Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Christmas traditions abound in Deutschland... that is, Germany.
Hildegard Adkins, a native German who moved to the US decades ago now volunteers her time at Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. She recalled, "The big attraction always was the Christmas tree because it was decorated with tons of chocolates. And the chocolates were wrapped in foil so they added to the color."
She sees many customs in American culture that have German roots. In her youth, families used real candles for decoration. But Adkins remarked, "Amazingly, you know, we hardly had any fires that I know of."
Even one of the most common symbols, the Christmas tree began as a German tradition. Adkins said it "probably comes from pagan days where the evergreen always has been a symbol of rejuvenation and coming to life again."
Glass ornaments were also a German invention; coming from the small town of Lauscha in the 1600's.
If you'd like to learn more about different Christmas customs, the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World Show will be at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park through January 6th.