Maria Aulenbacher was only a few weeks old when she celebrated her first Christmas in 1909. 100 years pass, which today's oldest living German spends in Wiesbaden. She then decides to turn her back on her native Germany and emigrate to the USA. Since then she has lived with her daughter in Greenville County in the state of South Carolina, but the family's Christmas celebrations are still based on traditional German customs, as she explained to the "Bild" newspaper.
"We all sing 'Silent Night' and other German Christmas carols together, my great-grandson plays the piano, and then there are presents," said Aulenbacher to "Bild". Before Christmas dinner, the family attends a small Christmas service. She also celebrates according to a custom that even one or the other in Germany should no longer follow: "On Christmas Eve we always put a piece of bread that we sprinkle with salt out on the window sill so that the Christ Child can bless it at night can." The next morning, the family then shares the bread.
In addition to potato salad, the German Christmas celebration in Greenville County also includes classic decorations from Germany. For example, Aulenbacher brought her nutcracker collection with her when she moved from Germany to the USA. A handmade wooden nativity scene should not be missing in their new home.
Aulenbacher, who can look back on a long life, still has one wish: to spend Christmas in Germany again. "Nowhere can it be more beautiful than the Christmas market in Wiesbaden," she says.
The 113-year-old obviously likes to celebrate Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus. The fact that she bears the name Maria, who gave birth to the "Son of God" on that "Holy Night", is probably pure coincidence.