Christmas Eve

Germans celebrate Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) on December 24. Many spend the afternoon or early evening going to church, decorating the Christmas tree, or preparing a special Christmas Eve Dinner. Gifts are opened that evening, unlike in the US, where gifts are opened on Christmas morning. Unless the 24th falls on a weekend, the day of Christmas Eve traditionally is still a working day, mostly with reduced hours or half days. The first and second day of Christmas (December 25 and 26) are official holidays. Depending on the part of Germany where they live, the children believe  the Christkind (Christchild) comes and brings the presents.