In my search for Christmas-themed German language texts, I stumbled across several free downloadable ebooks. The following German Christmas ebooks are free as of this posting and can be downloaded from Amazon. They are in Kindle format, but you don’t need a Kindle to read them. You can also read them on a Kindle app for your mobile device or the Kindle reader for PC.
Traditional German Christmas texts
Weihnachtsgedichte – Contains 50 German Christmas-themed poems by both traditional and contemporary German-speaking authors.
Adventskalender 2013 – Vorfreude auf Weihnachten – A German Christmas poem for every day from December 1 to 24. Authors include Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Christian Morgenstern, Clemens Brentano, Gottfried Keller, Heinrich Heine, Joachim Ringelnatz, Johann Wolfgang von Goehte, Rainer Maria Rilke, Theodor Fontane, and Theodor Storm.
Weihnacht! – by Karl May – This Karl May novel first appeared in 1897. The story takes place partly in Germany, partly in the Wild West of the United States and describes the experiences of the famous Karl May characters Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. The title of the story comes from a Christmas poem that May originally composed for a magazine. The poem is woven into the story at various points.
Weihnacht-Abend – by Ludwig Tieck – The great Breite Straße Christmas Market in Berlin in 1791 forms the background of Tieck’s novella. A poor young girl watches the
A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens – German edition. The same traditional Dickens Christmas story, translated into German.
German Christmas stories for children
Der Weihnachtspullover – 24-page illustrated children’s story. Oh no, Grandma can’t make it for Christmas this year. But grandson Yann has an idea. Maybe he can change something with the sweater Grandma knitted for him and a few magic words? This story is one of a series all with the same premise: Grandma in Germany knits her yearning to see her grandson Yann in France into sweaters. When Yann puts on one of these sweaters and says a magic spell, he experiences unusual things.
Die kleine Schneefee – 11-page short fantasy story for children. Sarah is wishing hard for a white Christmas, but it just won’t snow. But when she encounters the snow fairy Lisa on the way to school, she gets an unexpected opportunity.
Benni Grünfink feiert Weihnachten – For children ages 4 to 10. A day before Christmas Eve everyone is looking forward to the big celebration. Benni Grünfink, a little bird who lives in a garden at the edge of a small town, and he 8-year-old Lenimari and her little brother Tikko, who have have moved with their parents to an old farm, are drawn into a breathtaking series of events.
Pauwdies – Der magische Adventskalender – For children ages 8 to 10. When Paolo opens the first door of his mysterious Advent calender, he encounters an unexpected obstacle. His Advent calendar is inhabited by a tiny, furry creature. It is Kasmir, a being from another world — a world full of magic and fantastical creatures. Paolo and his sister Lara are about to embark on an exciting adventure.
German Christmas books for adults
Mein Weihnachtsbaum, meine Familie und ich – A humorous Christmas story. Like every year, Manfred meets his friend, the Christmas tree, at the busstop. He is back, well rested from his spa treatment, and it seems as everything is the same as usual. But then there is a problem.
25. Dezember – Weihnachtsgeschichten für Mutter und Großmutter – Seven bittersweet Christmas-themed stories to get mothers and grandmothers in a Christmas mood.
O du fröhliche, gabenbringende Weihnachtszeit. Wie Kinder Weihnachtslieder (miss-)verstehen – Amusing childhood memories of misunderstood Christmas songs. German speakers of all ages remember misunderstood and missung songs of their childhood. The lyrics of German Christmas carols are followed by people’s childhood memories of the songs.
Other not free, but cheap German Christmas books
Weihnachts-Märchen – Stimmungsvolle Klassiker und Neues entdecken – 74 classical and modern Christmas stories, including Grimms’ and Andersen’s tales, stories by Charles Dickens, Theodor Storm, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and many others.
Geschichten zum Advent – Four short stories: “Die Kalenderkinder”, “Die Adventslichter”, “Die neuen Weihnachtsbäume”, and “Der Krippenschnitzer”. Each story takes 5 to 10 minutes to read aloud.
German Christmas Traditions – This book in English about the Christmas celebration in Germany includes descriptions of traditions and customs from decorating your home to baking cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen) to visiting Christmas markets. Also discusses St. Nicholas Day, the bringing of gifts, Christmas ornaments, traditional holiday dinners, and more.
Christmas in Germany – This book in English describes a wide range of German Christmas foods, drinks, and customs. It covers the tradition of Advent, the best Christmas markets in Germany and their history, the origins of the mistletoe kiss, the history of St. Nicholas, how to cook season favorites and what they mean, the tradition of hanging ornaments, and more.
I hope you find something you like!