Ok, can I just say how totally excited I am to experience a German Christmas?! I just am. It seems there is an endless list of German Christmas traditions, and I want to try and adopt, like ALL OF THEM! And trust me, I’m gonna try.
So there’s this Facebook Group I’m part of for internationals living here in Dresden. I hit up the site yesterday and asked what German Christmas traditions people love? And I got some fabulous feedback that even made me more excited to greet the season! A native German shared quite a lengthy response with all the ins and outs, and in each sentence when I got to a big German word I didn’t know, I google-image-searched, and with each new word I found another wonderful thing I wanted to try!
First do you know about the Christmas markets of Germany? I’m just going to assume you do, and I KNOW I’ll post more about it later as I begin visiting them all. But know this, there are like 14 or more just here in Dresden, and I have loved watching them all get set up. It’s just super exciting. I shot this like weeks ago, you should see it now. It’s nearly ready as it opens in 2 days!
Ok, don’t laugh that I didn’t know what the twirly thing was called. Apparently it’s a Christmas Pyramid: Weihnachtspyramide. 👍
This is what it will be, and if that doesn’t say magical, I don’t know what does. My guess is we will spend most of our evenings together here throughout the month of December.
Let me show you a few other things that were mentioned in the Germany Christmas list of things to do, see, buy, smell, eat, make, whatever. It’s wonderful.
- Go to the markets and drink Glühwein and eat Kräppelchen, well I don’t drink any type of wine, but I’m sure I’ll be able to polish off a dozen of these bad boys.
- Spend a day in Seiffen, the Erzgebirge or the Ore Mountains, and buy hand made Räuchermännchen (smoking men). She said, she loves the little smelly cones you put in, they come in many different fragrances. I don’t even know what she’s talking about, but it will be fun to find out.
- Erzgebirge also lights up all its windows with these Christmas Candle arches and you can buy hand-carved arches and Christmas pyramids here.
- Make Gingerbread Houses and Plätzchen with the kids. German Christmas cookies. Sign me up. But note, lots of sweets are beautiful here, but I don’t find them very tasty. I’m not sure I’ve been here long enough yet to appreciate the less than sweet, sweets! But gorgeous, right?!
- Have kids polish up their boots on the night of December 5th, and if they are clean St. Nikolaus will fill them with something sweet the next morning.
- Put a Erzgebirgs-Schwibbogen in your window and hang up a Herrnhuter Stern.
- Display an Advents-Leuchter or Advent wreath with four candles and light one each Sunday approaching Christmas, in spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
- It also seems that Santa sometimes delivers gifts to the Children directly, that seems so interesting. The Germans must be tighter with the jolly ole’ Claus than we Americans.
- I’ve also learned that they eat a simply Christmas Eve dinner and a lavish Christmas Day dinner. Not to mention, Christmas is drug out through the 26th as well. So they continue to eat and party then.
One huge part of my family’s Christmas time this year will be our effort to do something good each day as we look forward to welcoming Christ into our lives more. Our family will be trying to accomplish something different each day of the advent on this calendar, check it out:
Each day of the calendar gives a few ideas on something we can do, like day one looks like this:
Pretty cool, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to this challenge as well this Christmas. I think it will be a little more difficult as I don’t know many people and the needs here. Not to mention, I don’t know a lot about how things work and what organizations are out here. But it will be great, we’ll figure some things out.
We’ll see just how many things on this list and my German list I’m able to incorporate/acquire/eat/see/give/do this first German Christmas. Stay tuned, because I have a feeling I’ll have a lot to share. My mother-in-law flies in tomorrow. No doubt, she’ll be my partner in crime in accomplishing a lot of this. Wish us luck!
Oh, and if you and your family want to participate in Lighting the world: check out this link. I promise it will make the holiday that much more meaningful!. God bless.