18 November, 2014

161st YEAR - THE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER WRITTEN IN THE GERMAN LANGUAGE

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GTEV Edelweiss Celebrates Christmas with Music

The talented musicians and singers play as ten different ensembles. Instruments include Hackbrett, accordions, clarinets, guitar, Okarina, bass, flute, tuba, and tenor horn.

Surrounded by our family and friends, GTEV Edelweiss members celebrated Weihnachten on the second Sunday of Advent. Thirteen musicians and singers, under Richard Michels’ direction, sang and played a dozen pieces of Volksmusik from our beautiful Bayernland. A song played by one of the ten different ensembles was the lively “Kirchseeoner Perchtentanz.” The music brought to mind the pagan custom of the Perchten, frightening, ugly creatures who dominate the twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany. Ancient belief said the Perchten were evil spirits that wreaked havoc in December. Today these creatures are part of folk customs throughout Bavaria and Tirol.

The music included pieces both peaceful and spirited. Marianne Billo read a poem in Bavarian dialect about the real meaning of the “Adventszeit.” It’s not about rushing and buying, it’s about quiet reflection and the love of family. Bible verses from the Book of Luke read in both German and English added to the feeling of Christmas anticipation. 

Those Germans who lived through World War II or have parents that did, know about the desperate times in Germany afterwards. Relatives from America often sent packages to loved ones “in der Heimat.” Our Musikwart, Rick Michels, read a poem about a fictitious Tante Rose who sent a Christmas package with coffee, goodies, and “flour” to her family in Germany. After the family used the flour in soup, pancakes, and baked goods with little success, a letter arrived from Tante Rose saying Onkel wanted his ashes to rest in his Heimat. The poem was both poignant and funny, reminding us of what many of our families and friends went through and how good we all have it today.

We ended the musical portion of the evening with the “Andachtsjodler” and “Stille Nacht, which we all sang together. “Stille Nacht” never fails to bring some tears and hugs from someone close by. Not long after, Santa’s bell could be heard and in he swooped to pass out gifts.

We celebrated at the Carpathia Hall, so the food was delicious as always. Members brought plenty of homemade desserts to share. The raffle of over sixty fun prizes added to the festivities. The Edelweiss Weihnachtsfest was over far too soon for the hundred members and friends who were there. We all look forward to 2013 and the many activities we have planned.

Karin Dean-Kraft

Santa with Rachel Stiller

Eric Walker and Andrea Edelhauser

 

 

Last modified on:08/25/2014

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