Dec 11, 2018 Christmas in Germany
Here it my last Christmas tradition for the season! This is a much more personal explanation of Selina’s Christmas traditions in Germany. I think it adds so much more magic as you hear her voice in this re-telling of her Christmas and I love that she is sharing it with all of us!
My name is Selina Winter and I am currently a student at the University of Trier. I study English and German as a foreign language. I live in West-Germany in the smallest state there is, called Saarland. I was raised catholic and I only speak German with my parents and siblings (two older brothers).
I feel that Christmas in Germany is similar in every family from the state where I come from. The family gets together and goes to church on Christmas eve. Afterwards they go back home, eat and unpack gifts. I spend Christmas eve with my parents and I prepare “Pasteten”. On December 25th we eat what is called “heißer Stein” (hot stone). It is basically just a hot plate made out of stone. You cook raw meat on top of the little fire underneath that heats up the plate (that’s why it is called hot stone = heißer Stein). You can also put vegetables or shrimps on it. This is very common in German families. Most people call it Raclette. After food we each unpack one gift and that is basically our Christmas tradition. We spend the entire day together and enjoy being all in one place during this time of year.
I remember very well, while being younger, my parents locked the door to the living room. They decorated the Christmas tree and made the entire living room very cosy and nice. They told us at the angels came to prepare everything for Santa Clause to come. So for 2 weeks the living room was locked and the family spent the most of our time in the kitchen. Then on Christmas eve, when we came back from church we played songs on our flutes and the piano and sang together. Afterwards, my dad rang little bells and my mom told us to listen carefully. My mom said “the angels are done did you hear them ringing their bells? Santa has arrived.” That was the sign for us, that the livingroom was open and when we went inside the entire tree was decorated and many lights were decorated all over the place. Then we had dinner and afterwards exchanged presents. That was Christmas for us, when we were kids.
I would say that Christmas is very religious based where I come from. For me personally, it is more our family tradition we developed over the years. My parents are very religious and that is why we go to church on Christmas eve. My parents like to keep it simple and not spend a ton of money on Christmas food or gifts. We like to be reminded, that not everyone has the luck of being part of a loving family and the opportunity to eat until their are full. I love that we as a family, can spend time together and do not find it so important to overload everyone with tons of gifts.
I hope you enjoyed reading these different traditions from all over the world! A huge thank you to all who spent the time to send me information and love for these posts. A big happy Fröhliche Weihnachten to you and yours this Holiday season.