Three days of celebration


Sina Hansen (12)

Foreign exchange student Sina Hansen (12) has a truly unique holiday traditions since her family is in a different continent entirely, in Germany.

On the 23rd her family puts up their real Christmas tree with real candles on it that they light. They decorate the tree and place the presents under it which is exciting, according to Hansen.

“Americans put their trees up way earlier, as early as November. I find that crazy, then some people don’t even have real trees. That’s crazy too,” Hansen said. “They’re sometimes in a box and you just pull them out and there it is.”

In Germany it’s a tradition to go with your family and cut the tree down. Some Americans do this but not the vast majority, like in Germany.

On the 24th is when the celebrations begin. Hansen first has breakfast with her parents and her sister then they then go to church around 3 or 4.

“I actually go to the service for the younger people, the scouts,” Hansen said. “That’s always a lot of fun.”

Christmas Eve night her family has dinner together then plays for presents.

“You have to roll a dice and if you roll a six you can get a present if you roll a one you can open it until all the presents are opened,” Hansen said.

On the 25th and 26th Hansen, along with her sister and parents visit with extended family and eat a lot of food together.

This year though Hansen will be spending the Christmas holiday with her host family thousands of miles away from her family in Germany.

“Here [America] I know that we’re going to do all the celebrations on the 24th and the 25th is like a day for the intermediate family,” Hansen said. “It’s going to be different, but that doesn’t mean I’ll miss my traditions, but I guess that could change.”

Note: In Germany there is no Thanksgiving, so the celebrations surrounding Christmas are very important and last most of the winter season. It’s traditional of families to have Advent Calendars to do little things to celebrate each day leading up to Christmas like decorate the tree or put your shoe out on the 16th of Dec. for St. Nicholas Day. Although St. Nicholas day is known in America, it is a very big in Germany, and is celebrated by many.