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Elke's Story

This is my story...

I grew up in Berlin, Germany until 1956 when we escaped from the east side. German traditions are very strong and very beautiful and I have carried mine with me to this day. Christmas time time was especially beautiful and memorable for me, thus the desire to recreate that particular scene.

The first thing I had to do was try to recreate the Christmas tree with the candle-lights that we were using then. That project was what connected me with SS and I received such wonderful feedback. Well, the tree is all set and the room recreated and it warms my heart every time I look into it.

The tall gold/yellow object in the room was our tile-oven with which we heated the room, using coal and wood. The little compartment at the upper part of the oven was used for roasting apples, mmmmm, and keeping food warm.

Imagine walking into this room on Christmas Eve, precisely at 6:00 PM, to the sound of my father ringing a little silver bell, seeing the beautifully decorated and lit tree for the first time, the aroma of roasting apples teasing your nose and the warmth from that oven hugging you and you have just stepped into my childhood memory with me.

My sister and I would stand by the tree and recite, nervously, our diligently learned Christmas poems for our parents, before we were allowed to inspect our presents. How difficult it was for us to concentrate, goes without question. Tears come to my eyes when I think of those overwhelming emotions that I remember going through my little body. I never wanted for that moment to stop. But then, there was always the next Christmas to look forward to, and the year went by ever so so slowly. Wish it were still that way.

This is what inspired my little miniature Christmas room box and I treasure it. Someday my children and grandchildren will look at this box and remember Oma, (grandma in German) when she was a little girl.

Merry Christmas Everyone