The top ten weirdest German Christmas gifts

We’re a week into December and if you’re like me the only preparation you’ve managed so far for Christmas is downing a couple of Glühweins at the local Christmas market.

But all is not lost! In the days of online shopping, you can still find the ultimate in typical (and not-so-typical) German Christmas gifts and get them sent direct to your loved ones. A quick trawl of the great-wide-shopping-mall-in-the-ether came up with these unmissable Christmas goodies.

1. Bavarian Backwards Clock

In Bavaria clocks work differently. Apparently. Right. That’ll be useful then.

2. Cuddly wild boar piglet

Warning – it comes with the name Wutzi. Even a two year old will probably find that too embarrassing.

3. The Maultasche

A Maultasche is a type of ravioli from Baden-Württemburg. Literally Maul (= Mouth)- Tasche (= Bag). This is German humour at its… well it’s German humour anyway.

4. The Nutcracker

Germans are normally pretty good at design and engineering. Here is one example of where they’re not. The wooden huzar-shaped nutcracker may have many uses, but cracking nuts is definitely not one of them. Unless we’re talking male-sterilisation here… in which case it might work.

5. A piece of Berlin Wall (executive size)

Which of your friends would not be delighted to receive an executive sized (sic) piece of concrete mounted on a wooden plaque?

6. Grandfather Cuckoo Clock

Of course you could just buy your relatives a regular annoying cuckoo clock to bug them on the hour, every hour. But why not go the whole hog and get them a grandfather cuckoo clock with inbuilt musical box with three teeth-grating melodies.

7. Hamburg Elbkiesel

A typical North German speciality. Sweets that are made to look like gravel. Yes you read that right.

8. Schnapps Pipe

Who would want to drink Schnapps from a normal glass when you could drink it from a porcelein pipe and look like a total prannock?

9. Lederhosen apron and tankard oven glove

The ultimate in Bavarian barbecue chic….  just imagine yourself grilling your Bratwurst in this!

10.  Scale model DDR watchtower

In high quality printed cement-grey cardboard, a build-it yourself model watchtower to cut out, glue together and throw away.  An absolute must-have for all older generations.  Once you’ve checked what they did in the war, obviously.


Filed under About Germany, German festivals, Life in Germany

21 responses to “The top ten weirdest German Christmas gifts

  1. These are just too German and too, too funny. My fav is the backwards clock. What a hoot!

  2. I have to track down some Hamburger Elbkiesel here in Hamburg to send to my parents back in Australia. My parents rudely lived in Switzerland for a number of years before I was born so they have already filled their house full of German stuff (I grew up with an annoying German cuckoo clock) but gravel candy is something they definitely don’t have.

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  4. This is a riot! What a great read! At least the Germans are more intersting in their gift ideas than the Dutch!

  5. I like the Maultasche. 😉

  6. Susanne

    What makes those Christmas gifts? Aren’t those just random knickknacks that can be had year round and mainly sold at tourist traps?

  7. Annie

    I remember something very much like Hamburger Elbkiesel in English seaside souvenir shops when I was a child…

  8. Great collection of unusual presents.
    Everything, except the nutcracker, would end up on a flea market table on mine.

  9. Alida

    Wutzi was gone by the time I found this blog. Where can I find him?

  10. IaN

    To all of You who *need* stuff like this, just click on the images as they’re linked to online shops offering these fine goods 😉

    Oh, and as I’m German, I can tell You: The backwards clock is also traditional in Frisia (Netherlands/Northern Germany/Denmark).

    The watchtower, btw, is a model from the former GDR and has nothing to do with any wars decades ago… It’s sole purpose was to “watch” the former border between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. Well, and to hunt down GDR refugees who wanted to flee to the FRG, of course…

    • Wilhelm

      It’s just a shame that it’s 1:43 scale. It makes what would have been a nice bit of scenery for ‘Cold War Gone Hot’ wargames completely useless (unless there’s someone mad enough to produce 1:43 figures).

    • Wilhelm

      Checking with the TMP miniature page informs me that that is in fact O Gauge, the traditional model railway scale. Germans are pretty big into model railway, especially historical scene.

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  12. Jenn

    Where did you find the apron and oven mitt? I’d love to get that for my father in law for Christmas!

  13. Dan pundak

    So not true

  14. Love your post! Yeah, the German nutcrackers are definitely not the best piece of German ingenuity. But they are still very popular. :-). Even learned something. I’m German and didn’t know about the Schnaps Pipes.

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