Last Christmas I gave you my heart ….. well, not really, but I did sent out a tweet on twitter every day as my Advent calendar.
As of the 1st December I will post a daily blog entry about a different German Christmas Carol, one for every day until Christmas – my calorie-free Advent Calendar.
In the meantime, here is last year’s calendar once more:
Angelika’s Advent calendar 2010 – a German Advent ABC – 24 letters of the alphabet (no x or y)
A der Adventskranz – advent wreath, a table centre piece with 4 candles, one for each Advent Sunday.
B die Bescherung – the giving out of Christmas presents; only used in connection with Christmas presents, unless it’s used ironically “Da haben wir die Bescherung!” means something like, “Look at this mess!What did I tell you!”
C das Christkind – baby Jesus or the Christ Child, who brings the presents to a lot of German families. Das Christkind was an ‘invention’ of Martin Luther. Traditionally it was St Nicholas who brought the presents, but as Protestants didn’t recognise Catholic saints, they couldn’t let St Nicholas bring the presents but they liked the idea. So Martin Luther invented the Christ Child.The modern day Christkind has, of course, it’s own website but it’s only a link to an email address. I haven’t tried it but if anybody would like to write to the Christkind, I’d love to know what the reply is.
DDominosteine – domino cubes, most delicious German Christmas sweets (layers of Lebkuchen, apple jelly and apricot kernel paste coated in chocolate – yum)!
E der Engel – angel. According to Wikipedia “The word angel in English is a fusion of the Old English word engel (with a hard g)and the Old French word angele. Both derive from the Latin angelus.
And: Angelika means like an angel. Thought you’d like to know 😉
F Friede auf Erden – peace on earth, said by the angels to the shepherds when Jesus was born. It is also the title of a choral song by Arnold Schoenberg (1907), a book by Karl May (1901), a Christmas speech by Martin Luther King (1967) and, of course, it’s what every Miss World wishes for 🙂
G der Glühwein – mulled wine. If you want to make your own, the BBC website has an easy recipe. You can make it even easier by buying a bottle of red wine and some mulled wine sachets – or you can pop into the nearest LIDL or ALDI and buy a bottle of Glühwein ready made!
H Heiligabend, also called Heiliger Abend, it’s Christmas Eve (literally holy evening), the day when in the evening the Germans exchange their Christmas presents (see B, Bescherung)
I Ihr Kinderlein, kommet – oh come, little children, is an old German Christmas Carol. For the lyrics, translation and information in English check out Wikipedia
J Joseph, lieber Joseph mein – Joseph, dearest Joseph mine; a very old German Christmas Carol with lyrics from the 14th century and the tune from the 15th century.
K die Krippe – a cot, crib, manger, but when people talk about die Weihnachtskrippe or die Krippe they usually mean the whole nativity scene.
L der Lebkuchen – a German biscuit similar to gingerbread. Wikipedia has a nice explanation about the origins. Here is an easy recipe but for somebody who – like me – doesn’t like baking, (this is still too complicated for me) go and buy some 😉
M Marzipankartoffeln – marzipan potatoes. These are little marzipan balls coated with a mixture of cinnamon and cocoa powder, which makes them look like potatoes, hence the name. They are absolutely delicious!
N der Nikolaus – St Nicholas. St Nicholas day has already been (on the 6th) but somebody told me about this lovely tune and I can’t get it out of my head, so I share it with you. Now it can stay in your head,too 😉
O O du fröhliche – one of the most famous German Christmas Carols. In German protestant churches it is the the final hymn to be sung on Christmas Eve, while at the same time the bells are ringing. If you like to listen to it, here it is as final hymn in a church. For me personally it’s the beginning of Christmas when I hear this carol.
P die Pute – turkey. Die Pute is the turkey hen, der Puter is the male version which you can also call der Truthahn in German.
Q die Quengelei – nagging, whining, which the children do if they can’t wait any longer for their presents!
R Ruprecht (Knecht Ruprecht) – servant of St Nicholas. The German poet Theodor Storm (1817-1888) wrote a famous poem about Knecht Ruprecht. You can read it here
S der Stollen – a traditional German cake, usually eaten at Christmas. The Dresdner Stollen is very famous and also very tasy 😉
T der Tannenbaum – fir tree as Christmas tree. Die Tanne is the fir tree, but at Christmas it’s usually called der Tannenbaum or der Weihnachtsbaum.
U ungeduldig – impatient. Families with young children will have a lot of ‘ungeduldige Kinder’ (impatient children) at Christmas 😉
V Vom Himmel hoch… another famous German Christmas Carol. Here is a video of it with the German lyrics and English translation
W der Weihnachtsstern, it’s not a Christmas star, it’s a Poinsettia!
Z Tochter Zion freue dich – my all time favourite hymn! If you want to know which Christmas Carol can reduce me to tears, listen here