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Children sing Christmas songs during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
Children sing Christmas songs during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Children sing Christmas songs during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
Children sing Christmas songs during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
St. Nicholas talks to a little girl during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
St. Nicholas talks to a little girl during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
German and American soldiers and family members stand in line to get traditional German Christmas foods and drinks during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
German and American soldiers and family members stand in line to get traditional German Christmas foods and drinks during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. ( Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Crowds gather around the Christmas tree during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
Crowds gather around the Christmas tree during the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Hundreds of soldiers and family members bundled up and braved the cold for the holiday tree lighting ceremony at an Army base in Germany on Tuesday.

The Grafenwoehr Christmas tree lighting celebration marked the beginning of the holiday season for the thousands of troops stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.

During the festivities Santa Claus and his German counterpart St. Nicholas gave gifts to children while the adults enjoyed German Christmas specialties like warm Gluehwein and Lebkuchen (mulled wine and gingerbread).

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

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