German Christmas

Christmas in Germany is very traditional. The preparation for this special feast begins with the advent season. In this time you will find a lot of advent calendars (with 24 small doors to open and some chocolate or pictures or other goodies behind) in German homes especially for children. Others pack 24 small presents and give them to a beloved person. Another thing which have to be done before christmas is the purchase of a christmas tree (it is mostly a fir or pine). In most German cities you will find some kind of Christmas markets where you can buy Christmas ornaments and lots of other things (Christmas cards, wooden things, ...) and eat sausages, baked potatoes, ... and certainly get mulled claret.

Christmas itself starts at Christmas Eve (24.). On this day shops are open until noon (to buy the last presents). Each family does it a little bit differently. Some first go to church and then give eachother their Christmas presents, have a great dinner together (on Christmas Eve it is often carp), sing Christmas songs and so on. Other families wait for the first Christmas Day (25.) to change presents. The second Christmas Day (26.) is also a holiday in Germany. A typical meal for this day is goose (as for Saint Martin). So you have three days of beeing together with your family and eating, drinking, talking.

German Christmas Charol

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
|: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
|: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
|: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|