There are many wonderful tales of warmth and family at this time of year, stories that drive the chill from our hearts and make us glad to have our loved ones close by. This is not one of those stories. This is the story of Gretel Kringle, amateur yodeling champ (about to turn professional) and younger sister to a Goody Two Shoes brother (her term, not mine – actually, in German it is Schuhe der guten Sachen zwei) named Kris.
Gretel and her brother have been estranged for many years. He lives far away from her, certainly outside of her cell plan, so visiting or even calling each other is infrequent. Gretel doesn’t really mind; she’s been working hard with her therapist to find the joy within herself; only those who lack self-esteem need greeting cards with their image, songs shouting their praises and mountains of cookies from kids to feel good about themselves. (Though she is secretly glad at how fat her brother has become from all the carbs.)
Gretel is currently perfecting her yodeling and learning to play the glockenspiel. She works in a small music shop in Berlin, except for the month long break she takes in December (she likes to avoid the seasonal music). The Kringle family reunion is set for 2009 in Bermuda, but Gretel hasn’t rsvp’d yet – she is still deciding if she wants to make the trip (though seeing her brother in his board shorts might be amusing, she really can’t stand her sister-in-law).
Though sibling rivalry hampers her normally jolly disposition, Gretel would like to wish you all a very enjoyable late December and early January. She hopes that you all receive the presents that you wish for and that you should feel free to leave an extra cookie or two out for her brother.
Gretel’s story brought to you today by an increasingly cabin-feverish Kimberly Ann. For those wishing to make a Gretel of their own, check out Alicia Paulson’s book “Stitched in Time”.