Eight months ago I moved from Germany to the US. Plenty of time to get used to the differences, the country, the people... you would think! But as so often my little German brain has other ideas. Christmas is here. And it shows me once more that I am on the other side of the planet.
In the country of political correctness you are not supposed to wish people "Merry Christmas". You wish them "Happy Holidays" since not everyone is celebrating the birth of Jesus and you don't want to offend anyone. Coming from a country that is mainly christian, this is something that has never even crossed my mind. I can't wish everyone a merry christmas, because they could think I am rude? Ok. Don't want to be the little mean German girl again and will stick to "Happy Holidays". Just to be safe.
And then there is Hanukkah. Yes, I just had to look up how it is spelled. Yes, I have had no idea what it was until I looked it up on wikipedia a couple of weeks ago. And yes, I still don't fully understand how it is celebrated. See, that is the sucky part when you are a typical German. What you know about Jews mainly consists of how your forefathers murdered them. That is something you are taught almost every year in school but they fail to tell anything about the Jewish culture. I know way more about Moslems than about Jews. Maybe that is the German way of political correctness: Don't talk about the people you killed, just about how you did it. You don't want to offend anyone.
Of course there are some way more obvious differences from Christmas in Germany to the Holidays (political correctness, my friends) in the USA – or better, in Los Angeles. The sun. Yes. There is sunshine. My dear German friends, let me explain what that is. The sun is actually able to shine during the winter days. I know, unbelievable! It is Saturday morning with 23ºC outside. Clouds? Nowhere near. Rain? Rarely ever happens. Snow? What is that again? (Before you get too jealous: In return they have fires, wind storms and earthquakes here. It's all fair.) My colleague always goes to the beach on christmas evening and I think that is a great idea. But it feels like my Christmas Spirit is on vacation when I walk through the sand with bare feet and in shorts.
Although I planned on having a traditional Christmas dinner with Knoedel and Braten, I do not feel like fighting my way through crowded stores and will postpone the cooking. Instead I will do it like the Jewish people and everyone else that celebrates the Holidays instead of Christmas: I will go watch a movie and then eat at an asian restaurant. (Most Asians also don't celebrate and are the only ones with open businesses I heard)
So I wish each and everyone of you Merr- I mean, Happy Holidays, lots of time with your family and your friends, presents, yummy food and all the good stuff. May my creative friends stay imaginative for another year and my coffee-buddies as cheerful as they always have been. Besides that I only want health for everyone and worldpeace.
C'mon, Santa! Bring your A-Game!