Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is that a Guest Tour Guide I See?

**My bloggy pal Tina of Adventures of a Working Mom was a delight to help me out with Christmas Around the World. She has first had knowledge and experience with Christmas in Germany so she has graciously agreed to be our guide on this leg of the trip! Make sure you leave some love for her!!**
Frohe Weihnachten!

Germany is rich in tradition and culture when it comes to Christmas. I come from a German family and when my parents moved to the U.S. when I was younger, thankfully they continued to keep the German culture alive in our house.

St. Nikolaus Day
One such tradition is St. Nikolaus Day. This is celebrated on December 6th. On this day children place their boots outside their home and hope that St. Nikolaus will fill them with apples, oranges/tangerines, lebkuchen, cookies, or fruit bread. Traditionally these items were reserved for special occasions and children did not get such sweets on a regular basis. If the children had been good and polite during the year, they received treats; if they were not good, they had a switch placed in their boot.

Christmas Eve
The German Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve. Parents decorate the Christmas tree and place the presents underneath without the children around. The Christmas tree also serves as a present since no one has seen it until the Christkindl brings the presents. The Christkindl means "Christ Child." In Germany the Christkindl is the bringer of gifts for children. A young girl with a golden crown and wings usually portrays the Christkindl. On Christmas Eve, traditional food is goose, fish, or deer. In my family, we always have deer on Christmas Eve and have goose on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day
December 25 is known as the "1st Christmas Day". On this day, families visit the other set of grandparents (usually the father’s parents). There is no traditional food eaten on this day, it is more like a traditional Sunday dinner in the U.S.
December 26 is known as the "2nd Christmas Day". On this day, families visit relatives who live out of town. Again, the traditional food is more of a Sunday dinner.

Germany has many rich traditions during the Christmas season, from celebrations to foods. I am fortunate to have been raised in these deep cultural traditions during my childhood and now have the opportunity to pass these traditions to my daughter while also teaching my husband about my cultural traditions.
Adventures of a Working Mom

**If you are interested in guest hosting a visit for Christmas Around the World, drop me a line at ineedthezoo(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'll be happy to have you and of course you'll get linky love!**


Karen of Sillymonkeez said...

That was a great post! It sounds like the boots were similar to stockings. Okay, now I want to know if she ever got a switch in her boot? ;P

Haasiegirl said...

woah, a switch? Thats not cool. LOL!


Amanda said...

My grandma used to make lebkuchen every year. None of us ate it though. We fondly refer to them as "Grandma's Lead Cookies."

jennifer said...

I love how so many cultures celebrate part of Christmas on my birthday =) LOL

Jess said...

My dad was born Germany but not german. His dad was in air force. IT's nice to read about other cultures. We were in Italy about 13 yrs ago but we didn't celebrate the holiday Italian style, which I think would've been really neat to do.

Tina I'm glad you shared that with us.

The Petersons said...

What a great idea for a post! I love your animal blog background too!!

ciara said...

bk in hs we had a foreign exchange student from germany. we all had german together, and she told us about these traditions. very cool stuff. i love learning about other customs/cultures :)

Trish said...

My brother recently came back from living in Germany for 2 years, so it's always fun to learn more about the country he was at. My sister also lived there for 1 1/2 years.

Staci said...

The boot tradition is very neat (maybe I'm partial because I look forward to getting an orange every Christmas though). Loving learning about all these places, great guest post!