On the subject of Tannenbaums, however, a photo of our beautiful Christmas tree is above, and here are some photos of a few of our lovely ornaments: the glitter Eiffel Tower that we got this summer when we stayed at the Paris Hotel in Vegas; the little paper-mache house we bought last year, in honor of our first married Christmas in our own little house; and some other colorful and sparkly examples of the vintage ornaments that cover most of the tree. It's so pretty, I'd leave it up the whole year round, if I could.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
I remember listening to that song, with the original German lyrics, around Christmastime in my sixth-grade German class at SCS. (I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was, but I'll give you a clue: it was the year Ross Perot ran for President, and our sixth-grade class collectively decided to give him our vote -- which we didn't have -- and even made campaign signs for him -- which we didn't post anywhere except on the edges of our desks in the classroom.) Anyway, our German teacher, Mrs. Garret, promised us a special treat at Christmas: she brought an electric skillet and made us authentic German waffles right there in the classroom. (I should explain here that German waffles aren't quite as much like waffles as pancakes with the slightly rubbery consistency of English muffins, and which you eat with jams instead of syrup.) I remember how much fun I thought that was; at least, until after the waffles were actually on our plates. Then, most of my classmates, beginning with a few of the most troublesome boys, began making gagging noises and asking to be excused to the restroom. They spit out the waffles in the hall trashcan, washed their mouths out at the water fountain, and came back to class smirking and giggling. And here is my Christmas confession ("because at Christmas you tell the truth"): I followed their lead and went and spit out my German waffles too. So if you're reading this, Mrs. Garret, I'd like to publicly apologize for my rudeness and bad behavior. I gave in to peer pressure, and I just want to say for the record, that your German waffles weren't so bad. I'm not particularly fond of English muffins, and I'm not saying that I want to eat a platter-full every morning, but I openly acknowledge that the better course of action would have been to politely choke down most of my waffle, and discretely throw the rest away when you weren't looking. Please forgive me; I was a punk in sixth grade.