8 German Christmas Traditions

As Christmas is approaching I am here today to give you 8 German Christmas traditions that I grew up with!

You can watch it also on YouTube:

1. Adventskranz

In Germany we have a "Adventskranz" with 4 candles on it. We start to light the first candle the Sunday 4 weeks before Christmas and then each following Sunday we light up one more candle. 

2. Nikolaus

In Germany we have to polish our shoes and put in front of our door and the Nikolaus will put his presents into them on December 6th. He is basically the older version of Santa- but we celebrate today in Germany both: Nikolaus & Santa.

3. Adventkalender

Super famous- everybody has at least one- if not more: a little calendar filled with chocolate. But there are many other calendars available- toys or beauty calendars to name a few (check out my German Christmas Beauty calendar from 2 years ago). I don´t see these often here in the US and if they are really expensive (compared to about $1 each in Germany for a chocolate one).

4. Potato Salad & Sausage

It is a very popular tradition to serve on Christmas potato salad & sausages to make Christmas less stressful as you have enough other things to do. I am personally not really a fan of Würstchen lol.

5. Glühwein

Glühwein is very popular- it is basically hot red wine with cloves, sugar, cinnamon (many different recipes might include oranges or other spices). This one you either hate or love! 

6. Weihnachtsmarkt

For Christmas Germans love to go on Weihnachtsmärkte where you can buy a lot of kitsch (wooden nutcracker or windmills).

7. Weihnachtsmann

The "Weihnachtsmann" comes in Germany around dinner on December the 24th- so other then here you are actually nicely dressed and not in your pajamas! ;-) Many families hire a student or family member to play Santa. Kids usually have to say a poem to get their presents.

8. Knecht Ruprecht

The Weihnachtsmann brings usually also "Knecht Ruprecht"- a rather scary looking guy that has a little whip. He comes to scare the kids because they know he will hit them if they have been naughty. This does not really happen though. It is just to scare them, so they behave.

BTW: I just found the footage of my son finding out that Santa is not real. It is too cute (happened a couple years back).

Merry Christmas everybody!