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Old 12-11-2004, 14:41   #1
Jack Moroney (RIP)
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What's Christmas like in your town?

The Christmas Season in Randolph is punctuated by church bazaars and the Annual Fantasy Parade. There were a couple dozen riders with mounts and riders bedecked in various costumes and bells, two carriages pulled by paired steeds, a couple of extremely large oxen with cranky bowels, Tiny Tim riding on the shoulder of his father and, of course, Santa Claus. The Herculean effort of the five person police force to cordon off traffic, mark the appropriate turns and control the massed 120 person throng of on lookers was thwarted by the parade’s lead element which consisted of a spaniel that was decked out as a one antlered reindeer. Unintentionally acting as a pathfinder for those critters and humans that were to follow, he marked every distinctive terrain feature along his selected route. The following critters picked up his scent and circumvented the official route, cut circuitously back through the town parking lot and intermingled with other elements as they attempted to navigate the parade route. As this was a family affair the spaniel’s human counterpart, decked out as an elf, refrained from also marking the trail for which most of us were pleasantly surprised but eternally grateful.
Santa, enthroned on one of the local manure wagons, was accompanied by 6 centenarian elves whose job it was to toss candies to the onlookers. However, the elves couldn’t seem to get the range necessary to reach the curbside and most of the candy was cushioned from shattering blows on the roadway by nestling in the leavings of the oxen. This was not all bad because the lad playing Tiny Tim, no longer on his father's shoulder and miraculously able to walk, had something to occupy his attention as he attempted assorted slap shots using the candy as a puck and his "cane" as a hockey stick. Certainly not what old Charlie Dickens had in mind.
Having witnessed the church run bazaars now for almost a decade, I have discovered that they perform two main functions. First, because most folks attend the church bazaars they perpetuate the myth that New England is full of God fearing folk and all can honestly say they attended church. Second, they perform a vital ecological function by keeping stuff out of the landfill. Virtually everything that was bought from one church bazzar last year is now up for sale again in one of the other 8 Randolph churches and so it goes year after year. Nothing is really new, everything is a year older, and folks seem to take comfort that nothing has changed and their life will continue to go on unaffected by the outside world. That is not to say that progress doesn’t happen. It is just that it is measured by the addition of one more growth ring on every tree in the forest.

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Last edited by Jack Moroney (RIP); 12-11-2004 at 14:45.
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Old 12-11-2004, 17:47   #2
alphamale
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Sir Jack that's funny - I'm sure the spaniel had the re-routing all figured out.

Don't know what Christmas is like where I live now, because have spent a good part of the past couple Decembers across the pond because December is Q4, end of the fiscal year when the majority of all deals get done. I know more flight attendants by name then people in my neighborhood.

Sir Jack, maybe these are the predecessors to your Church Christmas Bazaars - the German Christmas markets. Or the people who organize the bazaars are decendents from these Germans :-). I think the purpose of the German Christmas markets is really to just enable Germans to drink Gluewein - that warm red wine with mulled cider and cinnamon sticks.

Warming is essential: I explored the Christmas markets with one of those little chemical handwarmers in each mitten, and one under the toes of each foot. They would last for 8 hours or more! I packed 26 and used them all up on one trip. Would have completely frozen without them because when I got back to the hotel and all day each weekend, exploring the markets was so much fun I was outside in 28 degree weather for at least 6 more hours.

I think Rothenberg Germany would be the ideal place to take kids for a Christmas away from home. The architecture and festivities of that town including the nightwatchman's tour just make it seem magical and where Christmas was born.

These pics are of Nuremberg and Frankfurt.

Pic # 2 Nuremberg's Christmas markets, as taken from inside a 2'nd story restaurant. Little bit of distortion from the window, but lots of detail despite the night shot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nuremberg sign_resize.jpg (85.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Nuremberg Christmas Market_resize.jpg (138.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg milch_resize.jpg (122.1 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Frankfurt Romer_resize.jpg (136.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Frankfurt Romer 4_resize.jpg (156.4 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by alphamale; 12-11-2004 at 18:23.
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Old 12-11-2004, 17:54   #3
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This is Rothenberg's Christmas.

Pic #1 was where we had this celebration party, and is my first attempt at using the photo stiching software for stitching together 3 pics. A German explained to me the portrait; don't remember the context, but I thought it was gorgeous.

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File Type: jpg german restaurant_resize.jpg (66.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Rothenberg Christmas market_resize.jpg (75.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg rothenberg downtown_resize.jpg (102.3 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg baked goods_resize.jpg (218.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Christmas-tree buying_resize.jpg (200.5 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-11-2004, 18:10   #4
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Unlike many Americans, the Germans don't seem to be embarrassed by Christmas.

TR
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Old 12-11-2004, 18:18   #5
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One weekend in December when I needed a place to stay during the weekend, I went to Venice, a magical place during Christmas too.

Pic #1 is of St. Mark's square, the place they show on the AT&T and diamond commercials, and in the first scene of The Italian Job where Donald Sutherland is describing the heist to Mark Wahlberg . This is how they decorate it for Christmas.

Pic #2 is of polizia near the Quadri cafe in St. Marks.

Pic #4 - St. Marks during the day

Last pic is of the most different type of wine store I've ever seen - self-service quantity and type.

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File Type: jpg St. Mark's square, Venice_resize.jpg (146.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg St.Mark's polizia_resize.jpg (137.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Brunello di Montalcino 95_resize.jpg (95.4 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg St. Marks in daytime_resize.jpg (97.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Venice wine store_resize.jpg (159.9 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by alphamale; 12-11-2004 at 18:25.
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Old 12-11-2004, 18:21   #6
Goggles Pizano
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I'm afraid that may begin to change in time Sir. The influx of Muslims into Germany has been increasing to a point that it's no longer "ah, it's just the Turks and their ways", they actually number in the millions. In that loose liberal society it's a matter of time before they become politically saavy.

I do miss Germany though, it was a great tour!

Last edited by Goggles Pizano; 12-11-2004 at 18:40.
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Old 12-11-2004, 18:39   #7
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Living in the Bible Belt, Christmas is a big to do. My town decorated the downtown a week before Thanksgiving and my neighbors have had their tree up for 12 years now (no, I am not kidding).
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Old 12-11-2004, 19:34   #8
Jack Moroney (RIP)
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FS great pictures. Wish I could get to mine, but they are upstairs and I am confined to no stairs. I have spent many years in Germany and have never missed the Christmas fairs, I just think they are really great. I shyed away from the Gluwein, but I bet I put the hog futures in a tailspin with the amount of Curry Wurst und Brotchen I put down. Thanks for sharing them und Frohliche Weinachten.

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Old 12-11-2004, 20:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmonkey
Living in the Bible Belt, Christmas is a big to do. My town decorated the downtown a week before Thanksgiving and my neighbors have had their tree up for 12 years now (no, I am not kidding).
Hey brew, don't forget about the Plaza lights. Haven't seen a pic of them this year, but it is always very cool.
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Old 12-11-2004, 20:25   #10
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Hey brew, don't forget about the Plaza lights. Haven't seen a pic of them this year, but it is always very cool.
I have been a few times but since it is always a mad house we stopped going because of my back. Getting jostled in that crowd would not feel to cool.

They do the lights on Thanksgiving day.

Will you and the Mrs. be home for the holidays?
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Old 12-12-2004, 08:34   #11
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Nope, won't make it home. I started three weeks of leave at COB on Thursday, but she's working the whole time. It'll give me time to kick back, relax, and PT my ass off in prep for the near future.
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Old 12-12-2004, 20:59   #12
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Spent 3 years stationed at Schwabisch Hall, which was less then 30 miles from Rothenberg. Went there several times around Christmas and was amazed. Several of the shops in the Village had some of the finest Christmas ornaments I have ever seen. I will look around and see if I can come up with some photos from my visits there around the holidays.
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:30   #13
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Not a big change from the usual.
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:48   #14
Jack Moroney (RIP)
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Not a big change from the usual.
Now that must one of St. Nick's elves. The real St. Nick has better things to do.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:32   #15
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As I sipped hot coffee and watched the sunrise, I thought of Colonel Jack posting up photos from his property in Vermont.


Thought I'd bump this thread.

Merry Christmas
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