Weihnachten in Deutschland (Topic: Christmas)
Christmas in Germany
Christmas is a peaceful time in Germany. Since it’s only light for a few hours every day in December, people decorate their windows, gardens, or even their entire houses with holiday lights.
The four weeks before Christmas are called Advent. During this time, people decorate their homes for Christmas with a carved nutcracker, Christmas cards that have already arrived, or Christmas wreaths, for example. These wreaths, made of pine branches, are either hung on the wall or placed on the table. As a table decoration, the wreath has four candles. The first one is lit on the first of Advent (the Sunday four weeks before Christmas), and on each following Advent Sunday, one more candle is lit.
Because children can hardly wait for Christmas, there is a special invention just for them: the Advent calendar. This is a calendar with 24 little doors. Every day from December 1 to December 24, children can open a little door and find a small surprise behind it, usually a piece of chocolate.
And then it’s finally time! On the morning of 24th December 24, the Christmas tree is put up. It’s decorated with ornaments, tinsel and holiday lights and a star or an angel is placed at the very top.
Santa Claus comes on the evening of December 24, which is called Heiligen Abend (Holy Night). But Santa Claus doesn’t come down the chimney in Germany – he rings the doorbell instead. Everyone has to recite a Christmas poem or sing a Christmas song before receiving their gifts. In some families, though, no one is home when Santa Claus comes. In that case, however he gets into the house, he leaves the presents under the Christmas tree.