Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas in Germany


This is my son in Germany, 1983, showing his fascination with Angel Chimes, and probably trying to blow out the candles. We sometimes only lit one candle in order to slow down the speed that the angels flew round and struck the bell.  The chimes were very popular in Germany and we would have bought ours there, during our tour with the RAF.


Although it was a charming and delightful decoration, the novelty sometimes wore off after a short while, due to the repetition of the dinging, rather akin to a dripping tap. The fact that we no longer have this particuar set of Angel Chimes, probably confirms my suspicions that we grew out of them eventually. We now have a minature Angel Chimes (with no noise). There are numerous You Tube videos of people with their own, much-treasured vintage versions, some still in the original packaging. Many feature small children and their reactions to them; others show how to take them out of the box and assemble them, which was no mean feat.


Some the decorations we invested in at that time were beautiful and deserved to be heirlooms. Unfortunately, over many years of being packed away and then re-assembled, some of them suffered damage. In the picture below, from the same year, can be seen two traditional Räuchermann figures; The Essenkehrer (chimney sweep) and the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) on the mantelpiece.


The chimney sweep was particularly vulnerable as arms, ladder and other bits and pieces were constantly being glued back on.I  think in a moment of frustration a few years ago, we decided we'd had enough and he was thrown out. I see now that this was particularly ill-judged, as current models cost a considerable sum; we’ll look after the Weihnachtsmann more carefully for sure. Here he is in action last year.


I also regret throwing away out beautifully carved Christmas table centre, which doubled as an Advent Ring. We would light one more candle each Sunday in Advent and then on Christmas Eve all four would be lit.

This decoration suffered the same fate as the poor old chimney sweep; after several re-sprays and much gluing, we decided we’d had enough. What a shame we didn’t just appreciate it for the its age and the memories it held. One more regret.

It can be seen gracing the Christmas Table over the years of family photographs, and is just visible behind my own two angels in this picture.

One decoration from those years which we still have, thank goodness, is our Weihnachtspyramide (Christmas Pyramid) below. This operates in the same way as the Angel Chimes; the candles generate the heat which turns the turbine and send the Nativity Scene spinning round. Unlike the Angel Chimes, this is silent and we still love to light it each Christmas.

For more Christmas memories from the past, be sure to light some candles and go to Sepia Saturday and see what other contributors made of the prompt

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15 comments:

  1. I hate to throw things away, but I can understand throwing out things that fall apart. You were smart to throw away those things that were so much trouble.

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  2. I hadn't heard of angel chimes before, but the German Christmas markets are wonderful. You must have chosen the prompt to match your first photo!

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    1. Perhaps I did subconsciously Jo. Selecting the images is hard enough and takes hours; I certainly haven’t got time to make sure that every prompt I choose will match one in my 20,000 photos! There have been times in the last few weeks when I was completety stumped myself.

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    2. Sorry, I didn't mean to be critical. You do a very good job.

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  3. Lovely Christmas memories. I regret now that my family did not go in for Xmas photographs. The camera only seemed to come out in summer and only for outside events.

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    1. Yes, it’s good to be reminded of some of the details of Christmasses past, that may have faded from memory.

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  4. We had angel chimes, but don't have them anymore & I don't know what happened to them? At one time I had huge collections of Santas, snowmen, nutcrackers, angels & fancy Christmas candles & I used to love to get them all out & decorate the whole house with them, plus pine boughs & holly & mistletoe. But the kids are all grown now with families of their own & we usually go to one of their houses for Christmas, so I get fewer & fewer things out to decorate with anymore. Always a Christmas tree, candles, & the nativity scene, though! And it's not really sad as I've given many of the santas & snowmen & nutcrackers & angels to the kids so we see them when we go to their places. :)

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  5. I enjoyed this post very much and am unfamiliar with the Angel Chimes. Lovely. I now take photos of everything before I throw it out so I can thumb through the "nostalgia" files on my Mac and bring back memories. We are usually gone for Christmas so haven't decorated in a few years. We have to go to the mall to get Christmasy. Pitiful, eh?

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  6. The Germans are indeed fond of their Weihnachten and are famous for their Christmas Markets. I'd never heard or seen these things you mentioned; the christmas pyramids (can they fly? :-), angel chimes and smoking Santa are all new to me!

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  7. My family lived in Germany in the 60s and once had a similar angel chimes that disappeared for much the same reason. Like Rob said, Germans, north and south, love their Weihnachten traditions. Some I think were modern inventions just to keep the toy factories employed year round.

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  8. My grandmother had angel chimes...but we, too, had to blow out half the candles -- boy, what a racket they made, whirling around and clanging those chimes!

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  9. When my children were small we had angel chimes. Somewhere along they way they got left in a move, as did assorted other Christmas decorations. I really regret the lose of my grandparents and mother's decorations. I'm sure they got left in a move too.

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  10. Beautiful Christmas memories. I left many of my christmas decorations in SWL and later I regretted it! Now I have collected again many, but nothing really precious.

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  11. I used to have those angel chimes, but after awhile the metal was so bent that I finally gave it a toss. Seeing these pictures makes me miss them.

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