Berlin Senate Approves Christmas Shopping on Two Sundays in December

On two advent days, Berliners may do some or all of their Christmas shopping. This decision was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Senate Administration of Labor. While those shopping sprees may go ahead, Berlin’s Christmas illumination could look different this year.

Berlin, November 1st, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — According to Berlin’s Senate Labor Department, Berliners and visitors will have the opportunity to do Christmas shopping on two of the four advent Sundays. To be precise: On December 4th, which is the second advent, and on December 18th, 2022, the fourth advent, all shops will have the right to open.

Uncertain Times

Business owners are relieved. They have enough problems because, in these uncertain times, many Germans could stay away from shops. The inflation is the main issue. So are the extremely high energy costs that eat away money consumers usually spend for Christmas presents. Obviously, retail business owners have to pay their electricity bills too. Sundays that are open for business could help them increase their revenue.

This is what ‘Kudamm’ usually looks like before Christmas. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

In Germany, all shops are generally closed on Sundays, except for a few convenience stores and shops that are part of gas stations. Also, there are ‘emergency supermarkets‘ that do open in large cities, including Berlin. Because of Germany’s weird regulations, plans to permit shops to open on Sundays always lead to big discussions. Recently, the Federal Administrative Court dealt with the subject.

Energy and Money

The retail industry needs support. It is under pressure for reasons other than Corona, the energy crisis or the inflation as well, namely the fact that more and more Germans purchase everything online, including Christmas presents. This development kicked in much later than it did in other countries. Even during the second decade of this millennium, Germans were reluctant in this regard.

While those advent shopping sprees can go ahead this year, the atmosphere they will probably take place in could look different. The Berlin Senate will not contribute to the costs of the traditional Christmas illumination at Kurfürstendamm, a major shopping boulevard in the area of former West Berlin, this year, for obvious reasons. This is about saving both energy and money. The City AG, an association of business owners there, intends to try to cover the costs with donations, according to the ‘b.z.’ daily.

Illuminated Lettering

At Kurfürstendamm, a.k.a. ‘Kudamm’, an illuminated lettering usually appears in late November. It includes the letters B, E, R, L, I and N, in this order. Nobody has the faintest clue what they stand for. Lit Christmas trees and light bulbs in the boulevard’s regular trees always have been part of of it. Especially when there is snow, this kind of illumination does look nice. It remains to be seen what the whole thing will look like this year.