Christmas in Saxony

Christmas in Saxony

Here in Saxony, Christmas Eve is actually more important than Christmas day

From family traditions to new rituals, each of us will have our own unique and cherished customs that make this season so special.

In an interview with Andreas Müller, Managing Director of MÜHLE, we discuss his own Christmas traditions, shedding light on the festive moments that resonate with him during this joyous time of year.

Ore Mountains Winter Scene, taken by Andreas Muller

What does Christmas day look like for you?

Andreas Müller (AM): Here in Saxony, Christmas Eve is actually more important than Christmas day. Typically, we decorate the Christmas tree in the morning of the 24th and dress up in the afternoon. Later, we attend the Christmas Eve service at around 4:00 or 5:00 pm.

After returning, all the candles in the house are lit, and we have our Christmas dinner. Traditionally, this comprises nine different simple dishes, such as sour cabbage, sausage, either goose or duck, potato dumplings, and other side dishes.

Then we exchange gifts and enjoy each other’s company. Many of us go to bed early, as there is an early church service on Christmas Day. During the service, the church is solely lit by real candles, and the Christmas story is performed by amateur actors or children.

Christmas Eve Church Service in Saxony, taken by Andreas Muller

What would you say your favourite ritual is?

AM: The Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), the area where we live and where MÜHLE is based, is renowned for its Christmas customs and traditions. Many Christmas decorations, such as wooden nutcrackers, smokers with incense cones, and lighted arches, are manufactured here.

Decorating the home four weeks before Christmas is the kickoff for the festive season and is a must for many in this area. Visiting the typical Christmas markets everywhere here is a ritual I would not want to miss. It's always a lot of fun for the kids as much as it is for the adults.

If the Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach is being performed somewhere, I am definitely joining!

Church decorations, taken by Andreas Muller

What has been the best-ever gift you have received?

AM: I don't remember the best gift I've ever received.

Years ago, our whole family agreed not to exchange gifts. It was, in fact, the most relaxing Christmas I've ever experienced—taking a lot of pressure off me. Now, having small kids myself, it's actually nice to see how happy they are when we give them presents and how much fun they have giving us gifts. 

Church in winter, taken by Andreas Muller