Frohe Weihnachten!

Some things I loved about my German Christmas:

The woodstove:

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Putting together stars:

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Family piano playing:

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The confusion that ensues when you mistranslate baking soda to baking powder, then have to Google what is equal to baking soda in German, then have to find it in the kitchen after momma has already gone to bed:

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Real vanilla:

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Providing the egg nog from the base commissary:

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A gloriously successful cross-cultural attempt at baking American cookies in a German kitchen:

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Going to a Big Band Christmas concert…

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…with a Santa from America

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The outdoor Christmas tree tied to the roof:

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Learning how to play “Stille Nacht” on the…wait for it…accordion:

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The children’s choir singing to Jesus in German:Image

Going to church in the industrial area of Wurzburg:

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The gifts on Christmas Eve:

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Scarves:

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Exchanging culturally unique gifts:

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Playing with die Katze:

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Tacky singing Christmas ties:

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Christmas dinner, with duck, sauerkraut, potato dumplings, etc.:

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An incredibly comfy bed where lots of sleeping and napping and movie watching happened:

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An unusually warm and sunny week:

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Hiking up to this castle tower with lights around it to make it look like a candle:

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Playing Carcassonne (and Rummikub):

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Taking the ::cat:: for a walk in the rain:

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das markus-eXperiment

Last night I went with a friend to see “Das Markus-Experiment”, a play of the Gospel of Mark, which took place right across the street from me. Yes, it was in German, put on by many of my German friends that I’ve slowly been getting to know over the past several months. To combat the language barrier, I sat next to some friends so they could translate for me. I was expecting to be really lost and maybe get bored because I couldn’t understand the language. However, I didn’t need as much translating as I had thought. Since I knew the book of Mark pretty well, I could guess at what the different scenarios were and could recognize just enough words and phrases in German that I could follow it most of the time, but it was cool to see how much the Gospel speaks for itself, and how the story of Jesus is not lost in translation. I think we forget how much STORY is in the Bible. We tell little stories of scenes in the Bible to our kiddos, but what about the entire story of Jesus’ life?  I spent a lot of time in college analyzing literature and story. The Bible is not a book of facts or lists. It is stories within a Story. I have a friend who hates when you say the word “epic” because it is never used appropriately (sorry, I hang out with teenagers for a living), but I’m about to use it appropriately (take that). The story of Christ is absolutely Epic, though. And it was pretty *epic* to see it in another language, and yet not lose its emotional drive as the love story of God and us.