December 23, 2012

The end of a Christmas caroling tradition.

The NY Post reports:
The tradition began in the late 1970s when cabaret singer John Wallowitch would walk by Berlin’s [NYC] house and warble “White Christmas” while walking his dog, Winnie. Five years on, in 1983, he had added a group of fellow performers, and Berlin, then 95, famously welcomed the carolers inside for cocoa and cookies. They sang in his home’s beautiful ballroom from then on. After Berlin’s death, when the house became Luxembourg’s consulate and permanent mission to the UN, the tradition continued.
Berlin died 23 years ago, so that's a long time for Luxembourg to put up with this intrusion, but having done it for so long, you'd think the traditional would be so deeply internalized that they would never let it go. And how many other ways does Luxembourg have to inspire love here in America?
But Luxembourg Consul-General Jean-Claude Knebeler explains he was forced to stuff the ballroom with office equipment because his country was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and so is housing more staff for two years.
Security Council?! That's the excuse?

20 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

If all traditions carried on forever, we'd have no time for anything else.

campy said...

Knebeler explains he was forced to stuff the ballroom with office equipment

Beats claiming the dog ate it, I guess.

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

Is there anything more U.N.-ish than killing off a beautiful tradition through pointless bureaucracy? Well, rampant ineffectualism with matters of import, but besides that, I mean.

Hagar said...

NYC is still free to carol; just no cocoa and cookies in the ballroom.
And anyway, that is probably illegal in New York, though Luxembourg of course may have diplomatic immunity for it.

EDH said...

Like Luxemborg, I too have noticed my ball room has become a little more stuffed since last year.

Nothing a little diet and exercise can't cure.

McTriumph said...

That's a better excuse than a concussion diagnosed by a phrenologist.

Tim Morris said...

A fine example of what my first company commander called the "yagottawanna" phenomena. If you really want to do it, you'll find a way.

Tim Morris said...

A fine example of what my first company commander called the "yagottawanna" phenomena. If you really want to do it, you'll find a way.

edutcher said...

Lessee now, what was going on in Luxembourg this time of year back in, say, 1944?

Clyde said...

Cut them some slack! Since that embassy is technically Luxembourg soil, it probably accounts for at least 1% of their total territory. They need the space!

MadisonMan said...

I wonder: Do members of the NY Post Editorial Board and its Reporters go caroling every year? Or do they just write stories lamenting about the end of it?

William said...

I just hope that this doesn't become yet another occasion for Luxembourg bashing. The Luxembourgians are, by and large, as sane and decent as any ethnic group in America. I don't agree with the consulate's actions, but my respect and affection for Luxembourgians remains steadfast.

Chuck Currie said...

The carolers should continue on in John Wallowitch style, singing outside Berlin's home, and be sure to bring a dog.

Cheers

Chip S. said...

Security Council?! That's the excuse?

It's a good excuse--a shred of plausibility, but not so much as to fail to convey the real message: You've become tiresome.

ricpic said...

Intrusion? Jeepers, talk about cold.

ricpic said...

If Luxembourg can pull off the welfare state why can't we?!?!

Rabel said...

He first told the carolers they couldn't come in because the Christmas tree was in the workshop, but Cindy Lou Who, who was not more than two, had heard that one before, so he came up with the Security Council excuse.

sabeth.chu said...

monsieur knebeler made luxembourg look puny. the grand duke is not amused.

Bob Ellison said...

What child is this?

Your freakin' stupid carolling child! Not my problem!

Deck the halls...

Stop decking them! You Jesus-freak Yanks are idiots.

Frosty the Snowman...

He's snowy because of climate change, you idiots! We Luxembrourgers (sp?) know how to manage that kind of stuff!

Darrell said...

I bet the Euros aren't familiar with the paper bag of flaming dog poo on the front porch trick. They should get the upgraded version of someone ringing the back door bell so that you have to run through the house with dog poo on your shoes.