“As the Christmas tree came into the world”, so that the author Astrid Fritz concerned two Times. An imaginative response they are in the story. In the afterword she tries to investigate the true history of the Christmas tree. Even if the source material is sparse, we learn in these pages but a lot of interesting and probably previously unknown about the beautiful custom to set up a green tree in the middle of a cold winter and decorate with small treats and bright colors.
The beautifully designed ribbon is worth not only for its quaint content devoid of kitsch and sentimentality each a purchase, but also because of its particularly successful presentation. The small format with linen back is nice in your hand when you snuggle up in the wing chair and cozy By browsing or (somewhat more mature) child reads; then you like to linger over again in fine neat, traditional illustrations by Andrea Offermann that harmonize with the detailed designed period atmosphere and the careful language of Astrid Fritz’s story.
Jakob is the hero of this heart-warming, atmospheric story. Unfortunate circumstances lead him into bad circles, but thanks to its good core he finds his way, without succumbing to all the lurking dangers. At the (good) end, he wonders, “which he had earned this happy coincidence”. Well, he knew how to distinguish between good and evil; he followed his conscience; he proved the goodness and trust that had been placed in him worthy and he had a good idea.
Jacob does not have good memories of his parents. Like most day laborers were at the beginning of the sixteenth century they so desperately poor that they had to bring the foundling hospital her newborn child – they can not feed it. But then he took his grandfather, and it was followed by a couple of nice years with him. He gave him a little family security, and Jacob learned values and feelings know as trust, reliability, community and love. When the boy was seven years old his grandfather died. Now he was left to himself and had to muddle through somehow.
Since then, he hangs out with riffraff and rabble thief in dark alleys and dive bars of Freiburg around. In the eight-member gang Jacob for which he is honored with the nickname “monkey” proven to be a good climber. An unpleasant turn occurs is caught as their prudent and a caring “Capitan” and the eighteen Dickart takes his place. The new leader is sneaky and bullied Jacob and his cronies so that no one dares open his mouth against him. Especially bad it is with “hard pellets”, the youngest of the gang. Because of his cleft lip and his blurry, stuttering speech he is ashamed of anyway, and it just takes Dickart purely for fun in the chest.
One day the Capitan thinks his virility having to prove. But he grabs “Wasp” Hasenköttels thirteen-year-old sister, she drags behind the cemetery wall to extort her a kiss, and grabs her doing the same under the “patchwork coat.” This is too much for Jacob. “Go on the weak, you can. Take me as an opponent, you cowardly son of a bitch!” A fierce battle breaks out – and calls once the “Scharwächter with lantern and a drawn short sword” on the plan. Before Jacob flees, he tears Dickart quickly “Money cat” with the proceeds of the last round of theft from his belt and takes it a few coins, which he is entitled, its share is.
In Freiburg he can not possibly stay , He makes his way to the nearby Strasbourg. He wants to be introduced to “Passpartutt” and ask him for work. Which is just a crook, a gloomy Krämer soul that attracts the poorest people with his stolen goods to the last penny out of his pocket. Somewhere Jacob shall raise him wherever he hangs out with the “gravediggers and sewer sweepers, Grieb flayers and skinners”; if not at the port or in a pub, then in a brothel in Jung-St Peter’s gate.
Jakob now seventeen, the year is 1538, and the Christmas season is upon us. Strong memories are left to him from his childhood, when he celebrated with Grandfather Christmas mass in Freiburg Cathedral and the “Paradise Game” was performed. How terribly he feared seduced than the black-painted threatening Devil Eve under the tree of paradise! And grandfather’s stories are still present to him, which he often listened as he crouched on his knees. One was about the “Winter Maien”, an old custom of Freiburg brotherhoods. They put boxwood twigs in a bucket and draped them with “decorative ribbons, tinsel, fruit, gingerbread and other sweets.” Epiphany of the ostrich was shaken and fallen to the ground delicacies were distributed to the poor of the city.
How to celebrate here in Strasbourg Christvesper and hard commits, Jacob did not know. Here yes there is the new doctrine; instead the Holy Mass is celebrated a “prayer service” in which the community can hear the gospel in German language! Can he ever go to church? For he has heavy debt upon himself.