Christmas Around the World


What have been Christmas traditions and special events for you?

When my wife was a little girl in Holland, she put her wooden shoes out on Christmas eve and in the morning they were full of goodies. She remembers her mom making oliebollen and apple-floppa (Sp?)

I grew up in southern Oregon state (USA). Because the area around us had many large forests we got to go into the snowy woods and cut down a live fir for our Christmas tree. Cost $1 for a permit. That was wonderful. In first grade I was an ornament on a Christmas tree - we wrapped colored celophane on our flashlights and stood on risers on the school stage. We were arranged to look like a big tree. Our flashlights were the tree lights and we sang Christmas carols for a school Christmas show.

How about you?

Thomas Dressler

New member
My experience was pretty much similar to most Americans, I think, except that coming from Pennsylvania German families on both sides, we were REALLY into it. (Christmas celebration in America mostly originated with the Pennsylvania Germans.) My dad would spend days getting his manger scene just right and we'd go out in the woods looking for Princess Pine to decorate it. Even in my 20s my parents still liked to give lots of presents, so they'd wrap even little things like toothbrushes and put them in our stockings.

We also had a tradition that Santa Claus had a special elf named Buttons who would always be watching during the year, and he'd tattle to Santa Claus if you did something bad!

I remember my grandmother telling me that the Pennsylvania Deitsch (German) word for Santa Claus was Belsnickel. I never believed her--I told her she was making it up!
But years later when I bought a PA German dictionary, lo and behold, she was NOT making it up! Belsnickel IS the word for Santa Claus!

We also used to have homemade cookies. My great-grandmother Dressler made the most wonderful molasses cookies! (I have her recipe and they still taste the same. . .)

Thomas Dressler