Here's a photograph of the yearly Christmas market a bit further south in Germany, this time in Augsburg, a place where I spent a few days in January or February of 1986. Very quiet then and rather different from the northern part of the country with which I am much more familiar.
Sometimes you just get bogged down with stuff. Depsite my best intentions of returning to the painting table yesterday, a late final exam, combined with a band rehearsal afterwards and a delightful French Provencal stew prepared by the Grand Duchess meant that the evening simply vanished. And before I knew it, it was 11pm and time to start thinking about hitting the hay, so I can get Young Master Paul up this morning. In about half an hour actually. So, my poor Luebecker Musketeers must wait until later today for me to continue with them.
Midday, we have a Holiday Luncheon put on by the university, which we will attend. I'm looking forward to it, but, of course, that means there is certain preparation work here at home that must be done since we have a babysitter coming for a couple of hours to look after Little Stollen in our absence. With any luck at all, though, I should be able to get in some solider time this afternoon and later this evening after supper and the Young Master's bedtime.
While I love December and the Advent period with all of its activity, excitement, and anticipation, sometimes things get little too busy for my liking. Tomorrow evening, we are having several couples over for drinks and hors d'ouvres (Sp?). The Grand Duchess is planning several German Christmas delicacies for us to enjoy, which will be lovely, but to be honest, I'd rather have a quieter day and evening tomorrow with just the family, some eggnog, and maybe a game or two of Scrabble with my wife.
I suppose these are the sacrifices one must occasionally make this time of year, but December can get a little crazy, and we have declined a couple of other invitations in the name of keeping our Christmas break somewhat calmer and less hectic. Sometimes you just have to say, "No thank you." One of my mother's Irish friends in Mexico refers to these kinds of situations as "No Days," during which he sees no one and does nothing other than what he wants to do. A nice idea. I think we need more No Days this time of year as a way of lowering holiday stress. Who's with me (in my best Errol Flynn voice as I swing from one mast to another)?
One of the things that is neat about all of these old illustrations of Saint Nick that I find and post at this time of year is that, very often, he is dressed in robes of another color than red. I am particularly fond of green Santas and Father Christmases like this one.