For those of you who celebrate: Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!
Photo taken on December 22nd, 2007, near Hambühren, Germany. (Click for bigger version.)
I didn’t have much time for Christmas decoration, present shopping or things like that this year, but last weekend I mananged to bake some Christmas cookies. They’re called Heidesand and are, as far as I know, a Northern German speciality.
Für die Deutsch sprechenden Leser: Mit einigen Kollegen aus dem Hunsrück und dem Westerwald hatte ich Diskussionen darüber, ob es nun Plätzchen oder Kekse heißt. Man wollte mir weismachen, es gäbe zwischen den beiden einen gravierenden Unterschied – nur konnte mir keiner genau erklären, was genau der Unterschied sein sollte. Zu Weihnachten backen sie jedenfalls alle Plätzchen, keine Kekse. Die Norddeutschen waren sich alle einig: Die Begriffe sind synonym, und man kann sehr wohl Weihnachtskekse backen. Hauptsache, die Plätzchen schmecken.
For stories appropriate for this time of the year, check out the Christmas book recommendations.
And if I may add a personal recommendation:
A few days ago I finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It had been recommended to me by a colleague, who’d read it (in German) with her students. I won’t say anything about the details of the book here because I think I enjoyed reading it especially because I didn’t know much about what was going to happen. I’ll just say that it is about two twelve-year-old boys who grow up in Afghanistan before it is occupied by the Russians.
I rarely believe the praise that is printed on the cover of a book, but in this case the quote by Isabel Allende seems spot-on:
“This is one of those unforgettable stories that stay with you for years. It is so powerful that for a long time after, everything I read seemed bland.”
This is truly one of the best books I’ve read in a while. You can read the first two chapters here.
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