Saturday, December 11, 2010

1910 - Germany Enjoys a "Fat" Christmas

Year of Immense Prosperity Ending, and People are Spending Lavishly.


April-Like Drizzle in Berlin and Hardly a Flake of Snow in All the Empire - Bad for Hotels.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
BERLIN, Dec. 24. - Germany is celebrating a "fat" Christmas. The Fatherland has rounded out another year of very great prosperity, and the Yuletide is characterized by corresponding generosity and good cheer.

The Christmas shopping has taken place on an extraordinarily lavish scale. The great stores in the Leipzigerstrasse and Unter-den-Linden have been overrun for a fortnight with throngs of men, women, and children with well-filled purses. It has been necessary for the police to intervene on numerous occasions to regulate the traffic int he streets and on the sidewalks. Every once in a while the big department stores had to be closed to the public in order to avoid dangerous overcrowding. Merchants with depleted shelves and salespeople with weary legs and arms look back to-night on one of the most strenuous holiday seasons in years.

Like the so-called Winter Germany has been enjoying for the last six weeks, the Christmas atmospheric conditions are abnormal. A merciless drizzle, which would do credit to April, has been falling for twenty-four hours, with every prospect of a drenched Santa Claus arriving later in the night.

There is hardly a flake of snow anywhere in the empire. The hotelkeepers of the great resorts in the Thuringian and Black Forests and the mountains are heartbroken, as throngs of fashionable tourists accustomed to spend the holiday week at Winter sports have canceled their reservations.

At what ought to be sundown tonight every good German family, of high or low degree, beginning with the Kaiser, will assemble around the Christmas tree of hoary tradition, sing the old-time Teutonic Yuletide song of "Stille Nacht," and then participate in an elaborate exchange of presents, many of which, in accordance with the German custom, will be presented in response to "wish lists," exchanged weeks ago.

It is the first time that the Crown Prince, who is touring India, has ever been missing from the imperial celebration at Potsdam, but his three sturdy baby boys will be on hand. Christmas time is the one period of the year when the restless Kaiser divorces himself entirely from affairs of the state and devotes his days and evenings exclusively to his family circle.

The New York Times
New York, New York
December 25, 1910