This is not the first time I have heard the word, nor will it be the last. But this is the day on which for the first time it truly was the word in every mouth. An unpleasant situation which everyone will have to engage with, whether they wish to or not.
Our annual St. Nicholas gathering at the village has been cancelled. "Too few children," said our St. Nicholas' wife when I called up to find out why I hadn't received any information about the gathering. "Es lohnt sich nicht."
Devastated. This is like the plot of a TV Christmas special.
I hadn't noticed there weren't enough children. I thought we had a fair group last year. Anyways, I enjoyed eating Christmas cookies and drinking wine in a rare gathering with my fellow villagers. And I LOVED St. Nicholas emerging out of the darkness, pulling a wagon heaped with presents, shouting, "From drauss' vom Walde komm ich her, Ich muss euch sagen, es Weihnachtet sehr!" and so on, the wonderful poem from Theodor Storm.
Don't like being on the frontiers of demographic change.