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SPIEGEL family newsletter: Don't be afraid!


Families like to take stock at Christmas. For many parents it was a tough year with great worries. We are giving away the right recipe for this in the family newsletter.

and it was Christmas again.

Totally surprising, December 24th fell on December 24th this year as well.

Every year I rub my eyes: Who turned the clock?

Why didn't I finish again?

Where did I hide my costume again last year?

And will I finally be first – in a Christmas relaxation bet?

And yet a lot is different for me this year.

I longed for this time more than usual, also because Christmas is the last emotional high point to let the year end on a happy note, because it wasn't a good year.

I was visiting my parents (at the cemetery) last weekend and had a beer with my best friend afterwards and he asked how I felt to sum up the year.

"Fear," I said spontaneously.

Like so many families, we personally faced major challenges this year.

I experienced fears that I had never known before or that I had suppressed: fear of war, fear of death, fear of the future and thus fear for my children, fear of (chronic) illness, fear for our way of life, our values ​​and our world, fear of recession and inflation.

shit scared.

And at the same time, it makes me feel ashamed because I know that, relatively speaking, my life continues to be the absolute gold standard.

This year, for example, I went to a parent-child cure and met so many exhausted young and old.

We listened to refugees and helped them, and I was impressed by the will to live and courage of all these people.

And ashamed.

Especially at Christmas, family feelings come up in many people, the good and the bad.

Many take stock.

My colleagues Jule Lutteroth and Anna Clauss have dedicated two great texts to pain this week: How it is, for example, when children break off contact with their parents.

Or what it's like when you can't have children. 

Materially, this Christmas will be smaller than usual for many families. But maybe there is also a chance to get closer to the essence of Christmas, the Good News, the »Do not be afraid« of a poor little child in a manger, that then have to flee.

One moment

»A turning point« can also mean that other things are becoming more important again.

Our reader Thorsten Dörries is a role model for me: He sent us a touching email in which he reports on the rocky road to school that his family had to walk with their children, the pressure from the system.

The topic of daycare and school was and is not only due to Corona an annual topic for all parents.

But Mr. Dörries turned it around positively:


We have strengthened our awareness that it is not the son or daughter who are 'wrong' if performance simply does not want to return, or school stress that causes illness threatens to destroy youth.

However, our children did not adapt to the system and the system will never be questioned!

(...) And yet we have constantly tried to make them both aware that there is no wrong way.

The important thing is that you do something!

And at some point you will find something that you can fill with life.

And even then the path is not over.

(...) There is no better gift for a party than two happy children who are no longer children and will always be...«

I wish my older children would write me a letter (by hand) at Christmas telling me how the year was for them.

My wife gives me a family-free day for Christmas week when I can drive alone to my home village to sit by the fire and talk with my best friend.

Since my parents are no longer alive, this is a bit of a substitute for the "driving home for christmas" feeling that I'm experiencing the other way around for the first time this year: my oldest has moved away to study, it still feels strange, but he does comes home for the party: a present!

As I write these lines, a message from him pops up on my cell phone: "I'm on my way to Berlin."

The sentence triggers an unknown tingling sensation in me, as if it were going to be a mess.

Fear is sometimes a necessary warning sign, but crippling fear is a poor advisor.

That's why I decided to turn my fear into something positive.

Into something so old-fashioned, for which there is the beautiful, rarely used word »humility«.

There is serenity and gratitude in humility.

And one more recipe

That's why I want to give you something for Christmas: a recipe.

No, this time it's not a recipe from our columnist Verena Lugert, even if her column name "nerve food" suits this year very well, but I would probably be a bit late with ideas for a Christmas dinner...

My recipe is a recipe of words, it costs nothing and will make you richer, it takes fear seriously and thereby takes fear, which would be nothing less than a Christmas miracle.

The poem is actually called »Recipe« and was written by Mascha Kaléko.

I'll say goodbye beforehand so that the newsletter can end with the poem and it will resonate with you for as long as possible.

Maybe give it away?

Our entire team from the »Life« department wishes you »Merry Christmas« and: »Don't be afraid!« Many thanks for your loyalty, even in this challenging year, for your many letters of criticism and praise - and full of stories from life.

It was a celebration for us!


Yours, Markus Deggerich


Chase away the fears

and the fear of the fears.

For the few years

everything will probably be enough.

The bread in the box

and the suit in the closet.

don't say mine

It's all on loan to you.

Live for a while and see

how little you need.

settle in

And have the suitcase ready.

It is true what they say:

what must come comes.

Don't face suffering.

And when it's there,

still look him in the face.

It is ephemeral like happiness.

Do not expect anything.

And guard your secret with concern.

The brother also reveals,

Is it about you or him.

Take your own shadow as your


Sweep your room well.

And exchange greetings with the neighbor.

Cheerfully mend the fence

And also the bell at the gate.

The wound in you keep awake

under the roof in the meantime.

tear up your plans

Be wise

and stick to miracles.

They have long been recorded

in the great plan.

Chase away the fears

and the fear of the fears.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-25

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