Genre of the Week: German Christmas Highlights

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Presents opened, check! Visiting and spending time with relatives and friends, check! Dining on goose with Klöse (potato dumplings), check! Complaining about the presents- well, not quite there yet. 😉

Another Christmas has come and gone and soon will be gone is 2016- the year of the unexpected. But still, it doesn’t hurt to have a look at our Christmas celebration and compare them to some celebrations we have seen either live in person…..

….. or on TV.  😉

Some of you are probably wondering how Germans celebrate their Christmases in comparison to Americans, English and people in other countries. A couple examples come to mind which combine Christmas with a sense of humor and a culture that is typical of Germany- at least among the older generations.  Some of you have seen them already but for those who haven’t, here is a little sample…..

The first one is from the comedian Loriot, whose talents included playing three people in one scene, driving people up the palm tree, including his side kick Evelyn Hamann, and presenting a dry sense of humor only Germans and people with a fond sense of cultural openness can understand. All of these are seen in this clip filmed in 1978 entitled Christmas with the Hoppenstedts:

Loriot’s career lasted over four decades until his retirement in 1991. He passed away at a ripe age of 91 years in 2011. Hamann had passed five years before. A tribute to the two can be found here.

The other example worth noting is Christmas with the family of Heinz Becker. The character Heinz (played by Gerd Dudenhofer) is a typical worker whose erratic behavior and clusiness keeps his wife and son on their toes, especially at Christmas time as seen in the episode Alle Jahre Wieder (Back Again), filmed in 1994, which the term “TIMBER!” can be seen towards the end. 🙂

 

The TV series ran for 12 years with interruptions in between, with its last episode airing in 2004. Dudenhofer also worked with Loriot on a few of his episodes, including Papa Ante Portas (1991) prior to getting the main role in Heinz Becker. He still works as a cabaret artist to this day.

With 2017 around the corner, we will most likely be greeted by this classic which is as ritual as a Tatort film on a Sunday night in a cafe in Berlin. Dinner For One was aired in 1963 and was based on sketch written by Lauri Wiley. It features an old lady celebrating her 90th birthday, her butler, lots of sherry, brandy, wine and port, and I’ll let you look at what happens next. 😉

 

The Genre of the Week has come to an end for 2016. More will be coming in the new year, but not before presenting you with the rest of the Christmas markets in Germany that the author visited and are in the writing stages after taking a long break and feasting on goose, Klöse and red cabbage- the cornerstone of every nutritious German meal for Christmas. 😉  Stay tuned!

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