A Traditional German Christmas With Eva


Around the globe, the festive season is celebrated in so many ways. We’re exploring this gorgeous cultural diversity in our around the world Christmas series… 


Christmas is:

Getting together with my family…

In Germany:

The whole family comes together. The morning of Christmas Eve, my sister and I decorate our tree listening to our favourite carols and try to fit as many baubles, bows, angels and stars as possible.

When we were young, we once loaded the tree with so many things that it fell over. My grandma couldn’t stop laughing.

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Eva and her family at Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, usually we go to church for mass. After that we have a delicious three-course dinner before we start the gift giving.

Sometimes my sister and I get our instruments out and try to play some holiday songs. Emphasis here is on trying because we both haven’t played for years, and, especially after a glass of wine, the carols become quite experimental.

On Christmas Day, we usually visit our grandparents and extended family.


For dinner

My family always cooks something special and we make one person responsible for each course of the meal. I usually put my hand up for dessert.

And then somehow there are some German families who love to eat Currywurst mit Kartoffelsalat (sausage with potato salad) on Christmas Eve. I never understood why…

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Eva and a refreshing glass of Gluehwein – perfect for returning the feeling to our fingers and toes. 😉 Image sourced: german-gluehwein.com


One recipe I would love to share is for Gluehwein which we have all the time at our Christmas markets.

You need

1 litre red wine, dry
50 ml rum
2 oranges, juicy, unsprayed, sliced
2 oranges, juicy, squeezed
7  cloves
2 bars cinnamon
1 star anise
50 g rock sugar, brown

The how

Put the red wine, the spices, the sliced oranges and the freshly squeezed orange juice in a big pot and heat it up but don’t bring it to the boil. Add sugar and rum and shortly heat up once again.

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The German Christmas markets. Image sourced: coachholidays.com

Eva’s gift picks

In Germany, we celebrate on Christmas Eve. After dinner we all gather in front of the tree and everyone searches for gifts marked with their name.

Gifts don’t have to be expensive but need to come from the heart.

For my sister: the Mini Succulent Hanging Plant from Mister Moss, such a cool decorative accent for everyone who loves plants and likes to have something unusual in their home.


For my parents: the Bonded 7-Piece Knife Set from Schmidt Bros. My parents love cooking, especially if they have the right kitchen equipment.

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Do you believe in Santa?

In the German culture, kids believe in the Christ child instead of Santa.

I still remember that my sister and I were not allowed to enter our living room until my dad rang a bell which was the sign that the Christ child had brought the gifts and decorated the tree.

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Fave festive thing?

So many things! The delicious food, the cosy winter nights in front of the fireplace, Christmas markets with Gluehwein (mulled wine) and Poffertjes (tiny pancakes), tons of festive cookies…

I could go on forever.

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Hot tip for surviving Christmas

I love Christmas so I don’t really need to survive Christmas. The only thing that I try to do is stay fit while eating all the heavy German food. I go for runs on crisp winter mornings or do some yoga.

Need some gifting inspiration? Check out our gift guides for suggestions for himherMumDad + more! Then throw yourself into the decorating spirit with our seasonal decor!

Merry Christmas for the team at Zanui.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.