22 December 2008

It's almost Christmas in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. . .

Ebeneezer Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Present.


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 Christmas 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.

5 comments:

Bluebear Jeff said...

With like wishes to you, my friend. And may the music of the season bring gladness to the ears and hearts of all who shelter in the kindness of the Grand Duchy of Stollen.


-- Jeff

Grimsby Mariner said...

One can wish for "oodles" of such figures in their stockings but long experience has taught me that it would only be that - wishing.

Whatever the day holds may it be everything you wish for and more.

Giles said...

Stokes, a happy Christmas to you and your family and hopes for some decent wargaming pressies!

Best wishes

Giles

A J Matthews said...

Best wishes and happy holidays from the cheery denizens of Hetzenberg!

John Clements said...

Hi Stokes,

May you long give cheer to us all! Thanks for all your greetings and seasonal images as well as your encouragement and example over the year.

Very best wishes for your Christmas and to all your family,

John

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