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Christmas traditions in Germany - German-American Society

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VOL. 17 NO. 4
FALL 2009
Christmas Traditions
in Germany
By Jared Winston
Countries all across the world celebrate
the winter solstice holiday season in their
own unique ways. Some such as Christmas and Hanukkah are religious celebrations, while others are non-religious celebrations of nature, people and the coming
spring solstice. The reasoning behind the
various holiday celebrations can sometimes differ greatly, but there are a surprising number of commonalities among
the celebratory traditions. Over the thousands of years that man has celebrated the
season, each group influenced others with
their traditions.
Today each country and faith celebrates
the holiday in their own unique ways, but
more often than not you can detect common themes shared between countries. In
this article we will take a closer look at
how Christmas is celebrated in Germany,
during which you will see that their traditions are not unlike those shared by England and America.
The youth in many countries celebrate
a beloved mystical figure such as Santa
Claus and Germany is no different; the
German equivalent of America’s Santa
and England’s
IN THIS ISSUE
Father Christmas is none
other than the
Club Matters
2
kindly Kris
Club Events
3
Kringle. UnRecipe Corner
4
like
Santa,
Kris
Kringle
Acknowledgments
5
is not responSports
6
sible for passing
out gifts to
Help Wanted
6
excited chilSponsors
7
dren, that duty
is reserved by
NГјrnberger Christkindlesmarkt
another holiday figure: Christkind.
In Germany children will write letters
to Christkind (translated as the Christ
Child), much like American children send
letters to Santa in the North Pole. The
German children place their letters into
an envelope heavily adorned with glue
and sugar. These envelopes are placed on
windowsills where they can glitter in the
gentle light of the moon.
And as if the German youth didn’t already celebrate enough kindly eternal figures there is yet one more: Saint Nicholas! Traditionally children will stuff their
shoes with hay, straw or carrots every
Christmas Eve and leave them on their
doorsteps. When Saint Nicholas rides by
later that evening on his proud white stallion he stops momentarily by each door so
that his stallion can feed on the treats left
behind. To thank the generous children,
Saint Nicholas will replace the eaten hay
and/or carrots with delicious candies.
Few things capture the holiday spirits
of people better than the age-old Christmas tree. While millions of people set up
their Christmas tree each and every year,
a good portion of them don’t even realize
that the tradition originated from Germany.
Germans love their Christmas trees just as
much as Americans and Englishmen… in
fact it’s not uncommon to see more than
one tree in a German household!
There are conflicting myths about how
the Christmas tree first came to be, but
one of the most common stories tells the
tale of an old woodcutter that stumbled
across a young hungry child in the woods.
He stopped chopping trees for a bit to befriend and feed the child. Once their meal
was finished the two went on their separate ways.
Early during the next morning the child
appeared in front of the woodcutter and
his wife in the form of a spirit. He identified himself as Christkind and thanked the
surprised woodcutter for his act of kindness on the previous day. To repay the
woodcutter’s good will, Christkind gave
him the sprig of an evergreen tree and told
him the tree from which the sprig came
Continued on page 4
German-American
New Members
REPORTER
John Bernhardt
Published quarterly with information to
the membership and friends of the
German-American Society of Trenton, NJ
Krystal Lynn Gadsby
Willkommen!
Publicity Chairman
Dennis W. Lawrence
Ladies Auxiliary Club
Theater Trip
Editor
George Brodbeck
E-mail: [email protected]
DEADLINE for the next Reporter
All information for the next newsletter must
be submitted to George Brodbeck, Editor, no
later than December 3rd.
From the Editor
It has been almost a year now that I
have begun my membership with the club
and I have already met great people and
heard wonderful stories about the club
and its members. What got me interested
in the club was its long history and it’s
German culture. So, what I thought was
to bring this into the newsletter. There is
so much to tell new members, like myself,
about our club and its history. I’m sure I
can’t be the only one with such interests.
I’m giving a open invite to share your stories, experiences, or other articles about
our club. Maybe you have a great story
about Germany, a great recipe, or just a
informational article? Whatever the case,
feel free to send it in to the newsletter.
As always, if you want to mention something about your personal life, our Bit’s &
Pieces section is open for you to share. So
please consider sharing your stories and
information.
Have any comments on the new layout
of the newsletter? Please send them to
George Brodbeck at [email protected]
or drop them off in his mailbox at the club.
2
THE REPORTER FALL 2009
в—Џ
OUR NEW CLUB STEWARDS
The club would like to welcome Jason
& Iryna Baker as our new club stewards.
Already on the job and doing well, we ask
you to make them feel at home here at the
club. Thanks for your presence Jason &
Iryna, Willkommen!
Date:
November 12, 2009
Show: The Producers, A musical comedy
Place:
Bucks County Playhouse
Show Time:
2:00 PM
Meet at the club at 12:30 PM
Dinner:
Lambertville Station
following the show
Cost:
Show, dinner tax and gratuity
$50.00 per person.
DEADLINE:
October 12th, 2009
For reservation please call:
Adele Weber (609) 888-5301
Payment expected at time of reservation.
Adele Weber
141 Redwood Avenue
Trenton, New Jersey 08610
Mail payment to:
G ERMAN - AMERI C AN
C HRISTMAS C HOIR
Christmas Singers Wanted
Rehearsals start on Monday, October
19 at 7:30 PM in the Main Hall. If you
are interested or need more information,
call Henry Sawadski at 609-890-1887.
All are welcome, even if you do not speak
German. Come and join the fun!
th
OR
Place in Theresa Kluzner or Kathy
Hoenisch’s mailbox at the club with:
Attention: Adele Weber on the envelope.
Please provide your own transportation
or
please
volunteer
to
drive
others if there is room in your car.
†In Loving Memory
KEEP INFORMED
It is with a deep sense of sadness that we
announce the passing of our members
Listen to
Helmuth Hans Bartlog
Egon “Jack” Makkay
Marie Ann Hujus
Our condolences and deepest sympathy
go out to the families.
TED HIERL’S
GERMAN-AMERICAN
PROGRAM
Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
On WNWR 1540 AM Radio
FALL CALENDAR
OCTOBER
NOVEMBER
Saturday 3rd
Sunday 1
with music by DJ Brett Gash
8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
with accordionist Mike Skweir
Seatings 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
AMERICAN OLDIES DANCE
50’s - 90’s music. Food available from 6:00
to 8:30 PM. You will need a reservation. For
table reservations call Dennis Lawrence at
856-764-3106.
Admission: $7.00 per person at the door.
Sunday 4
th
CLUB FALL PICNIC - CANCELED
Thursday, 8
th
QUARTERLY MEETING
Saturday 19th
st
CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY
SCHLACHTFEST
All You Can Eat - Family Style
Admission: $14.00 Adult, $7.00 Children.
Saturday 21st
(Rain Date: 11/28)
FALL CLEAN-UP
8:00 AM - FINISHED
Bring a rake or use the club’s. Refreshments
will be provided. For information please
call Henry Sawadski at 609-890-1887.
8:00 PM in the main hall
Saturday, 10
th
(Rain Date: 10/11)
ANNUAL GERMAN-AMERICAN
CHILI COOK-OFF
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Place: German-American Society picnic
grove. Come join us in our Chili tasting cookoff. Beer & Food available with Live DJ. Call
Bonny Buchler 609-208-2170 for information.
Admission: $10, Kids under 12 free.
Saturday 24
th
HALLOWEEN DANCE
with music by Bud & Linda Gramer
8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Costume contest. Food available from 6:00 to
8:30 PM Choice of meals: Sizzling Steak with
peppers & onions, Sauerbraten with spätzle &
red cabbage, Stuffed Shrimp with crabmeat and
Seafood Newburgh with rice, Pork Schnitzel,
Jäger Schnitzel, or 1/2 Roasted Chicken
Admission: $9.00 per person at the door
This event is covered by your season pass.
All calls for dance reservations, except
otherwise noted, are to be to directed
to JoAnn Lawrence, Entertainment
Chairperson at 856-764-3106 or
[email protected]
Saturday Dances: Dinners available from 6:00
PM to 8:30 PM including Soup, Salad, Coffee
& Dessert, or A’ la Carte dinners are available.
For those who do not have an entertainment
pass, general admission is $9.00.
For Sundays: Club opens 12:00 Noon with
dinners served from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
WE DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS,
SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
Saturday 21st
GRAND BALL
with music by the Rick Koreyva
6:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Formal Dress/Black Tie. Choice of
meals: Kassler Ribchen (Smoked Pork
Chop) with sauerkraut, Veal Schnitzel,
Jäger
Schnitzel,
Broiled
Flounder
Florentine, or 1/2 Roasted Chicken.
Admission: $9.00 per person at the door.
This event is covered by your season pass.
Thursday 26 - Sunday 29
th
th
THANKSGIVING DAY WEEKEND
The Club and Kitchen Will Be Closed
DECEMBER
Tuesday 1st
CHRISTMAS SHOW 2009
“Bald nun ist Weinachtszeit”
with music by Axel Becker, Styrina,
Mr. JГјrgen, & Kristall
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Entertainment from Germany. Dinner platters available 4:00 to 5:30 PM before the
show. Please call Marlene Combs for reservations and tickets at 609-396-8332.
Tickets: $18.00 Prepaid, $16.00 Balcony,
$20.00 At Door
with music by Tony Walters
6:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Buffet dinner will be served at 7:00 PM.
Our Club Choir will also be performing.
There will be no exchange gifts. Call
JoAnn Lawrence at 856-764-3106 for
tickets. Cut-off for tickets is Dec. 3rd.
Admission: $10.00 per person at the door.
This event is for Club Members Only.
Sunday 20th
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY
1:00 PM
with entertainment & Santa Claus
Free hot dogs and soda for the kids. Kitchen will
be open with a limited menu. See registration
form inserted in this “Reporter”. This form will
also be available at the club. The form must be
returned to JoAnn Lawrence by December 1, at
1 Ferry Street, Delran, NJ 08075. Phone: 856764-3106 or email to: [email protected]
This event is for Club Members Only.
Thursday 24th - Sunday 27th
CHRISTMAS WEEKEND
The Club and Kitchen Will Be Closed
Thursday 31st
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
with music by The Windjammers
6:00 PM - 1:30 AM
Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM. Choice
of meals: Prime Rib, Salmon stuffed with
crabmeat, or Veal Schnitzel. A Continental
Breakfast will be served after the New
Year. You will need a reservation. For tickets
call Stacy Hannawacker at 609-731-1572.
Cut-off for tickets is Dec. 17th.
Tickets: $50.00 Members
$55.00 Non-members
JANUARY
Friday 1st - Saturday 2nd
The Club and Kitchen Will Be Closed
Sunday 3rd
Club will be open, but no Sunday dinners.
FALL 2009 THE REPORTER
в—Џ
3
RECIPE CORNER
Vanille-Hörnchen
(Vanilla Crescent
Christmas Cookies)
Yield: Makes 30 cookies
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ingredients
7 1/2 ounces flour
3 1/4 ounces ground almonds
6 1/3 ounces butter
3 1/4 ounces sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Directions
1. Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar together in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Knead by hand until dough comes together.
3. Don’t over knead it.
4. Separate dough into about 30 segments.
5. Form each segment into a half moon or crescent shape.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes until they’re golden colored.
9. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar while they’re still hot
or dust them with the powdered sugar while still on the cookie
sheet.
10. It is important that you do this while they’re still warm or the
sugar won’t stick.
11. Put on wire rack to cool.
If you have a recipe you would like to share with us, please send
it to George Brodbeck at [email protected], or you can drop
it off at his mailbox at the club
German Christmas Tradition
What Christmas would be complete without a seemingly endless assortment of tasty foods and drinks? If you were to celebrate Christmas while in Germany you would have your fill
would bear fruit year round. In response to this miraculous in- of indulgent treats such as spiced cakes, cookies, handmade
cident, each year Germans started felling evergreen trees each candies and cocoa. Although all the above are enough to satisfy
winter and decorating them with ornaments, candies, candles the palate there are two specialties Germans are renowned for:
and more.
gingerbread and glГјwein (which is a spiced red wine). Bakers
Once Thanksgiving arrives in America you can be sure of one also produce a special type of dough called Christbaumgeback,
thing: virtually every mall and shopping outlet will be adorned which is molded into various shapes and hung on Christmas
with many festive Christmas decorations. Germans know how trees as adornments.
to kick the holiday shopping system into high gear too… in
Each country has their own festive traditions that take place
fact they have a name for this tradition: Christkindlmarkt. Dur- during the winter holiday season, but few are quite as memoing this time vendors and merchants will line the various town rable as Christmas in Germany. Those lucky enough to vacation
streets and offer special sales for Christmas. The festive decora- in this wonderful country during the holiday season will leave
tions, scents and sounds of the holiday create a true feast for the with memories that will last them a lifetime.
senses.
Continued from page 1
4
THE REPORTER FALL 2009
в—Џ
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Did You Know?
The Thirty Years’ War
1618-48
Jack Makkay
By Peter Spildemer
A honorable member Egon J. “Jack”
Makkay passed away Tuesday, July 14th
at the age of 87. Jack was a longtime New
Jersey resident arriving in the U.S. in
1955. Born in Brasov (Kronstadt), Transylvania, Romania in 1921. Kronstadt belonged to Austria-Hungary prior to 1918.
During the Second World War he was a
pilot in the Luftwaffe. Jack also continued his love for flying with his ultra light
aircraft throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
Jack was employed at RCA Astrospace
in Heightstown as a manufacturing engineer developing and aiding in the building
of communication satellites. In his spare
time he operated a commercial sign business “Central Art” in Allentown.
As a longtime member to the GermanAmerican Society he served some time
as secretary. Thanks to Jack we have the
many city and state plaques that hang in
the Aurora Room. He also crafted the German sayings (sprГјehe) that hang behind
the bar, over the stage, and throughout the
Mary Ann C. Hujus
Mary Ann hujus
From the Ladies Auxiliary
Mary Ann was born in Putnam County,
NY, and was adopted by German immigrant parents, Anthony and Anna Wilhelm
Dilk. She was a former resident of Tren-
www.germanculture.com.ua
Egon J. “Jack” Makkay
club. Jack designed the original GermanAmerican Society flag that we proudly
display. His love for our club reflects in all
his wonderful artwork that still hangs today. Thank you Jack for your many years
and excellent contributions.
A memorial service was held on July
31st at the Peppler Funeral Home in Allentown. His ashes will be returned to Austria
to join the ashes of his wife Frieda.
ton and Holgate, later to find her home in
Cream Ridge, NJ. Mary Ann Hujus became a member to the German-American
Society in 1970 and with her many years
involved with the club has accomplished
many things. As a part of the Ladies Auxiliary she held the position of Treasurer
and later to become president. She worked
on the board as a director until 2008, when
she resigned due to illness. Mary Ann was
also a former organizer and member of
the Franklin Park Civic Association. After 43 years, Mary Ann retired as manager
of the New Jersey National Bank Trenton
Branches.
The wife of the late William D. Hujus,
Mary Ann passed away at home at the
age of 79. Funeral services and cremation were held at Knott’s Colonial Funeral
Home in Hamilton. Memorial donations
may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Hospice, 176
Riverside Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701 or
to the German American Society, Uncle
Pete’s Road, Yardville NJ 08691.
Germany enjoyed a time of relative quiet between the Peace of Augsburg, signed
in 1555, and the outbreak of the Thirty
Years’ War in 1618. The empire functioned in a more regular way than previously, and its federal nature was more evident than in the past. The Reichstag met
frequently to deal with public matters, and
the emperors Ferdinand I (r. 1556-64) and
Maximilian II (r. 1564-76) were cautious
rulers concerned mostly with strengthening their family’s hold on Austria and
adjacent areas. Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612)
was an indolent and capricious ruler who
generally followed his advisers’ counsel.
As a result, some German states were able
to expand their territories by annexing
smaller neighbors in the absence of an engaged and attentive emperor. Local rivalries engendered tensions that often were
based on religious affiliation.
BITS AND P IE C ES
FROM THE CLUB
Herbert & Ingrid Gutjahr would like
to congratulate their grandson Michael
J. Gobell in his graduating class of 2009.
Michael was a candidate for the degree
of Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical
Engineering
and
Mechanical
Engineering. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Dennis and JoAnn
Lawrence on the birth of their sixth
grandchild, Alyssa Bethany Brooks
on September the 14th. Alyssa is the
daughter of Suzanne and Terry Brooks
and joins her sister Catilyn and brother
Nikolas.
Please send in information about yourself or
family for the newsletter. Send your info to
George Brodbeck at [email protected],
or you can drop it off at his mailbox at the club.
FALL 2009 THE REPORTER
в—Џ
5
SPORTS
HELP WANTED
-
GAK FALL SCHEDULE 2009
DATE
DAY
TEAM
TIME
FIELD
09/11/09
FRI
U-13 BOYS
7:00 PM
MAIN
09/13/09
SUNMEN
Please visit all of our teams’ websites
linked
from
www.gakclub.org.
Congratulations to the following teams
for their promotion to the next flight due to
their finish from the Spring 2009 season:
U-9 Boys - 2nd Place
U-11 YMCA Boys - 1st Place
U-12 Boys - 1st Place
U-14 Boys - 1st Place
U-18 Boys - 2nd Place
Season starts 09/11/09.
Nick Wiener, Jr.
Merry Christmas !
The Board of the German-American
Society would like to wish all members
and their families, patrons and friends
a very Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year!
6
THE REPORTER FALL 2009
в—Џ
U-14 BOYS
09/19/09
SAT
09/20/09
SUN
12:00 PM
MAIN
2:00 PM
MAIN
U-10 BOYS
12:30 PM
SMALL
U-14 BOYS
2:00 PM
MAIN
U-13 BOYS
3:30 PM
MAIN
09/26/09
SAT
09/27/09
SUN
U-10 BOYS 12:30 PM
SMALL
10/03/09
SAT
10/04/09
SUNMEN
10/10/09
SAT
10/11/09
SUN
12:00 PM
MAIN
U-13 BOYS
2:00 PM
MAIN
U-14 BOYS
3:30 PM
MAIN
10/17/09
SAT
10/18/09
SUNMEN
U-10 BOYS
12:00 PM
MAIN
12:30 PM
SMALL
10/24/09
SAT
10/25/09
SUN
10/31/09
SAT
11/01/09
SUNMEN
12:00 PM
MAIN
U-14 BOYS
2:00 PM
MAIN
U-13 BOYS
3:30 PM
MAIN
11/07/09
SAT
11/08/09
SUNMEN
12:00 PM
MAIN
U-10 BOYS
12:30 PM
SMALL
U-13 BOYS
2:00 PM
MAIN
U-14 BOYS
3:30 PM
MAIN
12:30 PM
SMALL
12:00 PM
MAIN
11/14/09
SAT
11/15/09
SUN
11/21/09
SAT
11/22/09
SUNMEN
U-10 BOYS
NO GAMES 11/28/09 & 11/29/09 – THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
12/05/09
SAT
12/06/09
SUNMEN
12:00 PM
MAIN
T O
A L L
M E M B E R S
-
Help Wanted - Will provide one/one
“hands on” training if you have the desire
to learn. Looking for a motivated individual
who “loves” our Club and is “cost
conscious” to assist in tracking profit/loss on
various club & catering events. Must have
email access and Microsoft Excel software.
Contact Diana Grover for more information
- [email protected] or dgrover@
hollyrealtors.com or cell 609-647-7564.
KITCHEN - Helpers are needed to work
in the kitchen on Sundays. You would
be doing five Sundays a year and will be
assigned to a new group. Please call Anna
Marie Wiener at 609-585-6049. This is
a vital program for our club members.
KITCHEN - The club is looking for
someone to help supervise the making of the
donuts at the spring and fall Schlachtfests.
Please call Theresia Kluzner at 609-4991308 for more details.
CATERING - Anyone interested in
working catered affairs, non-catered
affairs, and picnics please call Anna
Marie
Wiener
at
609-585-6049.
MISC. - If anyone has pictures that you
would like to share for the photo board
please call Linda Baumann at 609-4900943. We would especially like to have
some pictures from previous Anniversary
dances for this years Anniversary Dance.
All photos will be returned, please identify
your pictures on the back of the photo.
Please remember the club needs the support
of all it’s members, not just a handful. There
are many chances to volunteer for a task or
two to help out here at the club. Whether it’s
helping in the kitchen, working at the door at
dances, volunteering at picnics or weddings,
clean-ups, building projects, or any other of
the many chores open to members. Also,
you can support the club by coming out to
the many offered affairs. There are a variety
of dances, dinners, picnics, the Thursday
night buffet, soccer games, naming just
a few. So, come out and help and most
of all join in the fun and fellowship.
ADVERTISERS
Thanks to all the contributors for making this issue and future issues of the Reporter possible. If you would like to advertise
your business in the Reporter, please contact Dennis Lawrence at [email protected], or by phone at 856-764-3106.
FALL 2009 THE REPORTER
в—Џ
7
UPCOMING EVENTS
QUARTERLY MEMBERSHIP MEETING
American Oldies Dance
October 3rd
Thursday, October 8th, 2009
at 8:00 PM in Main Hall.
Fall Picnic
CANCELLED
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Halloween Dance
October 24th
Schlachtfest
November 1st
FROM YOUR FRIENDS
AT THE CLUB.
Grand Ball
November 21st
Christmas Show 2009
December 1st
New Year’s Eve Party
December 31st
MORE
DETAILS
INSIDE
DON’T FORGET – WE’RE OPEN FOR
SUNDAY DINNERS
1:00 PM TO 6:00 PM.
Bring the family!
German-American Society of Trenton, NJ
215 Uncle Pete’s Road
Trenton, NJ 08691-3733
Club Christmas Party
December 19th
Permit No. 170
Trenton, NJ
PAID
U.S. POSTAGE
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