© Iain Masterton/age fotostock
These half-timbered homes in the German village of Freudenberg look like the stuff of fairy tales. Peek inside one and you might see an Adventskranz, or advent wreath, made from pine boughs and candles. You’ll likely also see a Christmas tree, a tradition that dates back to the 16th century here in Germany. It’s said that Protestant reformer Martin Luther began the practice of adorning the trees the trees with lighted candles, precursors to today’s electric lights.