By Tim Leeds
There will be a celebration of Christmas, German-style, at the Havre-Hill County Public Library Saturday, and the library's staff has invited the community to come in and help celebrate.
The meeting room has been decorated and traditional German holiday treats will be served, along with hot spiced cider, coffee and tea.
The celebration is for the Second Annual Christmas Around the World Series sponsored by the library. Librarian Francine Brady has been researching German Christmas traditions to prepare for the celebration, taking place from 1 to 4 p.m., and will answer questions about the traditions during the open house. Brady said she hopes families with German backgrounds will come to the party and share their memories of traditions, too.
Brady said there will be a variety of traditional foods, including stollen, a German Christmas bread; German coffee cake; Black Forest cake; speculari, "It's a cookie that breaks your teeth;" and springerle, a molded cookie. "It really breaks your teeth," Brady said.
Brady said she has found a large amount of information from researching books, the Internet, and German families. She said there is actually a lot of controversy over what the "correct" traditions are from different sources.
Brady said there are actually so many different regions in Germany with their own traditions that people from different areas do have different customs, but there are some standards throughout the region.
One of these is St. Nicholas Day, celebrated Dec. 6. St. Nicholas brings good girls and boys edible treats which he leaves in their shoes, but fills the shoes of naughty children with twigs. Another is the Christkind (Christ child) bringing gifts to the children on Christmas eve.
Brady had a long list of different traditions she is ready to share at the celebration, and she said she hopes a lot of community members will share their personal traditions as well. Brady also made a gingerbread house that will serve as the centerpiece.
The celebration held last year was two-fold, presenting Christmas traditions of both Spain and Ukraine.