Christmas in Germany | German Girl in America

100 thoughts on “Christmas in Germany | German Girl in America”

  1. My family has a lot of German and Swiss ancestry. Growing up, my Christmases were very similar to what you described. We always had a real tree, though we put ours up a week or so before Christmas. After dad trimmed the excess branches… mom would make a wreath from them and hang on the front door. We always went to Christmas Eve service in the evening at our church… and opened presents when we got home. Christmas Day would be at one of my grandparents with my extended family.

  2. Advent in the U.S. is mostly a religious thing, which is why it is not very big, due to the whole separation of church and state.

  3. Feli, you are too sweet and charming to be real (far more charming than any American-born woman your age). You're not a CGI, are you?

  4. Feli:
    Fake tree because I broke out in hives as a newborn; I have had real trees since then and no adverse stuff.
    Christians here do observe Advent, the difference I see between yours and ours is that there are 3 purple candles and 1 pink one, which is used on the third Sunday of Advent.
    Some families do observe the Feast of St. Nicholas with small presents.
    I have had Stollen. Schmects!

  5. That's amazing. For my family, it was Get the tree up about 2 weeks before Christmas. Christmas eve go to the relatives, have dinner open a few presants and go home. Christmas day, have dinner with close family, open presents and go home. Sorry it was like wam, bam thank-you mam we are done. Not having grown up in that environment, I can only imagine it was FANTASTIC !

  6. Interesting my family came from Germany in the 1700's. When I was a child we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, having our Christmas dinner, and opening presents. So it sounds like they kept the tradition even though they had been in the U.S. for over a couple hundred years. Then Christmas day we would go over to relatives and visit with them.

  7. I'm a third generation American. My grandparents immigrated to America from Europe. So as a child my Christmas experiences were similar as you described. Last year I was fortunate to spend part of the Christmas season in Munich ❤️. Just wish more Americans could do the same.
    Looking forward to your videos from Germany. Safe travels home.
    Frohliche Weihnachten

  8. Cool to see this. We celebrated St. Nikolaus day, ate stollen, had Advent wreath w/ candles, advent calendar with candies, and celebrated with extended family on Christmas eve. 1/4 of my family immigrated to the US from Bavaria/Sudatenland about 150 yr ago.

  9. Wonderful video. My wife is from Nuremberg so most of this is part of our Christmas. What is not is the live tree and candles on the tree. I get so tired of hearing about the pickle here in the US. My wife never heard of the pickle until moving to the US. Stollen is great; cannot compare it to US fruitcake.

  10. I've never had a real Christmas tree before because I have asthma and the smell of pine irritates my lungs. So every year that I've been alive, 23 and counting, my family has had a fake Xmas tree. Even now when I live with my boyfriend and no longer with my parents, we still bought a fake tree. Even if I didn't have asthma, it still just makes more sense to have a fake one because bringing a live tree into the house creates a fire hazard, risks bringing in bugs/small animals, and the pine smell gets stuck in the house for quite some time after the Xmas holidays.

  11. I live in Pennsylvania usa we use real trees, we do Christmas caroling with the neighborhood on 24th then I go to midnight mass then we celebrate with family and friends and on 25th we celebrate with just personal family and we exchange gifts

  12. I live in an apartment building & real trees are considered a fire hazard and aren’t allowed. Everyone isn’t Christian & we don’t all celebrate Christmas even though you’re assuming all Germans are Christian.

  13. I spent a few childhood years in Germany (on US Air Base) where my parents picked up on some of the German traditions they liked. I guess I know now why they kept calling it "Glue Vine". Great video, keep em up!

  14. I had so much Glühwein when I visited Germany during the holiday season. It was being served almost everywhere we went.

  15. Advent was mentioned a lot when I was growing up. We didn’t have the wreath tho. Santa comes around midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. That way, kids can open gifts first thing on Christmas morning…

  16. Most everything you described about German Christmas was pretty much the same here 50 years ago. Except for the outdoor Christmas markets. I grew up in small-town USA actually about 20 miles West of Cincinnati on the Indiana border. For someone as old as me (67) it's kind of amazing and disappointing how much the traditions have changed over the years.
    I like your channel and find the topics very interesting. My maternal grandparents were 1st generation Americans, my Great Grandparents came over from Germany. I have no idea what region they were from. I'm sure you're impressed. Haha. Well, I've rambled on long enough. Keep up the good work. Peace and Merry Christmas!

  17. Very interesting! In many Christian families and churches in the US who observe Christmas as a religious holiday, advent is observed, complete with an advent wreath and candle lighting. My family’s Christmas celebration was kind of a mix of my father’s German traditions, my mother’s Scandinavian traditions, and made somewhat American. We gathered as a family on Christmas Eve where Dad would read the Nativity story from the Bible, then we’d open our gifts. On Christmas morning, we would open our stockings with gifts from “Santa”, such as oranges, nuts, chocolates, and an inexpensive toy (the more expensive gifts came from our parents the night before).

  18. Hi Felicity – just a thank you for this video 🙂 you saved the day for my family. We have a German exchange student in our home for this year. Today was the first Sunday of Advent and my German Daughter kept asking me about the Advent Candle and when we were going to light it etc..This is only something that we do in church so i was "in the dark" about how to make it special for her. Your video helped me and I collected four candles and asked her to help us make one! It came out beautiful with holly and pinecones and we lit it together tonight as a family 🙂 Your channel has be so important for me (and now I will be ready for December 6th!) – lots of love and Merry Christmas!

  19. My Father grew up Lutheran, and my Grandfather had a christmas tree farm and sold christmas trees each year. Know about advent, as it is celebrated at the church, although we were not brought up in the church, When I go home to visit, I do attend Lutheran survice.

  20. My ex-wife was Bavarian, from Augsburg. She told me that as a kid, on christmas eve, she would try and stay awake, looking out the window, waiting for baby Jesus to bring her presents… but she would always fall asleep before he came. She always did a very nice christmas around the house. I miss stollen the most, I think.

  21. In America Advent is only a religious/church thing.
    We do have Advent calendars or something hanging where you just move a thing around the days.

    We also have stollen bread here in the authentic German town of Frankenmuth Michigan. They make it homemade in the bakeries, fresh daily.

    #askagerman do Germans actually eat chicken/fried chicken?
    That is a BIG thing here in Frankenmuth. They have 2 different big chicken restaurants that are famous.

  22. The pickle is a tradition on America brought here from German immigrants.

    In America we eat Brats and potato salad in the summer for barbeques and picnics.

  23. Thank you for sharing Felicia, it's cool to hear about how Christmas is celebrated in Germany and other countries in Europe, thank you for sharing.
    We have Advent at church too, where there are candles lit every Week leading up to the birth of Jesus. Communion is also a part of it every weekend leading up to Christmas.

  24. Merry Christmas Felicia. There was a time I was against Christmas because of commercialization and personal faith but now I say why not? As long as we celebrate it for positive reasons, then we can continue the celebration right into the new year!

  25. Hey Feli I just want to say I've been in several countries around Christmas time. And while there are many Christmas customs that I love I have to say that if I was given a choice of where I'd like to celebrate Christmas Lower Germany and Austria would be at the top of the list. Danke!

  26. Hi Feli! Beautiful video. As an Austrian who's also lived in the states for many years I have to admit our Austrian (which equal your Bavarian) traditions are a little more spirited. Or perhaps it's because I grew up with them. Beautiful summary, have a nice trip home, and be careful I hear Krampus will put in some overtime and wait for you! 👹😝

  27. Fascinating andVERY interesting !!! Really enjoyed !!,🧚‍♂️🙅‍♀️🧚‍♀️ 💚💫💙💫❤️💫💜💫

  28. Perfect video, Felicia! You're on the top. 👍 Great comparison of the various traditions in America and here in Germany. Obviously some american rituals have even became popular in Germany as well… eg the mistletoe-thing or decorated wreaths hanging at front doors (without candles of course).

    In fact the first advent sunday is generally the moment when radio stations start playing christmas songs. 😉

    Christmas decorations in stores in october…? The start for selling christmas candies, cookies, Stollen etc in german supermarkets is the 1. of september! 😁
    Besides Stollen & Lebkuchen there are other cookies/cakes like Spritzgebäck (similar to shortbread), Spekulatius (spiced cookies), Schwarz-Weiss-Gebäck (black & white cookies), Kokosmakronen (nothing to do with french macarons!), Baumkuchen (lit. tree cake, act. a kind of chocolate coated layer cake) and the famous "Printen" from Aachen (Aix la Chapelle)… small sticks or larger plates from a dough similar to Lebkuchen but harder and with little chunks of caramelized sugar in it.

    Btw… classic fondue isn't with broth but oil (dangerous thing!), the more chinese / vietnamese style hot pot with broth is called in Switzerland fondue chinois (chinese fondue).

  29. In the north est of Italy we have pretty much the same traditions as you…After all, we are near the Alps…very next to you! Greetings from Italy.

  30. I love fondue and raclette, my mom discovered those dishes when she lived in Switzerland in her teens and she brought them back home to Norway and our whole family loves them! And Christmas markets are starting to become a thing here in Norway too, we have one here in my hometown Bergen that started two years ago and has really caught on with the public. It's so nice and cozy 🙂

  31. This will be my second Christmas in Germany. And, honestly, it's been rather magical to experience Christmas in the place where almost all of the secular parts of the modern day Christmas observation canon came to be.

  32. When I had my first son, my husband and I decided to go to Germany for his first Christmas and first birthday. It was so wonderful and family oriented! I loved the Christmas markets and the traditions. When my husband was dying, I promised him to continue the German traditions, so my sons have always had an Advent calendar, an Advent wreath, St. Nicholas Tag, Stollen, Lebkuchen, and so on. I play German Christmas songs while we open our gifts, and have goose for our meal. On Christmas day we go to church. How I love the German traditions!

  33. Personally, I find natural trees impractical. First, you can't use them for more than one year, and second, they shed pine needles all over the place. Third, you have to go pick a new one out every single time. No, artificial trees are much better. They hold the ornaments just as well and you can use one until it wears out.

  34. My Christmas shopping begins in January. Really, that's the best time for it. Everything goes on sale. 🤷

  35. in quite a lot of those points our traditions here are the same 😀 /in Bulgaria/ but here basically most families do different things. Ours at least makes Christmas Eve the gift-giving time – and all the days to New Year are some sort of celebrations too – especially as my birthday's on the 26th. Wish we had something like Christmas markets or the Krampus run though. Those sound really fun.

  36. Be warned. "Krampus" is the name of a movie that came to theaters in the US in 2015. It's classified as a dark fantasy comedy horror film.

  37. A fake tree with fake lights? What, you mean like… pictures? Not actual lights but pictures? 🤨
    Candles on a tree sounds unsafe. Do you also make it a point to keep a fire extinguisher nearby?

  38. I like the Christmas pickle thing. It is fun, cute, and mostly innocent. I would change it to whoever finds it donates an extra present to a deserving person.

  39. Guten morgen Felicia; I’m originally from Puerto Rico & where I come from; we have a lot of unusual traditions that revolve around Christmas: there we start celebrating right after Halloween & extend for almost 2 or 3 months, we play traditional music, sing sweet carols celebrating the birth of the real reason for the season: Baby Jesus, and on January 5th or 6th we celebrate Epiphany, which commemorates the arrival of The Wise Men who came to bless Baby Jesus with Gold, Frankincense & Mihrr
    Also worth mentioning is that around Christmas time we get to enjoy some amazing & delicious food such as Rice with peas, Roasted Pork, meat pies made from Plantains & even drink some of our local rums

  40. My family had advent calendars and wreaths/candles when I was growing up. My family is not German in ethnicity either. I always assumed that it was more of a Catholic tradition than a specific ethnicity tradition.

  41. Hey Feli, that was AWESOME!!!! Sehr GUT!!!! Thanks so much for sharing… I even learned a couple of new German words…Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas…Tommy

  42. Very good video.
    I have a suggestion for a video subject: The differences between American and German weddings.
    My sister did a internship in the USA and the family that housed her celebrated a wedding during her stay and she was rather disappointed by how simple and quick the whole affair was, so it might be interesting to explain German traditions surrounding weddings, like Polterabend, the kidnapping of the bride, the prank that is played on the newlyweds and all that.

  43. Almost 100% same is it in Czech rep. 🇨🇿We are very close in case of Christmas traditions 🎄small difference is for st. Nicolas (we says Mikuláš), he has two companions one is devil who scares children a second is angel, they goes door to door and asks children if they were nice or not 😉

  44. The way Christmas has been commercialized is bothersome to me. The reason you seen Christmas items next to Halloween candy is because it's shipped in from China and the stores put the items out early instead of storing them. More time to sell, as well.

  45. When I was little, I asked my mom how did Santa come into our house since we at the time lived in a small apartment and didn't have a chimney. My mom said, "honey mommy gave him a key". I would leave sugarless gum and 7up for Santa. He would've had a lot of milk and cookies by the time he got to my house, so sugarless gum and 7up was refreshing for him. Growing up, we had live trees for Christmas trees. As I got older and it was just my mom and I after my dad passed away and we moved into a condo, my mom bought an artificial tree because it was easier than bringing a tree in and taking it down and disposing of a live tree.
    I've seen some the Christmas traditions in Germany and other German speaking countries like the Christmas markets and the Christkind on the travel shows like"Rick Steves' Europe". I actually saw Advent calendars on sale at the supermarket for the first time that I've noticed Good video

  46. When I was a kid, Advent was mentioned in church but not celebrated outside. My family DID celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Today not many kids ever hear about this tradition. We ate Pfeffernusse cookies during the holiday season. We ate herring for Good Luck on New Years. We also called Three Kings day "Little Christmas." My cousins have more of the German tradition as they lived w/ our grandparents.

  47. My cousin in Germany told me Mardi Gras is called Carnival in Germany. But, what was more interesting was there is a celebration that ONLY woman celebrate. I looked it up. It is called “Weiberfastnacht.” Maybe you could do a video.

  48. Your German Christmas sounds very nice indeed! Thanks for sharing details of your family traditions. Our fake tree and LED lights are much less bother than a real tree, but no less enjoyed by our family. In the weeks before the big day, we watch "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott, "The Polar Express", and "Miracle on 34th Street" (the original in black-and-white). We visit a very popular Santa at a mall in Dallas TX, and have since our kids were babies, and that weekend trip to visit him and look at the fancy-lit homes in Highland Park has become a family tradition. We go to Christmas Eve services at church, and open presents Christmas morning. It's a wonderful time to share love and thank God for His mercy to us. Merry Christmas, Felicia!

  49. I suffered from allergies as a child. I used to have cold like symptoms after we bought a Christmas tree each year. Switching to an artificial Christmas tree changed that. The cost savings also appealed to my parents.

  50. My father's family emigrated from Germany to the United States in the 1860s. My grandmother made Spritzgebäck and other German cookies for Christmas. My grandfather used to sing "Stille Nacht" and "O Tannebaum" in German.

    In later years, I found locally made Weihnachtsstollen and shared it with my grandmother a few years before she died. I am glad that they did not retain the tradition of Krampus.

  51. Have German heritage and lived as a child in an area that had a large population with German heritage. It seems some of the Christmas traditions my family still practice are some traditional ones from Germany and America. We never heard of the stupid Christmas pickle until we moved away from our hometown. It's all marketing BS. Loved hearing you speak German. Took me back to my childhood.

  52. i wish American Christmas was more spiritual tradition than retail based, the USA has ruined Christmas. German Christmas sounds wonderful.

  53. When you showed the lit tree with everyone singing….hit me in the feels. Would be priceless to have moments like these.

  54. Brought a tear to my eye to live in America and my family is German. When you talked of Advent as a little boy we did the same things. The Advent candles and calendar.
    Then the food too. My wife is Italian so don't do much of this. Have different traditions. Thanks for reminding of all of this again .

  55. German Girl in America. This is a very interesting video and I like it. My Family has always used a real Tree every year. And I like using a real Tree. And here is a good one. There is a Town named Accokeek in Prince Georges County Maryland around Ten miles South of The District of Columbia and every year the Fire Department ( Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad ) brings Santa Claus around on The Fire Engine. They have been doing it since 1932. Well Thank You for posting this video.

  56. "Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spaijne weer aan…" Dutch kids expect Sinteerklaas to arrive by boat from Spain. This is on 5 December. So… I guess he goes east from there to Germany?!! Lol!

  57. I grew up in a very German descendant area of the USA ( we would sing Oh Tannenbaum in German). One of the different things we did is after the Christmas eve service they would hand out apples on the way out.

  58. I would love to have bratwurst for Christmas!! You may have heard of Johnsonville bratwurst. They sell world wide. I worked there while going to college.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *