Learn more about how to learn about and celebrate Christmas in Germany with your kids!
Isn’t it fascinating to learn about how different countries and cultures celebrate the holidays?
Food, stories, and songs have their own special parts to a major event or celebration that is recognized worldwide.
Let’s discover traditions and customs for Christmas in Germany and how you can enjoy some special activities with your kids.
Why Our Family Loves Learning about Christmas in Germany
When putting together our Christmas Fun Around the World studies, I first chose Germany.
My maternal great-grandmother’s (Nana Stella) family came from Germany. I’ve always been fascinated with learning about my family background and finding out more about the history of each country.
It was interesting to learn that some of our modern day Christmas (and Christmas eve) traditions are said to originate in Germany.
The Christmas tree is believed to have its roots in German culture, possibly as early as 15th century. Martin Luther, a German Christian reformer, is credited with being the first to add lighted candles to a Christmas tree.
Many Christmas carols have German origins. “O Tannenbaum” and “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht) are two popular carols. Here are 8 Jolly German Christmas Songs To Boost Your Holiday Spirits.
So many different ways to celebrate with wonderful activities, symbols, and events for your homeschool as you learn about Christmas in Germany!
You can explore things like German Christmas markets (like the top-rated one in Nuremberg), Advent wreath, Christmas presents (or gifts), and more. Older children might be interested in learning about Krampus Night (December 5) – I don’t recommend for younger children!
Let’s take a closer look at these five ways you can learn with your kids (even the entire family) this holiday season.
Great Christmas Fun in Germany
Would you like to enjoy Christmas in Germany Fun with your kids?
I put together simple plans and activities to learn about a German Christmas, without feeling stressed or like you’re adding one more thing to your holiday plate 😉
I know the holidays can be super busy and you need as simple as possible. With five boys, I know what holiday stress feels like!
To make sure your Christmas Around the World Fun wasn’t overwhelming or impractical, I used and tweaked these plans and activities last year with my boys (ages 5-16).
The Christmas Fun in German plans and activities include:
- Fun Facts about Christmas in Germany (like das Christkind (Christ child), der Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus or Father Christmas), Sternsinger (star singers), Krampus, Epiphany on January 6, and more)
- Learn a German Christmas Greeting
- Select German Christmas music video links (with German Christmas carols and more) and sites for you to enjoy with your kids
- A super fun interactive game
- German Holiday Food Facts (and ideas for enjoying a tasty German holiday treat!)
- One page with colorful images of traditional German Holiday Food
- 5 coloring pages (with 2 images per page for total of 10 half-pages) to create a special Christmas in Germany keepsake book
Would you like to learn about more countries and how they celebrate Christmas?
Grab our Christmas Fun Around the World bundle. Learn about fun Christmas traditions in 8 countries PLUS get a bonus suggested materials checklist to make your prep work even easier!
The Christmas Fun Around the World Bundle is just $12. Yup, get 50% off! Hey, if you can’t get to all the countries this year, you’ll have plenty of Christmas learning fun activities to look forward to next year!
Please tag @rockyourhomeschool with pictures of how you’re using your Christmas Fun Around the World activities with your kids 🙂
5 Fun Ways To Learn About Christmas In Germany
Many German cookies, breads, and other sweet dishes are connected with Christmas.
German Christmas Stollen is delicious and would be fun to make with kids.
Sweets, like marzipan pigs and gingerbread houses, combine interesting symbols with stories for hands-on learning fun. Oh, and of course – yummy chocolates!
Wicklein Meistersinger Lebkuchen – Sugar Glazed – Cello BagWicklein Fine Oblaten Burggraf Lebkuchen AssortmentWicklein Pfeffernusse Iced Gingerbread Cookie Bag, 7.05 ozKuchenmeister Classic Stollen in Gift Box, 26 OunceFunsch Marzipan Good Luck Pig Assorted 1 RANDOM Pose 1.76oz/50g
Advent calendars with pop-up windows are popular traditions in Germany to help you get ready for Christmas Day.
The German Star is a popular origami-like craft for the Christmas season. Here’s a video that shows how to make one:
Another fun tradition commonly associated with Germany at Christmas time is the pickle ornament. This legend appears to be a myth as far as its relation to Germany, but it’s still fun!
My boys and I made our own pickle ornament to use as Christmas decorations this year. Here’s a free printable pack to get you started on making your own Christmas Pickle Ornament for a fun family tradition (and make more to give to friends!).
Includes two pages with tags to add to your ornament plus Christmas-themed hats if you want to decorate it.
3. St. Nicholas Day
St. Nicholas Eve (December 5) and Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) are important times in Germany. St. Nicholas is said to ride around the countryside on a white horse. He knows if kids have been naughty or nice.
Kids put their shoes out for St. Nicholas to fill with goodies and small gifts. If a child has been naughty, it is said that they will get switches!
To find out more about St Nicholas, we read and recommend The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving, St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker, and The Legend of St. Nicholas.
Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures has this fabulous free printable Catholic Saints Study: Saint Nicholas and ideas for St. Nicholas Crafts for Children.
The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas GivingThe Legend of Saint Nicholas (Incredible Lives for Young Readers)The Story of Saint Nicholas: A Children’s AdaptationSaint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend
My boys and I love to find books on topics that we are learning about and exploring, especially about German Christmas traditions.
We had a blast reading and chatting about Christmas in Today’s Germany from our local library. Christmas Around the World and A Christmas Celebration: Traditions and Customs From Around the World were fabulous resources for our studies and activities. These books inspired my boys to do more research online and talk about their findings.
I highly encourage you to pop on over to Table Life Blog where Emily shares Christmas Around The World In 100 Books.
5. Printables for Christmas in Germany & More!
I was thrilled to find so many awesome free printables to help us learn and celebrate Christmas Around The World! Check these resources out:
Free Christmas Around The World Unity Study (Free Homeschool Deals)
And if you’d like to add more easy Christmas fun to your holiday season with kids, you’ll love:
Follow my Christmas-inspired Pinterest boards for more resources & learning fun!
Do you have any Christmas in Germany ideas, beverage (like glühwein), or recipes (like Christmas cookies) you’d like to share?
Wishing you and your kids tons of holiday cheer and a very Merry Christmas as you learn about these German traditions!