Notes on German Culture, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

When circumstances were difficult, as in 1917, then even a tiny tree would make Christmas special

Herzlichen Weihnachstgruss (heartfelt Christmas greeting) ...an older German style wording for Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas). This image is from a vintage 1917 WWI German Christmas card, depicting a lady joyfully reading a Weihnachstgruss from her soldier away at war. It also reflects the tradition that a Christmas tree always had to be there and when… Continue reading When circumstances were difficult, as in 1917, then even a tiny tree would make Christmas special

History Highlights, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

On Christmas Eve in 1914, something unusual happened

On Christmas Eve one hundred four years ago, in 1914, the first Christmas during WWI, something unusual happened…and it happened spontaneously... triggered by the men themselves who were in the front line trenches. The Illustrated London News described the event in its headline: "British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing… Continue reading On Christmas Eve in 1914, something unusual happened

Notes on German Culture, Prussia...Northern Germany

My memories of how Christmas was celebrated in northern Germany

Christmas Season is here and for the benefit those who are new to this page, I will once again relate my memories of how Christmas was celebrated in northern Germany. Most significantly, Christmas Day was not as important as Christmas Eve and therefore many German-Americans still follow the tradition of exchanging gifts on the 24th.… Continue reading My memories of how Christmas was celebrated in northern Germany

Notes on German Culture

German Children’s Prayer at Christmas Time

German Children's Prayer at Christmas Time, with a Victorian era drawing of a little girl in bed before Christmas Eve. She is dreaming of angels delivering her Christmas tree, complete with lighted candles. The title of the prayer is roughly translated as: I lay here and sleep completely at peace, because you, God, help me… Continue reading German Children’s Prayer at Christmas Time