Christmas in Germany | German Girl in America

Christmas in Germany | German Girl in America


Here we go! Einen freulichen ersten Advent – Happy first Advent Sunday! Hallo-Servus and welcome back to my Youtube channel. My Name is Felicia, I’m originally from Munich Germany, but I have been living in Cincinnati, Ohio for about three Years now. So Christmas is around the Corner as you can see; I already brought out the Christmas-tree, I’m wearing Winter-sweaters, I have my little Christmas Santa Friend here, and, even though Christmas is celebrated in both Germany and the United States, there are a lot of Differences regarding how its celebrated: Here in the U.S, from what I know, Santa Claus brings the Presents on Christmas Day so on December 25th, and he enters the House through the Chimney and therefore most Families have Stockings hung up on their Fireplace for smaller Presents and Candy. A lot of Americans set up their Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving so at the End of November or even earlier than that the Decorations at the Stores actually started way earlier. I’ve actually seen some in October this Year, which I was a little shocked about, because it wasn’t even Halloween at the Time, but a lot of Americans have fake Trees. That’s something that I noticed that isn’t really a Thing in Germany. It seems practical, because you don’t have to buy a new Tree every Year and a lot of People actually even leave the Decorations on the Tree too, but I didn’t grow up here, so if you’re American, feel free to share in the Comments how your Family celebrates Christmas and I’ll tell you in this video how my Family and other Germans celebrate and what kind of Christmas traditions we have. The first Thing that is a pretty big Part of our Christmas tradition is Advent which I think isn’t really a Thing here but we actually use this Term for the whole Time leading up to Christmas. We call it Adventszeit which means Advent time. Today is the first Advent Sunday, which means that, in Germany, most People light up the first Candle on their Advent wreath today, so that’s what I’ll do. This is one that I bought at the Store here. I usually have one with like wider Candles in Germany, they didn’t have that here. This is a fake one that I bought in the U.S. So usually the ones that my Family has are a lot nicer but the main Thing is that they have to have four Candles on them; These Candles aren’t the best either but… Here we go Happy first Advent Sunday and in Germany, too you can either buy the Wreath at the Store like this with the Decorations that the Candles on it or a lot of Families also make it themselves at home out of real Branches and then they decorate it. My Family usually buys a made Wreath at the Store but a real one with real Branches, and then we decorate it all together and put the Candles on top, and then the 4 Sunday’s leading up to Christmas are the 4 Advent Sundays so each Week, you light up another Candle, until all four Candles are burning the Sunday before Christmas and Kids usually also sing Advent songs in School. I remember I did that growing up, we did that every Week on the Fridays I think in elementary School, we all gathered in the big Lobby and sang those Songs and lit up the Candle together and Churches do that, too. Another big part of Advent are Advent calendars and it’s a big Coincidence this Year, that actually December 1st and the first Advent Sunday fall on the same Day, because Advent calendars start on December 1st. So I get to open my first Door, for, if you’ve never seen an Advent calendar, this is just an Example. They usually have 24 little “Doors,” if you will, and you got to open one each Day from December 1st through December 24th. A lot of them have Chocolate in them, like this one does, for Example, but People also make them themselves a lot for their Kids or their Friends. So then the 24 “Doors” are actually 24 little Sacks, and there is a Present in each Sack, or even had one growing up where there were 24 little Books, and each Book told a part of the Christmas story. Of course, another big part of Advent time is Christmas-themed Food: A lot of people bake Christmas cookies at home (we call them Plätzchen), then we also eat a lot of Lebkuchen during that time, Gingerbread like this or these are like the typical Shape and there is a Thing called Weihnachstolen, which looks like this actually found this in the U.S. People have told me that it’s kind of like Fruitcake or Fruitbread in the U.S, I don’t know if that’s true, because I haven’t tried Fruitcake, but Stollen is very very good in my opinion, it has a lot of Sugar and Butter in it. A lot of them have Raisins and it’s covered in a lot of powdered Sugar. On December 6th, its St. Nikolaus day which isn’t an official Holiday in Germany, but it is celebrated by most Families with Kids. St. Nikolaus was a christian Bishop who lived in the 4th Century in ancient Greece. He is part of the Christmas tradition in a lot of european Countries, but the Legend has developed differently in different Regions over Time. The American Santa Claus is actually based on him too, because dutch Immigrants brought their Traditions and Legends of Sinterklaas with them when they established the Colony of New Amsterdam, and that then turned into Santa Claus. In Germany, he is sometimes portrayed looking like a Bishop, but then sometimes he looks just like Santa Claus with the red-and-white Outfit and the typical Santa hat. On the night of December 5th, Kids put a Shoe or a Boot in front of the Door and then Nikolaus traditionally fills it with Nuts, Tangerines, Gingerbread, Candy, and nowadays some Kids also get a Toy or some other Present. Some families also have an actual Nikolas actor come to their House, and there are a lot of public Events with someone dressed up as Santa Claus. In most cases, St. Nikolaas won’t come alone, but he’ll have a Companion that is responsible for punishing the Kids that didn’t behave well. In Germany, depending on the Region, that Companion is either called Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus. He’s sometimes portrayed as just a Man in a black or brown Frock with a Switch, but then in other Cases, he’s portrayed as more a monster-like Creature with Fur and Horns and Hooves, and sometimes he also has a Sack, in which he threatens to put the kids that didn’t behave well. In southern Germany and some other Countries, we actually have Events during that time, which are called Krampus’ run. for which People dress up as those monster-like Creatures as Krampus. So they’re trying to look very scary and then chase the Pedestrians through the City. Usually, St Nikolaus is more something for the Kids but those Krampus runs are obviously something for Adults and then also some Adults give each other these St. Nikolous-shaped Chocolate figures. And talking about adults: Another major part of Christmastime in Germany are definitely the Christmas markets; We call them Weihnachtsmarkt or Kristkindelmarkt. They take place outside and usually go on for a few Weeks every single Day, and there are a lot of Booths with Christmas decorations and other Goods that you can buy, and then most importantly there is Food and Glühwein. Glühwein is hot red Wine with Spices in it, that not only heats you up from the Inside but also puts you in the right Christmas mood. Mulled Wine is the english Expression for it and you can also get it with a shot of Rum, usually. You can also get white Glühwein and a lot of other Variations nowadays. Typical Foods are like Bratwurst and Bread, roasted Almonds, Crepes and all other kinds of Foods that are hot and warm you up in the Winter. In Munich alone, there are over 35 of those Christmas markets. So there are small ones, big ones, traditional ones, modern ones, themed ones even. So it’s a very common thing to just go to a Christmas market after Work or on the Weekend with your Friends and Family. Now when it comes to Christmas itself, Germans mainly celebrate Christmas Eve, so December 24th. Most stores on that Day close around 2:00 p.m so that everyone can be with their Families afterwards and then December 25th and 26th are both national Holidays. Every Family has different Traditions, of course, but in my Family we don’t set out the Christmas tree until the Morning of Christmas Eve and we have a real Tree with real Candles. I know that a lot of other Families in Germany will have fake Candles or fake Lights, but fake Trees are definitely not very common. Most German Christmas trees will be decorated with all Kinds of different Ornaments, Christmas bulbs, and Straw-stars are very common, but a thing that is not common at all is the Christmas pickle. A lot of Americans think that it’s a german Tradition to hide a Pickle ornament in the Christmas tree and then the first Child who finds it gets an extra Present. I told you guys in my previous Video that I would do some Research on this and where this Legend came from, but it seems like nobody really knows there are a lot of different stories out there; One of them is actually linked to St. Nikolaus and then another one is about a Fighter in the Civil War, who was born in Bavaria, and then, on Christmas Eve, he was a Prisoner and he was starving and he asked the Guard for a Pickle and then the Pickle helped him to keep living. I also read, that, in the 1890s, the Story was developed for marketing Purposes because german Stores started importing Glass Christmas ornaments. So it’s possible that this used to be a german Tradition but a local one that then died out over time or it was entirely made up in the U.S. Either way, the Fact is, most Germans nowadays have never heard of this before so our Christmas tree usually just looks like this, no Christmas pickle, but what I do remember growing up is that we used to have a wooden nativity Scene also set up next to the Christmas tree. A lot of people celebrate Christmas Eve just with their close Family so just Parents and Kids. We usually celebrate with the entire Family in the Munich area so we’re usually about 15 People on Christmas eve. Traditional Christmas food varies from Region-to-Region. A lot of people will have Bratwurst or other Sausages with Sauerkraut or Potato salad then the traditional Christmas goose is very popular. It’s usually served with Dumplings and red Cabbage. Fish is an option too, but in my Family, we usually eat Fondue and Raclette. Both of these Dishes are originally from Switzerland. Fondue is this thing where you have a Pot on the Table with Broth in it, and then you have a lot of different Ingredients, like Meats and Veggies and Shrimp, etc, and then you can cook those Things on your little Fork in the Pot. Raclette looks kind of similar actually, it looks like this, People have their own little Pan and then they put Potatoes and other Ingredients in there, and then gratinéed it with the signature Raclette cheese. There’s also usually a lot of Sides and Sauces, and Fondue and Raclette are also Dishes that a lot of Germans eat for New Year’s Eve. In Germany, also, the Presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve. So in my Family before we eat Dinner the Kids have to go to a separate Room and wait there until the Presents have arrived. Since I’m from the South of Germany, it’s the Kristkind that brings the Presents for us, the Christ-child. In other parts of Germany, mostly the Middle and the North, It’s the Weinachtsmann (Christmas man), which is more or less identical to Santa Claus. So in those parts of Germany, a lot of Families have someone dressed up as Santa Claus and bring the Presents the Kristkind, on the other Hand, is never seen by the Children, only the Grown-ups are allowed to see him. The Kristkind of hard to describe, it’s technically supposed to be baby Jesus but it’s usually portrayed more as an Angel with a white Dress, Wings and an Angel Halo or a Crown and, in real life, it’s usually played by Girls. In my family, once the Kristkind has dropped off the Presents, It’ll ring a Bell, which for the Kids in the other Room means that they can come out now into the Living-room, and, when they do, the Lights will be dimmed the Candles on the Tree are lighted, and then we all have a Champagne toast first, and then we sing Christmas songs, before the Presents can be open so we usually sing German songs like… Kling Glöckchen klinge-linge-ling, Ihr Kinderlein kommet Alle Jahre Wieder, O’Tannenbaum. [Christmas song in German] or a Bavarian song like ‘Es werd scho glei dumpa’ [Bavarian song] …and then finally we blow out the Candles, we turn the Lights on, and then everyone can open their Presents, and then after that is when we sit down for our Dinner, we celebrate usually into about 1 a.m, and then December 25th and 26th is when a lot of People celebrate with their larger Families like with their Grandparents aunts uncles, etc. After that, the Christmas time traditionally goes on until January 6th, which is the Holiday of three Kings. So on that Day, my Family and I know a lot of other People do it to take down their Christmas tree and put away all the Christmas decorations and that’s officially the End of the Christmas season in Germany. I hope I could give you guys some Insights into what Christmas looks like in Germany. I’ll actually be traveling home to Munich in two Weeks to celebrate with my Family. So if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see some more Impressions about Christmas and Germany in my Stories. Thank you guys so much for watching! As always, feel free to share your personal Experiences or Opinions in the Comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Channel for free, and I wish you all a very happy Advent time, Merry Christmas, and I hope I’ll see you next Time. [In German] Bye!

100 thoughts on “Christmas in Germany | German Girl in America

  1. This really brought a tear to my eye, it reminded me of my youth in Austria. it really brought back those great memories. thank you.

  2. Great Video……….My Dad's side I have Germans from Hungary and My mother's Mothers side came from Germany around Muenchen and I have Never heard of the Christmas Pickle………….and I live in Cincinnati.

  3. Felicia, my family puts up Christmas lights on house day after Thanksgiving as well as artificial tree. One present opened on Christmas eve, the rest Christmas day. When I was little, parents would take family to Christmas eve church service. Fröhliche Weinachten und eine glückliche neues Jahr. Keep up the good work.

  4. Love this video Felicia. We spent Christmas and New Years in Munich 2 years ago. We enjoyed the Christmas Markets and of course the gluhwein. Something very interesting and different that in USA is that most of the restaurants were close for dinner and all the supermarkets, We did not know it and did not make any reservations so, we end up eating at the train station😳 that was the only place with food that did not requiere reservations . Lol. For New Year’s Eve, we did make a reservation ahead of time and after that we enjoyed the crazy fireworks 💥 at Marienplatz. It was a lovely trip .

  5. I still get a real tree every year. My grandparents always had real ones as I was growing up, so it's tradition. Plus, nothing beats that fresh pine smell. Why are us Americans so obsessed with plastic?

  6. Most cultures have a pre-christian winter solstice tradition. Do you know anything about yours and how it was perverted to become a christian celebration?

  7. Czech Christmas traditions are very similar to Bavarian. But we eat farmed carp on Xmas Eve! And on Dec 6 St Nicholas comes with TWO helpers, one angel and one devil. Naughty kids get piece of coal or a stone instead of yummy treats. And among our tree decorations are chocolates wrapped in decorative aluminum foil. Kids start eating these on Dec 25, starting from the back of the tree. Rest is completely the same – since Bavaria and Czechia were never under the same ruler, I am deducing that these Catholic traditions go back many centuries.

  8. We never set a Tannenbaum until the first week of December. Our family follows many things you mentioned including the Pickel. We also had stocking hung up but they were more for the Advent than Christmas. Being Catholic we also lit candles on a wreath of 4. Three purple and one pink.

  9. When I grew up, pretty much everyone had a real Christmas tree, especially since the fake trees looked so awful. They've improved a lot since then, especially the expensive ones. I think the primary motivation behind the fake trees is to avoid killing a tree every year, more than convenience. I'm sure convenience doesn't hurt, but yeah. I always loved getting and decorating the Christmas tree, but I always felt sad to watch it wither and then throw it away. For several years we used a tree in a pot so it didn't have to die, then once it got too big we planted it in the yard. 🙂

  10. Christmas in Germany is so wonderful. It's off to Germany for me! Byeee!!!!! Very entertaining video! Thank you! 🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅

  11. Singing Advent songs would only be possible in a private school here. A public school wouldn't think of doing that now. The risk of getting sued would be to great.

  12. That was a great video , Christmas in Germany looks awesome ! . I was visiting my Dad in Stavanger , Norway during the Christmas season in 1976 and the town looked so nice with all of the old worldly decorations. Love your channel Felicia , keep up the great work and be safe ! . <3

  13. I want to start off saying CONGRATULATIONS on winning your Lottery. Well deserved!! I grew up outside(East) of Cincinnati and still do. As a child we would do many of the traditional German activities due to our German Heritage. From having the live tree(planted in the ground near Spring) to eating the cuisine. We sang songs as a family, as well as caroling from door to door. As an adult I've gotten away from many of the old ways and in some ways I miss it. We have a fake tree and many of the people around me don't care for the cuisine and traditions. It's not as fun when you're the only one willing to follow. We grew up knowing Santa Claus in his jolly red suit as well as the birth of Jesus and the gathering of the Wise Men. Today's society is all about getting gifts and has lost touch with the true meaning of the Holiday, enveloped with greed. For myself it will always be a Holiday of Graciousness, Gratitude and Giving. A time to celebrate a year of hard earned and plentiful harvest on the farm while seeking blessings for the coming Seasons. Happy Holidays to you, from an old German at heart!

  14. I orginally checked out your channel because I am of German heritage (several generations ago) I keep coming back because I find your videos very informative about Germany which I would love to visit one day before I die lol. Anyway, it doesn't hurt that you are also adorable and a pleasure to watch. Keep up the good work! Oh and Merry Christmas and have a safe trip. 🙂

  15. My family has a lot of German and Swiss ancestry. Growing up, my Christmases were very similar to what you described. We always had a real tree, though we put ours up a week or so before Christmas. After dad trimmed the excess branches… mom would make a wreath from them and hang on the front door. We always went to Christmas Eve service in the evening at our church… and opened presents when we got home. Christmas Day would be at one of my grandparents with my extended family.

  16. Advent in the U.S. is mostly a religious thing, which is why it is not very big, due to the whole separation of church and state.

  17. Feli, you are too sweet and charming to be real (far more charming than any American-born woman your age). You're not a CGI, are you?

  18. Feli:
    Fake tree because I broke out in hives as a newborn; I have had real trees since then and no adverse stuff.
    Christians here do observe Advent, the difference I see between yours and ours is that there are 3 purple candles and 1 pink one, which is used on the third Sunday of Advent.
    Some families do observe the Feast of St. Nicholas with small presents.
    I have had Stollen. Schmects!

  19. That's amazing. For my family, it was Get the tree up about 2 weeks before Christmas. Christmas eve go to the relatives, have dinner open a few presants and go home. Christmas day, have dinner with close family, open presents and go home. Sorry it was like wam, bam thank-you mam we are done. Not having grown up in that environment, I can only imagine it was FANTASTIC !

  20. Interesting my family came from Germany in the 1700's. When I was a child we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, having our Christmas dinner, and opening presents. So it sounds like they kept the tradition even though they had been in the U.S. for over a couple hundred years. Then Christmas day we would go over to relatives and visit with them.

  21. I'm a third generation American. My grandparents immigrated to America from Europe. So as a child my Christmas experiences were similar as you described. Last year I was fortunate to spend part of the Christmas season in Munich ❤️. Just wish more Americans could do the same.
    Looking forward to your videos from Germany. Safe travels home.
    Frohliche Weihnachten

  22. Cool to see this. We celebrated St. Nikolaus day, ate stollen, had Advent wreath w/ candles, advent calendar with candies, and celebrated with extended family on Christmas eve. 1/4 of my family immigrated to the US from Bavaria/Sudatenland about 150 yr ago.

  23. Wonderful video. My wife is from Nuremberg so most of this is part of our Christmas. What is not is the live tree and candles on the tree. I get so tired of hearing about the pickle here in the US. My wife never heard of the pickle until moving to the US. Stollen is great; cannot compare it to US fruitcake.

  24. I've never had a real Christmas tree before because I have asthma and the smell of pine irritates my lungs. So every year that I've been alive, 23 and counting, my family has had a fake Xmas tree. Even now when I live with my boyfriend and no longer with my parents, we still bought a fake tree. Even if I didn't have asthma, it still just makes more sense to have a fake one because bringing a live tree into the house creates a fire hazard, risks bringing in bugs/small animals, and the pine smell gets stuck in the house for quite some time after the Xmas holidays.

  25. I live in Pennsylvania usa we use real trees, we do Christmas caroling with the neighborhood on 24th then I go to midnight mass then we celebrate with family and friends and on 25th we celebrate with just personal family and we exchange gifts

  26. I live in an apartment building & real trees are considered a fire hazard and aren’t allowed. Everyone isn’t Christian & we don’t all celebrate Christmas even though you’re assuming all Germans are Christian.

  27. I spent a few childhood years in Germany (on US Air Base) where my parents picked up on some of the German traditions they liked. I guess I know now why they kept calling it "Glue Vine". Great video, keep em up!

  28. I had so much Glühwein when I visited Germany during the holiday season. It was being served almost everywhere we went.

  29. Advent was mentioned a lot when I was growing up. We didn’t have the wreath tho. Santa comes around midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. That way, kids can open gifts first thing on Christmas morning…

  30. Most everything you described about German Christmas was pretty much the same here 50 years ago. Except for the outdoor Christmas markets. I grew up in small-town USA actually about 20 miles West of Cincinnati on the Indiana border. For someone as old as me (67) it's kind of amazing and disappointing how much the traditions have changed over the years.
    I like your channel and find the topics very interesting. My maternal grandparents were 1st generation Americans, my Great Grandparents came over from Germany. I have no idea what region they were from. I'm sure you're impressed. Haha. Well, I've rambled on long enough. Keep up the good work. Peace and Merry Christmas!

  31. Very interesting! In many Christian families and churches in the US who observe Christmas as a religious holiday, advent is observed, complete with an advent wreath and candle lighting. My family’s Christmas celebration was kind of a mix of my father’s German traditions, my mother’s Scandinavian traditions, and made somewhat American. We gathered as a family on Christmas Eve where Dad would read the Nativity story from the Bible, then we’d open our gifts. On Christmas morning, we would open our stockings with gifts from “Santa”, such as oranges, nuts, chocolates, and an inexpensive toy (the more expensive gifts came from our parents the night before).

  32. Hi Felicity – just a thank you for this video 🙂 you saved the day for my family. We have a German exchange student in our home for this year. Today was the first Sunday of Advent and my German Daughter kept asking me about the Advent Candle and when we were going to light it etc..This is only something that we do in church so i was "in the dark" about how to make it special for her. Your video helped me and I collected four candles and asked her to help us make one! It came out beautiful with holly and pinecones and we lit it together tonight as a family 🙂 Your channel has be so important for me (and now I will be ready for December 6th!) – lots of love and Merry Christmas!

  33. My Father grew up Lutheran, and my Grandfather had a christmas tree farm and sold christmas trees each year. Know about advent, as it is celebrated at the church, although we were not brought up in the church, When I go home to visit, I do attend Lutheran survice.

  34. My ex-wife was Bavarian, from Augsburg. She told me that as a kid, on christmas eve, she would try and stay awake, looking out the window, waiting for baby Jesus to bring her presents… but she would always fall asleep before he came. She always did a very nice christmas around the house. I miss stollen the most, I think.

  35. In America Advent is only a religious/church thing.
    We do have Advent calendars or something hanging where you just move a thing around the days.

    We also have stollen bread here in the authentic German town of Frankenmuth Michigan. They make it homemade in the bakeries, fresh daily.

    #askagerman do Germans actually eat chicken/fried chicken?
    That is a BIG thing here in Frankenmuth. They have 2 different big chicken restaurants that are famous.

  36. The pickle is a tradition on America brought here from German immigrants.

    In America we eat Brats and potato salad in the summer for barbeques and picnics.

  37. Thank you for sharing Felicia, it's cool to hear about how Christmas is celebrated in Germany and other countries in Europe, thank you for sharing.
    We have Advent at church too, where there are candles lit every Week leading up to the birth of Jesus. Communion is also a part of it every weekend leading up to Christmas.

  38. Merry Christmas Felicia. There was a time I was against Christmas because of commercialization and personal faith but now I say why not? As long as we celebrate it for positive reasons, then we can continue the celebration right into the new year!

  39. Hey Feli I just want to say I've been in several countries around Christmas time. And while there are many Christmas customs that I love I have to say that if I was given a choice of where I'd like to celebrate Christmas Lower Germany and Austria would be at the top of the list. Danke!

  40. Hi Feli! Beautiful video. As an Austrian who's also lived in the states for many years I have to admit our Austrian (which equal your Bavarian) traditions are a little more spirited. Or perhaps it's because I grew up with them. Beautiful summary, have a nice trip home, and be careful I hear Krampus will put in some overtime and wait for you! 👹😝

  41. Fascinating andVERY interesting !!! Really enjoyed !!,🧚‍♂️🙅‍♀️🧚‍♀️ 💚💫💙💫❤️💫💜💫

  42. Perfect video, Felicia! You're on the top. 👍 Great comparison of the various traditions in America and here in Germany. Obviously some american rituals have even became popular in Germany as well… eg the mistletoe-thing or decorated wreaths hanging at front doors (without candles of course).

    In fact the first advent sunday is generally the moment when radio stations start playing christmas songs. 😉

    Christmas decorations in stores in october…? The start for selling christmas candies, cookies, Stollen etc in german supermarkets is the 1. of september! 😁
    Besides Stollen & Lebkuchen there are other cookies/cakes like Spritzgebäck (similar to shortbread), Spekulatius (spiced cookies), Schwarz-Weiss-Gebäck (black & white cookies), Kokosmakronen (nothing to do with french macarons!), Baumkuchen (lit. tree cake, act. a kind of chocolate coated layer cake) and the famous "Printen" from Aachen (Aix la Chapelle)… small sticks or larger plates from a dough similar to Lebkuchen but harder and with little chunks of caramelized sugar in it.

    Btw… classic fondue isn't with broth but oil (dangerous thing!), the more chinese / vietnamese style hot pot with broth is called in Switzerland fondue chinois (chinese fondue).

  43. In the north est of Italy we have pretty much the same traditions as you…After all, we are near the Alps…very next to you! Greetings from Italy.

  44. I love fondue and raclette, my mom discovered those dishes when she lived in Switzerland in her teens and she brought them back home to Norway and our whole family loves them! And Christmas markets are starting to become a thing here in Norway too, we have one here in my hometown Bergen that started two years ago and has really caught on with the public. It's so nice and cozy 🙂

  45. This will be my second Christmas in Germany. And, honestly, it's been rather magical to experience Christmas in the place where almost all of the secular parts of the modern day Christmas observation canon came to be.

  46. When I had my first son, my husband and I decided to go to Germany for his first Christmas and first birthday. It was so wonderful and family oriented! I loved the Christmas markets and the traditions. When my husband was dying, I promised him to continue the German traditions, so my sons have always had an Advent calendar, an Advent wreath, St. Nicholas Tag, Stollen, Lebkuchen, and so on. I play German Christmas songs while we open our gifts, and have goose for our meal. On Christmas day we go to church. How I love the German traditions!

  47. Personally, I find natural trees impractical. First, you can't use them for more than one year, and second, they shed pine needles all over the place. Third, you have to go pick a new one out every single time. No, artificial trees are much better. They hold the ornaments just as well and you can use one until it wears out.

  48. My Christmas shopping begins in January. Really, that's the best time for it. Everything goes on sale. 🤷

  49. in quite a lot of those points our traditions here are the same 😀 /in Bulgaria/ but here basically most families do different things. Ours at least makes Christmas Eve the gift-giving time – and all the days to New Year are some sort of celebrations too – especially as my birthday's on the 26th. Wish we had something like Christmas markets or the Krampus run though. Those sound really fun.

  50. Be warned. "Krampus" is the name of a movie that came to theaters in the US in 2015. It's classified as a dark fantasy comedy horror film.

  51. A fake tree with fake lights? What, you mean like… pictures? Not actual lights but pictures? 🤨
    Candles on a tree sounds unsafe. Do you also make it a point to keep a fire extinguisher nearby?

  52. I like the Christmas pickle thing. It is fun, cute, and mostly innocent. I would change it to whoever finds it donates an extra present to a deserving person.

  53. Guten morgen Felicia; I’m originally from Puerto Rico & where I come from; we have a lot of unusual traditions that revolve around Christmas: there we start celebrating right after Halloween & extend for almost 2 or 3 months, we play traditional music, sing sweet carols celebrating the birth of the real reason for the season: Baby Jesus, and on January 5th or 6th we celebrate Epiphany, which commemorates the arrival of The Wise Men who came to bless Baby Jesus with Gold, Frankincense & Mihrr
    Also worth mentioning is that around Christmas time we get to enjoy some amazing & delicious food such as Rice with peas, Roasted Pork, meat pies made from Plantains & even drink some of our local rums

  54. My family had advent calendars and wreaths/candles when I was growing up. My family is not German in ethnicity either. I always assumed that it was more of a Catholic tradition than a specific ethnicity tradition.

  55. Hey Feli, that was AWESOME!!!! Sehr GUT!!!! Thanks so much for sharing… I even learned a couple of new German words…Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas…Tommy

  56. Very good video.
    I have a suggestion for a video subject: The differences between American and German weddings.
    My sister did a internship in the USA and the family that housed her celebrated a wedding during her stay and she was rather disappointed by how simple and quick the whole affair was, so it might be interesting to explain German traditions surrounding weddings, like Polterabend, the kidnapping of the bride, the prank that is played on the newlyweds and all that.

  57. Almost 100% same is it in Czech rep. 🇨🇿We are very close in case of Christmas traditions 🎄small difference is for st. Nicolas (we says Mikuláš), he has two companions one is devil who scares children a second is angel, they goes door to door and asks children if they were nice or not 😉

  58. The way Christmas has been commercialized is bothersome to me. The reason you seen Christmas items next to Halloween candy is because it's shipped in from China and the stores put the items out early instead of storing them. More time to sell, as well.

  59. When I was little, I asked my mom how did Santa come into our house since we at the time lived in a small apartment and didn't have a chimney. My mom said, "honey mommy gave him a key". I would leave sugarless gum and 7up for Santa. He would've had a lot of milk and cookies by the time he got to my house, so sugarless gum and 7up was refreshing for him. Growing up, we had live trees for Christmas trees. As I got older and it was just my mom and I after my dad passed away and we moved into a condo, my mom bought an artificial tree because it was easier than bringing a tree in and taking it down and disposing of a live tree.
    I've seen some the Christmas traditions in Germany and other German speaking countries like the Christmas markets and the Christkind on the travel shows like"Rick Steves' Europe". I actually saw Advent calendars on sale at the supermarket for the first time that I've noticed Good video

  60. When I was a kid, Advent was mentioned in church but not celebrated outside. My family DID celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Today not many kids ever hear about this tradition. We ate Pfeffernusse cookies during the holiday season. We ate herring for Good Luck on New Years. We also called Three Kings day "Little Christmas." My cousins have more of the German tradition as they lived w/ our grandparents.

  61. My cousin in Germany told me Mardi Gras is called Carnival in Germany. But, what was more interesting was there is a celebration that ONLY woman celebrate. I looked it up. It is called “Weiberfastnacht.” Maybe you could do a video.

  62. Your German Christmas sounds very nice indeed! Thanks for sharing details of your family traditions. Our fake tree and LED lights are much less bother than a real tree, but no less enjoyed by our family. In the weeks before the big day, we watch "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott, "The Polar Express", and "Miracle on 34th Street" (the original in black-and-white). We visit a very popular Santa at a mall in Dallas TX, and have since our kids were babies, and that weekend trip to visit him and look at the fancy-lit homes in Highland Park has become a family tradition. We go to Christmas Eve services at church, and open presents Christmas morning. It's a wonderful time to share love and thank God for His mercy to us. Merry Christmas, Felicia!

  63. I suffered from allergies as a child. I used to have cold like symptoms after we bought a Christmas tree each year. Switching to an artificial Christmas tree changed that. The cost savings also appealed to my parents.

  64. My father's family emigrated from Germany to the United States in the 1860s. My grandmother made Spritzgebäck and other German cookies for Christmas. My grandfather used to sing "Stille Nacht" and "O Tannebaum" in German.

    In later years, I found locally made Weihnachtsstollen and shared it with my grandmother a few years before she died. I am glad that they did not retain the tradition of Krampus.

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