Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Story

Happy Monday. Here is the story that Tante Reni sent to VonMom via email. We figure the year she's referring to was about 1948. Please keep in mind that English is her second language, so forgive any spelling or grammar errors, as I chose to not edit the story, but just to paste it here as written. Enjoy. "Had a memory flash of a christmas when i was 17, This christmas was something that seems to come back over again and gives me a warm feeling. This christmas was one completely unplanned and a spur of the moment thing.The best christmas ever. it was late november or early December during the Blokade in Berlin.Since we only had gas and electricity for 2 hours during the day and 2 hours during the night , we could not cook dinner and had to go to a soup kitchen set up in a church hall not far from our house. Anita , my bosom buddy and I both went to get some soup for our families.Standing in line on this cold, grey noon , we saw a very elderly lady approaching the line and let her ahead of us in line.She wore no gloves and had her feet wrapped in rags, she wore no shoes.her hands were turning blue.Both Anita and I were whispering how sorry we felt for her predicament .Then an idea hit me, why not help her and make a christmas for her.We followed her at a distance to detect where she lived, knowing that we very likely otherwise would never find her again.Then both of us returned to my home and made concrete plans what in reality we could possibly do for her to lighten her burden.She looked so frail and alone.She needed shoes, gloves and possibly some food that could not be obtained with food stamps.A big order understanding that during that period of time there were no manufacturers in production of anything.This ment we had to find any kind of material we needed, by other means.I found an old sweater that we unraveled and stretched over a cardboard to straighten the wool out for knitting.i started on gloves right away.Anita could not knit.We searched for something solid to create soles for shoes , and came up with old bicycle tires.An old blanket from somewhere became the top, on of my childhood muffs of rabbit fur became the liner.I had an idea of patterns , learned from making dolls clothes.Both Anita and I stitched and sewed with an upholstery needle to get the shoes done.It turned out warm soft and with the bicycle tires as soles, quite sturdy.Then we both used our own allowance to start bartering on the black-market for sugar , coffee and butter.A pound of each.We then had to get her also a christmas tree, which we purchased from a florist. A tiny tree in a pot. On the 24th in the afternoon we set out with all of our goodies completed to her home hoping she would be at the place we thought she lived.We had the little tree decorated with some tinsel a few tiny candles and few mini balls. Both of us very excited marched to her house , rang the bell and when she opened the door we also were speachless. We gave her all of our goodies her eyes were wide in surprise, we just could say :Merry christmas turned around and left running.Never knew her name and that was not important anyway, but the feeling that surged through both of us was overwhelming joy.We had done it ! To this day i still see this little old lady against the dark hall. By now it was pitch dark, but for us we where in the glow of giving from the heart.My best ever christmas.And the best part is it returns to me every year and gives me again a warm surge of satisfaction and joy.It was such a dark time in history and yet we glowed. " True or enhanced, I hope this story gives you the same warm fuzzies it gave me. Happy Holidays to you, and yours, and theirs, and those other peoples. Ho, Ho, and Ho.


Jennifer said...

That's a wonderful story, Von!!!

Merry Christmas to you as well!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

lovely story, from a truly difficult time that makes all the whining nowadays seem so petty.

Including mine own. Stop it Zombiee!! You don't know what hard times are!!

fish said...


misteris indeed.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Merry Christmas!

Almost time for me to pack up and drive east.


Henning Pfeifer said...

Would be interesting to know in which part of berlin and/or in which streets these things happenend.
it is a beautiful story.
are there any spelling or grammar errors? i didnt recognized any.

blue girl said...

So, so wonderful! Thank you for sharing that with us!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Von!