The Magic of Christmas Markets

Last year at this time, we enjoyed stepping back to a time and place where my German husband and I first met, a Christmas Market! My husband and I enjoyed strolling markets in Germany, sipping our Glühwein and enjoying the trinkets being sold in open-air stalls, and have since enjoyed experiencing the nuanced and different perspectives of other cultures’ take on the traditional German Christmas market.

I first met my husband at a Christmas market in Munich, Germany. Very romantic!
I first met my husband at a Christmas market in Munich, Germany. Very romantic!

If you haven’t been to one, Christmas markets are truly magical. They look, smell, and feel everything the Christmas season should be about being laughter, relaxing, simple shopping of handmade-quality gifts (the type of gifts that become heirlooms), drinking & eating, homemade cookies, children playing, advent, and more.

Very First Christmas Market in the World, Dresden, Germany in 1434
Very First Christmas Market in the World, Dresden, Germany in 1434

Christmas Markets translates to “Weihnachtsmarkt” in German and “Christkindelsmarkt” meaning Christ Child Maker, in Southern Bavaria and Austria. Christmas markets now take place internationally, however, the very first Christmas market in the world was held in Dresden, Germany in 1434.

At a traditional Christmas Market, no matter what the temperature is, seasonal goods are sold from open-air stalls. Last year, on the way to The German International School of Dallas for Weihnachtsmarkt, I wondered if the event would be held inside or outside. Of course it was held outside which is another example of how this school upholds German school authenticity. Also staying in character, no matter what the weather is like outside, kids go out to play. There is something so wonderful about adding nature and raw weather alongside life experiences to be enjoyed.
goods sold 2 (600x800)goods sold (600x800)
From crafted jams, dolls, aprons, scarfs, ornaments, hats, cookies, advent calendars, stollen (traditional cake) and more, this school had an abundance of homemade goods to sell. Everything was made by moms and teachers of the German ISD school.This is also a fundraising event for the school.

Homemade German yumminess to taste!
Homemade German yumminess to taste!
Typical German/Bavarian, I love these hearts!
Typical German/Bavarian, I love these hearts!

Additionally, my boys got to see Saint Nicholas who visits the school. The singing of Christmas songs brought St. Nick to the school and he not only made an appearance but he also read, talked with, and passed out bags of goods to the children, because St. Nicholas is such a generous person that he thinks of giving rather than receiving. In Germany, St. Nick does not visit children the night before or day of Christmas, but comes instead on December 6 of every year. Then on Christmas Eve, a Christkind (Christ Child) which looks like an angel, visits children with gifts.

St. Nicolaus reading and talking to the children, then passing out a bag of treats
St. Nicolas reading and talking to the children, then passing out a bag of treats
Saint Nicolas
Saint Nicolas

If you are interested in other German celebrations or events in Dallas, TX, such as their school camps or Martinstag, please let us know or contact The German International School of Dallas or The Dallas Goethe Center. It is with their support that the German community in Dallas continues to grow and stay connected.

Additionally, if you would like to attend a Christmas market close to Dallas this year:
1) The Arlington Christmas Market, an annual market promoting a traditional German Christmas-market experience like those held in Germany and throughout Europe for the holidays. The Arlington Market, November 27 thru December 23, 2015,features German music, food, vendors, kids activities as well as regional favorites for you and your family to enjoy. I’m excited to go again this year with my family #TXChristkindl Hope to see you there!!
2) German International School of Dallas Saturday December 5th from 3-6pm

Have you been to a Christmas market in Europe, U.S., Australia or somewhere else? If so, where and what did you think about the market?

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3 thoughts on “The Magic of Christmas Markets

  1. Thank you for this wonderful article, Beth! I am really looking forward welcoming you to our Weihnachtsmarkt soon – together with many more who will follow our invitation to come and enjoy a little German Christmas Spirt, here in North Texas!

  2. I spent this Thanksgiving in Germany. Spent many days in many different Christmas markets. They were the most wonderful places I’ve ever spent time in and I’m 49! I think the mist beautiful one was the one that sits under The Colonge Cathedral in Colonge Germany. Although I don’t drink alcohol I loved the non alcoholic beverage ” kinder punch”!
    I wish I could share one of my 3500 photos from my 14 days in Germany and 5 other Europen Countries! I’m going back in March!!

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