Get into the festive spirit with these German Christmas traditions

Get into the festive spirit with these German Christmas traditions

Although the build-up to Christmas 2020 has been somewhat dampened by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of fun and festive ways to get into the Christmas spirit at home. Here are some of Germany's best stay-at-home Christmas activities!

Home baking

There's only one thing better than doing something creative at Christmas: doing something that's creative AND tasty! Germany offers some of the best Christmas recipes in the world - from homemade Lebkuchen and delicious regional specialities, to fresh Pfeffernüsse and Vanillekipferl, there are so many tasty German Christmas treats!

Undoubtedly though, the king of German bakes is Stollen. This rich, heavy and fruity loaf is a true symbol of Christmas in Germany, and it is surprisingly easy to bake.

Check out this recipe video for a quick how to:

Video: My German Recipes/YouTube

Christmas tree decorating 

Take some time out during your December weekends to “deck the halls” and put up a Christmas tree. Christmas trees are a historically German tradition, with evergreen trees originally decorated with real, glowing candles. 

There are many stunning tree decorations that can be bought online if you are after a stylish and sleek Christmas colour scheme. For a more authentic look, you could even try making your own Christmas trinkets to put on the tree, for that extra homey feeling.

Here are some inspiring handmade tree decorations to try:

Video: HGTV Handmade/YouTube

Put together a Christmas playlist!

Music is the perfect way to set the Christmas mood this year, no matter how cold and gloomy the German weather is during winter.

While it can be really fun to sit and create your own playlist of the best tunes, there are also plenty of great Christmas playlists available for free online if you don’t have the time to make one from scratch.

Check out this playlist of traditional German carols to get you into the festive spirit!

Video: ChristmasWorld/YouTube

Homemade Glühwein

Another one of Germany’s tasty Christmas treats is Glühwein - this warm, spiced, fruity wine drink is the perfect antidote to the cold winter! The origin of spiced wine actually traces back to Rome, not Germany, and though most countries do their own take on it, German Glühwein is undoubtedly the most famous.

Although most German supermarkets sell bottles of readymade Glühwein, the taste is never so sweet as when you make it yourself. Why not take some time to make a delicious warm Glühwein to pass the holiday weekends by?

Have a look at this tutorial to learn how to make a delicious winter treat:

Video: My German Recipes/YouTube

And the best thing about making Glühwein at home? You can make it to your liking - spicy, sweet, or even alcohol free! Check out this non-alcoholic (and also vegan) version for inspiration!

Video: vegan one min/YouTube 

Papercrafts and card-making 

Feeling creative? Why not take up papercraft for the holiday season! Christmas cards, gift boxes and decorations can all be made using stuff you probably already have at home - saving money and adding that handmade touch to gifts and trinkets. 

One great DIY Christmas project is a homemade advent calendar - a traditionally German way to count down the days until Christmas. By making the calendar at home, you can choose the best little gifts to go behind each of the calendar's doors, so you can truly tailor your advent calendar with the perfect little surprises!

Check out this tutorial for a place to start:

Video: HGTV Handmade/YouTube 

Make an Adventskranz

Another great German tradition is the Adventskranz (advent wreath). These beautiful wreaths are a traditional Christian Christmas display, symbolising the passing of advent. The Adventskranz typically consists of four candles mounted on an evergreen wreath, surrounded by various other decorations. 

To make an advent wreath at home, all you need is evergreen branches (real or faux), four candles, some glue and some extra decorations such as baubles or Christmas beads! Watch this video for inspiration:

Video: Techscrew/YouTube

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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