Below are German Christmas recipes and other holiday recipes to make celebrating "Christmas in Germany" a possibility, no matter where you are in the world.
Celebrating Christmas in Germany is such a feast for your senses. Every part of your being is affected - from the sights to behold, the scents to savor, and the tastes to enjoy. Your spirit is renewed in the reason for the season, and your body is enveloped by the pleasures that only Christmas can fulfill.
Walking through a German village decorated for Weihnachten (Christmas) is amazing. The houses look like traditional gingerbread houses.
The Christmas Markets are well-stocked with all kinds of German Christmas foods as well as wood carvings and decorations for the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree).
It's also time to either make or buy an Advent wreath, aka Adventskranz. This is made of evergreen twigs and decorated with pine cones, little red mushrooms, and ribbons.
There are four candles: the first one is lit on the last Sunday in November, and then another candle on each successive Sunday before Christmas.
In the photo above, my Mutti (second on the left) and her Mutti and sisters are sitting around an Adventskranz, the centerpiece for their Christmas coffee. (Wish I knew what delicious German Christmas recipes are displayed on the table.) The purpose for Advent? To prepare for the coming of Jesus.
The Advent calendar is a real treat for kids. With 24 numbers on little doors that get opened according to the date, it’s an easy way for children to count down the days until Christmas Eve. Behind each little door is usually a picture of a toy. The newer Advent calendars are much more enjoyable - chocolates are behind each door!
Another way of celebrating Christmas in Germany happens on December 6th. The night before, children put their shoes (the largest they can find) at their bedside.
The next morning, thanks to Saint Nicholas (St. Nick), the shoes are filled with all kinds of delicious treats, usually edible, but sometimes little toys as well. (Is this where the idea of the American Christmas stocking comes from?)
My friend, Renate, has a delightful article, "Childhood Memories Of German Christmas Customs" in which she talks about this "Santa Claus Day".
last preparation for Christmas is the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree).
Put up the morning of the 24th, it's decorated with nuts, cookies,
apples, tinsel, and real candles. The room with the tree was kept out of
sight from the children.
After the Christmas Eve Church service, the candles (lights) are lit.
A bell is rung.
The children are finally allowed to enter into the room to behold the tree
. . . and the presents hidden underneath!
(Richard, shown here, is all grown up now and even has his own page on this website!)
The room is filled with all kinds of fragrances.
Plates of Christmas cookies, marzipan, chocolates, and Christmas stollen are accompanied with bowls of fruits.
There's always a Gingerbread House to nibble on, a traditional treat was reminiscent of the Hansel and Gretel Fairy Tale.
Ours came in many shapes and themes.
Unlike the modern gingerbread houses, mine were always solid cake. Not just a shell held together with icing.
I've made forts. I've made winter scenes. I've made zoos. I wish I had made photos of them. Now, they are just memories!
What I do recall is that there were fun to make and fun to eat!
In fact, there are so many memories of the flavors of Christmas, whenever I start to bake, I'm transported back into the kitchen with Mutti! What fun we had making all the Christmas goodies.
Re-live or create your own memories with the following traditional German Christmas recipes below. (They can be used as holiday recipes for other times of the year as well.)
Enjoy the above German Christmas Recipes as you are celebrating Christmas in Germany where ever you are in the world.
Do you have memories of celebrating Christmas in Germany? Or perhaps you or your parents brought their German traditions with them, and you celebrated a German Christmas in other parts of the world. Share your memories including the FOOD!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
"Christmas in Austria"
I am from a family of ten children. We had no gifts, but we did have beautiful Christmas tree, which my Dad decorated behind the closed door. My Mom …
Hallo, endlich einmal die deutschen Weihnachtsbräuche richtig erklärt, (denn in keinem deutschen Baum hängt eine Gurke wie so oft behauptet), danke dafür.Noch …
"A German Christmas in Colorado, New Mexico and Germany"
I was born in Colorado and moved to New Mexico. My parents are both German and my first husband was half Black German. We were stationed in Germany for …
Growing up With a German Christmas in Belding MI
My favorite memory of our "German" Christmas is helping my dad decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. After the tree was decorated we would open …
Christmas Memories of Grandmama
My grandmama immigrated from Germany and I have such wonderful memories of Christmas with her. It's my favorite, because it is the only one I know. Every …
Christmas Baking - Helen's Koenigskuchen
Koenigskuchen (King's Cake) is a traditional German Christmas cake recipe I like to make this time of year. Although the original Koenigskuchen recipe …
German Christmas Memories of Saint Nicholas
One German Christmas memory that comes to mind is when I was very young. On Saint Nicholas Day, December 6 , I would wake up to find sweet treats in my …
My husband's family has lived in the USA for five generations, but here in Frankenmuth many old traditions are still celebrated as the seasons pass. …
German Christmas Memories
Baking cookies with my mom with Heino singing Alle Jahre Wieder on the stereo. The other thing that reminds me of Germany is the smell of tangerines. We …
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