Do you celebrate any of the December holidays? I’m not big on Christmas myself, but I celebrate it out of habit. And because a lot of feasting and gift giving really does a lot to brighten the whole dark, cold winter thing. For the last four years, my husband and I have stayed home and made a big feast with the other Christmas “orphans” (orphans as in those who can’t or don’t go off to visit family around the end of December). Afterwards we would play a present game—everyone wrapped up something hideous and the roll of the dice determined what you ended up stuck taking home. But this year, we were invited to my husband’s mother’s house, and so we decided to take a more traditional stab at the holidays.
For those who celebrate, today is a day of family, ornaments, food, friends, and gifts. We’ll take one last glimpse at a German Christmas market before they close up for the season. Have a great day!
Living so far from the place where I grew up, I had long ago given up on the possibilty of a chance meeting with so-and-so from whenever-a-long-time-ago. I like chance meetings. I like finding out what has become of people I knew when we were kids. Character development. It’s fascinating. But I like living in Germany more, so down the drain with chance meetings, I figured. The closest I’ve come, will probably ever come, was a few weeks ago.
The Christmas lights are sparkling in Cologne right now… Do you have a favorite Christmas market?
Okay folks, I’m pretty sure I’ve found it….that’s right, the country that looks Christmas in the eye, says, “We know what to do with you” and then kicks some serious Christmas butt. I’d heard a thing or two about German Christmas markets, in fact I even spent one Christmas in Germany way back in 1999, but for some reason I was entirely unprepared for it this year and how I would become so completely and utterly smitten. I went to my first market in Hamburg on the first day it opened and was in complete awe—not only do I love markets in general, but here we are with markets around every corner, selling all sorts of heavenly food and drinks, fun crafts, and beautiful ornaments, and best of all, it is THE place to be in December. Clear your calendars for the next month because this is all you will be doing. Okay, maybe it’s all I’ve been doing anyways! I feel like all of the coldness of German culture and especially of Northern Europe melts away for this month and friends and family and co-workers and random strangers gather at the markets, filled with friendliness-enducing Glühwein, to just…..be together.
‘Tis the season. Germany’s famous Christmas market are in full force in every city in the country. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be featuring them in all their twinkle-lit glory.
Though technically winter doesn’t start until the solstice—that is the shortest day and longest night of the year around December 22nd—for me the season is heralded by two things, regardless of the date: snow and Christmas markets. So now it finally feels official: though the Christmas market has been up and running since the end of November, the first snow arrived on my doorstep yesterday. The holiday season can begin.