in2christmas AKA How to Enjoy a Bavarian Christmas Party

Did you know that Christmas parties in Bavaria are very different from those in the United States? Really, it’s true!

Instead of discussing the differences, let’s jump right to my lessons learned, also known as…

How to Enjoy a Bavarian Christmas Party

  • Don’t wear dress shoes, wear hiking boots
  • Don’t wear nice dress clothes, wear trekking
  • Don’t bring a light sweater, bring a puffy jacket, mittens and thick hat
  • Don’t leave the dog at home, bring them along
  • Don’t use restaurant valet, park in the far lot
  • Don’t exercise that day, hike 45-minutes uphill to earn your meal
  • Don’t count on eating right away, arrive light-headed
  • Do count on drinking, outdoors with the snowman
  • Do go inside, drink some more
  • Do not look for the buffet, learn a foreign language and then order
  • Don’t look for green vegetables, meat and potatoes are good for everybody
  • Don’t leave food on the plate, the dog gets upset
  • Don’t frown, laugh and smile grandly instead
  • Don’t whisper, your boisterous neighbors want to listen
  • Don’t have a bad time, you’ll not enjoy walking downhill back to the car, late at night, in dress shoes, without a thick jacket, on a snow and ice-covered road, for 45 minutes
  • Don’t miss the last round, now use valet for a ride downhill
Thanks again in2code for making my stay in Rosenheim such a wonderful experience.

Reprinted from TYPO3 Vagabond.

2011 Bavarian Christmas and Parting Shots

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years everyone.

Peichi and I went to Füssen Germany for Christmas with Wei-tschie and her family. All of us had a great time and we’re looking forward to spring when Peichi and I can return and cycle around the area more. Füssen is a really beautiful place in Germany.

Yesterday and today’s bike rides are into the snow. Go figure, winter is here.

Peichi and I will see you next year!

Merry Christmas, My Friend

By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal
stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”

One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

About `Merry Christmas, My Friend`

They’re Beginning to Lock Out All Your Freedoms

By St. Nicholas Petreley
To the tune of It’s Beginning to look like Christmas

They’re beginning to lock out all your freedoms
No matter how you moan;
You’ll have to pay five and ten, for listening once again
To songs you already own;
It’s beginning to look a lot like Russia
Or 1984
What a frightening sight to see, a recording company
Can knock down your front door.

Some encryption that bloops and software that snoops
Is the wish of Disney’s top men;
Dolls that never talk and you never use chalk,
Every word is copywritten!
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for the revolution to begin.

It’s beginning to look a lot like prison
Ev’rywhere you go;
There’s a camera on the Hotel, one in the park as well,
There’s nothing they don’t know.
They’re beginning to lock out all your freedoms
Soon the bills will start,
And the thing that will make you pay, is the coming and fateful day
When they copyright your heart.


Life in Germany: Mid-December Photos

The past couple of weeks were filled with holiday cheer moving into high gear in Rosenheim despite temperatures dropping to 0. Last weekend, after setting up my standing desk at work, Peichi and I baked peanut chews and pecan pies for this past Tuesday’s in2christmas. Those photos will show shortly at TYPO3 Vagabond.

This morning, I got in a nice morning snow flurry ride.

On Friday, we’re heading to Füseen for Christmas with family friends from Germany and Taiwan. After Christmas, it’ll be stay at home quiet. I’m looking forward to that nice segue into 2012.