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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

So I have to tell you all this hilarious story. Christmas is a big deal in Europe. All the food and wine and festivities abound. But there is something sinister about it over here. Something that makes children weep in terror.

Santa Clause.

Yes, Santa Clause or Papa Noel is an evil monster in France and Switzerland. You see little santas climbing maliciously over balcony railings and I was like WTF is this what he does when there is not a chimney? Hahahaha. No.

Santa is evil. He comes into your home to reward the good boys and girls with toys and candy. But if you were bad you face a horrible fate. You are kidnapped and taken to the north pole, trapped in time as your tiny kid self, to make toys for all the good girls and boys. No elves. No music. You are santa’s slave.

So when you are watching the Rudolph special about the misfit toys, the French people are all laughing. Haha! You want to be a dentist? Maybe you should have thought of that before you were bad. Nope you were bad, you are now a slave forever! Make those toys for all the good kids and think about what you did child slave. Now sing and wear a stupid costume and dream of the life you can never have again. Slave!

So I’m laughing pretty hard at the poor wannabe dentist and how kids here are terrified of Santa with good reason. I don’t want to be trapped on it’s a small world for all eternity either kids. Makes you rethink all the songs now, huh? He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. Santa Claus is coming to town.

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Fete De L’Escalade is a festival in Geneva commemorating an attack on the city in 1600. A French militia in Saint Julien marched on Geneva in the middle of the night on the 11th of December. The townsfolk rang alarms and fought off the invaders, 2 people were killed by a woman who dropped a cauldron of boiling hot soup from the top of the bastion wall, burns killing one and the cauldron to the head killing the other. The invaders, cold and tired, after 2 hours went home and the city rejoiced. The festival commemorates this with a weekend long celebration. Friday and Saturday are events for the kids where they dress up and do a sort of trick or treating, going door to door singing songs and you give them spare change instead of candy. They also play games like egg fighting.

On Sunday, people dress up in their 1600s garb and walk through the streets re-enacting scenes from the battle and using ancient weaponry. They also hand out hot wine, vegetable soup, and giant cauldrons made of chocolate to celebrate the woman who killed 2 invaders. It was really cool. History looks back on this event as pivotal for the Reformation’s success in Europe. Geneva, home of John Calvin, was a stronghold for protestants. If they would have fallen, the entire face of Europe could have been changed with Catholicism reclaiming Protestant lands, which could have gone on to effect the freedom of religion in the New World. Really interesting stuff!

Videos from last weekend at the festival in Geneva.

http://youtu.be/ZAAM_z3L5HE – Marching Drummers

http://youtu.be/CrDgfObPkLM – Flute Players

http://youtu.be/V0kxEdWo4uw
– Horn players in the cathedral

http://youtu.be/XNdWIZPZbq0 – Muskets Firing

And pictures:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100354510769542.2535463.17107679&type=1&l=8f78894fce

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Today I am grateful for:

*my husband who has been trying to keep my fever down and helped me cook… some. 😉

*my bunny for always being cute.

*loved ones who took time to talk to me and make me feel less isolated.

*friends that feel like family.

*writing

*people that encourage my writing.

*brilliant writing and rp buddies that make me feel like I’m awesome and valued. And that appreciate my craziness.

*starting new traditions.

*my ingenuity and determination

*my homemade from scratch french fried onions which are OMG some of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten!

*a lovely holiday celebrating togetherness with the person I love most in our cozy little world.

*Switzerland and how it has literally stolen my heart because there are Christmas lights EVERYWHERE! I mean seriously, I’ve never seen more lights in one place in my life!

*Even if you don’t celebrate holidays, I send each of you good will and love during this cold and stressful, isolating season because you are all important to me and I love each and every one of you. We only get one chance at life, make it count. And though some of these holidays remind us of our loneliness or sad times, remember you are loved and you have the choice to focus on the bad or the good. I hope you choose the good.

All my love,

me

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