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The new Christmas classics

(Germany edition)

My classics of the season have been my Abue's delicious fruit punch, the authentic posadas including praying and a piñata afterward, sugar cane with chile and lemon or alone, tamales, and the joy of seeing the family together and spending time with friends.

Now, living in Bavaria, the following traditions are cemented as my new Christmas classics.

The original German Christmas markets, also known as Christkindlmarkt (Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, or Weihnachtsmarkt) commemorate the four weeks of Advent. And they are usually held in the main square. Including traditional German food stalls, the ever-present Glühwein, locally made products (from preserves to textiles), and an impressive variety of Christmas decorations and everything you can imagine to build a Christmas Nativity scene to envy.


Mulled wine, is the distant cousin of the Christmas punch we consume in Latin America. The #Glühwine is an alcoholic beverage made usually with red wine, along with various spices, sometimes oranges or even raisins served hot. It is a traditional drink during the winter, especially at Christmas.

This drink is found in Christmas markets in Europe, mainly in Germany. There are non-alcoholic versions (#Kinderpunsch ). The tradition is to go out to the Christmas market with family and/or friends and drink Glühwein there, although it is also sold bottled in different versions.

Another Christmas tradition originated in Germany in the early 19th century, originally used to mark the days of Advent. The hanging of a devotional image each day evolved, becoming common as a handmade wooden box. By the 20th century, the first printed advent calendars became popular, and Gerhar Lang added a small door per day, for which he is recognized as the author of the modern calendar.

Biblical fragments were added behind each door to accompany the traditional image.

Beginning in the 1930s, others added short biblical verses behind the doors next to the traditional image.

The most common ones now offer one chocolate per day, although the truth is that the variety of themes and products available in today's advent calendars never ceases to amaze me. Imagine that there are even erotically themed ones for couples. My favorites are the reusable calendars, which are the ones we use at home.

Krampus, in central European popular legend, is a half-goat, a half-demon monster that punishes misbehaving children at Christmastime. He is the devilish companion of St. Nicholas. Krampus is believed to have originated in Germany, and his name derives from the German word Krampen, which means “claw.”

In the rest of Germany, on December 6, children wake up with a present from St. Nicholas, but in Bavaria, for some unknown reason, it is celebrated on December 5.

If the children misbehave during the year, it is very likely that instead of a gift from St. Nicholas, they will receive a visit from Krampus, who is characterized by the sound of the chains he carries and the sack on his shoulder where he carries the misbehaved ones.

This is my third Christmas in these Bavarian lands, and I could already say that we officially established the tradition of baking typical German cookies before St. Nicholas's Day.

Among some of the cookies, we baked are Vanillekpferl (vanilla and walnut cookies), Spitzbuben (shortcrust cookies filled with strawberry jam), Butterblatzal (butter cookies with sprinkles), Nussplätzchen (walnut wafers).

I confess that to date I don't have the secret recipe from the mother-in-law, who literally just passes us the list of ingredients every year, but who is super cautious and doesn't take off her recipe book. My hope is that with practice, the details of how to prepare them will stick with me.

Christmas in Germany is usually accompanied by multiple traditions, some more religious, many others more recreational, or directly related to the consumption of goods or services, such as the mini advertising films of their supermarket chains.

Some are more introspective than others, but most are undoubtedly emotional. The first time I saw one of these short films I was surprised by the quality of the production and its highly effusive content.

Here is a small sample, the PENNY supermarket Christmas film to remind us of the importance of empathy. Another excellent example is Der Zaun, the short film from the Kaufland store, playing the card of forbidden love and social differences.

Last year, Penny's Christmas short film achieved 4 million views in its first week, so undoubtedly they had to maintain a standard of warmth, originality, and of course the great emotional component. Finally, Christmas comes in many forms, and although it may be commonly associated with festivities, joy, and family, the reality may be different.


What are some of your Christmas classics?


Wakelam, A. (n.d.). The history of Advent calendars. Krampus. (n.d.). [Online enciclopedia]. Britannica.

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


15 mag

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


15 mag



27 lug 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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