Christmas in Germany - a holiday treat
- A Christmas Story - a fiction short story
Was it real or was it a dream?
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.
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.
© 2013 Suzette Walker