17 December 2005

"Santa Claus" in Germany

The company I work for has a bi-monthly publication for the employees of all of the German sites (there are at least 4 that I know of and have visited), and they recently have had many articles from the non-German employees writing about how life is different outside of Germany, especially the bit of "Schwaben" that is Heilbronn, where the majority of the German workforce of my company was born and live.

The latest issue arrived a day or two ago, and one of the articles was a series of short pieces by the foreigners explaining how Christmas is celebrated in their home countries (France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Vietnam, and thanks to my wife, the USA). I wish that there was a section about Germany, so us foreigners could compare and find out what we're doing wrong and why the Germans look at me funny when I talk about the Festivus pole.

Along those lines, I have noticed that the entity in Germany equivalent to the USA's Santa Claus apparently resorts to breaking and entering via rope ladders (and, unfortunately, ends up hanging himself while committing this dangerous process). This makes sense to me. You wouldn't belive how troubling it was for me as a kid knowing that my house was chimneyless - how the heck was Santa gonna get in? Since it was always explained to me as magical hocus-pocus in the USA, I think it is interesting to see Santa (or whatever he is called here. I think I will call him Fritz for now.) out in the open, doing his thing. So, one day, I followed Fritz around while he did his job.

Santa Invasion #1
Here, Fritz shimmies up a knotted rope. He never would have cut it in gym class, where you don't get knots, at least at my 1337 school.

Santa Invasion #2
Here Fritz is busting into a church. Someone should tell him that churches usually keep their doors unlocked, during the day.

Santa Invasion #3
Now Fritz has a rope ladder. How does he get it up there? Or does he start at the top?

Santa Invasion #4
Here Fritz (center) seems to have gotten himself tangled up in his rope ladder. Because of this problem, the backup squad has been called in. Wolfgang (left) is finshing the job, and Gunter is going to cut his (soon-to-be) fallen comrade down.

Santa Invasion #5
In this picture, Wolfgang has been caught in the act of his criminal activity. He knows he's busted!


At Sunday, 18 December, 2005 , Blogger Stefan said...

He's usually called the Weihnachtsmann, but that might just refer to the traditional, non-burglaring version. No idea what they are called.


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