Every year, my friends from the German club get together and visit one of the  largest Christmas market -- Christkindlmarkt here in Chicago. We have made it such a wonderful traditional Christmas market and even if we don't buy any handmade gifts, we still like to go downtown to Daley Plaza, listen to live entertainment like our friends from the Phenix Band who play great German music in the drink tent, have a Glühwein or two, eat  delicious food, and enjoy pretending we are in a German christmas village for the evening. Some markets even have an ice rink for all the winter fun! 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.  

woman drinking warm drink at christmas market in late november

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 I am so excited for what Christkindlmarkt 2023 Glühwein cup I'll fine! Hey, maybe one day our kids will stumble upon them and think they're cool haha!  

Group of women enjoying the christmas markets christkindlmarkt 2023

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 that feel like a beautiful christmas village (sometimes there's even an ice rink!). My friend Karen, author of the blog, germangirlinamerica.com has put together a great list of them on her website so we can all celebrate Christmas the German way. 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 unique gifts that I can't get on Amazon (or even raredirndl.com), so I very much appreciate those times.    

women at a christmas market

What do you think? Do you have German holiday markets 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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December 19, 2016 — Erika Neumayer


Nancy Hahn Walker said:

Sounds like soooo much fun! Wish I was there!

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