stood woodruff, cowslip and lily of the valley, the wild calla and the three-leaved clover. It was simply magnificent.
Before that, however, grew very small pear trees that came from French soil. They stood in rows, supported on barbed wire, and got a lot of sun and good care. Soon they bore large, juicy fruits like in the country where they came from.
Instead of the two old, leafless trees, a high flag pole was erected, around which the Danebrog was waving. Next to it was a pole, around which the hops tendrils with their fragrant clusters of flowers wound in summer and autumn. In winter, however, a sheaf of oats was hung on the pole according to old custom, so that the birds of the sky also had a festive meal in the merry Christmas season. "The good Larsen gets sentimental in his old years", said the government, "but he has remained loyal and devoted to us."
At New Year’s the picture of the old castle was shown in a newspaper in the capital. You could see the flagpole and the oat sheaf for the birds of the sky in the Merry Christmas season. It was written below that an old custom had been brought back here in honor, so fitting for the old castle.
"Everything that Larsen does", said the government, "is hung on the big bell. He is a real lucky guy! We have to be almost proud that we have it!" But they weren’t proud of it! You yourself were the rulers and could quit Larsen whenever you liked. But they didn’t, because at heart they were good people.
There are many good people of this kind, and that is a happiness for everyone Larsen. Yes, this is the story of the gardener and the rule. Now you can think about it!
Christmas in the machine house
Christmas, New Year, Epiphany. Festivities, celebrations, endless celebrations. It wasn’t a good time for the boiler smithy, twenty years ago when I was still an apprentice. The factories were shut down on the holidays: on Christmas Eve, the large steam boilers, which were otherwise full of boiling water and steam under steam, were blown off. At that time there were no reserve boilers, the machines had to give what they could. But from Christmas to Epiphany they were thoroughly cleaned and repaired. The metal workers, the bricklayers, and the craftsmen in general had to work from Christmas Eve to Epiphany. – The boilers were first examined; we crawled, the lamp raised in one hand, the other… read more Christmas, New Year, Epiphany. Festivities, celebrations, endless celebrations. It wasn’t a good time for the boiler smithy, twenty years ago when I was still an apprentice. The factories were shut down on the holidays: on Christmas Eve, the large steam boilers, which were otherwise full of boiling water and steam under steam, were blown off. At that time there were no reserve boilers, the machines had to give what they could. But from Christmas to Epiphany they were thoroughly cleaned and repaired. The metal workers, the bricklayers, and the craftsmen in general had to work from Christmas Eve to Epiphany. – The boilers were first examined; we crawled, the lamp raised in one hand, the other hand wrapped with a wet rag, through the first flame tube, then into the fire trains, lighting up all the seams and rivets, knees pulled up, we slipped into the barely three-quarters of a meter "huge" Flame tubes and fire trains around. That was the first tour, it lasted half an hour, always through foot-high, hot soot and fly ash, in 50 to 60 degrees warmth. Soot fell from the curves of the boiler plates on the back of the neck, in the eyes. Soot breathed in the lungs, the nose was full of soot. If you then crawled out into the boiler room, what a treat it was, you could sweep sweat and soot out of your face and neck, then take a sip of water and go to the gate: the ringing of bells from the city, Christmas bells , the evening before the festival, Christmas Eve! They sang their joy song over the roofs of the city. Once I couldn’t stand it: I left the boiler room and journeyman and climbed the iron ladder, climbed onto the flat roof of the boiler room, stood high above the factory buildings, and surrounded by the ringing I looked into the city, into the distant houses, into Christmas Eve sparkled from the candle flicker of a Christmas tree. Saw figures move, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, children! Christmas Eve! Christmas eve!
In the first year of my apprenticeship, I used the apprentice’s pride against melancholy and did not feel the misery that was preparing. But already in the second year, when I was cleaning the trickling tears with my jacket sleeves smeared with soot, I already had friends who had met on Christmas Eve.
What should I keep silent – in the third year I put the sweat in my mouth so as not to have to yell at it: Christmas Eve and the girlfriend, the childhood friend, the love for children, the neighbor child – it brought us the food to the factory, also she wanted Don’t celebrate on Christmas Eve if I should be under the cauldron. Shy and strange, her lovely face wrapped in a headscarf, she sat next to me on the boiler room bench and waited until I choked down my food. –
I couldn’t even give her a hand, the journeyman kidnapped me all night. And then at midnight, the journeyman sat on the bench, I muckled sleepily, and my fantastic soul lived in the mystery of Christmas night: I saw the field of Bethlehem, the shepherds, the prophecy sounded, I saw in the boiler room, blacker than the Moorish king , the eternal light, I thought: If the Holy Family came now, here in this boiler house they would still find light, here the bells of our hammers rang: "Come over! Come over! Come over! come over!" And I would have opened the boiler room door, would – no, I would have dragged the softest bales of cleaning wool into the clean machine room, prepared a warehouse, made coffee on the field smithy, put our night bread on a clean rag, and I could see the glow of the eternal light shining through the nacelle. I saw the journeyman, the half-drunk, tamed and sobered up by the hot embers, saw the stoker coming, full of astonishment, the black boiler cleaner, as we were dusted with soot, a dozen greasy figures, far from the city, lonely. Oh, who says that the others don’t expect the Savior, they were all fed up with the miserable life and were waiting for the Redeemer. They were simpler than the shepherds because they believed the speeches of the gentlemen who promised them golden mountains when they themselves became rich and powerful. They believed the word of man because God’s word sounded too unearthly.
What was that a course to the Mette! Face and hands soaped off at three o’clock, black rings still around the eyes, fresh shirt, collar pulled open, feeling the soot in every pore of the skin, from the scorching cauldron to the cold morning church. The gentlemen, fashion dolls, smugly wearing their smooth parted heads, how beautiful the women and girls in their warm coats appeared to us then, like pinched and ironed, like vainly dappled. We carried the soot, the dirt not only in our skin, no, up to what was called soul; in the eyes of the curious, who looked at us tired figures, we felt: you are disturbing the prayer and the mood with your strained faces! The shining light from the glowing star above the altar ached in the soot-torn eyes.
And the organ, the organ tones! They tore my chest in half: rejoice, people you were lost! How I would like to kneel down, but, I had to stop, the tiredness came; if I had been sitting in a bank, I would have fallen asleep long ago. So I kept myself up until the first silent mass was over and the mass at Mass began. Then I pushed myself out of the community of Christians, into the cold night, back into the factory with an unspeakably depressed soul. The young, pious soul was looking for comfort, for a voice that forgave him for not being able to listen to three holy masses with prayer. And found the consolation only when I was back in the boiler house and – now saw the bright glow in the machine house: should the holy couple?
No! But the stokers, machinists, and boiler cleaners sat around the blacksmith’s shop, whose flames were blazing, and told stories of other Christmas nights. One, an old navigator, of Christmas among blacks and savages under the tropical stars, the other of wandering, Christmas in pens and hostels, in prison and work house. And everyone thanked their fate that they were now at home and could earn money, a little more than on other days.
Until the little quick of cheap schnapps and cramped oblivion went out and the work, the roaring must, drove us back into the cauldron. The hammer thundered on the rivet heads, the stems clicked on the seams, the sweat ran through the sooty faces. Georg Kriegenmann, the riveter from Bremen, said: "Lat se man celebrate, boy, lat se man! The path of the worker is from the stable to the cross – you are young and full of hope. When Jesus redeemed the soul, as they say, we workers redeem the body from the claws of Satan! The way goes from the stable to the cross, my boy, that was probably always the case. But, we workers give peace to the whole world!"
The holy Christmas time
If the townspeople want to know something safe about public holidays, they have to ask the farmers. The urban worker enjoys the holiday without pondering much about it; the farmer, who is not used to grasping the reason and purpose of things, wants to know why he is resting, going to church or drinking intoxication. He has his holiday science and his holiday mood.
I don’t want to talk about myself, they say, when you start talking about yourself. Just to say that: as long as the peasant holidays were still my concern, I was a radical patron. For me, the church calendar and the individual celebrations were chronologically too much shifted. I wanted that… read more If the townspeople want to know something safe about holidays, they have to ask the farmers. The urban worker enjoys the holiday without pondering much about it; the farmer, who is not used to grasping the reason and purpose of things, wants to know why he is resting, going to church or drinking intoxication. He has his holiday science and his holiday mood.
I don’t want to talk about myself, they say, when you start talking about yourself. Just to say that: as long as the peasant holidays were still my concern, I was a radical patron. For me, the church calendar and the individual celebrations were chronologically too much shifted. I wanted the church year and the sun year to keep pace, as it should be, if heaven and savior want to harmonize with each other. Since the sun does not give in, the church should give in. As I once read, she would have set her biggest celebrations on arbitrary days anyway. And if on December 22nd, when on the day when the sun is sinking so deeply, the Advent does not want to begin, I would have liked to have seen at least that the same date would have been Christmas Day. All festivals relating to the childhood of Jesus would have been enough to fill it without insertion, as the festival of circumcision, sacrifice, the three kings, the innocent children and the like. s. w. so that we would have finished the Christmas holidays comfortably before the carnival. After the same continuation of all other festivals with which one would have come to the end of June. The second half of the year could be dedicated to the feasts of the saints, and that would not be a mess! – And the right shifting of time could be accomplished in the simplest way if one let the leap day out of the game for forty years. If the leap day were omitted ten times, the civil year would be ten days crazy and coincide with the solar year. – I once really presented these reform plans to my confessor, the good old pastor Johann Plesch in Kathrein am Hauenstein; the latter said that as he knew the scholars and the Catholic Church, they would not want to respond to such a change. The French would have mislaid Sundays and public holidays in a great revolution with fire and sword, but the holy church with its old custom would have remained in the end. So as a simple-minded farmer boy I should be pretty quiet about such things.
So today I was concerned with how it is and not with how it should be.
The Christmas season begins – like world history in general – with Adam and Eve. These our dear parents have their name day according to the calendar on December 24th. Therefore, bad Christians could interpret Christmas presents as if on the day of their first parents, on the day of their own birth, humanity congratulated itself with gifts of love. Because in fact she would be congratulated if she behaved like she did on Christmas evenings every day.
The actual Christmas foreboding begins with the "Nikolo" and completely with the Thomasnacht, the Christnacht and the New Year’s Eve are the nights of the virgins in question. On Thomas Night they throw their shoes at the chamber door; if the shoes remain so that the tips point into the chamber, a groom will come next year; if the toes of the shoes are against the door, someone can come but leave again. On Christmas night the virgins carry an armful of logs into the house; if the failures are in pairs, that means: in even numbers, the next year will be married. On New Year’s night, a figurine should finally confirm hope while pouring lead. Dear Dirndl in the Hochreithhofe! the shoes promised him, the failures promised him and the lead allowed the favorable interpretation. He came, she sat on him and – stayed seated. Now you don’t know, the men are of no use, or the customs!
The holy shiver that goes through the world on Christmas Eve is also felt by the farmer. He’s getting warm too. It’s as if the laws of nature have changed on this day. One almost fears for the balance of the world, because suddenly everything is joy and the charitas is everywhere.
Fortunately, the day is soon over, St. Stefan and Johannes crouch at the big party; the former wants to take part in the Christmas party as an arch-martyr, the latter invokes his special friendship with the Savior; The former makes himself important to the farmers with his stefani water, the latter knows how to ingratiate himself with the Johannes wine – but neither of the two is actually part of the actual Christmas entourage. Only the innocent – Children’s Day is real again; in the sweet Christmas peace he brings the terrible news of the child mass murder of Herod. The people celebrate this memory by prodding rods, with which one whips the other out of bed on the morning of the twenty-eighth day of December under the words: "Fresh and healthy!".
After the innocent children, a St. Thomas, born Londoner, comes to Kandelberg, a bishop who so bravely and inflexibly defied the state laws of his fatherland that the Church canonized him. Our farmers call the man "Thoma Windfeier" and say that if they don’t work that day, they will be spared cold winds and storms in the coming years. They make it the fifth Christmas day.
Sixth is one from the Old Testament – a famous poet and string player – the lovable King David. Indeed, the old gentleman also has the right to make a Christmas visit to the child who is his – the family of David.
Saints – Legends and anti-Semitic calendars ignore the elderly and protect the holy widow Melania on this day. You can even read about this widow in the farmer’s house postille: she was a rich Roman, somewhat out of love for God out of love for God, until they both went to the monastery, where the husband soon died, but Melania devoted herself to the divine sciences surrendered and fought against heresies with great eloquence of women. The Jewish harpist must of course stand in front of one of these.
New Year’s Eve is finally here. As is well known, this man was a Roman pope; he had to fight heavily with the Jews. I remember a little story. One day the Jews brought a wild ox to him and said that the name of their god was so great and terrible that if they said it to the ox, the animal would have to fall dead on the spot. The Pope gave it a try, and indeed, the ox fell over when the Jew was named and was dead. Now the Pope said New Year’s Eve: “If the name of your God is so terrible to kill an animal, it is the name of mine so powerful to bring it back to life. ”He called out the word – and the animal came back to life.
Meanwhile, New Year’s celebrity owes less to this resurrection than to the fact that he has become the final keeper of the year. But that has been, or has been for a short time; It was only in 1583, three hundred years ago, that the Gregorian calendar found its way into Catholic Germany, according to which New Year’s Eve was employed as a gate closer and as such received many gratuities.
The New Year is the eighth in the series of Christmas holidays. On this day the farmer pushes the following sentence to his Lord’s Prayer: “God want to ask for a blissful new year; and that he gave it to Johr Glückseli hot, donksogn! ”The firecracker Martin on Niederlenthen is so satisfied with God that he died one year in the sentence of the following New Year’s prayer when he was a rich uncle, two women and a mother-in-law : "S verflossni Johr Glückseli g’schenkt hot, donksogn ‘did not change a syllable.
Now there are four working days, but because they are still in the Christmas season, they enjoy a certain exceptional position; it should neither be threshed nor spun in them. The evening of January 5th acts as if the high festival wanted to start anew with it. As on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the farmer walks through the house and yard with the censer and the frond; the only difference is that this time he draws three crosses with chalk on each door and gate, and draws the following symbols on the forehead of his room or the tram tree: C + M + B +. Some, who unfortunately cannot do it themselves, borrowed a scribe somewhere who wrote down the "three kings" for him.
Our neighbor, the old Riegelberger, once had me fetched for this business; now there was a piece of chalk the size of a pea in the house, so that I could hardly hold it between my fingers. The C and the M struggled with difficulty, then the white grain suddenly jumped off, rolled up on the fletz and was no longer to be found. What now? I drew the B with a piece of charcoal. the Riegelbergerin was startled because she had had the sacred signs made to protect her against the "black". I asked if they had ever seen this thing done with better chic and sense? Whether she never heard of it, one of the three kings was one of the Balthazar, a moor?
The saying gave me a piece of Kletzenbrot; I don’t remember what happened next.
If you were good children my dear readers, I would tell you many graceful things about the three kings. According to an interpretation, they should not have been both kings and wise men, but it was considered that with the shimmering gold kings more honor is paid to the people than to sages. The prophet Balaam once said: A star will rise from the kingdom of Jacob, and it will mean a mighty king over Jews and Gentiles. Thereupon the Gentiles placed guards on a mountain to spot the star, and they watched for a thousand and a half years. But they fell asleep on a night when the warm breath blew in from the desert and the sea rushed in the distance. Then the star opened. They announced that to the countries. And then three kings set out to find the star. It was nocturnal and the star twitched before them across the ground, and because they were wise, they followed the new, unknown light for days and days; other kings and lords joined them with a large entourage until they came to the city of Jerusalem. In this city they spoke to Herod, asking where the great king the star was pointing to? The King of Jews honored the guests with pomp and replied: he was the great king himself and he knew no other in this country. But if you want to search, find someone who is taller than him, so if you let him know, he’ll be the first to lean. – They went on. The star glowed over the floodplains and stood still over a roof that housed a traveling family of craftsmen. And there was a child in the greatest poverty and needlessness, and had bright, friendly eyes. The kings, since they were tired and could no longer hope to find what they were looking for, gave their best gifts to the child. But the poor people said, "Why do we need your gold, your incense, your myrrh? The earth is our bed, the sky is our hat. This child, who is so homeless that we had to put it on the cattle hay, did not come to receive, it came to give. "
The kings whispered to each other: “We found him. Let us rush to report it to the brother! ”One of them, who was black in color, gave the opinion that Herod did not seem to bend over to another in his country. It would be wise not to reveal the child to him. They returned to their countries in another way. Nevertheless, Herod had learned that among the small children at Bethlehem was one who would become the greatest king according to the prophecy of the Jews, and since he was unable to find out the same, he had all the boys murdered in and around Bethlehem. –
Are you sleeping? Or are you crying? Or are you smiling at the narrator? Oh, you have heard the message too often and in too deliberate ways to feel the divine loveliness and wild greatness that lies within! Of the three real Christmas celebrations – the birth, the circumcision and the appearance of the kings – the latter holds the most grandiose content, the most incomprehensible miracles. Why did the most powerful gentlemen come and kneel before the poor child? Because they were wise. as if they knew that no god-person can develop in well-being and pomp, that poverty and loneliness and abandonment, and all the love and suffering of the people are part of making a large-scale man a hero and redeemer.
If I were to stand on the threshing floor again and preach to the grain gifts, as I once did when I was ten to fourteen years old, because I was giving the Christmas sermons to the straw heads until our servant Markus informed me that I was the most beautiful priest for the house chapel in a fool’s tower – if I should preach in front of straw heads again (no one knows what is in store for me) I wanted to spin the story of the three holy kings and their star as boldly as I am not allowed to do here.
On the second day after the Holy Three Kings is the memory of St. Erhard, who is indicated in the Styrian "Mannel Calendar" with a bishop’s letter and a wooden ax.
Legend has it that the wooden ax was the torture tool with which the holy bishop was killed; but the farmer knows that Sankt Erhard has the ax to finally use it to chop off the Christmas holiday after it has lasted two full weeks with slight interruptions. Another interpretation is that Erhard wants to use the ax to de-ice the mill wheels and then chop firewood into the forest.
And that’s how the working day came. In the church, the Christmas spirit continues until Maria Lichtmess. Carnival is raging out here; those who do not work and do not pray may dance, the earth floor oiled into it, the sky turns a blind eye.
And now that I have decided to consider this, I want the prosane and the pious. Both to burn me. I slip out of the low claws like a butterfly. I love the flowers. And the holy, the blessed Christmas season with its sacred myths is a flower in the middle of the winter of the year and of life – a flower that may bloom on my bosom when I free and when I die. Or does one of you pious and prosane know better in heaven and on earth than a young chaste mother with a child? As a child, the Word made flesh: “Do good to those who hate you; love your neighbor as yourself "wants to redeem the world?
A rigid, pale winter night lies over the forest landscape. The moon is in the sky, but the snow on the spruce trees does not shimmer, because the moon and the stars are covered by a matt layer of clouds. At such a dusk, the ridges and the valleys and gorges can only be seen indefinitely, here the black peaks of the trees rise sharper, the outlines of the mountains and trees continue to blur partly in joy, partly in the veil of a gently beginning snow.
A sound trembles through this night. It comes from all sides, it is as if the snowflakes sound in the air. It rises from the valleys where there are villages and churches, the bells of Christmas.
What a wonderful appearance that day! If one day there are two suns in the sky, the miracle is no greater than that which takes place at Christmas. It is a day when none of the selfish people think of themselves, everyone thinks of others. To surprise one another with joy, to shower with gifts, that is the goal of this day. It is cold winter, but nobody is freezing because the candles are warm. There is secret work day and night, nobody is tired, nobody is hungry, the love for others strengthens and saturates everyone. It is as if the laws of nature were different, and one almost fears for the balance of the world, because suddenly everything is in joy, because all of a sudden Charitas prevails. When I wake up in the morning of Christmas Eve and my eye falls on the Christmas tree, which stands still on the white-covered table in anticipation of the jubilation hour, my eyes will get wet. O Christmas, that you awaken the hearts of men and with heavenly breath of May, walk the earth to the sanctuary, greetings! Greetings, you divine, you incomprehensible Christmas.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! We have two days in the year when love reigns, which the Savior revealed almost two thousand years ago. If every new millennium added even one day of selfless love to the year, we only need three hundred and sixty-three thousand years before the earth – assuming that it has so long life – is a kingdom of heaven.
Incidentally, if some people wanted to practice what they do for “Heaven” without the benefit of fellow human beings for this world and its inhabitants, we would come a significant way earlier to the longed-for kingdom of God on earth. –
You know the story of how poor Gregor went out into the forest to fetch a little Christmas tree for his dear children. The forester seized him and immediately put him in the detention as a thief and forest criminal. The civil code says the forester was right. That is already a suspect to me who only looks at the civil code and nothing else. We have another code in our hearts. When I went abroad from the forest house at a young age, ignorant and inexperienced, my mother took me by the hand and said: “Peter, if you want to do something to someone else and do not know whether it is right or wrong, so close your eyes to a Lord’s Prayer and think that you are the other. ”- In a few words you have the gospel, the catechism and the civil code together.
Can the Christmas bells never find harmony in our soul? Delighted gift today, lovelessness again tomorrow. Wouldn’t loyalty, the warm connection of people be a matter of course in this world, where the elements hold a thousand weapons against us every hour? Truly, it is not wise to chase enemies among the brothers and hollow phantoms and wound hearts in the short time that we see the sunlight over the graves. The lights on the Christmas tree, they burn just as solemnly and silently as those on the bier one day!
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