… imagine, I saw the Christ Child ….

No folks, I am not crazy and I am not confused. I was not in the forrest either.

Trust me, it was the Christ Child in black trousers and a black sweater, of medium height, with short hair, slightly grey, catching the light of its halo. The smooth face radiated the joy of Christmas and a scent of baking, golden stars twinkling in its eyes. There were wings growing from its back.

My husband and I spent the days between Christmas and New Year’s in Southern Burgenland, Austria, and went for a walk along the Pinka near Bildein. And though it was cold, considering it was the end of December temperatures were not too bad.

Walking in fresh air really rouses an appetite and it is not every day that one indulges in a hot drink and calorie intake of the sweet kind. And because cakes and pastries by Aloisia and her bakers are just too good one cannot stop once having given in to the craving. Even the purchases for taking home are quickly devoured, savoring every last bit. It had been two years that we had not been to Aloisia’s bakery. Two years that we had tried our best to forget about it when in the area. Today we will make an exception: to Badersdorf for coffee and cake at Aloisia’s.

There were not many cars in the parking lot. A few women were cleaning the windows and the sidewalk, the shopfront and the coffee shop’s veranda. There was a sign on the door announcing that they were closing for Christmas and would remain closed until January.

What a pity, I had wanted to bring some cookies for the good souls that clear away the newspapers and advertisements from my doorstep. And maybe the loved ones at home will manage to organize a “wild women’s meeting”, cookies would have been perfect for that.

The woman cleaning the door sends us inside. “The boss is there, just go”, she coaxes us.

And behold, boss-lady welcomes us warmly, coffee and cake would be no problem. They would not send away walk-in guests only, officially, they were closed and and could not offer the usual range. She would have a look what was available.

The regular’s table was cleared, evidently other guests had just left. In no time there was coffee steaming before us and a few minutes later the table was laden with frit tart and chestnut cream cake. We enjoyed the warmth, the coffee, the cakes, the small conversations.

A woman came over, stayed a while, then left with a big bag of parcels.

Summoning courage I asked if Aloisia’s would be able to cover my Christmas baking. Yes, yes, the reply, she would see what she had there.

10 minutes later the beaming Christ Child appeared with a huge Aloisia bag in its hand and announced this was her Christ. We were overwhelmed. Simply could not believe the friendliness and generosity bestowed upon us.

Honestly, I have seen it. The Christ Child is not quite the blond beautified infant of our childhood books. No, it is a medium high pastry chef from Badersdorf who gives generous gifts to walk-ins.

 

The Christ Child is called Aloisia.

 

Aloisia's Mehlspeis & Kaffeestub'n

by Elfie Resch

2013.09.25