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Booth and Beyond

FROM THE CORNER

As we enter the Christmas season we often forget that many of our customs have a history of their own, that come to us from many nations and peoples. One of our major customs has a Greek origin and three come to us via Germany. Saint Nicholas' Day is celebrated on December 6. Nicholas was a Greek Bishop in the 4th Century who was known for selling his own things and giv – ing the money to the poor. We are told he left coins in people's shoes and dedicated his life to serving people who were sick and suffering. +++ The Advent Wreath is thought to have been used during the Middle Ages as part of the spiritual preparation for Christmas. However, the first clear association of the wreath and Christmas is attributed to German Lutheran's in the 16th Century. +++ Christmas trees had their beginning during the 16th Century Renaissance in Germany. Martin Luther added lighted candles to his evergreen Christmas tree. +++ Christmas Markets date to the Late Middle Ages in the German speaking parts of Europe. Advent is ushered in by the opening of the Christmas Markets. *** Speaking of Germany reminds me that in my November 11 column, I reported on my discovery that there is a Kathe Wohl – fahret Store in Stillwater, MN. On November 9, I took my wife and Jenny Sallis on a mystery road trip to Stillwater and provided them with an opportunity to shop at this one of a kind German store in the United States. It was not a disappointment as the store was full of Christmas ornaments of every kind, and much more, related to the beloved Christmas holiday. It was very easy to shop, but also a little hard on the pocketbook. But I guess, that is one of the aspects of the Christmas holiday!! If you visit Stillwater, make sure you stop by and take a look at this store at any time of the year. *** On Saturday, December 4, my wife and I journeyed to Sparta to take in the Seventh Annual Kriskindlmarkt, which features, approximately 20-25 store front booths that sold all sorts of homemade items, foods and beverages. As would be expected many of the booths featured items that could be given as gifts, used to trim a tree, or decorate one's home. It was another place that ready cash or a credit card was needed. There were actually three distinct areas where these booths were located – two of them in small parks and all in the downtown area. We used the opportunity to walk the four block main downtown area and had a chance to visit other stores and to observe the local architec – ture. Downtown Sparta has many historic buildings that need considerable attention to restore them to their former beauty. If they don't have a Main Street Program that would be an excellent start. They should visit Chippewa Falls to see what a beautiful job our county seat has done in their downtown restoration. It's obvious Sparta, like many other cities with populations of 10,000 -20,000 have had considerable business growth, mostly on the outskirts, to the determent of their downtown. We were told that the Kriskindlmarkt added upwards of ten new booths this year, so it is evident that this annual event is bound to grow. We learned of the event because of an ad we saw in the December -January 2022 issue of Our Wisconsin Magazine. *** On our way home we again went through Black River Falls, where another community was holding an event with activities taking place throughout the day. This was billed as Christkindl. Several blocks of downtown Black River Falls were blocked off to accommodate various vendors and booths. In this community, a two day celebration started with a tree lighting on Friday eve – ning and Saturday had a whole host of events culminating with a 6 pm parade and ended with fireworks. We used our time in Black River Falls to visit the Jackson County Historical Muse – um, that is housed in a former Carnegie Library in the downtown. Many interesting exhibits are housed in this historic building, with the most interesting being a considerable number of pieces of bead work, on clothing and moccasins, crafted by members of the Ho-Chunk Native American Nation. *** We were over to Thorp last Thursday and passed by the new Kwik Trip scheduled to open in early February. They have made tremendous progress on the building this past month. That Kwik Trip will have a car wash, so people doing living in and business in Thorp will have the choice of using a car wash on three of the four corners in that neighborhood. *** Are you thinking ahead of things to do during the Christmas Season? Did you know that one of the premiere ski hills is in our area? It's a tad more than one hour east of Stanley, is named Granite Peak and is located at Wausau/Rib Mountain and pro – vides both skiing and snowboarding. Since the year 2000, when the property was purchased by Charles Skinner, much growth has taken place because of his $15 million dollar investments. What has $15 million brought to the venue? He has added 58 runs for a total of 74, installed seven new lifts, restored the Stone Chalet, revamped the snow-making system and added a new Sundance Chalet and Grill. Granite Peak dates back to 1937, and has the greatest vertical drop in the state at 700 feet. Located on 400 acres, this venue is the largest, and many claim the best, ski area in the state. *** Smile time. If you can stay calm, while all around you is cha –

os, then you probably haven't completely understood the serious – ness of the situation. +++ Artificial intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity. +++ Plagiarism saves time. +++ If at first you don't succeed, try management. +++ Never put off until tomor – row what you can avoid altogether. +++ Teamwork means never having to take all the blame. +++ Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups. +++ We waste time, so you don't have to. +++ Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away! +++ Go the extra Mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker. +++ A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all. +++ When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break. +++ Indecision is the key to flexibility. +++ Succeed in spite of management. Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment. +++ A young woman came home from a date rather sad. She told her mother, "Jeff proposed to me an hour ago." "Then why are you so sad?" her mother asked. "Be – cause he also told me he was an atheist. Mom, he doesn't even believe there's a hell." Her mother replied, "Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we'll show him how wrong he is." +++ Tim: "I wish I had the money to buy an elephant." Tom: "What do you want with an elephant?" Tim: "Nothing. I just want the money."

BY DAVID JANKOSKI

December 8, 2021