I found a site that helps you to explore the Christmas traditions of different countries. It is a fun site and I hope you will take a look at it. It is called whychristmas.com.
I learned that many of the traditions I have heard of started in Germany. The Advent calendar originates from Germany. I never had one growing up but I have seen them before. The ones I have seen are paper with little windows on the dates that open revealing a small prize/gift. In Germany, the gifts are sometimes in small boxes on a wreath. One is opened each day of Advent, a 24-day period leading to Christmas. The wreaths have four candles, a candle representing each week of Advent.
Germany is credited with the origin of the decorated Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) and with bringing them inside the home, usually on Christmas Eve. Hans Greiner, of a glassworks established in Lauscha in the late 1500s, made the first ornaments in 1847. I still remember when our Christmas trees were decorated primarily with glass ornaments and tinsel.
The Christmas Market is an important part of the holiday season in Germany. Most of the towns have one of these events. There are many that have become tourist-worthy. Here is a list of the best Christmas Markets in Germany. I love the picture of the market near the Black Forest.
The atmosphere at the festivals is festive and filled with nostalgia for traditions of days gone by.