I thought I would share with you the German Christmas Tradition I experienced – as it’s one of the prompts for this month.
Even though I’ve been here for quite some time now, Christmas with one of the time in the year where I get homesick because the feel of this holiday hasn’t really been the same since I immigrated.
The German Christmas Tradition includes the following ingredients:
- St Nicholas Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag)
- Krampus Night (Krampus Nacht)
- Advent calendar (Adventskalendar)
- Advent wreath (Adventskranz)
- Epiphany and the Sternsinger.
- Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte)
- Mulled wine (Glühwein)
- Christmas angels (Weihnachtsengel)
- Christmas stollen
The German holiday season is a time for introspection, celebration, and family and friends; it is less consumption-oriented and starts with the purchase of candles, advent calendar and wreath. One of the traditions is that on December 6th, we all put our shoes in front of our door to find out if we would receive treats or switch by St Nicholas. Treats would indicate we were good while a switch would, of course let us know we’d been bad.
During the week in-between Sundays for advent season we would learn a song to play on whatever instrument we specialized in or sing, or a poem that we would recite. In one foster care placement, we’d listened to the stories being read while enjoying some stollen and juice.
Weekends were spend walking around the Christmas market, buying a Lebkuchen heart and look at all the merchandise. I haven’t had a Lebkuchen heart in over 27 years – and it’s definitely something I miss. I may have attempted making them myself once but uhh that didn’t work out so well.
Anywho, on Christmas eve most of the day would be like normal, but around 5 or 6 pm we were send to our rooms and wait for the bell to ring. This meant that Christkind had arrived and we could come and see what was under the Christmas Tree. And then we would open our gifts that we have received.
In Germany, the 25th and 26th are also Christmas holidays where families are just about, well, families.
My kids got to experience some of the German Christmas Tradition with me and the American Celebration with their dad.
Since immigrating I’ve adapted some of this – when my kids were little, we would go see the Christmas lights on Christmas eve and then when we arrived home I’d react all shocked that someone entered the house. Due to my divorce my kids then went to their father’s house on the 25th to celebrate with him.
December Journal Prompts
Talk about Christmas or another holiday you celebrate, are you excited? What are your plans?
What is your favorite winter activity?
Wrap up the year, how did it go?