Christmas with a “K”

“For Christmas that year Princess Augusta, known to Victoria and Albert’s children as ‘Aunt Prussia,’ sent Vicky four miniature fruit and vegetable shops just like those in Berlin, and to brother Bertie, five cartons of Prussian toy soldiers in wood and lead.”

— An Uncommon Woman, by Hannah Pakula (1997)

In exchange, the Princess Royal’s mother, Queen Victoria, sent a Scottish kilt to Germany, as a present to Fritz, the fifteen-year-old prince.

Aunt Prussia  forced the poor lad to wear it for a State dinner.

Set of World War I toy German soldiers.

I love vintage German ornaments. The reproductions are quite nice, too. They remind me that a lot of Christmas as we know it came from Germany.

German “putz” houses

glass tree ornaments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Christmas customs have become so embedded it’s easy to forget their origin. The Advent wreath, for instance, marks the Sundays of Advent. On each one I pray that the combination of so much greenery adjacent to an open flame does not burn the church down.  Weihnachtsmarkte, the Christmas market, makes a great fundraiser for any group, be it a historical society or a soccer booster club. Der Adventskalender, or Advent calendar, is meant to provide order to the wild anticipation children experience with the coming of Christmas.

This is entirely theoretical, of course.

A 1970s Advent Calendar — from Cold War West Germany

 

They even say der Weihnachtsmann, or Christmas man,  resembles Santa Claus. Scholars would have us believe this mythical figure is derived from Thor.

A Santa worth waiting up for.

Merry Christmas!

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