I'm in Frankfurt, my flight got in at 11am and leaves at 8:45pm, so I hopped the train to downtown Frankfurt and have been cruising around. It's cold out but the Christmas season is in the air -- and the Germans do it right. The whole downtown walking area is covered with food stands with some of the tastiest looking treats I've seen, mistletoe vendors walk the streets, the trees and wreaths are perfect, it's just like you'd expect. What a great tradition-filled way to celebrate the winter solstice, it's been going on (bringing evergreens into your house, the yule log, feasting etc.) in this area for about 4000 years (long before the Christian church co-opted it with a wildly inaccurate statement of their figure head's b-day; the bible says little about the actual date and the information you can find points to a September/October time frame -- about 5 years BC, go figure).
I especially like the whole Santa Claus tradition, though only a couple of hundred years old it's the fusion of a Dutch tale and a German one and makes for a nice tradition ... and no one had to get nailed to anything for it either.
Man am I tired, I'm going to sleep like a (yule) log on the plane. More from Jordan.Posted by rick at December 21, 2004 06:26 AM