Satirical weekly review: Always the brightest candle on the Christmas tree: Christmas with Friedrich Merz


Christmas means: magical days with the family and more calories per day than in the rest of the year per month. And the logistical challenge of not snacking too much between breakfast, brunch, lunch, teatime, dinner and a midnight snack – and not leaving the couch unnecessarily.

Marie von den Benken
This column represents Marie von den Benken’s point of view. Find out how our editors deal with opinions in texts.

A culinary journey into the past, emotionally too. Always accompanied by the question: Which distant uncle mutated into a lateral thinker during the year? What aunt-in-law surprises with a refreshing monologue about not being a conspiracy theorist but what she was up to the other day Bill Gatesthe corona vaccine or the asylum law on the Internet would have made her think a little.

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times of coming home. The return to parental homes that used to seem so huge and at the same time so incredibly cramped. And of which one thinks today that they have probably been washed too hot a few times in the past ten years, because somehow they seem so much smaller. Almost like it came in.

Your own children’s room is more like a larger doll’s house than pretty much the entire private world you had between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Christmas at home. Days in which the parents’ technical devices were freed from absurd settings, which of course nobody from the producer group is responsible for: “Suddenly it was just like that.”

There are quick tutorials on how to send photos on WhatsApp or set up email addresses on iPhones. In exchange, you get various favorite foods from the time you were eight years old four times a day for three days. You say “tastes fantastic”, or if your parents still think you’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer: “tastes like a time machine to my happy youth.”

You don’t say that you haven’t liked spinach lasagne for a long time, or sausages in your dressing gown, because you no longer love stuffed giraffes or the pink sandals that you would have liked to wear to sleep back then, when you were eight. This short, surreal escape into a time when the world was still intact is too beautiful. Well, not really perfect, but in which the biggest problems were deciding on an ice cream flavor or why Lisa hadn’t invited one to her birthday party. Not gas price brakes, rent increases or tax audits.

30 year old retirees

Everything is nice in a way – at least until you drag yourself out on the second holiday and go to your old clubs with old friends, who you basically only see at Christmas because they happened to be born here too. Places that still look like they did back then, except that you don’t know anyone anymore and everyone is incredibly young and you suddenly feel like a worried mother who is looking for her daughter at a strange party.

The places where you gained important experiences and made your first steps at snogging have now taken over teenagers who weren’t even born when you were there for the first time. And on this beautiful Christmas night, they suddenly look at you as if you were an alien who got lost in his spaceship and accidentally landed here from another century.

One would like to call out to the far too flashy and revealingly dressed teenagers that drinking too much alcohol will never make the dream boy fall in love with them faster. And anyway, that in this outfit you have no guarantee of a new boyfriend in the end, but in any case an inflammation of the kidneys. Been there, done that. Luckily, you remember early enough that you’re not your own grandmother and let it be.

After a few nostalgic hours with lots of wine and assurances that you really won’t see each other again until Christmas next year, you stroll home. Through streets that can tell more stories about your life than any other place, but at the same time explain to you every second why you really wanted to leave.

Christmas decorations in all the windows are reminiscent of the time when Christmas Eve was all about which gifts you got – and, above all, which ones you didn’t. Euphoria and disappointment have always been very close together. However, back then it was about a watch that you were sure you could no longer live without. Or a handbag. As you grow up, themes shift. The superficiality of youth also meant carelessness. And isn’t being carefree something we can all use in between?

Listen, I know

In addition, the calm of the Christmas days and their reactive backwardness often lead to a transfigured kind of contemplation. Suddenly everyone thinks they are philosophers and writes sentences in notebooks that lie around in drawers untouched for the rest of the year.

This is especially true for politicians. Unfortunately, they don’t write in diaries in their rocking chairs in front of their fireplaces, but go out and proclaim the word of God, especially at Christmas time. So, her own. Apparently, December activates an extraordinary need for communication among characters who are sure that the only thing missing for the nation for a successful Christmas celebration is their opinion on the important social issues of the season.

So they go out on talk shows, give year-end interviews, flood social media timelines, and haunt editorial offices so that as many as possible can benefit from their vital wisdom. Maybe a longing for the feeling that the people out there absolutely need their philosophical impulses for the final enlightenment. Your calendar sayings, so that a hard, difficult year with countless unexpected turns receives a conciliatory and hopeful final act.

A lot of what comes out of it is now more likely to be assigned to the comedy genre. The CDU hope and icon of conservative visions for the future, for example, Friedrich Merz, let people know, just in time for the holidays, that there are excellent and very easy ways to save energy, and therefore money, especially at Christmas. Namely by the fact that people – you really can’t make that up, he really said that – should decorate the tree with real candles instead of artificial candles. That, energy expert März is certain, has groundbreaking consequences, because: “This alone naturally increases the room temperature”!

Merz, who had already cleared this year with highlights such as “social tourism of Ukrainian refugees” or “armed, right-wing extremist Reich citizens who are planning a putsch are bad, but so are the last generation” on a foreign shame scale from 1 to 10, forgot only a few, in principle unimportant details. That poorer households may feel mocked by the request to replace the heating with real candles on the Christmas tree, for example. Stepping down on weaker ones. Not necessarily the spirit of Christian Christmas. Or that the fire brigade and hospitals have been happily and happily reporting for years that apartment fires have drastically decreased by moving away from real candles on Christmas trees.

Merz to Merz, do you hear me, SOS I love me!

It doesn’t matter, private plane Fritze may think. The criticism from all directions could theoretically also be envy. For example his Berlin apartment and his house in the Sauerland, in which he “only heats the rooms that he actually uses”. Well, that sounds a bit like Merz living in real estate of a size where you sometimes leave a few hundred square meters unused.

But does he have to apologize for becoming a multi-millionaire at Blackrock (a company raided by tax inspectors as part of the CumEx investigation)? Of course not. Having a few rooms too many is not a felony. After all, Merz has not mutated into the Marie Antoinette of the Union and has advised his people, who are shaken by rising gas and electricity prices, to simply buy a Porsche Taycan instead of a monthly ticket. Everyone can afford wax candles.

Presumably even the work-shy social parasites who have been fuming for years that financial genius Merz has always taken very one-dimensional positions when it comes to the working population. His agenda for the future includes such interesting considerations from recent years as raising the retirement age to 70, paying full tax on pensions or abolishing protection against dismissal.

His lawsuit filed in 2006 against the fact that members of the Bundestag had to disclose their additional income was met with modest euphoria among the group of average earners. With his candle advice, the chancellor of hearts has now reconciled everyone. When the rabble first profits financially in the long term from having exchanged power-guzzling electric candles for real candles, Messiah Merz will finally be loved. At least from the part of the rabble that didn’t burn down their place. Happy Holiday!

Also read: Currywurst in the Bundestag: Merz is ridiculed for a fast food photo

Steinmeier: Support for Ukraine is "commandment of humanity"

Peace in Ukraine is not yet within reach, said the Federal President in his Christmas speech. It must be a just peace that neither rewards land grabbing nor leaves the people in Ukraine to the arbitrariness and violence of their occupiers.



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