English Corner

Veröffentlicht am Mo., 4. Nov. 2019 00:00 Uhr

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Advent Season in Kreuzberg

The time before Christmas in Berlin-Kreuzberg is particularly beautiful and filled with traditions from across Germany. While stores and shops hang decorations and sometimes set up Tannenbäume (Christmas fir trees), many people’s homes are filled with the scents of baking. I’ve had the opportunity to help bake Plätzchen (Christmas cookies) and watch an expert create her own Stollen. The aroma of nuts, fresh and dried fruits and spices seems to capture the essence and happy memories of past Christmas holidays.

One of the German traditions our church congregation is eager to maintain is the making of an Adventskranz (Advent wreath) for the home. In German, the word ‘basteln’ means to do handicrafts, such as creating and decorating this year’s Adventskranz. My mother was an expert in Basteln and decorating in general, but my talents are few, although I greatly appreciate the finished works.


The picture included here is a hand-carved wooden cross, one of the few decorations I brought to Berlin from the US. I purchased it from the carver at our Lutheran church’s Christmas bazaar. The American version is like its German counterpart, which is called the Advents-Basar. Our congregation’s Basar takes place on the first Advent Sunday, 1st December, in the Melanchthon-Kirche – after that day’s family worship service. Be sure to bring a few euros to buy some baked goods and a variety of homemade arts, crafts and decorations. They would make for perfect Christmas gifts and souvenirs of your visit.

And speaking of traditions, our annual New Year’s Concert (Neujahrskonzert) with the brass ensemble of the Jungen Ensemble Berlin takes place in St. Jacobi. The date is Sunday, 26th January 2020 at 11:30am.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in English or German at greggillum@t-online.de. I hope you enjoy a wonderful and peaceful Advent season – and a blessed New Year.

Greg Gillum