Countdown to Christmas and the End of Year
The year end is calling, but we are far from calling it an end yet, here at German School campus! In fact, we have so much more in store for you before 2017 comes to a close. So join in and celebrate the season with us while learning about German traditions.
If you have attended our recent Saint Martin’s lantern parade at Old World Huntington Beach, you were part of a wonderful event that turned out a full success with our students, friends and the community at large! The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that we are planning to make it a German School campus tradition. In fact, you might want to mark your calendar already now for next year’s lantern parade on Nov. 11th, 2018!
With Christmas around the corner we are just getting into full gear with more traditional events to share with you.
Christmas Traditions in Germany
Traditionally, Christmas is the most important holiday of the whole year for Germans. And to make this highly anticipated event even more attractive there are many beloved customs leading up to the final Holly Night on December 24th.
One important tradition is, of course, the advent calendar. Children in particular love the countdown to the 24th of December, which makes the time of anticipation go by so much faster. The advent calendar originated in Germany in 1904, before it conquered the world. Hopefully you have yours already set up since tomorrow on December 1st, it’s time to open the first door!
It is also custom to have an Advent wreath with four candles decorate the family home. With a new candle lit each Advent Sunday it reminds us of the remaining weeks until Christmas eve. Every family usually has one placed as a center piece either in the dining room or the living room to complement other Christmas decoration. Often made of evergreens and lovingly decorated, the Advent wreath provides the fresh Christmas aroma until the freshly cut Christmas tree arrives.
And then there is Saint Nicholas! This beloved event marks a Christmas highlight just a couple weeks before the actual Christmas Eve. Happening on the night from December 5th to December 6th, children put their boots outside their houses hoping that Saint Nicholas will come by at night to fill them with treats. Some families even have Saint Nicholas come by their home ‘in person’. After an impressive entry in such case, Saint Nicholas usually checks his large golden book to see if the children had been good all year. Only after that, he will treat everyone of them with gifts out of his big burlap sack. Quite an event, you can imagine!
Of course, during all these festive times plenty of holiday cookies are a must. And some families outdo each other by sporting as many as 15 different varieties! Yes, Germans take Christmas cookie baking seriously.
Lastly, the night of all nights has arrived, the evening of December 24th! This is when Germans traditionally celebrate Christmas and children receive their presents that evening instead of the morning of December 25th, the traditional day to exchange Christmas gifts in the Unites States.
The evening of December 24th often culminates for many Germans in attending the Christmette, the midnight mass.
Share the Holiday Spirit With Us Here At German School Campus
At German School campus we have a couple events planned to get you in the right holiday spirit.
On December 2nd join us for our Gingerbread House decorating contest from 3pm-5pm. This is a joint event with Ute’s Kinder Schule happening at German School Campus in Newport Beach. Students compete within their age groups K-12 and win prizes for the best decorated Ginger Bread House. Every year this event proofs to be a lot of fun. So if you’d like to participate give us a call immediately to have your spot reserved! The cost is $25 per person to cover material expenses.
On Sunday, December 10th, we invite to our Christmas Party from 4 pm-6 pm at German School campus in the Yacht room. The Christmas party is hosted jointly by German School campus and Ute’s Kinder Schule. Students from both schools perform songs, poems and plays.
Please join us for an afternoon full of holiday spirit, delicious foods and … a surprise visit from Santa!
We wish all our German School campus students, families and friends a wonderful holiday season and look forward to seeing you at school or one of our events!
The school will close for the holidays on December 18th and reopen January 4th, 2018.
Merry Christmas – Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Ein gesundes und erfolgreiches Jahr 2018!