Good Santa

5 Dec

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German children used to be very scared of Santa, who was called ‘Weihnachtsmann’. Every little German child used to learn this verse:

“Lieber guter Weihnachtsmann,
Sieh mich nicht so böse an,
Stecke deine Rute ein,
Ich will auch immer artig sein!”

In English it means something like this:

Dear good Santa,
Don’t give me these scary looks,
Do get rid of that stick of yours,
I do promise, I’ll always be good!

It was very important that a child was able to recite this to the Weihnachtsmann”: If they could not say it they would be smacked by Santa! Or at least they believed he was going to smack them with his stick full of branches. This stick was Santa’s “Rute”. No child could imagine Santa without a “Rute”.

Older children were expected to recite a longer poem. Learning a poem like this by heart would keep me busy during the weeks before Christmas.

I think as a nine year old I learned to recite:

“Markt und Strassen sind verlassen . . . .”

I loved this poem. It spoke to me of a very calm and peaceful night, the night of Christmas.

3 Responses to “Good Santa”

  1. auntyuta December 5, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    http://www.aphorismen.de/gedicht/18958

    I found here the text to the above song.

    Weihnachten

    Markt und Straßen stehn verlassen,
    Still erleuchtet jedes Haus,
    Sinnend geh’ ich durch die Gassen,
    Alles sieht so festlich aus.

    An den Fenstern haben Frauen
    Buntes Spielzeug fromm geschmückt,
    Tausend Kindlein stehn und schauen,
    Sind so wunderstill beglückt.

    Und ich wandre aus den Mauern
    Bis hinaus ins weite Feld,
    Hehres Glänzen, heil’ges Schauern!
    Wie so weit und still die Welt!

    Sterne hoch die Kreise schlingen,
    Aus des Schnees Einsamkeit
    Steigt’s wie wunderbares Singen –
    O du gnadenreiche Zeit!

    Joseph Karl Benedikt Freiherr von Eichendorff
    (1788 – 1857), deutscher Dichter, Novellist und Dramatiker

  2. gerard oosterman December 6, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    The last picture and video is more what Christmas is like. A place of snow and intimacy between people. In Australia, it is more a carnival with beaches, swimming and keeping cool. It is different, but a Christmas just the same.

    • auntyuta December 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      You’re right, Gerard, it is indeed different. Maybe a lot of difference is due to the different climate and different season. We had a beaut day today at Bulli Beach. It was wonderful weather for the beach. 🙂

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