We’re down to the last of our leaves up here in Kiel, and November is getting mischevious. There is always the sense up here that anything goes, and that is never more apparent than when you have 12 degrees a month out from Christmas. When is the drop coming? When does the winter coat come out? Are the north Germans going to be complaining into their hot gühwein at the Christmas Markets, that it isn’t cold enough for Christmas?
Christmas. I started writing about how it smells and feels, about the lights and roasted nuts, but somehow that felt silly in the face of this mess we’re in with bombs and guns and slaughter. And then I started writing about bombs and guns and slaughter, and somehow felt too small and unsure of which of the myriad paths to wander down with my little words. To talk about the need for a Christmas season of unity and warmth, of kindness, feels blithe, and as if we are shushing those who need to, and will, spend this Christmas angry and desperately sad. To talk about the magic of Christmas when for so, so many, it doesn’t exist, feels a little bit gross. But. To believe that this imbalance, this unfairness is any different to any other year, is equally as naive. So, do we employ that irritating word ‘mindful’ and try to do our bit, in our surrounds, to bring a little bit of the magic to those sorely in need of it? Well, yes. This year more than ever? Not necessarily. But without putting too finer a point on it, in Germany, where hundreds of thousands of refugees are in limbo, and when those bastards with their guns and their bombs are watching, waiting for fractures and frissures and hate to prove their sick little world view right – now, now, is the time to bring the magic.
They may believe in hate, but we don’t.