Sweeping Out the Old Year

December 31st, 2009 § 0 comments

As a child I lived in West Berlin for almost 4 years,¬† from 1952-1955. It was a very interesting and informative experience for me being in a different country and learning a new language and learning about different cultures and customs, among other things. Christmas was a really big deal in Germany. Lots of fancy decorations and such. We loved to go downtown to the big department store, the KaDeWe to see the really fascinating, high quality¬† animated window displays. The toys in Germany were fabulous, having been beautifully crafted in the old world tradition. My brothers got fabulous train sets one year and I got a pretend store, completely stocked with perfect miniature products. Wish my parents had saved that for me. Anyhow… One New Years Day a chimney sweep came to our front door, and we were told by our German housekeeper that it was good luck to see a sweep on New Years Day and that we should shake hands with him for luck in the coming year, which we did. Whether or not we had good luck, I can no longer recall, but I’d never seen a chimney sweep before so it was a pretty interesting and memorable event, regardless.

Here is a photo of that very sweep from 1953. I hope he brings all of us some good luck. I know I could sure use some this year. Happy New Year!

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