The Real Meaning of Christmas in Germany

The article ``Germans Grouse at Early, More Commercial Christmas,'' Nov. 23, does not give a suitable picture of this festive season in this country at all. The author does not even seem to know that the exchange of gifts takes place on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas Day, when most families get together and sing traditional religious and popular Christmas hymns. Bach's famous Christmas Oratorio is also performed in most cities.

For many families, Christmas still has religious importance, and there is a well-attended Christmas service with classical music in all Protestant churches. Christmas is a solemn season here, which the article doesn't convey. Hans Sackner, Schorndorf, Germany Respect royalty

Queen Elizabeth II is fulfilling her tasks in an irreproachable manner and with dignity. Her Majesty is also head of the Church of England. Both positions are to be respected, and so should the queen's private life.

The article ``Hardly a Sure Bet: Lottery in Britain Raises Eyebrows,'' Nov. 26, begins with whether the queen had a flutter in the country's first official lottery and ends with the words ``Her Majesty's gambling habit.'' This is cheap, degrading, and not up to Monitor standards. When a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said it was ``essentially a private matter,'' this should have warned the author. Ninette Floris, Buderim, Australia

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