German Christmas decorations have histories behind and there are many traditions as well for their decorating styles during the Christmas. Visiting Germany during Christmas may be a memorable trip.
A holiday trip to enjoy German Christmas can make your season bright! And what better place to celebrate than in the region where many of our Christmas traditions began? A Christmas in Germany carries with it all the feelings of love and family we have come to know in every part of the world, but with a strong taste of the old-fashioned.
German Christmas starts in the early of December. At times you’ll even find holiday activities begin at the end of November. On December 5th, you may see shoes or boots outside the doors of homes. The next day is Nikola stag, or Saint Claus Day, and if the child was good, he or she will find presents. If they were bad, they may only find a rod.
Germans do put up decorations of outdoor lights quite early in the season but they reserve the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) decorating for the 24th of December. Some of them still use candles in the tree, but they light them only for a short time on the eve of Christmas in Germany.
Another German tradition associated with the season is the visit of Sankt-Nikolaus (Saint-Nicholas) on the evening of December 5th. In Germany, Sankt-Nikolaus is described as a tall and thin man dressed like a bishop and wearing a tall hat. His bishop`s costume is usually red, but we have seen other colours such as blue, silver, green etc. On this evening, children place one shoe at the foot of their beds in the hope that St-Nick will leave them a nice little gift, nowadays usually chocolates in the shape of St-Nick. Stores will also sometimes give you a chocolate like this with your purchase on December 5th.
Other traditional decorations and gifts for Christmas in Germany include: Weihnachtspyramide a wooden pyramid with candles that make a small attached propeller turn; the Schwibbogen, a carved wooden candle-holder in the shape of an arch, also known as German Candle Arches; wooden nutcrackers of all sizes; the Kerzenhausen, which are beautiful hand-painted ceramic Bavarian candle houses; and of course, all kinds of hand-made Christmas tree ornaments in glass, wood, or metal, ranging from little mice to big Santas and everything in between.
Did you know that Christmas ornaments had their origin in props for religious theatrical plays about Adam and Eve? These ancestors to our modern-day Christmas decorations were initially apples hung on the Paradise Tree to represent our first parents’ expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Later, prop designers hung wafers on the Paradise Tree to represent Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. But the Germans were the ones who really made ornaments a favorite Christmas decoration. Germans made ornaments of cookies, bread, nuts and other delicious foods. In fact, the German Christmas tree was decorated with so many sweets it was nicknamed the “sugar tree.”
Over time, other Christmas decorations such as small gifts filled the tree. When German immigrants arrived in America, they brought with them their Christmas decoration traditions with them and the idea of ornaments on trees caught on fast. Later, these Christmas decorations got a big boost when F.W. Woolworth reluctantly began selling ornaments one Christmas and sold out in two days. That remarkable success convinced him of the Christmas decorations’ profitability, and he began traveling to Germany to stock his stores with ornaments each season.