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2022 SVCGR Christmas Social

With about 32 members attending, It seems that everyone enjoyed our 2022 Christmas Social. Of course Christmas is the time of year to bring joy and happiness into everyone’s life and to forget about all the day-to-day stresses! 

This year we moved the indulging of food and drinks to the top of the agenda. Might as well enjoy the feast first!  Many thanks to this event’s Refreshments Committee - Bruce Schweigerdt, Linda Anderson, Linda Boehm, and Freddie Nezbeth. Special recognition goes to Bruce for providing plenty of Kuchen delivered from a bakery in North Dakota. Lasagna was the main dish accompanied by yummy salads, cakes and cookies…lots of cookies! Coffee and spiced apple cider rounded out a wonderful meal.

Then, after dimming the lights, we listened to some wonderful German Christmas music: O Tannenbaum (both German and English versions) and Silent Night “Stille Nacht”. Then, we were  thrilled to watch a brief video of the opening of the Christmas Market in Berlin. Chapter member Douglas Roth was in German and recorded this ceremony and emailed it to us.  Thank you Doug, the band played wonderful music with six “Christkind” ladies all dressed in white in front of the band. Note: the above music and video are on our website which you can replay anytime. 
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Berlin Christmas Market - Opening Ceremony 2022

Video by Douglas Roth

John Kreutzer read a fascinating old German folklore story “The Christmas Fairy of Strasburg”. A tale about handsome Count Otto who remained unwed and didn’t cast a glance at the fair maidens. By chance one Christmas Eve he went on a ride to a bubbly spring known as the “Fairy Well”. “He put his hands into the warm and delightfully caressing water even though it was quite cold outside. He felt a glow of joy pass through his veins, and, as he plunges his hands deeper, he fancied that his right hand was grasped by another, soft and small, which gently slipped from his finger the gold ring he always wore.  And lo! when he drew out his hand, the gold ring was gone.”

“Suddenly he heard the hoarse baying of the watch-hounds in the courtyard, and then the creaking of the drawbridge, as though it were being lowered. Then came to his ear the patter of many small feet on the stone staircase, and next he heard indistinctly the sound of light footsteps in the chamber adjoining his own.”

“Count Otto sprang from his couch, and as he did so there sounded a strain of delicious music, and the door of his chamber was flung open. Hurrying into the next room, he found himself in the midst of numberless Fairy beings, clad in gay and sparkling robes. They paid no heed to him, but began to dance, and laugh, and sing, to the sound of mysterious music.”

John Kreutzer read a fascinating old German .”“In the center of the apartment stood a splendid Christmas Tree, the first ever seen in that  country. Instead of toys and candles there hung on its lighted boughs diamond stars, pearl necklaces, bracelets of gold ornamented with colored jewels, aigrettes of rubies and sapphires, silken belts embroidered with Oriental pearls, and daggers mounted in gold and studded with the rarest gems. The whole tree swayed, sparkled, and glittered in the radiance of its many lights.”

You can read the full intriguing story here.

An Advent Calendar is a picture with 24 little “doors” that open to reveal an item. Its purpose is the count the days toChristmas. Starting from the first of December, each day the next door in the sequence is opened. Modern Advent calendars tend not to follow the period of Advent. Instead, they mark the 24 days leading up to Christmas starting on December 1. Opening a door reveals a Bible verse, image, piece of chocolate, etc. 


At our Christmas Social we held a ticket drawing to give away four different Advent Calendars.  However, all contained pieces of different kinds of chocolate when an door was opened. The ticket winners were: Kathy Styc, Julianna Wallinger, Larry Gunst, and Carol Hayes.

A Christmas perennial classic event is a White Elephant Gift Exchange where all participants bring a wrapped gift. Each person draws a number and in our version of this activity  the person with the highest number went first, selected and opened any gift. On subsequent turns, each person had the choice to either unwrap a new gift or steal another’s. When a person’s gift is stolen, that person can either choose  another wrapped gift to open or can steal from another person. However, since we had 32 people and limited time, we only allowed a gift to be stolen once.

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