ur gaming group has a long tradition of holiday season games. Be it a race with reindeer sledges or a Warhammer battle with special Easter bunny allies, it is always entertaining and reminds us that gaming is for fun not winning (we usually forget it as soon as the holiday game ends). So it was only a matter of time until Warmaster would be under attack from the holiday spirit.
In Germany the Christmas traditions differ between regions and in the last years American and English traditions get mingled with the “good old German” traditions.
The 24th of December is Heiligabend and the 25th and 26th are the first and second Weihnachtsfeiertag. In the early evening hours (or late afternoon if there are small children or very impatient adults) of the 24th the Christkind puts presents under the Christbaum. The Christbaum will have been ornated with painted glass spheres, candles and lametta (thin metal threats), depending on the age of the children, this will be done by the family or the Christkind. Often children are tortured by having the Bescherung after dinner, and while the children eat as fast as possible their parents use the opportunity of revenge and eat real slow. If the children are still quite small they may be sent out of the room, while the Christkind arrives and puts the presents under the tree. Because it has to give presents to so many children it can not stay long and when the small silver bell calls the children the Christkind is already gone. But nobody cares now it’s time for presents frenzy. Older children or children with cruel parents might have to sing some Christmas carols before being allowed to open the presents, but in our modern times the CD player takes over that part of needless preliminaries to the joy of the children but to the grieve of the adults.
|On Christmas eve children as well as adults receive presents, but for the children there is a second day which promises presents. While Christmas eve is only joy (besides the yearly bath and being combed and dressed in best clothes) the second day has terror and joy mixed with each other.
On the 6th of December Nikolaus is coming to town. He is the guy recording good and bad deeds of children and on the 6th of December is pay day. The good ones will get presents the bad ones will be beaten with a Rute. Often parents have somebody to put up an performance to be Nikolaus and so a big, white bearded man in a red cloak will appear and cause terror in smaller children and laughter in older ones. However the children will have to recite some Christmas poem to beg for mercy. And surprisingly it always works. As labour gets more expensive with every year (and it gets more difficult to get even one student for performing as Nikolaus on the 6th) only Nikolaus puts in an appearance on the 6th of December.
In historic times (when I was a child) Nikolaus was accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht and they played the good guy, bad guy game we are so familiar with from American police movies. Nikolaus would check his database and if the entry is positive he would give a present and if the entry is negative Knecht Ruprecht would give some lashes.
Until the invasion of American and English influences there was no wide spread theory where Nikolaus might live, get his presents from or who was producing the presents for him, but enough introduction and only one thing is left before we start with the army list:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.