Christmas Traditions of Germany
A great many Christmas traditions in Germany revolve around food. Preparations for the holiday celebrations actually begin on December 1st when begin baking spices cakes, gingerbread houses, and cookies. During the cooking, other members of the family start making homemade Christmas gifts and decorating their homes for the holiday. German children have more than one day to receive Christmas gifts. December 6th marks Nikolaustag when children leave out a shoe or a boot for Santa Claus to fill with fruit dolls if they have been good throughout the year. Then on Christmas Eve, children will write letters to the angel messenger of the Christ Child, requesting certain gifts. These letters are generally decorated with glitter or sparkles to make them shine when they are placed on the window sill for the angel to receive.
The tradition of a Christmas tree actually originates from Germany, and Christmas trees are still taken very seriously for these holiday celebrations. A German Christmas pastry called a Christbaumgeback is frequently used when decorating the tree; and occasionally, a single home may decorate several Christmas trees throughout the various rooms. Another common German Christmas decoration is a table wreath of holly that holds four red candles. Each candle is lit every Sunday from the first in December until the final one is lit on the night of Christmas Eve. While Germany isn’t as strongly Catholic as it used to be, boys and girls of the Catholic Church will still go out on Three Kings Day in January. They will carry a star throughout the village while singing carols for special treats or goodwill donations.