Many of our Christmas traditions began in Germany.
First and foremost, the Christmas tree originated in Germany. Unlike so many Americans, who put up their trees right after Thanksgiving, Christmas trees were decorated on Christmas Eve in Germany. Instead, Advent wreaths were placed on a table four Sundays before Christmas. Every Sunday, families would spend time together and light a candle.
The Kris Kringle we know today came from an inaccurate translation of Christkind (Christ child). This started as protestant religions moved away from worshiping saints. Americans also started opening presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas. We open on Christmas in our house.
Christmas markets (Christkindlmarkt) are also steeped in German tradition and include warm drinks, beer, crafts, and food. It’s not the heart-healthiest food, but a little indulgence once in a while is okay. Music and dancing are common as well.
The Christkindl Market in Denver seems smaller than it was years ago, but it still has the same vibe over all.
I have a considerable amount of German in my ancestry. I love learning about the various cultures of my ancestry and find it interesting how many Christmas traditions originated in Germany.