Christkindlmarkt: A Truly Beautiful Holiday Tradition
Every year, my friends from the German club get together and visit the Christkindlmarkt here in Chicago. We have made it such a wonderful Holiday tradition that even if we don't buy any gifts, we still like to go downtown to Daley Plaza, listen friends from the Phenix Band play great German music in the drink tent, have a Glühwein or two and enjoy pretending we are in Germany for the evening. This market has been held here in Chicago for 21 years and it is always busy... so I'm guessing there will be another 20+ years in it's future!
It is modeled after the original Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt that originally began back in the 1600s. Stalls or booths are set up for each vendor that mimic the look and feel of the Christkindlesmarket that still takes place today in Nürnberg. Here in Chicago there are vendors from Germany selling handcrafted ornaments, food, and gift items such as beer steins, toys, table cloths, and much more. Uniquely there are vendors from other countries as well, Canada, Guatemala, Poland, and India just to name a few.
Over the years we have also collected many of the Glühwein cups that are uniquely designed each year. What we're going to do with 10+ porceline painted mini mugs, I'm not sure... but maybe one day our kids will stumble upon them and think they're cool haha!
Even if you don't live in Nürnberg or in Chicago, there are lots of other German Christmas Markets all over the US and Canada. My friend Karen, author of the blog, germangirlinamerica.com has put together a great list of them on her website. Click here to check them out! I find it so important to try to find ways during this super busy holiday season to just relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. Spending time with those I love and those who love me back is a gift that I can't get on Amazon (or even raredirndl.com), so I very much appreciate those times.
What do you think? Do you have a German holiday market in your town that you love to go to? Other holiday traditions that you do with your friends and family. I'd love to hear all about in the comments.
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As always, ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. - Erika