A Christmas Carol – one of my personal Favorites this Time of the Year

“…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens

Download the ebook for free at the Project Gutenberg.

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“…und immer sagte man von ihm, er wisse Weihnachten recht zu feiern, wenn es überhaupt ein Mensch wisse. Möge dies auch in Wahrheit von uns allen gesagt werden können! Und so schließen wir mit Tiny Tims Worten: Gott segne uns alle und jeden!”

Der Weihnachtsabend – von Charles Dickens

Download des e-books kostenlos beim Project Gutenberg.

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(Excerpt from Wikipedia:)

“Legacy

While the ‘Merry Christmas’ was popularized following the appearance of the story,[58] and the name “Scrooge” and exclamation “Bah! Humbug!” have entered the English language,[59] Ruth Glancy argues the book’s singular achievement is the powerful influence it has exerted upon its readers. In the spring of 1844, The Gentleman’s Magazine attributed a sudden burst of charitable giving in Britain to Dickens’s novella; in 1874, Robert Louis Stevenson waxed enthusiastic after reading Dickens’s Christmas books and vowed to give generously; and Thomas Carlyle expressed a generous hospitality by staging two Christmas dinners after reading the book.[60] In America, a Mr. Fairbanks attended a reading on Christmas Eve in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1867, and was so moved he closed his factory on Christmas Day and sent every employee a turkey.[33] In the early years of the 20th century, the Queen of Norway sent gifts to London’s crippled children signed “With Tiny Tim’s Love”; Sir Squire Bancroft raised £20,000 for the poor by reading the tale aloud publicly; and Captain Corbett-Smith read the tale to the troops in the trenches of World War I.[61]

(…) This simple morality tale with its pathos and theme of redemption significantly redefined the “spirit” and importance of Christmas, since, as Margaret Oliphant recalled, it “moved us all those days ago as if it had been a new gospel.”

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr!

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Best wishes for the New Year 2016!  Alles Gute für das Neue Jahr 2016!

My Cover of Auld Lang Syne

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Auld Lang Syne – in the style of Mairi Campbell – a.k.a. “…you know, that version that they play in Sex and the City!”

(…and I sincerely hope any Scottish person listening to this will forgive my accent…;)… it was a very spontaneous decision to record this as well…)

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Some Bits of German Holiday Culture…

…that are actually not so VERY German after all…

[WHY am I posting this? Read more about my new service HERE!]

Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel

“Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel, English: Three Nuts for Cinderella, Three Gifts for Cinderella [UK title] and Three Wishes for Cinderella) is a Czechoslovak/East German fairy-tale film from 1973.” [quoted from Wikipedia]

This is in part German (made in cooperation of the former GDR in with some German actors), and it is a beautiful and slightly unusual take on the famous “Cinderella” fairy tale. More than 40 years old, this has become something like a staple of German holiday TV around Christmas time.

[In case this link does not work, there are plenty of others to be found on Youtube.]

 

Der Kleine Lord – Little Lord Fauntleroy

Another classic, this time a British one, the movie version (1980)  of the children’s book of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett – starring  Sir Alec Guiness and Ricky Schroder. There are several versions of this story, but it is mainly this particular version that is very popular in German families over the Christmas holidays.

 

Dinner for One – Der 90. Geburtstag

From a cultural point of view, I consider this show to be particularly interesting. “Dinner for One” is regularly aired on New Year’s Eve on German television. Watching this (approx 18 minutes long) comedy is a huge New Year’s Eve tradition in Germany.

The interesting thing is: A German TV channel recorded the sketch 1963 with the actors Freddie Frinton and May Warden, and it was recorded in its original English language. (Foreign movies and TV shows in Germany are usually aired in a dubbed version.) Meanwhile, there are other versions around, but this one remains the most popular version in Germany.

Even more interesting, as far as I am concerned: While this is nothing less than famous in Germany, it seems to be hardly known in either the United Kingdom or the USA!

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And whatever you might be celebrating these upcoming days, be it Christmas, Hanukkah or something else (or nothing particular at all): Have a joyous and peaceful time. All the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very happy Thanksgiving… (Fröhliches Thanksgiving!)

 

…to all my American friends and readers

(…resp. to those who live in the USA – and actually celebrate it – regardless their nationality)!

In Germany, people often wonder about this so very American holiday, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. What does it mean? What are the origins? For their benefit, I include the German Wikipedia page regarding this topic and hope it provides some form of explaination.

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Heute wünsche ich all meinen amerikanischen Freunden und Lesern (m/w) ein fröhliches “Thanksgiving”. Hier in Deutschland ist man sich oft nicht so ganz im Klaren darüber, was es mit diesem doch sehr amerikanischen Fest eigentlich auf sich hat, das jeweils am vierten Donnerstag im November gefeiert wird. Daher füge ich hier einfach mal den Link zur deutschen Wikipedia-Seite zu diesem Thema bei. Hier finden sich ein paar Informationen zur Natur und zur (möglichen) Herkunft von “Thanksgiving”.

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A Christmas Carol (Der Weihnachtsabend) – Charles Dickens

“…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens

Download the ebook for free at the Project Gutenberg.

~~~

“…und immer sagte man von ihm, er wisse Weihnachten recht zu feiern, wenn es überhaupt ein Mensch wisse. Möge dies auch in Wahrheit von uns allen gesagt werden können! Und so schließen wir mit Tiny Tims Worten: Gott segne uns alle und jeden!”

Der Weihnachtsabend – von Charles Dickens

Download des e-books kostenlos beim Project Gutenberg.

~~~

Bild

(Excerpt from Wikipedia:)

“Legacy

While the ‘Merry Christmas’ was popularized following the appearance of the story,[58] and the name “Scrooge” and exclamation “Bah! Humbug!” have entered the English language,[59] Ruth Glancy argues the book’s singular achievement is the powerful influence it has exerted upon its readers. In the spring of 1844, The Gentleman’s Magazine attributed a sudden burst of charitable giving in Britain to Dickens’s novella; in 1874, Robert Louis Stevenson waxed enthusiastic after reading Dickens’s Christmas books and vowed to give generously; and Thomas Carlyle expressed a generous hospitality by staging two Christmas dinners after reading the book.[60] In America, a Mr. Fairbanks attended a reading on Christmas Eve in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1867, and was so moved he closed his factory on Christmas Day and sent every employee a turkey.[33] In the early years of the 20th century, the Queen of Norway sent gifts to London’s crippled children signed “With Tiny Tim’s Love”; Sir Squire Bancroft raised £20,000 for the poor by reading the tale aloud publicly; and Captain Corbett-Smith read the tale to the troops in the trenches of World War I.[61]

According to historian Ronald Hutton, the current state of observance of Christmas is largely the result of a mid-Victorian revival of the holiday spearheaded by A Christmas Carol. Hutton argues that Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a self-centred festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centred observations, the observance of which had dwindled during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[62] In superimposing his secular vision of the holiday, Dickens influenced many aspects of Christmas that are celebrated today in Western culture, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a festive generosity of spirit.[63]

This simple morality tale with its pathos and theme of redemption significantly redefined the “spirit” and importance of Christmas, since, as Margaret Oliphant recalled, it “moved us all those days ago as if it had been a new gospel.”[64] and resurrected a form of seasonal merriment that had been suppressed by the Puritan quelling of Yuletide pageantry in 17th-century England.[65]