Christmas in Germany - a holiday treat

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Christmas 2014

Around about now, I become so homesick for Germany and her Christmases. I lived in Wurzburg, Germany back in the 1980s and Germany at Christmas time is beautiful and meaningful. The Germans really know how to do up this holiday and it is a German Christmas that we take for our traditional Christmas celebrating here in America.

We look to our German cousins for our Christmas tree. Oh Tannembaum! Germany is where the Christmas tree got its start and gradually putting up an evergreen tree and decorating it comes directly from Germany. Then it was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert that borrowed the idea from the Germans and made it popular in England, all of Britain and America.

And the Christmas tree pickle ornament? Well, when I lived in Germany I was told it was a German tradition to hide the pickle ornament on the Christmas tree and the child who discovered it received an extra special Christmas gift to open. All over the internet, it is said this is a German myth and not a German tradition. So why did and do Germans sell pickle ornaments at the German Christkindlmarkt? Go figure!

All those delicious cookies, tarts and pastries we bake at Christmas time also come from Germans and their love of trading baked goods at this happy time. Christmas stollen, German sweet bread, baked especially at Christmas time all over Germany, is a favorite here too in the U.S.

And no German city, town, or village would be without its Christkindlmarkt at this time of the year. Here the German baked goodies are sold along with handmade wooden Christmas tree ornaments that the Germans are famous for, linen tablecloths and napkins for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, and German wooden toys beloved by children around the world.

I can still to this day smell the German hot chocolate and gluhwein, hot spiced red wine, floating through the air at the Christkindlmarkt. Oh how those delicious smells have never been forgotten.

Christmas is just not secular to the Germans. Beautiful wooden carved nativity scenes are put up in homes and around the cities, towns and villages of Germany. They are also for sale at the Christkindlmarkt. These are beautiful and handmade in southern Bavaria but sold throughout all of Germany.

Trimming the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve is the traditional way in Germany. Then this is followed by a wonderful home cooked German meal and afterwards the trading of Christmas presents. Presents are then opened Christmas Eve at midnight or Christmas Day morning after waiting for Santa Claus or St. Nicklaus as he is known in Germany.

The lights, the smells, the foods, the gatherings are all present in my mind each Christmas. Oh, to be in my beloved Germany to experience a true German Christmas once again!
And Christmas Eve evening or Christmas Day, attending mass at the Dom (cathedral) was always so special in Germany.

Christmas in Germany is like a magical fairy tale especially when it snows. Being able to ski the German and Austrian alps between Christmas and New Years is a treat also. I will always treasure my Christmases in Germany and dream of sugar plums and German nutcrackers swirling in my head.

Wurzburg, Germany Christkindlmarkt.
Wurzburg, Germany Christkindlmarkt. | Source
Christkindlmarkt in Munich, Germany
Christkindlmarkt in Munich, Germany | Source
Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany and Christkindlmarkt.
Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany and Christkindlmarkt. | Source
Christmas treats at a booth at a Christkindlmarkt in Germany.
Christmas treats at a booth at a Christkindlmarkt in Germany. | Source
German nativity scene.
German nativity scene. | Source
Bernkastle, Germany and Christmas tree.
Bernkastle, Germany and Christmas tree. | Source
The Christmas pickle, a German tradition?  The child that finds the pickle ornament on the tree get s a special Christmas Eve present to open.
The Christmas pickle, a German tradition? The child that finds the pickle ornament on the tree get s a special Christmas Eve present to open. | Source
Christmas cookies - a tradition from Germany and Europe.
Christmas cookies - a tradition from Germany and Europe. | Source
A traditional Christmas pyramid in Dresden, Germany.
A traditional Christmas pyramid in Dresden, Germany. | Source
Famous wooden Christmas tree ornaments made in Germany.
Famous wooden Christmas tree ornaments made in Germany. | Source
German Nutcrackers, another German Christmas tradition.
German Nutcrackers, another German Christmas tradition. | Source
Little German angels.
Little German angels. | Source
A snowy German Night.
A snowy German Night. | Source

When someone says the word Christmas to me these are the images that first pop into my head. They will, I believe, pop in for the rest of my life. I hope you have enjoyed these Christmas images of Germany too. If you ever have an opportunity to see and visit Germany at Christmas time, go, do not hesitate, just go.

I hope you experience the magical fairy tale German Christmas as I have been fortunate to experience and see.

Stollen, a German sweet bread eaten at Christmas time.  I took this into school one year for my colleagues and it all was eaten in five minutes.
Stollen, a German sweet bread eaten at Christmas time. I took this into school one year for my colleagues and it all was eaten in five minutes. | Source
Merry Christmas in German.
Merry Christmas in German. | Source

© 2013 Suzette Walker suzettetaos

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Comments 53 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, wow, suzette! I was born in Wurzburg, Germany because my dad was stationed around there in the US Army back then. I wish I could remember it, but we came back to the states when I was two years old. I truly want to return to the place of my birth, and Christmas looks like the best time of year to do such!

Thank you for sharing the beauty of Christmas in Wurzburg! All of the imagery is beautiful and delightful.

Up and sharing

Blessings, Faith Reaper


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Faith: You definitely have to go back to visit it sometime. Wurzburg is where I taught at the military high school off Leighton Barracks. Christmas time is just so wonderful over there and so much fun. It is also beautiful and not just secular. The churches and cathedrals are beautiful at Christmas time and decorated so beautifully. If you ever need a guide, I volunteer! LOL Thanks so much for reading and viewing this. You were born in a beautiful German city.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

I have never been to Germany at Christmas but I have always thought that it looked beautiful and special in pictures. Your hub confirms this.

You described it really well, I could almost taste the stollen and feel the cold snow crunching under my feet.

No wonder you are homesick, it looks like a pretty winter wonderland.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Anna: Thank you for your lovely comments and I am glad you enjoyed this. Just my musings at this time of the year and I love the photos too. LOL. Thanks so much for your visit.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Suzette, what a wonderful hub. I have never been to Germany but your descriptions of Christmas celebrations there and the beautiful pictures make me wish I was there right now. Thank you for sharing.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jodah: You are most welcome and thank you for taking the time to look this over. I don't know the traditions in Australia - I suppose they are close to England's. My father was of German heritage and so we always had a very German Christmas at our house, but to actually experience it in Germany was wonderful. Germany is a winter wonderland in winter and Christmas. Thanks so much for taking the time to check this out.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The God Phenomenon: A Tryst Goes On is beautifully presented hub with such lovely photos and now I know the way Christmas is enjoyed, the traditional way of Christmas looks a bliss.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

DDE: I hope you enjoyed this. Not sure I fully understand your comments, but yes, this is the traditional Christmas celebration.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

That would be so spectacular. Wow! What I wouldn't give to be there during the holidays. Thank you for some wonderful recollections and beautiful pictures.


Ashok Rao profile image

Ashok Rao 2 years ago from Mumbai, India

Suzette it was very informative. I am very surprised to know that it was Germany where the Christmas tree got its start. I thought it was England. I could have checked it but took it for granted. India is a secular country and Christmas is a very important festival here. But nothing like Germany. The way you have described the celebration, I can only envy them. I wish I can be part of it in the near future and wishes do come true. The pictures were mesmerizing . I could go on but I definitely want to say - "Happy to know you!"


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you Bill. Just wanted to share some of the beauty of a German Christmas. Thanks for your comments.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Ashok: Happy to know you too. That is the wonder of the net - we get to know one another from different countries. I am so happy to hear Christmas is celebrated in India. I didn't know if your country would or not. I suppose by now, Christmas is a world-wide celebration. Since it can be a religious or secular holiday, I guess it can be celebrated anywhere. But, I am glad to hear that India is also part of the celebration this season and happy holidays to you and your family.


AUPADHYAY profile image

AUPADHYAY 2 years ago from INDIA, UTTAR PRADESH STATE, KANPUR CITY

Thanks suzette walker, for sharing this beautiful info hub and also for a series of good looking informative pics. Happy Christmas


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

Your pictures are amazing. I have a friend who lives in Germany and she has filled me in on the wonderful traditions there. How very fun.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

AUPADHYAY: Thank you for reading and view it. I am glad you enjoyed it. Germany is exactly where my family got its Christmas traditions from but actually to have been in Germany for Christmas was amazing. Happy Christmas to you and your family.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Writer Janis: Welcome to HP - It is good to meet you here. I see that you are a new hubber. Thank you so much for reading and view this. Germany is where my family takes its Christmas traditions from as my father was of German heritage. Being able to spend Christmas in Germany was a real treat for me. Thanks for your comments and for your visit. Most appreciated.


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 2 years ago

This looks like a wonderful place to be for the holidays. My boyfriend was born and raised there and talks about it all the time. I want to see it for myself after reading this.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Stacie L: It is a wonderful place and your boyfriend is from Germany? You two must spend the holidays there at one time or another. It is so magical and great for romance! LOL My memories of Germany have always been good ones, not matter the time of the year, but Christmas in Germany has always been special to me. Thanks so much for reading and viewing this and I am glad you enjoyed it.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

We do the pickle in my house. The kids love it and jump for joy when it is found. Being the Christmas fanatic I am, I think Germany may be my mecca. Jamie


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jamie: I am glad to hear you do the pickle at your house. I don't know where the pickle got started, because they do have it in Germany, but it is fun for the kids and anything that makes the season more magical for them I am for. LOL It sounds like your kids are young enough for Santa Claus and that must be so much fun. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy those little ones.


ocfireflies 2 years ago

Suzette,

I have been working on a hub about a band that is scheduled to mainly play in Germany in the upcoming year. Being such a fan of this new group, I would love to see this group and the beautiful Germany you speak of in this hub. How lucky you are to have experienced so many places.

Blessings,

Kim


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Kim: I hope that you can see them play in Germany. If the opportunity to go presents itself, by all means go. Germany is beautiful any time of year, but especially so at Christmas time. I lived there in the 1980's and it will always be my home away from home to me. I had wonderful German landlords and I spoke with them when I visited Germany several years ago. They were wonderful to me and always made me feel welcome in their country. Germans are hard to get to know, but once you do, they are the most friendly and heartwarming people. It was always hard to equate that with what happened during WWII. I treasure my time living there. Thanks so much for reading this - this was fun to write and illustrate.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

This is fantastic, thank you for sharing such beauty and another Christmas celebration. I would love such lovely memories but sharing yours is lots of fun, again, thanks!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jackie: Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed this hub. Germany is the epitome of Christmas! I appreciate your visit and your comments. Most appreciated.


Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 2 years ago

I was born in Munich and the Christkindlmarkt is one of the best. I have also been to the one in Stuttgart. My mom would make Stollen for us at Christmastime.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Gypsy: How wonderful that you were born in Munich. Then you know what this is all about. I love and miss the Christkindlmarkt. We used to have one here in Akron and Germans from Chemnitz, Germany would come and run in for six weeks at Christmastime. But, because of the poor economy here in the U.S., they have not been able to come back. So sad! Thanks so much for reading and for your comments - most appreciated.

!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

I already miss Germans Christmas traditions. I think I will celebrate my Christmas next year in my adopted country. I miss the Christkindlmarkt, the snow and everything in German Christmas. Thanks for reminding me about this awesome Christmas.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thelma: You can relate! I miss Christmas in Germany also. So glad you read this and enjoyed it. I hope you make it to Germany for Christmas next year. Germany is my adopted home also. Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Suzette, these photos are sooo beautiful! I especially love “A Snowy German Night.” I can understand why you miss your adopted home. This is just the right hub to put us all in the mood for this wonderful holiday. Thank you! :-)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Genna: So glad you enjoyed reading and viewing this. Germany is the epitome of Christmas if you ask me. It is almost magical. I will always have fond memories of Christmas in Germany. Just sharing some of the good times. Thanks for your visit and your comments!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Wow, what a colorful, fact-filled presentation. It makes me feel better, as my youngest is heading for Germany the day after Christmas. Your presentation has added to the spirit of the season.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Mike: How wonderful that your youngest is off to Germany. I love the country and the people, although they are hard to get to know at first. You child will get to experience some of this German Christmas. Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. Most appreciated.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

From the photos you chose, Christmas does seem like an especially magical time in Germany. I can see why you're homesick.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

ologsinquito: There is nothing like Christmas in Germany - it is magical! Thanks so much for reading this and I am happy you have enjoyed it.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

Late in commenting, but Christmas in Germany is magical. I am fortunate that I was able to experience it a number of times.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Glimmer: So glad to hear you have experienced Christmas in Germany. I agree it is magical. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. Most appreciated.


bobkaiser300 profile image

bobkaiser300 2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

Part of my family was of German descent. When I was little, I remember my great aunt had baked iced gingerbread cookies all designed into a little village with gingerbread houses and gingerbread people. The village looked beautiful and we hated to eat them, but boy were they good!

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Decorating-Your-...


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

bobkaiser: Thanks so much for reading this article and I am so glad you enjoyed reading it. Your grandmother was something to have baked a little German village like that. That is certainly a treat for your family. I will always treasure my Christmas time in Germany - it is like no other.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

My daughter just came back from a year in Munich--and misses it already--especially gluwein--I know I have butchered the spelling! From your article and her stories I think Germany during the holidays must be wonderful!


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

I enjoyed reading your article on Christmas in Germany. My husbands family is from Germany and I can gain 10 lbs just looking at all the baked goods. No one can bake like the German people. My father was German and my mother was Italian so I had the best of both worlds. Lovely hub.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

wow, i didn't know germany christmas looks extra special, lively and high in spirit. Not going back to Germany?


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Audrey: I bet she just loved it. Christmas in Germany is like a fairy tale is all I can say about it. Everyone should experience a Christmas in Germany sometime during their lives. It is just so special. Thanks so much for your visit and I appreciate your comments.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

ladyguitarpicker: Thanks so much for your visit and for reading this. Yes, Christmas in Germany is just wonderful. I love the German stollen - sweetbread - at Christmastime. The German baked goods are the best as you say. I would love to spend yet another Christmas in Germany.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

peachpurple: Thanks so much for reading this and I am glad your enjoyed it. Christmas in Germany is special. I have been back to Germany several times since I lived there but not during Christmas. It is such a lovely place anytime of the year but especially at Christmastime.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

aninda1: So glad you enjoyed reading this and Christmas certainly is beautiful in Germany. I love it. LOL!


MHiggins profile image

MHiggins 24 months ago from Michigan

Great hub, suzett! I have never been to Germany but would really like to go. I have distant family in Bavaria and we practice several customs here in the U.S. Thanks again for sharing. Your hub makes me REALLY want to go there! Voted up.


MelRootsNWrites profile image

MelRootsNWrites 24 months ago from California

Thank you for sharing these beautiful Christmas images! I have a few German advent calendars that I put on display each December. That add a nice touch to my displays.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 23 months ago from Taos, NM Author

MHiggins: Thank you so much and I am pleased your enjoyed reading this. My all means, go to Germany for Christmas some year. It will be a real treat! Bavaria is just beautiful and the Christmas celebration there is wonderful. Have a Merry Christmas!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 23 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Mel: So glad you enjoyed reading this. Christmas is certainly special in Germany and we get many of our Christmas customs and traditions from the Germans. It truly is a Winter Wonderland at Christmas in Germany,


Vellur profile image

Vellur 12 months ago from Dubai

Enjoyed the read, wonderful pics. Wish I could be there. A magical Christmas in a great place, thank you for sharing.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 11 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Vellur: I am so glad you have enjoyed reading this. I have spent Christmas in Germany and it i truly magical.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 7 months ago from South Africa

Nice to read about Germany's Christmas tradition when Christmas is still 8 months away, getting that feeling that can only be aroused by Christmas. Those cookies look delicious!

An evergreen hub. Don't forget to share it each and every year by November!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 7 months ago from Taos, NM Author

I have such fond memories of Christmas in Germany that I wanted to share them. It is truly a magical time in Germany. I am glad you enjoyed this and yes, Germany has some of the best cookies and pastries especially at Christmas. Yes, I drag this out each Christmas! Lol!

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