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, […]

Christmas Shopping in Seiffen

As I begin this post about Christmas shopping in Seiffen, I realize it has the possibility of being either extremely short or extremely long*. The short version might go something like this. Though Seiffen is by no means a large town, it is home to more than 100 Christmas shops and woodcarving workshops. Most are located […]

Seiffen Hotels at Christmas

Let me start with the bad news. If you were thinking of traveling to Seiffen or any of the other towns in Germany’s Erzgebirge with popular Christmas markets this December, there’s a high likelihood there will be no room at the inn. I base this both on a conversation I had with the hotel management […]