22 December 2007

Merry Christmas to the World from the Grand Duchy of Stollen!

Picture this scene east of the sun and west of the moon. The ground is white with snow. Billowing, silvery drifts are piled throughout the country. The rivers and lakes are frozen solid. The woods are still but for the distant jingle of sleigh bells in the bracing air. The sky is slate grey and heavy. Coal smoke hangs over the villages and towns. It is almost Christmas here in the far-off Grand Duchy of Stollen, somewhere to the northeast of Frederick’s Prussia.

Stollenians bustle to and fro through snow-covered streets in the capital city of Krankenstadt, running last minute errands before the Christmas festival begins in earnest. The North German Gothic red brick storefronts feature special Christmas items and treats, and the happy faces of children peek in through the frosty windows at the cheerful seasonal displays. Street vendors peddle their wares in the town squares, shouting loudly above the din of shoppers, their voices forming puffs of steam in the wintry air.

The colorful, gabled merchants’ houses are warmly lit by candles in each window as year-end business is concluded in the ground floor offices. Music and song emanate from the Lutheran and Catholic cathedrals. The notes and tones coalesce, spiraling up above the old city as organists and choirs rehearse their respective parts for the coming celebration. And in the side streets, local coffee houses and taverns provide a welcome respite from the biting Baltic cold along with hot beverages to warm the palettes of many a weary patron.

As you drop by the Grand Duchy of Stollen for your own cup of warm holiday cheer during the next several days, the jolly Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and fetching Grand Duchess Sonja would like to wish each and every one of you, as well as your near and dear ones, a happy and joyous holiday season. May you find oodles of Stadden, Willie, Spencer Smith and RSM figures in your stocking and an "old school" book title or two beneath your tree on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to one and all!!!


tradgardmastare said...

I'll visit asap- sounds super!

David said...

And season's greetings to you all from the frozen citizens of Tippelbruder as they huddle round their braziers on the icy ramparts of the town, waiting for news that the Stagonians have arrived at last! Not to mention the troops of the Alliance as they curse and gather round their camp fires, singing part-songs and drinking warm punch to ward off the chill winds, waiting for the alarm signal from the outposts.

Merry Xmas!

David von Tippelbruder.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Competition is fierce in the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein as each regiment, whether of foot of mounted readies it's best singers for the annual caroling competition.

Each unit will send its carolers around to town after town. There are no "hard" prizes . . . but the approval and opinions of the citizens of the Principality will dominate many a conversation over pints and warm fires.

May you discover that the Grand Duchess has another wonderful surprise for you this Christmastime and may all of your times be joyous ones.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

A J Matthews said...

A Merry Christmas to you and yours too, Stokes, from the snow-bound Duchy of Hetzenberg.

War may be looming on the horizon for the doughty Duchy but for now, peace reigns, the Duke and Duchess take gifts to the poor and needy, and old soldiers sit by blazing barrack room fires, drink too much and tell tall stories about their youthful deeds.

Happy Holidays!

Grimsby Mariner said...

A very Merry Christmas to you too Stokes.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Merry Christmas to you Stokes and to the Duchess Sonja. Thank you for a highly entertaining year on your blog. I look forward to hearing how your painting marathon went.


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