For a month Munich has been preparing for Christmas. The shop windows have had a holiday look all December. I see one every day in which are displayed all the varieties of fruits, vegetables, and confectionery possible to be desired for a feast, done in wax,—a most dismal exhibition, and calculated to make the adjoining window, which has a little fountain and some green plants waving amidst enormous pendent sausages and pigs’ heads and various disagreeable hashes of pressed meat, positively enticing. And yet there are some vegetables here that I should prefer to have in wax,—for instance, sauerkraut. The toy windows are worthy of study, and next to them the bakers’. A favorite toy of the season is a little crib, with the Holy Child, in sugar or wax, lying in it in the most uncomfortable attitude. Babies here are strapped upon pillows, or between pillows, and so tied up and wound up that they cannot move a muscle, except, perhaps, the tongue; and so, exactly like little mummies, they are carried about the street by the nurses,—poor little things, packed away so, even in the heat of summer, their little faces looking out of the down in a most pitiful fashion. The popular toy is a representation, in sugar or wax, of this period of life. Generally the toy represents twins, so swathed and bound; and, not infrequently, the bold conception of the artist carries the point of the humor so far as to introduce triplets, thus sporting with the most dreadful possibilities of life.
The German bakers are very ingenious; and if they could be convinced of this great error, that because things are good separately, they must be good in combination, the produce of their ovens would be much more eatable. As it is, they make delicious cake, and of endless variety; but they also offer us conglomerate formations that may have a scientific value, but are utterly useless to a stomach not trained in Germany. Of this sort, for the most part, is the famous Lebkuchen, a sort of gingerbread manufactured in Nurnberg, and sent all over Germany: “age does not [seem to] impair, nor custom stale its infinite variety.” It is very different from our simple cake of that name, although it is usually baked in flat cards. It may contain nuts or fruit, and is spoiled by a