Back to Blog

Emporia staff member shares holiday memories from Germany

Growing up, Administrative Assistant Dorothee McWilliams’ holiday traditions were a little different than the ones most of us are used to. Born in Waldfischbach, Germany and spending most of her childhood in the Frankfurt area, Dorothee’s holiday memories revolve around traditional German celebrations.

“I loved the German Christmas traditions that I grew up with,” said Dorothee. “December 6 is Saint Nicholas Day. The day before, we would clean our boots and shoes and leave them outside our front door and, during the night, Saint Nicholas would come and leave candy, fruit and nuts in our boots—also some small gifts.”

But Saint Nicholas wasn’t the only visitor Dorothee would anxiously await each year—Christmas Eve brought its own special guest.

“On the evening of December 24, the Christmas Angel would arrive and leave gifts. I remember the anticipation and joy when my mom would ring the bell and let us into the room. My Mom would light the Christmas tree and all the gifts were under the tree. This is one of my favorite childhood memories,” said Dorothee.

Now a long-time resident of the United States, Dorothee has left behind some of her German customs and has established new ones.

“I have made new traditions during Christmas. I love to go to church and attend the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. I also love to go for walks on Christmas Eve. It just seems like there is a special kind of feeling in the air. I just really enjoy the true meaning of Christmas more and more,” said Dorothee.

Back to Blog