|The Christmas Tree at The Brandenburg Gate|
Families get together and have a big meal, often duck or goose is the main attraction on the table. Then Santa shows up that evening and bring his presents for the kiddos. Everyone waits for him to arrive before they start to open their presents. This is all done on Christmas Eve, instead of waiting for the morning.
I guess Santa isn't as fast as I had always thought he was. He must need to get a head start on delivering the presents and starts early in Europe. Then by the time he get to the USA it is super late and we are already in bed. That is why we have always celebrated on Christmas Day, because Santa doesn't get to the US kids until the middle of the night!
I have to say I prefer the waiting till the morning. I would hate to open all my new presents on Christmas Eve and then have to go to bed. I like that we in the US open them in the morning and then have all day to enjoy them.
Heiligabend - Christmas Eve
heilig - holy, sacred, saintly
der Abend - evening, eve