A tradition that I have only become aware of since arriving in Germany is Nikolaus’ visit on December 6. It’s more of a kids tradition, perhaps, but in this household we definitely still put value on it despite all of us being over 20.
The idea is that you leave your boots, or shoes out on the evening of the 5th so that when Nikolaus visits, he can fill them up with treats. I guess it’s like the stocking on the fireplace in American movies.
It’s so interesting how big a deal Christmas is in Europe, and especially so in Germany. Back home, we put up a tree and some lights, went to church (but we always do) and exchanged gifts on the 25th, but we didn’t go much further than that.
Here, each Advent (the Sundays in December) is a special occasion, as well as the 6th. Before December, you either make or buy a wreath which has 4 candles in it. Then, every Sunday in December, a candle is lit until all 4 are burning. It looks something like this in our home:
Each person or couple also gets an Advent calendar made for them. I have a Kinder Surprise calendar because I just love it, but I share two calendars with my fiancé, one from his godmother and one from his sister and her husband. They are filled with goodies and sometimes, small presents are attached to certain days. Here is the one from his godmother:
The season of giving and receiving. It really is a special time. Merry Christmas, everyone! Stay safe and well. I’m looking forward to being reunited with my brothers and parents over Christmas in Singapore! Feel free to share traditions and Christmas plans with us in the comments 🙂