Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh Tennanbaum oh Tennanbaum...

What the heck is a "tennanbaum?" My sister and I sing O Christmas Tree this way when we like to be "jerky" as my mom would say.

I got a "tennenbaum" this year and it is so cute. See my photos. It's real too! And amazingly only 22CHF. Cheaper than most lunches in Switzerland. I got an even smaller one for my office that was 16CHF.

I LOVE Christmas. I love the lights, the smells, the cheesy songs, the horrble sweaters, the ridiculous office parties getting slaughtered off the holiday nog. Switzerland as you might suspect, is somewhat low-key when it comes to Christmas. There are no tacky light displays. Stores are NOT open any later (I find this shocking). There are no sales. And I can't say I have learned any Swiss or French Christmas songs, although I am sure they exist. I organized a Secret Santa for my office and people had no clue what I was talking about. I explained it and you would have thought that I invented something novel and clever like Clocky. (I highly recommend this as a Christmas gift!) And when we started selecting names, the first person immediately blurted out who they chose. SECRET! I explained. The word is the same in French so I was really confused why this message didn't get through. Anyway.
Two things here that I have noticed which I find funny -

Santa apparently uses the window and not the chimney. A lot of people have little Santas climbing "ladders" up through their windows outside their apartments. I suppose the Swiss are too rational to think that someone could ACTUALLY get down a chimney and naturally you would have to use the window. I will try to take a picture of this if I see it.

The chocolate section of the grocery store multiplies like 10000 times. And it is out of control with the variety and fancy boxes and this and that. This is one part of Swiss Christmas that is American commercialism at its best. Major displays everywhere. It is the gaudiest flashiest part of Christmas over here that I can think of. Imagine it as normally the chocolate display is one plain small charlie-brown esque fir tree. And at this time of year its the tree in Daley Plaza. That should give you an idea of the proportions we are talking about!

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