Things are different in Germany at Christmas

I’m noticing some subtle and not so subtle differences in these German Christmases.

For instance, last week at Globus (a really cool German store that is kind of like Target but with a way better in-house eatery and cheese section) they had maraschino cherry chocolates on sale. I personally love cherry and chocolate anything and happily loaded three boxes into my cart to gorge on over the next few weeks.

I got home, broke a box open and popped one of those lovely little cherry surprises into my mouth. And what a surprise it was.

They weren’t filled with maraschino cherries, they were filled with cherry flavored alcohol that instantly burned the tastebuds out of my head and, as Harrison is reminding me, “Tasted like liquor.”

Another thing I’m loving about Christmas here is how very little we’re seeing of Santa. It’s all about Jesus. Instead of Santa being their Christmas hero, it’s the Christkind (think that’s how it’s spelled) that brings Christmas around (this might be slightly distorted due to my laziness when it comes to fact checking).

Anyway, on the eve of December 6th (or 5th if you’re an American who gets confused about foreign policy) the kids leave their shoes out with their Christmas lists inside. Santa comes by and takes the list, leaving them with cavity-inducing goodies of all sorts.

The kids and I were walking through a German grocery store on the 6th and we saw heading our way the tallest, freakiest Kris Kringle you’ve ever laid eyes upon. He was carrying a gunnysack that I’m pretty sure was to capture small children in so he could go home and roast them over the fire. Georgia burst into tears when he got close.

His face was so strange I thought he was wearing some kind of mask (a mask would have been a good idea in his case). I would have taken a picture if I hadn’t been so focussed on getting my children away from him. The guy had hands the size of plates. He reached into his sack and gave them all apples and really old candy bars. Once the chocolate surfaced they loved him. Kids are so conditioned.

And just to set the record straight, I keep hearing that Germany only has expensive, ugly Charlie Brown trees but I totally disagree. Our village tree lot opened up for four hours on Friday afternoon and I found a glorious Christmas tree for a great price that they happily delivered to my door later that evening, no extra charge.

It’s gonna be a good one, I can feel it.


  1. I’m sure Christmas in Germany is beautiful.

  2. Careful, Annie, that could just be the cherry chocolate liquor talkin’ 😉 JUST Kidding! I hope it’s a great one, but we will definitely miss you! Christmas Eve is never the same when you’re not there, and I guess it will fall to Jenny and I to come up with an impromptu performance of some kind. 🙂

  3. Ouch. There goes the heart. I am sitting in my beautifully/crazily over lit Christmas decorated house. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is blaring on the tv and I read Laura’s comment. She’s right. Christmas will not be the same without you. Kendra will be here this year. All of the sudden I am not a happily married mother of three. None of us are…I think we are all 15 years ago and it is my first Christmas home from Ricks with Jen and we are at your house for Christmas Eve. You and Kendra are pounding away “Sleigh Ride” on the piano and I think we burned the midnight to 3am oil several times that break talking, laughing, singing, and playing games and guitar. Remember? I always will. I wish I could go back to that Christmas for a visit with those girls.

    Miss you so much. Your German Christmas sounds wonderful. I am so glad you posted your mailing address. Not because I have a Christmas card, I am not that creative. But I do have a lovely CD of some of our favorite tummy ticklers I have been too lazy to send to you. So Merry Christmas Annie.

  4. Just watched Meet Me in St. Louis last weekend. I thought about those lucky, lucky sisters who had each other and felt for my little Kelsi who will never have a sister. Oh boy, what she is missing out on. How fortunate we all were to have each other.

    Okay, you have made me totally sentimental.