On New Year’s Eve, I tried to start a philosophical discussion about why people celebrate the end of the year. It is an event as firmly anchored in our culture as Christmas. Not one would ever consider blow off New Year’s. But why, I wondered and had no smart answer. If it was about new beginnings, we could celebrate each end of the month? We could celebrate the beginning of spring, summer, fall and winter properly? Maybe that would simply be too much celebrating which is why we settled on one day that works well also because we want to have a few more days off around Christmas.

If I had not celebrated the new year’s arrival and it had gone past me that we entered 2015, I would have noticed latest today at the gym class. Holy moley, the participants had tripled! And it was already crowded before that. You could almost smell the scent of New Year’s resolutions in there. I wonder how many will return next week. And the week after that.

My resolution then, you wonder? Well, 2013, my resolution was to watch more TV to get a better overview of Swedish popular culture. Last year, I vowed not eat any reindeer because I had made friends with a reindeer. This year, I decided I need to go out and party more. I noticed this when I had visitors who asked me where to go on the Reeperbahn or the Schanzenviertel. You cannot be under 30, live in Hamburg for months and go out once. But just like with those conventional resolutions, there is always an excuse: “I’m so tired”, “Tomorrow will be totally wasted if I go out now”, “It’s too late/too early” or “I have nothing to wear”. No more! I hereby commit to honing my German festive competences.

Slide well

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I saw that some people announced on Twitter that they would not administer their account from December 22 to January 5. Since I do not believe my readers depend quite as much on my musings here, I did not inform you that I went on sleep boot camp at my parents’ house. (Sleep boot camp meaning sleeping 8 hours every night and I did not even suceed.) I have been trying to work off that always long to do list and in between I visited people or had people visit. Yesterday, Anna came over and I gave her an Abitur-Beratung, an A-level consultation. We had great fun researching the topics the students will have to study in 2017 (!), learned that religious education only allows the Bible as a resource (not even a dictionary) and decided that Anna wants to write her A-Levels in, among others, politics (“Do politics, I know everything about the first topic and the other three should be all my friends’ passions” [Yes, I am talking about you, Malin, Michelle, Annika, Andrea…]).

I also wrote an article for a very good-looking blog on Scandinavia. It is called Nordlust and deals with all things Nordic. And since talking about Sweden is one of my favorite things to do, I volunteered to share my Artic experience. Last year, I had the immense pleasure of going up North, very North, and celebrate a unique New Year’s Eve on the Artic Circle. I wrote about it here, amazing photos included, and I recommend you read it, too. It is my way to tell you “Guten Rutsch!”, the German greeting we use until December 31st, literally meaning “Slide over to the next year well”.

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