how is your week going? The level of intensity in anticipation of Christmas is rising in our house.
Our home-school co-op is doing a “Christmas around the world” party. I volunteered to do a German table with a poster board and typical Christmas goodies. I thought I share some of those traditions with you today.
Germans really relish the time before Christmas. Early in December the Christmas markets open. They are usually set up in the old part of town and offer mostly handmade Christmas toys, yummy goodies, and the famous hot, mulled wine to keep you warm. Some have children’s rides. Going through them takes hours.
The advent is observed much more closely than here. On the first advent families get together, light the first candle, sing Christmas carols, and children often get a special treat. Consequently every Sunday another candle gets lit.
A lot of people have these fancy pyramids, the best are made in the Erz region. When the candles are lit the wind causes the figures to move in circles. This provides hours of entertainment for children.
Santa does not come on the 25th. Instead St. Nik comes on the 6th and fills children’s shoes with goodies. You can read more about him here. The big night is on the 24th, when the Christ child brings presents. The 25th and 26th are big holidays where people eat meals like duck or goose, but there are no presents. Most people keep their tree and decorations up until January. The Christmas tree was invented in Germany.
Another big tradition is the advent calendar. Starting December first children get to open a door each day filled with a small toy or chocolate.
Germans are not as big on Christmas cards as here, if they send a card it is a traditional card with no family pictures.
Germans go all out for Christmas. The whole month is one big celebration and most children get goodies each day, on the 6th, and on the first advent. This is the place you want to be in the month of December!
What are your family traditions? I’d love to hear.