A Musical Christmas in Germany

Can anyone imagine what Christmas would be without music? Does anyone want to? The first time I went to Germany at Christmas my head was full of dreams about cities and markets and wonderful things to buy—dreams that came true immediately on my first evening in Munich at the big Christkindlmarkt in the Marienplatz. I […]

In Germany, St. Nicholas is not Santa Claus

Does everyone know that St. Nicholas is not Santa Claus? I have to admit that when I began visiting Germany at Christmas, having been raised on Clement Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas, I assumed they were one and the same and I suspect I’m not the only American who has failed to note the […]

St. Nicholas and his Day in Germany at Christmas

Many of you are probably already familiar with St. Nicholas Day, known in Germany as Nikolaustag, when, on the evening of December 5, little children place their [well-polished] shoes or boots outside the door, on the windowsill or under the bed. They write letters to the saint and set out carrots for his white horse, […]

German Christmas History Basics

How did Christmas get to be such a big deal in Germany anyway? Scouring the Internet didn’t provide a definitive answer, but was instructive nonetheless.

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Plauen Lace

So far, most of my German Christmas market shopping posts have focused on holiday-related items, but these frequently represent only a fraction of a manufacturer’s total output. Take lace: the majority produced is not at all season-specific, although lace featuring Christmas motifs also exists.