Here 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 such as Christmas Stollen (fruitcake) and Lebkuchen (gingerbread) as well as wood carvings and decorations for the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree).
As well, it's time to either make or buy an Advent wreath or Adventskranz in German. 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 twenty-four numbers on little doors that get opened according to the date, it’s an easy way for children tocount down the days until Christmas Eve. Behind the little doors are usually pictures of toys. 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".
The 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 evening Church service, the candles (lights) are lit, a bell is rung, and the children are allowed to enter into the room to behold the tree . . . and the presents hidden underneath!
This is our youngest, Richard. He's just starting to open his presents. The Advent Wreath, shown in front, is fully lit. Christmas has arrived!
(Richard 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. Fun to make and fun to eat! It came from one of those really, really old German Christmas recipes from my Mom.
If you're in need of some other ideas for celebrating Christmas German-style, check out this fantastic article written by Eleanor on the Alphabet Garten website.
You'll find 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...
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