Frohe Weihnachten!

Frohe Weihnachten! In case you don’t know, this means “Merry Christmas” in German and it was part of a poem that I had to recite to get presents. I am fairly sure I would have gotten my gifts even without that poem, but my mom told me I had to be able to know the poem by heart so Santa would give me my gifts. Being good all year as well was a given. What other weird customs did we have in Germany?

The first one was the famous Advent Calendar: A cardboard calendar with 24 little doors. Each one housed a small piece of chocolate and it was the countdown to the big day: The 24th (not the 25th, but more about that later).

December 6th
St. Nicholas day: The night before I had to put out my boots. If they were cleaned and polished and if I behaved well all year, I would get some goodies such as some chocolate and marzipan treats. If not (which never happened), I would receive a piece of coal and a possible beating. I don’t know if any of my friends ever received a piece of coal or a well justified beating.

December 24th
The big day: In Germany, kids get their gifts on the afternoon of this day. Usually while all the relatives are present. I saw Santa twice as a kid; funny thing was that my grandpa who excused himself to go outside for a smoke break never saw him. Bad timing on grandpa’s part. Apparently, the gifts are all to be unpacked immediately and NOT to be played with! At first every one of the knitted items from my grandmas had to be tried on. No matter how huge and itchy they were!

Hope you had fun learning about Claudia’s and my history a bit. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!