The little donkey  It was over 2000 years ago on the evening of the birth of Jesus. The angels were on their way to the shepherds to bring them the good news.  They also went to the sheep and said “Go to the stable for the Lord will be born today. It could well be that wool from each one of you, will be needed to be put in the manger to keep him warm”. The ox and the dog were also asked by the angels to go to the stable and to keep watch over the newborn child. The doves, shivering in a…

The little donkey It was over 2000 years ago on the evening of the birth of Jesus. The angels were on their way to the shepherds to bring them the good news. They also went to the sheep and said “Go to the stable for the Lord will be born today. It could well be that wool from each one of you, will be needed to be put in the manger to keep him warm”. The ox and the dog were also asked by the angels to go to the stable and to keep watch over the newborn child. The doves, shivering in a…

Looking for Refuge – somewhere in this world  Somewhere in this world, there is a dusty path full of stones. But taking this path was the only way to – perhaps – survive. Personally, she couldn’t care less, because she really did not have any hope for a better future somewhere in this world. All hope had vanished since her husband was abducted and she had no idea whether he was still alive. At times, she would rather have died than experience more of this misery. But there was a baby on the…

Looking for Refuge – somewhere in this world Somewhere in this world, there is a dusty path full of stones. But taking this path was the only way to – perhaps – survive. Personally, she couldn’t care less, because she really did not have any hope for a better future somewhere in this world. All hope had vanished since her husband was abducted and she had no idea whether he was still alive. At times, she would rather have died than experience more of this misery. But there was a baby on the…

Looking for Refuge – somewhere in this world  Somewhere in this world, there is a dusty path full of stones. But taking this path was the only way to – perhaps – survive. Personally, she couldn’t care less, because she really did not have any hope for a better future somewhere in this world. All hope had vanished since her husband was abducted and she had no idea whether he was still alive. At times, she would rather have died than experience more of this misery. But there was a baby on the…

Looking for Refuge – somewhere in this world Somewhere in this world, there is a dusty path full of stones. But taking this path was the only way to – perhaps – survive. Personally, she couldn’t care less, because she really did not have any hope for a better future somewhere in this world. All hope had vanished since her husband was abducted and she had no idea whether he was still alive. At times, she would rather have died than experience more of this misery. But there was a baby on the…

Christmas in the Orphanage  As a young boy, I lost my parents and was brought up in an orphanage near London. It was more like a prison. We had to work for 14 hours a day, in the garden, in the kitchen, in the stable and in the fields. Every day was the same and we had only one day off – Christmas Day, when every boy received an orange for working so hard. But only those who had been obedient the whole year..  When Christmas came around, it felt like the end of the world. I had to stand in…

Christmas in the Orphanage As a young boy, I lost my parents and was brought up in an orphanage near London. It was more like a prison. We had to work for 14 hours a day, in the garden, in the kitchen, in the stable and in the fields. Every day was the same and we had only one day off – Christmas Day, when every boy received an orange for working so hard. But only those who had been obedient the whole year.. When Christmas came around, it felt like the end of the world. I had to stand in…

Wyoming Christmas  In 1923, Greta Klein, like so many other wives, had followed her husband from Germany to the United States of America and now the family found itself on the lonely high plains of Wyoming.  She found it hard in the harsh land but was learning how to survive. Winter  had brought with it a strong, bitterly cold wind that rattled their draughty shack.  In these grim conditions Greta remembered her mother’s words in broken English. ‘If you vant to get rich, mein daughter, you…

Wyoming Christmas In 1923, Greta Klein, like so many other wives, had followed her husband from Germany to the United States of America and now the family found itself on the lonely high plains of Wyoming. She found it hard in the harsh land but was learning how to survive. Winter had brought with it a strong, bitterly cold wind that rattled their draughty shack. In these grim conditions Greta remembered her mother’s words in broken English. ‘If you vant to get rich, mein daughter, you…

4 (viii) When Christmas was banned  During the reign of Catherine the Great, Germans were actively encouraged to settle in Russia. By 1914, the census revealed that as many as two and a half million Germans were living in Russia. There were also still many living in the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after the Second World War. This story covers childhood memories of Lilija.  While living in Latvia under Communist Rule, we could only celebrate Christmas in utmost secrecy. At…

4 (viii) When Christmas was banned During the reign of Catherine the Great, Germans were actively encouraged to settle in Russia. By 1914, the census revealed that as many as two and a half million Germans were living in Russia. There were also still many living in the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after the Second World War. This story covers childhood memories of Lilija. While living in Latvia under Communist Rule, we could only celebrate Christmas in utmost secrecy. At…

4(ix) Star of Hope There once was a star that shone brightly in space, surrounded by countless other stars. It was hard to tell where all the twinkling began and where it ended. Each star was very far from all the others – alone in the enormity of black space. Endless time passed and the star’s radiance gradually faded. ‘Soon my light will go out. I will die and no one will miss me. There are so many others …’  It felt sad. Far off in the dark distance there was a blue planet unlike anything…

4(ix) Star of Hope There once was a star that shone brightly in space, surrounded by countless other stars. It was hard to tell where all the twinkling began and where it ended. Each star was very far from all the others – alone in the enormity of black space. Endless time passed and the star’s radiance gradually faded. ‘Soon my light will go out. I will die and no one will miss me. There are so many others …’ It felt sad. Far off in the dark distance there was a blue planet unlike anything…

4(v) Vanity and Celebration.  The farm house at the edge of a forest was a place of harmony, where a dog, cats and peacock with his hens all lived happily with the farmer and his family. The peacock stood out. His tail shimmered in the sunlight and, when he fanned it, everyone stopped and gazed in awe. He was vain, proud and tolerated no-one stealing his thunder.  With Christmas drawing near, the family had chosen a beautiful large, dark green, well-balanced fir tree to be put up in the…

Festival and Celebrations

Mary and the apple tree  Christmas was approaching and as usual we were preparing for our play. For the last few years I had had the honour of playing Joseph and was always happy to be partnered with a new and beautiful Mary.  Our school had students from two adjacent villages, Unterbach and Unterheid and we in Unterbach were to host the final rehearsal.  Dressed in our costumes, we waited for the students from Unterheid to arrive. Finally someone came up with the idea that we should meet…

Festival and Celebrations

The defiant Advent Candle  There once was a candle that was very picky – it only wanted to be lit at a very specific spot.  No, said the honey coloured candle on the advent wreath, as a lighted match came its way. I don’t want to burn, melt, dissolve, cry, shrink, until nothing is left of me. The candle shook and defended itself so much that the wick did not catch alight.  ‘Ouch’ responsed the person holding the match, ‘now I am burnt myself’. A second match was lit and again neared the…

The defiant Advent Candle There once was a candle that was very picky – it only wanted to be lit at a very specific spot. No, said the honey coloured candle on the advent wreath, as a lighted match came its way. I don’t want to burn, melt, dissolve, cry, shrink, until nothing is left of me. The candle shook and defended itself so much that the wick did not catch alight. ‘Ouch’ responsed the person holding the match, ‘now I am burnt myself’. A second match was lit and again neared the…

Timely Christmas  Mother’s wooden table clock had stopped working shortly before Christmas just when the spoon-bender, Uri Geller, was conducting experiments on TV.  The family wondered if it was just a co-incidence or the result of Geller’s psychic power. At any rate it was not worth getting the clock repaired. Christmas Eve was getting close and I still had to buy a present for mother. I decided a new clock would be ideal.  Grandpa and Auntie Adele were always invited to our home for…

Timely Christmas Mother’s wooden table clock had stopped working shortly before Christmas just when the spoon-bender, Uri Geller, was conducting experiments on TV. The family wondered if it was just a co-incidence or the result of Geller’s psychic power. At any rate it was not worth getting the clock repaired. Christmas Eve was getting close and I still had to buy a present for mother. I decided a new clock would be ideal. Grandpa and Auntie Adele were always invited to our home for…

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