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21 Dec, 2018 10:24

Word ‘Christmas’ surprisingly MISSING in German minister’s official Christmas card

Word ‘Christmas’ surprisingly MISSING in German minister’s official Christmas card

Christmas is traditionally the biggest holiday for young and old in Germany, but it didn’t seem so in a greeting card by the Migration Minister in which the name of the long-awaited celebration conspicuously went missing.

The words ’Frohe Weihnachten’, which literally translate as ‘Merry Christmas’, are heard these days all across Germany. However, that traditional greeting was nowhere to be found in an official Christmas card by Annette Widmann-Mauz, Germany’s Minister for Migration, Refugees and Integration.

The card featured the photograph of Widmann-Mauz herself flanked by several employees of her ministry. Except for a Christmas tree in the background and two female staffers with drawn-on red Santa hats, there was no sign of Christmas at all.

“No matter what you believe in, we wish you a contemplating time and a good start of the New Year,” reads a tight-lipped caption on the card.

Some columnists in German media zeroed in on the phrase and rushed to slam Widmann-Mauz’s claim that belief doesn’t matter, but it’s unclear if there was any deliberate message there.

What others pointed out is that Christmas is not only a recognized religious event in Germany but also a public holiday that extends on all citizens regardless of their faith or ethnicity.

READ MORE: Merkel suggests Christmas carols, flute-playing in face of ‘Islam concerns’

But what perhaps angered critics most is that Widmann-Mauz was much more specific when congratulating other religious communities on their respective holidays.

“Hanukkah sameach!” she wrote on December 3, wishing “all Jewish men and women a happy and blessed holiday.”

Widmann-Mauz, a long-time member of Germany’s conservative Christian Democrats, also didn’t miss an opportunity to wish Muslims a happy Ramadan. “On the occasion of Ramadan, I wish all Muslims in Germany a blessed and contemplative fasting,” the minister tweeted at the time.

The Internet was also mainly critical about the minister’s Christmas greetings, suggesting that she is not right for her job. Some even went as far as to say that there is nothing Christian in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The awkward greeting was also met with little praise by Widmann-Mauz’s fellow conservative politicians.

At the end of the day, her office backtracked on the infamous card, writing on Twitter: “Merry Christmas to all of you in Germany!”

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