As much as Brussels is proud of being called the Heart of Europe, Strasburg in France got the name of the capital of Christmas. Not to raise any doubts, over the main road leading to the Old City such an illuminated caption in French -‘Capitale de Noel’ was placed. It has been so for years and one must admit that this is an Alsatian city in which there is the headquarter of the European Parliament and it deserves this name. However, not because of the EU institutions, but due to the Christmas decorations, as a result of passion and hard work. In the beginning of the Advent most shop windows in the Old City were decorated with Christmas things. And not only on the ground but also on higher floors. I was a witness when big angels, Christmas trees, stars, baubles, teddy bears, Santa Claues in sleighs were being placed in the windows of beautiful old Alsatian tenement houses, with a crane. It was just next to a beautiful gothic old cathedral, whose image with a characteristic one tower became a recognizable sign of the city. Next to it there were stalls smelling with gluhwein, that is, a special warmed spicy Christmas wine. Here, tourists from many countries are standing to get warm with the wine. Nearby, on the Gutenberg square – other wooden stalls. This year Island has presented its products. It is beautiful, stylish, as if a nine-century carousel. Decorated Christmas trees are gleaming with brightness. The magic effect is getting stronger at the dusk. There is a growing feeling that He is arriving. The feeling can only be disturbed by emergency means. Not for the first time. But this year the entrance of cars to the Old City has been completely blocked, also the parliamentarian cars. From all sides. Only pedestrians could be allowed to enter, after earlier control of their bags. Having passed the control sphere, one could see patrols – 4 soldiers with guns ready to shoot. Everything for our safety, certainly. It is easier to exit. There are patrols on a bridge a few metres away. There is a van nearby, in which soldiers in bullet-proof vests, waiting for their shift. Soon after some time I heard a comment: ‘What Christmas atmosphere is it? This is a civil war!’. And then I recalled a famous song, which says that in Poland ‘Christmas is the most beautiful’. Indeed, in Poland, nearly every home is becoming the capital of Christmas.


„Niedziela” 52/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: