Thanksgiving is over—again. I’d rather not think about how many Thanksgiving Days I’ve been through, though each has been a blessing. Gratefulness is a gift we do not want to shun as it is the very joy of life. We delighted in family, food, and fun, as we realized family and friends are the real wealth of life. May we always be encouragers, peacemakers, and filled with gratitude—a Sunday message worth remembering.
Now we look forward to Christmas. I hope your Christmas will be a wondrous occasion. At Christmas time, I can’t help but think of Germany. Germans know how to celebrate, and Christmases in Germany sparkle in my memory.
The last time I went to a German Christmas market was many years ago—before the Berlin Wall fell, before the Soviet Union broke apart, at a time we Army spouses who resided in or near Fulda, Federal Republic of Germany, could go to the near-by East German border to peer across a barbed wire fence into that Eastern European block of dreary silence. Along that stretch of fence, small, white crosses marked the spots where desperate citizens trying to make it to the West and to freedom, fell. There we spouses peered through binoculars at Soviet soldiers lying prostrate in barren fields peering back at us through their own binoculars. I lived in Germany at a time when we fully expected the Soviet armies to come rushing across the Fulda Gap. We practiced NEO (Non-combatant Evacuation Operation) exercises with NEO Wardens knocking unannounced on our doors to command us to grab our children and supplies and to take designated routes out of our areas. Many of us lived in villages rather than at Downs Barracks, the Kaserne, and getting out would have been sketchy at best. We were fully aware we would not see our spouses. We were on our own. Fortunately for us, the Soviets never made it across.
But I digress. On to the glorious German Christmas markets. It is hard to believe so many years have passed since I went to the Fulda Weihnachtsmarkt, the Nuremburg Christkindlmarkt, the Munich Christkindlmarkt, the Rothenburg ob der Tauber Reiterlesmarkt, and others. But it has been. Still my memories are vivid of soft sleet pellets covering cobblestone Marktplatze (marketplaces) outlined with brightly lit cathedrals and shops. The Marktplatze were filled with booths of wooden and glass ornaments, lebkuchen (gingerbread-like cookies), toys, felt dolls, handmade fireplace brooms, wurst sizzling on grills, strong coffee, pots of steaming gluhwein, and too many other baubles and crafts to mention. The ancient, walled cities of Germany make for a romantic, fairytale Christmas. To me, Christmas in Germany is like no other. If the opportunity should arise for you to go to Germany at Christmastime, go!
Nuremberg Christkindlmarkt booth
Entrance into Marienplatz–Christkindlmarkt, Munich.
Christmas gifts arriving in Rothenburg ob der Tauber..
Our very own real chimneysweep when we lived near Fulda!.
Our very own little Weinachtspyramid.
St. Nikolas (der Heilige Nikolaus) and Krampus
6 thoughts on “German Christmas Markets”
Germany sounds like an interesting place to visit, especially
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You would love it. I hope it all has not changed too much.
Towns and cities in the USA haven’t been able to duplicate the Christmas markets and probably shouldn’t try. Americans want to dress up their house exteriors and let others gawk as they drive through neighborhoods to celebrate the season. The beauty of the Holidays is how disparate cultures use their resources and histories to make the season their own.
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Indeed. Germany has contributed many Christmas traditions to other cultures as well, the Christmas tree for one.
Having only been to Germany once, I still managed to fall in love with the country. These pictures do indeed look like something out of a fairy tale, and it would be something I’d love to experience with family in the future.
Also… it’s good to know that 2 years of German has at least allowed me to read a phrase on a cookie.
Ha! Brian, I learned a bit of German while living in Germany, but most of it escapes me now. I figure if you stayed a good while in Germany, you would suddenly know more than you think you do. Hope you all find time to make it to Christmas in Germany.