Last year, we premiered the long awaited “Bartholomew” sequel. I admit it isn’t as good as the original, but I hope you all enjoy it!
Advent is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. The Advent season begins on the first Sunday after November 26. The German Advent calendar tradition goes back to the 19th century when children would draw Christmas pictures on 24 pieces of paper and hang them in the house. In the 1880s the wife of a German pastor crafted small Christmas boxes (Schachteln) for her impatient son to open on each day leading up to Christmas. Each box was filled with a delicious cookie and Gerhard was allowed to open one each day and eat the cookie inside.
By 1903 or 1904, Gerhard Lang, as a partner in Reichhold & Lang in Munich, was manufacturing the first commercial illustrated Advent calendars (without cookies). The first calendars with fold-out windows appeared in 1920. Since the 1940s, Stuttgart’s Selmer Verlag has specialized in diorama calendars that display Christmas village scenes. The first chocolate-filled Advent calendars were being marketed as early as 1958.
December 1 is also the traditional starting day for many German and Austrian Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte), depending on the date of the first Advent weekend.
Before I was the host of the PageantCast, I hosted a German radio show in Milwaukee called the Stimmung Stunde. Christmas was always my favorite time of year and probably the most popular part of the program. You’ve already met Bartholomew, Santa’s Second Favorite Elf, that visited during the season, but we would also read “Christmas Traditions” this time of year. I’ve put together some of the favorites here for you to listen to. It’s my Christmas Gift to you!
Merry Christmas (and Froehliche Weihnachten) to you all!
Okay. I know what you’re thinking!
You read that headline and thought I’m making something up.
Well, remember I used to host a great German radio show in Milwaukee and one of the big questions ask me this time of year is where to find beautiful German Christmas decorations.
The best place is this week’s website, Kaethe Wohlfahrt (yes, when a letter has an umlaut over it you can depict that by following the vowel with a letter e if you have no umlaut on your keyboard–see! learned something!). They even have a store in the Minneapolis, MN area for you to check out!
Kaethe Wohlfahrt is one of the first great Christmas stores in the world and you will find great decorations, nutcrackers, and so much more at the website. I should mention they are not an advertiser for us…their site is just that good. Check it out!