English German

  Edition # 151  
San Francisco, 12-20-2023

Figure [1]: Poetic atmosphere at the German School's Christmas market in Mountain View.

Angelika Michael always calls me Christmas Mouse. I stand for that, I find Christmas great with everything that belongs to it. That has actually always been like that. I love decorating the apartment for Christmas. Even in the bathroom we have Christmas decorations. I always make my own Advent wreath and there is a candle here and a candle there. That's how I want it, that's how it has to be. And of course, a real Christmas tree cannot be missing.

In the United States, many people also celebrate Christmas, but since the population is diverse, other important holidays like Chanukka are also celebrated. Therefore, public institutions such as public schools, usually refrain from putting certain holidays of religious origin at the center, as the American Constitution stipulates a separation between church and state. Of course, there are always grey areas.

This year I am fully into the Christmas spirit thanks to my job at the German School of Silicon Valley. There were Advent calendars and Advent wreaths in every classroom. The children opened the calendar's little doors and made stars out of the beautiful gold foil paper that I remember from my childhood days. I heard traditional songs like "Kling Glöckchen" and "Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen", but also the earworm "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei" by Rolf Zuckowski or English songs such as "Up on the Housetop".

Figure [2]: A craftsmanship stand was also well received.

The absolute highlight was, however, the school's Christmas market, which happened this year on December 9th. The proceeds of the market go to the school. Initially, I thought there would be just a few booths with handmade items, but I was wrong. The market was just like a German Christmas market in terms of size and range of goods on offer. There was gluhwein, bratwurst, Christmas decorations from the Ore Mountains, gingerbread, Stollen, jewellery, craftwork. I couldn't believe it. The market is completely organised by volunteers from the school and the festive treats are actually imported by ship container from Germany. The market has been running for over 10 years and unfortunately had to be cancelled last year due to a severe storm and was also affected by the Coronavirus pandemic two years earlier.

Figure [3]: USArundbrief reporter team selling gingerbread.

This year the atmosphere was so lively. The sun shone from the sky, and everything went great. The market took place on the town square in Mountain View, the city where our school is located. It was bustling with activity and people were standing in line for gluhwein and bratwurst like crazy. Michael and I had volunteered to work a shift at the sweets and baked goods stand. We sold chocolate sticks, dominoes, speculaas, printen, and more. We could hardly keep up with the customers. It was great fun and by the end of the day, almost everything had been sold.

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