A holiday trip to enjoy German Christmas can make your season bright! And what better place to celebrate than in the region where many of our Christmas traditions began? A Christmas in Germany carries with it all the feelings of love and family we have come to know in every part of the world, but with a strong taste of the old-fashioned.
As you walk the lighted streets of Germany in the evening, you may see letters lying on the windowsills. These decorated letters are being left by the children for Christkind, a winged person with white robes and a gold crown who gives out gifts.
All around the city or town you will find wreathes and lights. A German Christmas has everything sparkling red, green, and white with Christmas trees alight in nearly every window.
You’ll really love the Christmas markets, where you can buy all kinds of sweets, holiday gifts and toys for the children. Some of the favorite German Christmas candy is marzipan. Sometimes these are shaped like fruits or animals.
The Christmas market is called Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt, and you’ll discover the larger ones in Frankfurt, Berlin or any of the bigger German cities and towns. But almost every town will have at least one small market where you can get many treats. The most famous Christkindlmarkt is in Nuremberg, and this one is also one of the oldest, dating back to around 1628.
German Christmas time starts early in December. At times you’ll even find holiday activities begin at the end of November. On December 5th, you may see shoes or boots outside the doors of homes. The next day is Nikolaustag, or Saint Claus Day, and if the child was good, he or she will find presents. If they were bad, they may only find a rod. :-)
On the evening of the 6th, the German Christmas preparations begin in earnest, with much baking being done. Folks will often make time to create their own gifts and decorations at this time.
Around the 20th of December, on or near the winter solstice, some celebrate Thomasnacht. If you see a woman running outside to hug a tree, know that this is to bring a good harvest for the coming year. ;-)
At Christmas in Germany, the 24th of December is the most important day of the holiday. The tree is often decorated at this time. After a filling and delicious dinner everyone waits for Weihnachtsmann (Santa) who brings the gifts.
Christmas Eve is also considered to be an important time to enjoy great food. The common belief is that someone who doesn’t eat well on this night will be haunted by demons after going to bed. So a person should feel obligated to take part in feasting on some macaroni salad, sausage and suckling pig.
When the Christmas tree is decorated, it stands as a beautiful creation for the children’s joy. The mother of the family will place candy, cookies, apples, tinsel and nuts on its branches to amaze the kids when they are finally allowed to view it.
On the 25th and 26th of December, most Germans spend these days visiting friends and family as the traditional activity. It’s a time of love and peace throughout the country, and a time to enjoy a family holiday like no other.
If you have the opportunity to visit Germany over the Christmas holidays, you’ll find a wealth of fun and tradition. You can experience an old-fashioned German Christmas that the whole family won’t soon forget.