Things to buy from Supermarkets & Shops in Germany this Christmas Season!
Every year, around the beginning of November, up till Christmas, shops and supermarkets in Germany transform themselves from boring everyday shopping places to the most sought-after places teeming with activity. These Christmas shops get loaded with Christmas-special goods and play an important role in initiating the festive feel that continues until Christmas.
Shops start selling Christmas merchandise like caps, socks, hoodies, etc. Christmas décor items like Christmas tree ornaments, snow globes, etc., start occupying shop shelves. Supermarkets start getting loaded with enticing Christmas cakes, cookies, chocolates, and many other sweet treats.
Usually, shops create a separate section for all these Christmas specialties, and it is impossible to miss them. People flock to shops to buy stuff for themselves or gifts for their loved ones. Most of these items are available exclusively around this time of the year, so don’t miss the chance to check them out.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly available Christmas specialties you must try and not miss if you are in Germany around Christmas. Let’s start with the sweet treats.
Sweet treats to buy from German Supermarkets during the Christmas season:
Spekulatius are short-crust biscuits characterized by their shape and pattern embossed on them. These are available in German supermarkets around the feast of St. Nicholas and during Advent. These biscuits have a distinguishable taste from spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and are one of the most popular Christmas goodies in Germany.
Lebkuchen can be translated to gingerbread in English. The texture is between a cake and a cookie, and the taste is a combination of sweet and spicy. As you bite into a Lebkuchen, you taste ginger, cardamom, allspice, cloves, etc. In German supermarkets, even Lebkuchengewürz ( Lebkuchen Spice ) is available around Christmas. It is a mixture of all the spices that are used for making Lebkuchen. You can buy that too and try making them at home. Lebkuchen comes in many shapes and is one of the most popular Christmas delicacies. It is commonly available in supermarkets as well as Christmas markets.
Stollen is a fruit bread with nuts, spices, and dried/candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar, and often contains marzipan. It is a traditional German Christmas bread. Other ingredients that go into Stollen are currants, citrons, and orange peel. These are also available both in German supermarkets as well as Christmas Markets.
- Gluhwein and Kinderpunsch
Glühwein is mulled (spiced) wine usually made with red wine, and is served hot or warm. Kinderpunsch or Fruchtpunsch is a similar drink made with fruits and spices but contains no alcohol. These two drinks are a must-try and taste best outdoors in cold weather. It is a common sight to see people holding their glasses of hot Glühwein and kids enjoying their Kinderpunsch while walking around and exploring the Christmas markets. It is a traditional drink and is very popular in Germany. You get these in supermarkets as well. You can heat them in a saucepan and enjoy them at home too.
Marzipan is a mild-tasting sweet made from almond flour, sugar/honey, and other ingredients like rose water, egg whites, cornstarch, etc. But the key ingredient is almond flour, and its taste stands out when you bite into this soft doughy dessert. Marzipan is commonly used for icing cakes, but the version I am talking about here is the one that you can directly eat and is a dessert in itself.
Zimtsterne translates to Cinnamon Stars. These are Christmas cookies that are said to have originated in southwest Germany. Like many other cookies and cakes, the highlight of these cookies is the use of spices ( here, cinnamon) combined with sugar and nuts ( here, almond). These are very popular in Germany and are one of the cookies traditionally baked in german homes for many years during Christmas.
Chocolates occupy an important place on supermarket shelves all through the year. But, around Christmas, it is taken to another level. Popular chocolate manufacturers come up with special packaging, ideal for gifting. Also, the Weihnachtsmann (i.e., chocolate in the shape of Santa Claus) is very popular, especially among kids. Although the taste of the chocolate is the usual one, the design, and packaging, make it look fun. Also, these are available only around Christmas, so grab one if you fancy it.
This was a short list of the most common goodies, but there are many more. So, make sure you explore the shops and Christmas markets.
Apart from food items, there are many more fascinating items in shops, some of which I have listed below:
Other Miscellaneous things to buy from shops in Germany during the Christmas Season:
- Christmas Decor
Snow Globes, Nutcracker man, Christmas tree ornaments, candles – they all look lovely and are great for decorating your home or giving as gifts.
- Christmas Merchandise
Christmas-themed merchandise, including Caps, Socks, Hoodies, Gloves, sweaters, you name it, are all available during Christmas.
Christmas-themed crockery and table deco items like table mats, sheets, etc., for that special Christmas dinner with family and friends, are available too. They are sure to make your Christmas special. So do check them out!
Beautiful and pocket-friendly accessories like hair bands, earrings, etc., are great to wear all through Christmas or buy as gifts.
Apart from shopping, visiting Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt in German) is also a popular activity around this time of the year. Read my article about German Christmas Markets to know more.
Check out these pictures taken in shops, supermarkets, and Christmas markets.