Saturday, 18 December 2010

der Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree)

It is exactly one week until Christmas, which this year will be spent with my entire family in Bonn, Germany. The plan is to embrace some of the German traditions while we're here. We are of course hoping for a 'white Christmas', which is not unthinkable -- there is still much snow on the ground, and it snowed quite heavily for a while yesterday. Fingers crossed the world is still white in a week!

In true German fashion we set off today to choose our Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). The plantation we visited was filled with snow-laden Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes -- from massive 4-5m monsters, down to tiny baby trees about 10cm high. The idea is to trek through the snow to find the exact tree that meets height, breadth, symmetry and aesthetic requirements, then have it cut down, netted and slung over the car. It then hangs around outside until next Friday, Christmas Eve, when it is brought inside and decorated.

It took us about 20 mins to investigate the various tree-options and make our selection, all the while our toes and fingers becoming numb. A snowball fight ensued once the choice was made and we awaited the man with the saw. By the time the tree was felled and roped onto the roof of the car, an hour had passed and we were all freezing and ready for a hot drink and lunch. O Tannenbaum, the pains to we which we go to choose thee!

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