Christmas in Germany: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Christmas is a magical time all over the world. In this lesson, learn about the unique foods, customs and events that make Christmas in Germany a very special holiday.

All Aboard!

Let's head to the European country of Germany, and find out why Christmas is so special here. During the holiday season it is very common to see city squares decorated with lights and Christmas trees. Cities are also known for their holiday markets, where people can buy special foods and treats for the season.

One of the most common items that Germans buy during this time are glass ornaments that are made using a tradition of glass blowing. This is where hot glass is shaped and formed by someone blowing down a long tube.

Many people come to the city of Dresden, Germany, to shop at the Christmas markets.
Dresden market

Holiday Traditions

Many Germans attend church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Caroling is a favorite tradition of Germans as well. This is where people travel throughout the town singing favorite holiday songs. Many Christmas songs are performed by choirs as well.

Singing is a favorite activity in Germany during the holiday season.

How would you feel about having your Christmas tree and presents locked up? This is a common German tradition, where families put the tree, called a tannenbaum, and gifts in a locked room that is opened on Christmas Eve. Before church services, the family goes into the room and opens presents. Food is shared, and often the Christmas story is recited.

Foods of the Season

You may think of ham and Christmas cookies for your holiday treats, but in Germany they enjoy some different foods for the season. Carp, a fish, is sometimes served on Christmas Eve. Usually for Christmas Day roasted goose or pig are served as the main courses, and traditional German foods like potatoes and macaroni salad are served on the side.

Dessert is a real treat in Germany on Christmas. There are several sweet treats served especially for the holiday. Ginger cookies are commonly baked during the holiday, as well as a common Christmas dessert called stollen. This is a cake baked in a loaf that contains fruit and marzipan, which is a sweetener using honey or sugar and almonds.

Stollen contains fruit and marzipan and is often on German dessert tables at Christmas.
German dessert

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