So this was Christmas …

In Germany, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, i.e. that’s the day for the big family celebration and for exchanging presents. Traditionally, one room (usually the sitting room aka die gute Stube = “the good room”, used only on special occasions) was used as the “Christmas room” where the parents would set up the Christmas tree and put the presents under the tree. Children weren’t allowed to go into the room before Christmas Eve — though, of course, they tried to take a sneak peek through the keyhole. But this, as I’ve been told myself, is very dangerous indeed, for if you peek through the keyhole while the Christkind (“Christ Child”)* brings the presents, you’ll get angel dust in the eye and will be blind forevermore. But if you’re a nice girl or boy and wait outside the room until a little bell sounds to announce the Christkind has been there and you may now enter the room, then all the wonders of Christmas will await you behind that door.

*Ever since the 19th century either the Christkind (Catholic) or the Weihnachtsmann (Protestant) has been bringing the Christmas presents to German children.

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